Quantcast

Pipe Ethics...

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

Dock

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2007
Messages
1,934
Reaction score
0
This whole idea came to me when discussing pipe repairs whith a friend of mine in the field.A customer of his contracted with him to profoundly change the shape of a few very old and highly collectible briars.My response to this was very unfavourable.To my thinking, we are "currators" in this hobby and have a natural responsibility to maintain the originality of great old pieces! There are relatively few left and they should be kept as close to original as possible.

I'm much more lax when it comes to "opening" the airways in shanks and stems.I've seen first hand that this practice can dramatically change the smoking characteristics of a pipe for the better.We're talking about a hundredth of an inch in some cases...

What do you folks think? Is changing an old & collectible pipe ethical?

Best,
Dock
:pipe:
 

jhuggett

Administrator
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
4,853
Reaction score
0
I'm a firm believe in allowing an owner do what ever they see fit with an object. I can understand wanting to preserve something but I've always found it funny on what things we choose to attach emotional value. There is no universal rule because everything holds a different value to everyone else. You could thank them for making the pipes you preserved more valuable. :lol:
 

Puff Daddy

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,897
Reaction score
0
I think you'd have to resolve the line between craft and art, and by craft I mean the everyday standard workmanship that a journeyman carver might produce. If you had a pipe that was just a working briar pipe - be it a Stanwell factory pipe or a nice individual pipe made by a carver that was nothing more than a 'nice smoking pipe for sale'- then you'd likely not get punched in the face for sanding it into a different shape and bastardizing the thing, although people may (justifiably) question your sanity and character. If, however, the pipe were a piece with some historical significance or a fine piece of art that a carver put a good deal of love and work into, then I'd happily hold you down as the carver pummelled you :lol:

Problem is, one guy may buy a Tonni or a Former and say that it's merely an average pipe by the carver and isn't worthy of preservation while another guy may value the same pipe as his most cherished possession. Seems an impossible to define line in the sand to be drawn. Perhaps the best defining factor is just how many people chase you down the road with pitchforks in hand when you do the deed :twisted:
 

Mikem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
1,423
Reaction score
2
Location
Sullivan Indiana
My thoughts on the subject are, if that's what the owner wants he has the right to change it. Is it sad, yes, but a Picasso to me might be a painting to you that you thought some crazed out kid created. I've known fellow pipe smokers who thought it was sacrilegious to just open up a pipe. To each his own as they say.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Puff Daddy":cnpmsd09 said:
I think you'd have to resolve the line between craft and art, and by craft I mean the everyday standard workmanship that a journeyman carver might produce. If you had a pipe that was just a working briar pipe - be it a Stanwell factory pipe or a nice individual pipe made by a carver that was nothing more than a 'nice smoking pipe for sale'- then you'd likely not get punched in the face for sanding it into a different shape and bastardizing the thing, although people may (justifiably) question your sanity and character. If, however, the pipe were a piece with some historical significance or a fine piece of art that a carver put a good deal of love and work into, then I'd happily hold you down as the carver pummelled you :lol:

Problem is, one guy may buy a Tonni or a Former and say that it's merely an average pipe by the carver and isn't worthy of preservation while another guy may value the same pipe as his most cherished possession. Seems an impossible to define line in the sand to be drawn. Perhaps the best defining factor is just how many people chase you down the road with pitchforks in hand when you do the deed :twisted:
Whoa! Don't bring Tonni or Hans into this;)
 

puros_bran

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
0
While I personally wouldn't mess with it. Its the owners property. You dont want him to put an unsmoked Sixten in a vice and rusticate it you had better buy it from him. I think we've had enough of someone else telling a man what he can or can't do with his property. Yes I understand the counter argument that somethings deserve to be preserved and the whole 'communal good' stuff, fine buy it from the guy for the price he wants and preserve away, otherwise let the man be.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
:affraid: Where are the Art Police when you need them ?

No matter where you draw a line, it doesn't work. A hundred years ago, you could pretty much beat your kid to within half an inch of his life (or your wife to hers) with impunity.

That isn't cool anymore (if it ever was).

Peoples' collective experience with what doesn't work predisposes them to re-think things.


:face:
 

puros_bran

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
0
Bring back the kid and wife beating..







Just kidding. I dont condone beating anyone but the butthead that weaves in and out of traffic or the butthead that you scoot over to let off the ramp and then they hang you in the fastlane.
 

ZuluCollector

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
192
Reaction score
0
I'm with Doc. I think it's bad form to "remodel" pipes, especially pieces that are rare, precious, or historically important. In many countries - and not just places where reactionary types hang "liberal" on their laws, to destroy or modify patrimony will land you in jail or worse.

Of course it might be a stretch to think of a pipe as patrimony, but I sure as the dickens have that kind of respect for my good pipes.

I don't know where this "I can do what I want with my stuff" notion of property rights came from, but it has no basis in legal history or in common law. But I suppose reasonable people can disagree.

From my point of view, just because something is legal doesn't make it right.

Someone might have the right to rusticate a Sixten, but I sure wouldn't think much of anyone who did so.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
And what's further weird about this argument is that, according to a guy I've talked with who does high-end restorations, the pipes people ask him to fix that have typically just been abused to shit (like the bottoms of the bowls are charcoal) are the expensive ones. Seems a fair number of people in that end of the market figure that they can do what they damned well please with them -- four-figure pipes, to them, are like so many corn cobs.

Pigs.

:face:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Zulu":80p6vnv6 said:
I don't know where this "I can do what I want with my stuff" notion of property rights came from, but it has no basis in legal history or in common law.
The first successful prosecutions for child abuse in the US were by twisting Cruelty to Animals statutes to cover children.

Or, at least, so the college social worker texts say (not that I'd trust that sort any further than I could throw them).

:face:
 

puros_bran

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
0
Make no mistake in my argument, its purely theory... You mistreat what you have your probably not going to see me much, I have no respect for 'destroyers', I work hard for what I get and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability, with the exception of crashup derby cars, I expect my 'friends' have the same mindset. I get outraged when I see people wantonly abusing something, but if its theirs its theirs.
My argument is 'whats mine is mine', if you wanted it to be preserved you should have bought it. I don't understand where this communal property stuff comes from or where its going to end.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
PeeBee":sx58x4od said:
if you wanted it to be preserved you should have bought it.
Yeah. But I remember them saying that same thing back in 1970 when a Wallmart was about to move in and suck all the business out of the area I lived in then. Like if the whole town pooled their resources they'd be able to buy the 90-acre plot of land the zoning fight was over. Right. And what's funny (to me) is that a lot of people saw it as the same kind of "moral" issue then. Like that's all they had to go by -- property rights.

:face:
 

Carlos

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
6,727
Reaction score
12
Location
Chestnut, IL
We are only here for a time. Once I really believed I was going to live forever. But I guess that notion has changed over the years.

So we are really just caretakers. Some of us are better caretakers than others.
 

puros_bran

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
0
The WalMart 'Problem' is a sidestep argument. The two aren't really connected, one is personal property the other is business practices.

I shop at Wal-Mart as little as possible but I have no problem with Wal-Mart coming into town,more power to em. Wal-Mart does not run out the Mom-n-Pops as most people choose to believe, the Shoppers do.
'Wal-Mart only sales Chinese junk' is one I hear alot, Well quit buying the 'Chinese Junk' and they will quit stocking it. When I go by Wal-Mart the lots full, morning noon and night, If Wal-Mart is so bad why are all these folk voting with their wallets? 'I have to shop there its the only place I can afford' is another I hear alot... HOGWASH I can go by walmart jeans and a month later I have to replace them, or I can spend 25-30 bucks more and have a pair of Carhartts jeans (Made in the USA) that last 3-4 years, I'm to poor to shop AT Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is only as bad as the consumer allows them to be.
 

hagley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
I used to own a Ferndown silver spigot large Dublin, and did not like the shape. So I turned it into a large billiard with files and sandpaper. I was quite pleased with the result, and since Ferndown does not use shape numbers, no one was the wiser. I later sold the pipe and told the buyer about the modification, and he said he could not tell that the pipe had been altered. I sent before and after photos to Mark Tinsky, and he was amazed at how I was able to match the color of the rest of the pipe.

Mike
 

Wet Dottle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
0
I see pipes as tools and do not hesitate to change them if I see it's desirable. I had the stems replaced in some of my pipes. Others did not pass the pipe cleaner test when new, but they do now. A couple have opened air passages, and others have the shank modified to eliminate the air chamber caused by short tenons. They all smoke better now.

I guess it all depends of what you think a pipe is. My pipes are all functional tools, not works of art. Fortunately, most smoked well from day one without needing any modifications.

P.S.- If I ever decide to sell any of these in the used pipe market, full disclosures will be made.

Happy days and happier puffs.
 

Fia

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
You could have the best of both worlds by leaving the pipe alone and having one with the modifications you prefer custom made. Maybe you want more bend, a longer shank, a sitter, etc. You could have someone like Tinsky make one for you. Matter of fact, he enjoys doing those special projects.

Just my .02
 

docwatson

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
1,676
Reaction score
0
Personally I believe as most of the members here have all stated that you can do as you wish with your own property. I have done restoration for 20 years on pipes. Any pipe which has significant value as a collectible I refuse to alter in any way. Any other pipe that has been changed I would never sell without telling the buyer exactly what has been changed. We all know how critical many collectors can be regarding pipes and historically to keep things correct is important to me. Just my opinion.
 
Top