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A Rarity? Anyone know about GBDs?

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kaitlyn3837

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So I stumbled upon this pipe in an estate auction. It was in a lot and I was bidding online. Unfortunately, they didn't have any of the pipe brands listed in the auctions (there were multiple I was interested in). But when I saw this beauty, I knew I had to have it! I am having trouble deciding on the date and it's because I can't find exact examples.

So the markings I can make out on the metal piece on the shank are: "T", "Lion", and the third I can't really make out. It almost looks like a shield. Maybe it's a worn face? Not sure! The metal piece on the shank also says: "MR&Co".

The metal piece on the stem itself has three markings also: "Lion", the shield thing again, and "b" (lower case). This part also says: "MR&Co".

From my research, I can tell that the lower case "b" means it was made in 1901 according to this chart from Pipephil: http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/hallmark-birming.html

The first side of the shank says "GBD New Standard" and the second side says "London England 73".

I'm confused by the "shield" type markings because those don't show up on the charts on pipephil. It's entirely possible that they aren't "shields" but could be something else that faded/wore down. It's possible that it's the ladies' face from the first column in the chart, but that would conflict with 1901 dating of the lower case "b", right?

The "MR&Co" I think stands for "Marechal and Ruchon", which would line up because in 1902 Marechal & Ruchon sold GBD to A. Oppenheimer & Co.

Anyways, I have been doing a ridiculous amount of research and contemplation on this pipe. I tried to take pictures but my camera didn't really want to get close enough for decent pics. I am really hoping one of you can put my mind at ease about the dating of this pipe! Am I totally off base or am I on the right track? Thanks!







 

Ocelot55

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That is incredibly rare for a GBD and somewhat of an enigma. It's the perspex that really throws me off. I'm pretty darn sure GBD didn't start using perspex until the 50s. I also am pretty sure that the "New Standard" line was released much later than 1901. You might have a custom piece made in the 50's or 60s with old silver. The hallmark only really tells us when the silver was stamped, not when it was mounted on the pipe.

Still, I've never seen this kind of GBD before and I'd think collectors would go crazy for it. Riff Raff knows a lot about GBDs. Maybe he'll chime in here.
 

kaitlyn3837

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I thought the same thing about the "New Standard" lines too and the perspex! I'm mad confused! The little hamsters in my head have been running all day while I was researching and trying to unravel this mystery. They are very tired now LOL.

I believed the shape was way cool and now I can't find anything about a shape "73" that even remotely comes close to the shape of this pipe. I hope Riff Raff does chime in if he gets a minute!

I'M SO CONFUSED!
 

Zeno Marx

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Looks like some fantastic wood. Not just because the birdseye is amazing, but it has that hard, old quality wood look.
 

kaitlyn3837

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I found another GBD with the same shape that also has silver! On this GL Pease page: http://glpease.com/Pipes/Collection/gbd.html

First picture as you scroll down, right in the middle. But he says that it came from Hungaria. If you scroll down a couple more pics, he has a pic of all perspex stemmed pipes, under that he says that the earliest hallmarked perspex he has been able to find was 1937.
 

Simple Man

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So it looks like it had a stem replacement at some point? It's a very cool old pipe. Wondering how it smokes?
 

Richard Burley

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I believe Mr. Pease was referring to the shape when calling it "Hungarian," Kaitlyn. ;) Interesting pipe, in any event--true collector bait.
 

Slowroll

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Sorry I don't know anything about this pipe, but I just have to say I do like it a lot. Envy would not be too strong a word.  :eek:
 

loneredtree

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Very interesting... the picture from GP has under it a statement that the Hungarian was from 1954. I agree that it looks like yours has had a stem repair. Is the brass GBD on the outside of the perplex(SP?).
 

kaitlyn3837

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Richard Burley":lqolcqi8 said:
I believe Mr. Pease was referring to the shape when calling it "Hungarian," Kaitlyn. ;) Interesting pipe, in any event--true collector bait.
AH HA! That makes sense!
 

kaitlyn3837

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Simple Man":cbpj0o4q said:
So it looks like it had a stem replacement at some point? It's a very cool old pipe. Wondering how it smokes?
Not sure if it was repaired or not but that could be a possibility, I guess. I just got it today and haven't smoked it. I will probably either fix it up and sell it or keep it as a collector's piece but I probably wouldn't ever smoke it :p
 

kaitlyn3837

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loneredtree":pkbkoxco said:
Very  interesting... the picture from GP has under it a statement that the Hungarian was from 1954. I agree that it looks like yours has had a stem repair. Is the brass GBD on the outside of the perplex(SP?).
Yeah, it's the only picture of a Hungarian I have found so far, so I'm not sure how many years or which years they made them. The way his Hungarian metal fittings fit into one another look just like mine though. It looks like they were attached to the stem and tenon the same way as mine.

It doesn't look like a repair. Yes, the metal is on the outside of the perplex but the tenon/stem both look fine on the inside of the metal. Also, inside the shank looks fine too, no cracks in the wood. But maybe the tenon itself broke off and that would explain if it was a repair? I still just don't see any damage/cracks/strains in the perplex, so I'm just not really sure. I have never seen a repaired GBD before so I don't know what to look for.
 

riff raff

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Wow, what a piece! Yep, that one on GL Pease's page is the only other one that I have seen.

The lower case b is also used in '57, which makes more sense, given the New Standard finish and perspex.
Tip: A cell phone camera, zoomed in takes great close-up shots (no flash, under a light). 4
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f29/hamilton-khaki-chronograph-4567773.html

That's an amazing find, rare indeed. It looks to be in great shape, congratulations!
 

huffelpuff

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Wow! That's a stunning piece. Looks like something from the late 50"s style wise. Wish I could help with the hallmarks but I've never been able to do much with them. It takes much better eyesight than I have to make those things out lol. Best of luck with your mystery but I would absolutely call that one a rarity.

Jim
 

Richard Burley

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kaitlyn3837":qy0jsjhb said:
... and now I can't find anything about a shape "73" that even remotely comes close to the shape of this pipe. I hope Riff Raff does chime in if he gets a minute!

I'M SO CONFUSED!
I'm curious: that's not a "13" is it, instead of a "73"? The number 13 would make it an oompaul (Hungarian). Sometimes numbers get a bit stylized, the "1" looking amazingly like a "7". Just a thought.
 

glpease

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A couple things. Your pipe has a London hallmark, and that lower case, italicized serif 'b' would indicate 1957, which is consistent with everything else. The New Standard came fairly late to the party. I don't know exactly when, but it was certainly around by '57. Perspex was invented, if I recall correctly, ca. 1929, and I've seen it on a couple pipes from the 30s, and GBD were certainly using it quite a lot in the 50s and beyond. From the cut of that stem, it's almost certainly original.

The brass rondelle always puzzles me. In the 50s, GBD were still using silver rondelles on everything EXCEPT the perspex stems. In fact, the only silver rondelle I've seen on a Perspex stem is the one on my 1937 piece. I have never been able to ascertain a date when they switched to brass on everything, but I suspect it was sometime in the 60s or early 70s. (GBDs are impossible to date without hallmarked silver. There is no consistency with regard to stamping, tenon shape, hand-cut vs. molded mouthpieces, mortise countersinking, top chamfer. I can sometimes get a "feel" for era with them, but this only slightly more accurate or reliable than asking a OUIJA board for the answer.)

At any rate, it's a rare and cool pipe. And, like mine, yours is missing a piece. When the pipe was originally sold, it came with an albatross bone extension, similarly fitted with silver mounts. I have seen one complete example, and it was absolutely stunning.
 

Ozark Wizard

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Great intel, and good to see you lurking about Sir Greg!

She does have a great piece there!
 

ftrplt

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I hear everything that's being said about this wonderful piece, including GLP's (Welcome back, sir!). How some ever, I'm still trying to get my head around the "MR&C" on the silver. Why would that stamping be on a 1957 pipe? Just askin'!! :cheers: FTRPLT
 
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