Free_byrd15 -- I seem to remember reading about Grandi pipes recently, though I do not remember where... possibly at the pipes.org forum. What I do recall is that the general concensus seemed to be very positive, and that these pipes are kind of "under the radar," in that they havent' been discovered by the pipe smoking world at large, yet. They were considered well crafted and generally a great value for the money. If you see one you like, I say, go for it! Let us know your findings.
The Mario Grandi line was created in late 2006 by Aldo Pierluigi and his family as a sub-brand of their mainstay brand Mastro Beraldi.
Mario Grandi often show unusual and imaginative shapes - some really take getting used to. Every now and then you may find a pipe with some minor negligence concerning the workmanship. To give an example: the shank / stem junction sometimes shows a little split. Even though the quality is generally very high and you will hardly find any other (mainly) hand-crafted pipes at such affordable prices.
Outside Italy Mario Grandi pipes are officially offered by *futurepipes* on eBay. More than 2,000 pipes have been sold since December 2006. The offers change almost daily.
Yeah, for anywhere from 70 to 90 shipped, I figure it is worth a try. I've read all good things about them, so we'll see.....I would like to see a traditional poker up on ebay, cause i'd snatch that up in a hurry!
After hearing all the good reviews I was also very interested in the Mario Grandi line but for whatever reason never took the plunge. It seems like everybody had the same reviews; that the pipes weren’t exactly high grade quality and the stems aren’t the best however with regards to the asking prices, were fantastic deals. Well I was lucky enough to recently win an E-bay auction for a very gently used estate Grandi and I must say I’m very pleased. It has beautiful wood and perfect drilling. In fact, because of the size and solidness of the wood this particular pipe was fitted with a thick, solid stem. All in all I would recommend at least one of these in any rotation.