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The death of Real antique fairs

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ontariopiper

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Just here to do a bit of grumbling today. There is a semi-annual antique fair locally at which I have historically had great success finding good quality estate pipes - Peterson, Comoy's, high-end Brigham etc - but the well seems to have dried up. Where once there were multiple stands offering, among the other detritus of past lives, at least a handful of old pipes, racks and lighters, there are now droves of what I call "ladies' antiques" - prettified, up-cycled old-ish furniture done over in lavender and white milk paint with matching throw pillows, Grandma's costume jewelry and vintage glassware . :shock: :( :shock: :cry:

After 3 hours of tromping the grounds and digging through stalls, I came away with only one pipe, a 90s-era Brigham 2-Dot in fairly rough shape. I arrived only 30 minutes after the gates opened that morning, so I'm fairly confident that I had access to the majority of pipes available. Disappointing, and slightly disturbing, as I suspect the lack of estate pipes on offer means that antique shops aren't buying them, leaving the landfill as the only option for Granddad's old briar companions. :fpalm:

Here's hoping that your local antique shops and fairs show a bit more sense than mine! I fared better on eBay last night in a half hour than I did attending the antique show....
 

Fr_Tom

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I am guessing they are being sold on Ebay. I think Ebay has been changing the way people sell small items that can be shipped. The lavender furniture does not lend itself to Ebay so much.
 

Richard Burley

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The only antiques around here that aren't junk are heavy items like oak furniture, probably because of shipping costs and ebay. I think today's dealers generally are highly aware of the value of this and that, and that includes pipes. It seems that the problem is more a case of the demise of the ignorant dealer who doesn't know that the boxes of stinky, filthy briars that he obtained from an estate are Dunhills, GBDs, etc. They're scarce and growing scarcer, but I suppose there's a few dealers still around who don't know what they have. Better luck next time.

One thing that's always bugged me is what happens when a known collector passes into bliss eternal. What happens to his pipes? It's not like it's common knowledge that they are or are not available for purchase. Actor William Conrad, for example, dies and nothing is heard of his Charatans again until one pops up on this forum in the hands of Jim Inks. I don't get it. One would think it would be a big deal in pipedom, but not a word in any of the then current organs that I'm aware of. But what the hell, I protest too much. I've already got all the pipes I'll ever need. It's the "want" that's the problem. Tsk! Tsk! :evil:
 

Puffy

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When I was a little guy here in tobacco land...N.Carolina..I,m almost 76 now.You could walk into your local store and sitting on the counter was a card that usually had about 6 pipes on it.They sold for about $3 dollars each.That's the kind of pipes folks around here smoked back then.That's the kind of pipes I see in antique shops these days.Anything of value they sell other places...I started smoking pipes in 1971.On average today they cost as much as 10 times what they did back then,and tobacco costs at least 3 times as much.As an example.In the past I have bought new Falcons at Sears as low as 7 dollars each Maybe i'm wrong but price could be a big reason the number of pipe smokers has decreased so much and antique shops just don't have much call for pipes.
 

pepesdad1

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This is something that I had thought about a couple of years ago. I had several Comoys from the 60's that I've had since I bought them back in the 60's. I enjoyed them for some time and decided that someone else might enjoy them as much as I did. Sure I could keep on enjoying them particularly the Blue Riband, but I decided to gift them to a member on this forum and he was thrilled...so much so that we became very good friends. So we both had a win situation. Being retired and counting every penny these days, he has been a blessing in sending me tobacco when I was short and more pipes of the old Brit wood that we all love and enjoy.
What will happen to the pipes I have now? My wife will send them to him as I have requested when I pass.

This is the wonderful aspect of BoB. You meet folks that you otherwise would not have the pleasure of meeting.


Walt
 

KevinM

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+1 for blaming eBay. Reach a bigger market and don’t get into haggling with bargain hunters ten minutes before closing. Plus there are more Websites with an estate pipe section.
 

ftrplt

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I'm having a much tougher time finding anything pipe/tobacco related at estate/antique sales. Old 'baccy used to be rather easy to find; not so much lately. A good friend of mine is always looking for certain items; he and I hit different sales looking out for items each of us want. When found, the ol' "text the sales addy" kicks in with a short description of what we found! Still, I'm on the short end of most finds. Rats :x :cheers: FTRPLT
 
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