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DUNHILL

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mark

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What makes a Dunhill so expensive?,,,they're standard shapes, finishes, and sizes,,,,nothing radical , they all seem so conservative,,,

or am I missing the boat here,,,are they better finished than high grade handmades at half the price?,,,,

do they really smoke better, or is it the prestige factor,,,,

I guess I have the pickup truck driving corn cob smoking anti elite attitude,,,

Anyone care to enlighten me?,,,,
 

Dock

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This is a tough question and one I could spend several pages trying to answer for you. The bottom line is that new production Dunhill pipes are being sold on the reputation that early production models were built on. I've owned and smoked several Dunhills made since 1995 and have sold off ALL of them off. They were underperformers in my opinon.

Now, if you have a chance to buy an older Dunhill pipe, say from the early 1980's or much older you will likely have a decent smoking and collectible pipe. The Patent pipes sold before 1955 are highly coveted by collectors. Most have a wide open draft hole and good old wood which simply sings when a quality english blend is smoked in them. Some folks claim that the 1970's were the last great days of Dunhill quality and some say that date was later. It's all a matter of opinion.

For my money modern Dunhill pipes have very little to offer. It's clear that I'm not alone in this as the resale value of most all of them save collectors pipes and XL pieces is far lower when compared to their early ancestors.
 

ftrplt

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Totally agree with Dock. The oldest Dunhill I own is a 1969; 'bout half of my Dunnies are patents; the rest from the later 50's and 60's. Great smokers all; wouldn't spend a dime on anything after 1969...new or estate! JMHO :pipe: FTRPLT
 

LL

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I have to somewhat disagree with Dock. There's an apples and oranges thing going on.

To a large extent the old pipes have simply been "filtered" by time. The bums got tossed and only the better specimens survived. It creates the perception that ALL the old pipes were better at the time they were made than today's crop. There is some truth to that---briar was absurdly abundant and cheap through the 60's and especially in the pre-war years, so some blocks that are kept today were probably binned---but I wouldn't say the difference is dramatic.

I think if you could travel ahead 50-80 years in a time machine and sample the survivors of today's production, they'd compare well with today's 50-80 year old pipes.

Regarding craftsmanship, it's another toss-up, though for a different reason. The oldies varied a lot, while today's output is more consistent. And among the old ones that varied on the high side, there are some real masterpieces. Some of the shapes have evolved into less dramatic and elegant ones, too, like the CK and 120. Those used to be swan-necked and flow beautifully, where today they look stiff and rigid in comparison.
 

Puff Daddy

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I have a few 60's and 70's era Dunhills and they're very fine pipes. I've also resold some that were not so great. As to the brand new Dunhills, aesthetically they just don't appear to be as fine as many of the better Italian and Danish pipes in the same price range. They seem plain and without regard for grain except in the case of some nice blasts, and when they do produce a great straight grain they ask an exorbitant price for them. You can get a far prettier Castello Fiamata for the same price as a DR, but of course that is just my own taste coming through in that statement. Since I do not own or have not purchased a brand new Dunhill I can't comment on how they smoke compared to some of the new Danes or Italians.
 

the macdonald

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LL's comments make a lot of sense. I am a Dunhill enthusist...sort of...I like the billard shape which they have done very well. I have two Dunhills an ODA from 1974 and LB from the early 80's. I firmly believe that their value is inflated by their history and peoples perception of what they are worth. That being said, both of my Dunhills are great smokers and beautiful pipes. However, is a new Dunhill ODA worth 700-900 dollars? Not to me. I don't see myself buying any new production Dunhills in the near future mainly because I think they are grossly overpriced.

Something else that always annoyed me about Dunhills in general is the grain is rarely impressive, even in their highend pipes. I have a Radice clear estate I bought for about half of what a comparable Dunhill would have cost, but the grain is spectacular! That pipe is, in my humble opinion, one of the best and beautiful billiards I have smoked.
 

Wet Dottle

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I do like Dunhill pipes and at one point it was all I would buy (well, that and Castellos). It's been a few years since I got my last one, but I never regretted any Dunhill purchase. Mostly, I like Bruyeres and Chestnuts in group 4 and 5 for the type of finish and for their classic English shapes, the bulldog in particular, but also billiards and apples. I always buy my pipes new, therefore they are all of recent years, starting in the early 90's and going all the way until the 2006 production year. I never smoked any Dunhills older than that, therefore I cannot compare, but I have no hesitation believing what Doc says. It's also true that Dunhills rarely have decent grain, like the macdonald mentioned.

I don’t have that many Dunhills, only slightly over 30 pipes, mostly priced in the $400 range, therefore my experience is limited. I don’t claim that they offer the best bang for the buck and agree that there’s some hype to them, but for me they are great pipes in that price range. Unfortunately, I think that what used to cost in the $400 range up to a couple of years ago, now costs $600 or more. For that kind of cash I would rather get a Roush. Or two Ferndowns.

The demise of the dollar made me turn more to the domestic production and I’ve been enjoying the change. But no, I will not join you in Dunhill bashing.
 

Puff Daddy

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My comments aren't intended to say that I don't like solid Brit pipe styles or appreciate the Dunhill pipe, I just don't perceive the dollar cost to be commensurate with the pipe value in the case of their smooths. I think that shells can be found for a good representative value at certain online shops but the roots seem awful high for what you're getting...... Not that I wouldn't like to have one or that I wouldn't enjoy one, but at that price I'm looking at much higher (to my mind) grade carvers.
 

Wet Dottle

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Puff Daddy":g7xrr6v8 said:
...the roots seem awful high for what you're getting...... Not that I wouldn't like to have one or that I wouldn't enjoy one, but at that price I'm looking at much higher (to my mind) grade carvers.
Agreed!
 

Puff Daddy

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Well, if a guy really wanted to find out if there's much of a difference between the old classics and the new Dunhills he could go to Cup O Joe's and grab a nice new Buyere like this [ http://www.cupojoes.com/cgi-bin/spgm?dpt=H&srch=KW&item=dunbry4103 ] and then buy this brand new unsmoked patent era beauty off EBay [ http://cgi.ebay.com/DUNHILL-PIPE-OLD-STOCK-NEVER-USED-IN-ORIGINAL-BOX-NR_W0QQitemZ320331976185QQihZ011QQcategoryZ4119QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem ] and then report back to us :D Could probably get both for around a grand, would probably be worth it, to tell the truth. I'd be tempted, if I had a spare thousand layin around :bball:
 
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