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How many "Look Only" pipes do you own?

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Brunello

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Nearly all my pipes get used on a regular basis, but I have a few pipes that I keep around only for display. Some of the big, elaborate carved meers, like the Old Man Dunhill Smoking his Pipe (pictured here) are just not practical on a day-to-day basis. Neither is the large gourd calabash. But I've fired them up a few times over the years. Heck, I've even tried my old antique German pipe, which is really awkward to handle (did those old Tyrolean mountain men actually use these on a regular basis?).

Some of the really high end artisan creations also strike me as highly impractical in terms of actual usage. But if money were of absolutely no concern to me I could see the attraction of wanting one as an object of art. What I don't understand are those who own traditional high end pipes like Dunhills or Ferndowns who never fire them up. That's like owning a fine piano that never gets played. I'd want to know how those babies smoke!!




 

BriarPipeNYC

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Zero.  I buy them to smoke them.  Some I buy as knock-arounds, and some were bought because they demand special and reverential treatment.  But I only have one or two of those "specials" ...and even they are smoked, too.

Years ago I attended Gun and Knife show.  Back when guns were made of steel, not plastic. Some high-end custom-made knives are works of art, and thus worthless as tools.  Pipes, too can quickly become also useless, especially those flawless, super-grained, extravaganzas that cost a small fortune. Keeping pipes in pristine condition for collecting, was never one of my goals. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what strips your gears.  I prefer to smoke my pipes, often, and use them as objects of utility.  

I'm just as happy smoking a refurbished, $35.00 estate pipe, as I am when smoking my few special, higher-priced super-pipes. But honestly, if I closed my eyes...I couldn't tell the difference.
 

Zeno Marx

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Zero. I consider them art, but functional art. I don't have the space, mindset, or funds to buy conversation pieces. I do have a pipe or two that very rarely get smoked, though. One is a giant panel that is basically, in my mind, the quintessential panel shape, which is why I bought it.
 

D.L.Ruth

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Well seeing how my fanciest pipe is a peterson...they all get smoked lol.
 

Brunello

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I should have know by how I phrased my query that I wouldn't get anybody to pipe up and admit they own a seven-day set of Werner Mummert Bauhuas pipes! But one sure finds a lot of unsmoked collector's items on eBay. I guess our BoB Brethren are a more practical and pragmatic bunch. :lol:

One more thing about my old German pipe: keeping it around and remembering how bad it smoked makes me appreciate even my lowliest pipe!
 

Zeno Marx

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Brunello":7jndetc2 said:
I should have know by how I phrased my query that I wouldn't get anybody to pipe up and admit they own a seven-day set of Werner Mummert Bauhuas pipes! But one sure finds a lot of unsmoked collector's items on eBay. I guess our BoB Brethren are a more practical and pragmatic bunch. :lol:

One more thing about my old German pipe: keeping it around and remembering how bad it smoked makes me appreciate even my lowliest pipe!
There are far more collector types and secret societies than anyone knows, and now that the Chinese market is so significant, that's a whole other demographic. I can think of a couple of examples that represent this to me. I haven't gone to a pipe show in a very long time, but in the old days, guys would show up with 600 Castellos or 500 Ascortis or 500 Charatans (in special presentation boxes, one-of-a-kind hand made supreme straight grains that sold for thousands). A hell of a lot of those Charatans were unsmoked, and those guys were in some mysterious, secret Charatan collectors club. Just like serious fishermen don't advertise their favorite fishing spots, these collectors don't advertise their practices or sources. Suffice to say, these weren't 600, or 500, Sea Rocks or Business pipes. I will say that one of the differences between English and Italian pipe collectors was the latter smoked most of their pipes. I don't know a thing about the Danish market, but I'll bet my last dollar that many of those freehands that sell for $7K are never getting smoked. Who are these guys? Where are these guys? I don't know, and I don't know. Are they posting on message boards about a GBD Prehistoric that they found for $3.50 at a garage sale and then spent a dozen hours restoring? Not likely. I'm not judging them, but even the upper echelon spenders and collectors in a group like BoB, like the beloved Fishbanjo, aren't usually playing in circles like that. We're smokers who half-assedly collect pipes for very different reasons than the person with hundreds of pipes from a certain brand or a massive collection dedicated to this or that.
 

ftrplt

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I do have several "unsmoked" pipes (which is another story for another thread!!). That said I also have two that I will probably never smoke, both Sasieni's. The oldest is a circa. 1921 early patent number shape 75 long-shank billiard with a beautiful "robin's egg blue" dot on the bit. The other is a late 30's patent number "Cumberland" with that gorgeous Sasieni rusticated cut. It's a small 1/8th bent bulldog with four robin's egg blue dots. The billiard I purchased from Chris Keanes of "Pipe Pages" fame; the Cumberland I snatched on eBay! :cheers: FTRPLT
 

Brunello

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Some good responses guys.

Zeno obviously knows a heck of a lot more about all this than I do. I never imagined how - I don't even know the word - obsessive this hobby could become to those with a lot of expendable income.

Like D.L.Ruth and his working man's Peterson, I have never spent more than $200 on any pipe, and that's even adjusted for inflation. The Comoy Blue Riband I bought in ~ 1980 was maybe just over a hundred bucks back then.

My question for ftrplt, and I'm not trying to pry, just understand, is the reason your two special pipes remain unsmoked because you purchased them as an investment, or are trying to retain the resell value should you need to divest sometime in the future? Or maybe it has to do with a sense of stewardship like a museum curator who takes pride in his collection?
 

ftrplt

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My question for ftrplt, and I'm not trying to pry, just understand, is the reason your two special pipes remain unsmoked because you purchased them as an investment, or are trying to retain the resell value should you need to divest sometime in the future? Or maybe it has to do with a sense of stewardship like a museum curator who takes pride in his collection?[/quote]

A good question deserving of a (I trust) good answer!!

I've never bought a pipe as an investment nor would I ever need to retain the resale value as a precursor to divestiture. The two subject briars were purchase as I would any pipe...I bought'em because I liked'em!! These two, however, I've just never been able to bring myself to smoke! And, quite frankly, with 150+ others to enjoy, I'm OK with that!! :D :cheers: FTRPLT
 

peanubutter

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I carry several pipes with me in the RV while the majority are in storage and most of those are unsmoked, guessing around eight. So no looking at them for the moment.
 

Brunello

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peanubutter":jmtfh92b said:
I carry several pipes with me in the RV while the majority are in storage and most of those are unsmoked, guessing around eight. So no looking at them for the moment.
Just be sure you check on them periodically. The Gourd Calabash in the picture I posted above I stored in a Tupperware container in the basement for two years when I discovered it had developed a green patina (mold?) on the meerschaum. So I sanded it down with 1000 auto-grade and it has been okay. I now keep all my pipes in a cabinet that gets good air flow, if for no other reason because I'm opening it up every day.

By the way, every time I see you avatar I hear that silly Austen Powers tune. Thanks a lot!
 

Corncobcon

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I've smoked all the pipes I own, but there are two that I don't smoke any more. Both are Turkish meerschaums. One is a Bacchus figurehead and the other is a nude figurehead. I don't think the nude is appropriate to display on this site. But, she is well endowed!
 

Brewdude

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I have a bunch that I've just never gotten around to smoking yet. I buy them to smoke, not collect.


Cheers,

RR
 

huffelpuff

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I only have one pipe that I've never smoked. It's a clay pipe from Princeton graduation from the 1890's. Tradition dictated that these pipes were smoked only once during commencement and then smashed over the butt end of a burried cannon barrel. This one survived unsmoked and will remain that way. I have no clue what it's worth or if it's worth anything at all but it seems to me that it was important enough to the family member who graduated to keep it their whole life in pristine condition I ought to honor that. Any pipe I don't smoke generally gets moved along to someone that will appreciate it and use it.

Jim
 

ontariopiper

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Hmmm. I may be an exception around here! :D

I collect vintage, Made in Canada, Brigham pipes and the collection has evolved to be just that. It's more of a physical representation of the company's history for me, though I have, of course, smoked a few of them. I have upwards of 50 in the racks at the moment, and many more than that cataloged in the Shape Chart.

I DO of course also have about 15 pipes I smoke, some more than others. These range from my first briar (a Brigham 218) through a few Stanwells, several Petes, a Dunnie Tanshell and a Harcourt freehand.
 

kxg

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I smoke all my pipes but there is one I smoke rarely, a Soren Refjberg Rasmussen XL Bent Billiard that I picked up on eBay for a song. It is a big pipe that holds a huge amount of tobacco. While it smokes well, I usually don’t want to spend a couple of hours with it.
My two higher end pipes are a 1949 Dunhill Shell LB F/T and a Sasieni Four Dot Natural Regent. Both were picked up in a lot of estate pipes for six bucks each. They were in rough shape and were restored by Anthony Cook. I smoke the Dunhill regularly and the Sasieni occasionally. Those old pipes smoke quite well.

 
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