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(Rock Me) Amadeus Pipes, Of A Sort

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Kyle Weiss

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About a year ago, my "have new pipe" needs and abilities got to the point where I was quite comfortable with what I had.   That was until I started rummaging through the just-in basket pipes at $25 a piece at my local Tinder Box.  

There were these nearly unmarked, well-made pipes that I found quite attractive.   They were small, classic in design, no-frills, drilled and turned really well and had excellent-looking briar.  Smaller pipes are a plus in my world, as I smoke slow, almost forgetfully, and I can stretch a meager smoke for well over an hour.   All that was stamped on these guys was "Made in Greece," in script.   I bought one.  It smoked so well, I relegated it to the exclusive use of Embarcadero.   I put another on layaway.   Yeah, layaway for a $25 pipe, I know--but five bucks here and there wasn't a big deal, to either me or the Tinder Box, thankfully.   When I finally brought it home, though a slightly different shape, it was just as performance-oriented as the first.  These are they:



Shortly after, I had asked the manager of the shop to let me know if any more of these "Grecian beauty basket pipes" would be coming in.   It seems they were kind of a once- or twice-only thing, bought in bulk batches, and probably would not be appearing again.   Some of the old lot still lingered, and I certainly didn't need any more pipes.   There was this one billiard, though, it reminded me of an older-make of pipe, dark in stain, matte finish, lovely grain, looks like it had been turned carefully.   I ignored it for months and months...but it stayed in the basket.  It wasn't flashy, shiny, big, and didn't look like a Lord of the Rings pipe or anything to attract a newbie, so it sat below the radar.  Small, quality billiards are a rarity, especially since I like pungent, higher octane tobaccos in small doses--and I happen to like a nice, no-frills straight billiard.   Finally, a few months ago, I sprung.  I certainly didn't need it, but it was meant to be:  





Smoking this billiard today I was turning it around in the sun and something caught my eye:  a stamping, other than "Made in Greece" seemed to be there.   "Amadeus."  It was barely visible, only the stain allowed me to read the stamp.  Some further research concluded there was in fact a maker in Greece called Amadeus.   They're inexpensive, fairly basic in design, and even were featured on the Pipes Magazine radio show back in July of 2013, with good things to say:

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/radio-talk-show/the-pipes-magazine-radio-show-episode-44/#more-7077

My assumption is that my cheapo basket pipes started out as Amadeus blocks of briar, likely in a batch, too small to fit the shapes and lines the company would have otherwise sold at full-retail, so in essence, their seconds.  They must have been treated, rested and turned similar if not identical to the full-retail versions.   Most of these Grecian basket pipes I came across like this had zero flaws if any, and no fills--though a few were rusticated perhaps to cover up any flaws, even they were drilled nicely and had the same, comfortable stems (which even as vulcanite, resist browning or greening, and don't smell/taste terrible).

These Greek basket pipes are no longer coming in to my Tinder Box, but it did make me consider that if their seconds have this attention to detail and level of performance, their "firsts" must be just as keen to smoke.   At even double the price I paid for a basket pipe, some retailers selling a $50 pipe that's as solid as these would be well worth it to someone looking for a deal and a good performer.

This is why I list my favorite pipes as "sleeper pipes."   The old, the modest, the forgotten, the unknown,  the true finds that if the senses are attuned and good eye is turned toward the things that matter (more than name, more than style, more than trend), you can find some surprising pipes in equally surprising places...

...sometimes with surprising origins.  

In short, it's more reinforcement that money spent has little to do with satisfaction received.  :heart:

8)
 

Simple Man

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Kyle Weiss":6xjgjuck said:
In short, it's more reinforcement that money spent has little to do with satisfaction received.  :heart:
8)
A whole lotta truth to that statement. :cheers:
 

ftrplt

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Way back in the 60's, I worked in a large B&M while in college. Our store pipes were GBD seconds, all natural unstained Algerian briar of various shapes and sizes. Depending on the grade, some were flawless (maybe a sand pit or two), some had more than their share of fills!! But for the $$$, they were one hell of a buy; some as low as $5!!! I still have a dozen or more; each one is a fine smoker, have colored wonderfully, and continue to give great service 45+ years later. Wouldn't trade'em fer nuttin'!! :cheers: FTRPLT

BTW...Darn good lookin' pipes ya' got there, Brother Weiss :D
 

Brewdude

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Looks like some fine pipes for not a lotta dough to me Kyle. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!

;)


Cheers,

RR
 

Dutch

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Kyle, those really are some great looking pipes for the money! :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

It's true that you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy this hobby of ours, even though some of us do get carried away at times.

This will make a great story when you are an old geezer, about how you walked 10 miles thru blinding snow, to make these layaway payments on a $25 pipe. :lol:
 

monbla256

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Dutch":o9ste8zx said:
This will make a great story when you are an old geezer, about how you walked 10 miles thru blinding snow, to make these layaway payments on a $25 pipe. :lol:
WHAT!! :eek: He didn't?? :twisted:
 

SpeedyPete

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I had a look at the Amadeus website and they make some seriously nice pipes.

I'm wondering why it never came to my attention?
 

Kyle Weiss

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I'm very glad the Grecian billiard gave up its secrets about its likely origins. These basket pipes are mine forever, and they'll undoubtedly last that long and perform just as well. Amadeus needed a mention, as very few have much to say, yet they seem to be very present on the Internet and through searches.

It'd be cool if anyone that gets spurred to buy a retail Amadeus pipe would also give a range report, mostly to supplement the idea that these may be a hidden gem. One could only hope. I don't feel it's a disservice or bad to bring a spotlight to Amadeus, either--if they are that good, and also get more popular (and then charge more), good for them. They deserve it. It's kind of amusing I came about them in such a roundabout way. :lol: Quality pipes for cheap laying unnoticed need to be discovered one way or another.

"Nothing lasts forever--but a good piece of briar comes damn close." :cheers:

Part of why I like this hobby is hanging out in the tobacco shops (local, elsewhere) and listening to the good-natured, tall tales the guys like to rap on about. It's funny, when older, most guys (and I use that loosely) aren't so much involved in a pissing contest as much as they are trying to get a good laugh out of an otherwise ridiculous scenario. War stories are then larger than life, yesterday's pipes were given to another guy by the pope himself, and hell, why not add on a couple of port girls and details about their measurements while we're at it. :lol: Good stuff. I think memories were made to be recalled how we wish to recall them, for better or worse. This is also why I think it's a shame we throw away or hide the aging and elders in a so-called "progressive" society.

8)

 

Simple Man

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Amadeus seems to mainly be a supplier of briar to a lot of big name pipe makers. I'm sure that means they probably keep some top grade briar for their own production of pipes. Here's a video I found on youtube of them preparing briar for the market.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vjfKBmMHPls" frameborder="0" loading="lazy" allowfullscreen ></iframe>
 

Dutch

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monbla256":258yytns said:
Dutch":258yytns said:
This will make a great story when you are an old geezer, about how you walked 10 miles thru blinding snow, to make these layaway payments on a $25 pipe. :lol:
WHAT!! :eek:  He didn't?? :twisted:
I figgered that post would get your attention Michael! :lol:
 
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