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What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

This is a discussion on What's the most expensive pipe that you own? within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; ...

  
  1. #31

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by gahdzila View Post
    I'm having déjà vu. Has this pipe been on eBay before? I feel like I've had this exact same conversation before.
    And that's exactly the point. This pipe clearly ISN'T worth 20K. No-one is willing to pay that much on more than one offering (I remember this as well). When it sells, it'll be worth exactly what was paid for it. I'll offer $100.

    Which is probably twice what I paid for this Ropp Versailles. I don't smoke it as I simply don't like it much, but as a collector it must be had. It has the one small visible flaw in the wood (damn this flash photography) so I'll offer it to the first bidder over $5000. Bargain.

    Attachment 75181
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  2. #32

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by steinr1 View Post
    And that's exactly the point. This pipe clearly ISN'T worth 20K. No-one is willing to pay that much on more than one offering (I remember this as well). When it sells, it'll be worth exactly what was paid for it. I'll offer $100.
    You got it!

    Nice looking pipe, BTW Robert. I'm guessing whoever is selling it put that up as a buy now to perhaps influence the bidding. "Well, gosh, it's GOT to be worth more than $5000! I'll just put in a bid for $6K and see what happens. Maybe I'll steal it! "
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  3. #33

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    ...I paid $35 for the Sasieni Mayfair, which was WAY too much at the time, 1973-ish...
    For my own amusement (how sad...) I tried to factor up the 1973 dollar price to 2012 values (about $180 by one calculator; over 300 by another; Jim's 141) and looked at how long the average (UK) person would have needed to work to earn that value.

    1973 - About 2.9 days
    2012 - About 1.2 days

    Which clearly means that we all should buy more pipes. I try my best.

    (And given that Jim would only have been a slip of a lad back then, possibly an urchin forced up chimneys to clean them - A REALLY expensive pipe.)
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  4. #34

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by steinr1 View Post

    (And given that Jim would only have been a slip of a lad back then, possibly an urchin forced up chimneys to clean them - A REALLY expensive pipe.)
    Remember, the telephone bill was about $25 a month, which is more than I pay for my cellphone now in today's dollars, and I couldn't call anywhere long distance for free. Some things don't compute out well with those inflation calculators. I paid $5100 for a brand new Jaguar XKE in 1966, for example, which was FAR cheaper at the time than the new Jaguar quasi-equivalent at something like $80000. My salary in 1973 was $17500/yr, I think, just above entry level programmer, $25000 if 1976, so I could afford it easily enough.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  5. #35

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    Remember, the telephone bill was about $25 a month, which is more than I pay for my cellphone now in today's dollars, and I couldn't call anywhere long distance for free. Some things don't compute out well with those inflation calculators. I paid $5100 for a brand new Jaguar XKE in 1966, for example, which was FAR cheaper at the time than the new Jaguar quasi-equivalent at something like $80000. My salary in 1973 was $17500/yr, I think, just above entry level programmer, $25000 if 1976, so I could afford it easily enough.
    A friend is just starting restoration of his Mk 1 E-Type Coupe. Bought in, I think, 1974 for £400 - under $700. And that was for a "good one". You could get a half decent drivable example for far less. I was the last person to drive it before it was put away "temporarily" for the last 15 years. Stunning car. They really don't and can't make them like than anymore. Far too outrageous. And just the thing to be driving while smoking a pipe.

    Old "technology" like pipes ought to translate pretty well in value terms; if anything, the scarcity of the craftsmen should make them more expensive. But thankfully, we are actually just better off in general. THESE are the good old days...
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  6. #36

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    You got it!

    Nice looking pipe, BTW Robert. I'm guessing whoever is selling it put that up as a buy now to perhaps influence the bidding. "Well, gosh, it's GOT to be worth more than $5000! I'll just put in a bid for $6K and see what happens. Maybe I'll steal it! "
    That makes sense, and might work if he picked a realistic number. Still, maybe he's happy to hold on to it until someone's willing to meet that price. If that's the case, maybe his heirs will come down a little...
    ********.com

  7. #37

    Maturing Puffer Fish rogermugs's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    My most expensive pipe was about $50 when I bought it in college. No idea what the price difference would be counting inflation but I'm guessing not much.

    I'm also curious, how many of you think your most expensive pipe smokes noticeably better? I tend to find my cheapos work great. Especially my recent obsession with my MM's

  8. #38

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermugs View Post
    I'm also curious, how many of you think your most expensive pipe smokes noticeably better? I tend to find my cheapos work great. Especially my recent obsession with my MM's
    The thing that matters most with a briar pipe from a smoking standpoint (within reason) is the drill. If it has a good drill it smokes fine. The other thing that can ruin a good smoke is an uncomfortable stem, which seems to appear at least as often on expensive pipes as cheap ones, maybe even more often as the maker strives for "originality".
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  9. #39

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    The thing that matters most with a briar pipe from a smoking standpoint (within reason) is the drill. If it has a good drill it smokes fine. The other thing that can ruin a good smoke is an uncomfortable stem, which seems to appear at least as often on expensive pipes as cheap ones, maybe even more often as the maker strives for "originality".
    Didactic mode on...

    Certainly basic construction accuracy is vital. But I'd also add that "It's the wood, stupid". Really good briar is a magical thing. Reams have been written on how and why the wood "works" and much of it is trash IM(not so)HO. But a couple of basic things do shine through. Weight and water absorption or, in my opinion, transpiration.

    Weight to make it light and comfortable (which a good pipe needs to be - hence your accurate point on uncomfortable stems), and good at transpiring water to get rid of the combustion products and keep the tobacco load relatively dry (allowing you to smoke cooler while keeping the damned thing alight). Really good briar is pretty much a thing of the past; age of the burl is vital. The really old roots have already been dug up and made into pipes. Look to estates. We also need to add that the old briar needs to be properly "processed", seasoned and given time to settle. A lot of time.

    I've got a few old Barling pipes which were renowned for their perfect construction and use of old, properly seasoned Algerian briar. They WORK. The "Ye Olde Wood" variants are even better, I'm told. But they have price tags that reflect this and the supply of them is mostly in the US (take advantage you lucky buggers - couple of hundred dollars will get you one of the best pipes in the world. Dunhill be damned!)

    Grain plays no part in quality of the smoke (although old wood briar tends to be "interesting"). Straight grain is no advantage. It just looks nice. Flawless (visually, not internal or gross) doesn't matter a jot either.

    I agree with the comment about shape "originality". The basic pipe shapes have been refined over centuries and I find it hard to believe that someone now will suddenly come up with a shape that changes the basic game.

    A cross between a Barling Ye Old Wood and a bent Genod with a perfect curved drilling (all other bent pipes are a compromise of construction) is my ultimate pipe. Find me a few of those for a couple of hundred pounds or dollars apiece and I'll be a happy man.

    Didactic mode off...
    Last edited by steinr1; 02-15-2013 at 01:24 PM.
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  10. #40

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by steinr1 View Post
    Didactic mode on...

    Certainly basic construction accuracy is vital. But I'd also add that "It's the wood, stupid". Really good briar is a magical thing. Reams have been written on how and why the wood "works" and much of it is trash IM(not so)HO. But a couple of basic things do shine through. Weight and water absorption or, in my opinion, transpiration.
    My 50 year old Dunhill group 3-sh bulldog weighs over 50 grams and smokes like crap (and has a HORRIBLE stem! ). My Sasieni 40 year old TwoDot Canadian weighs 33 grams despite being larger, with more wood. I remember noticing that Dunhill pipes weighed more than Sasieni pipes of the same size when looking at them in Mincer's Pipe Shop, back in 1961. Mr. Mincer said the Sasieni's were a much better deal, just as good a pipe with better briar (and better stems!). Won't get any argument from me here! Good briar will smoke better than bad if my two examples are any indication.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  11. #41

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    My 50 year old Dunhill group 3-sh bulldog weighs over 50 grams and smokes like crap (and has a HORRIBLE stem! ). My Sasieni 40 year old TwoDot Canadian weighs 33 grams despite being larger, with more wood. I remember noticing that Dunhill pipes weighed more than Sasieni pipes of the same size when looking at them in Mincer's Pipe Shop, back in 1961. Mr. Mincer said the Sasieni's were a much better deal, just as good a pipe with better briar (and better stems!). Won't get any argument from me here! Good briar will smoke better than bad if my two examples are any indication.
    Ah, Dunhill... Apologies to the aficionados, but I really don't get it. Well made, very high quality manufacture. But the Patented Dunhill Process. I'm really not sure about it. Boiled in some sort of oil to drive out the natural oils, replacing them and speeding up the seasoning process. I may well be wrong about that, but that was my understanding and I'm not sure about it at all. You'd think think it would make the pipe heavier than it needed to be. I've only ever had one and I wasn't impressed. I've lost it and I'm not THAT annoyed.

    As usual, I'm ready for the Dunhill enthusiast onslaught...
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  12. #42

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogermugs View Post
    My most expensive pipe was about $50 when I bought it in college. No idea what the price difference would be counting inflation but I'm guessing not much.

    I'm also curious, how many of you think your most expensive pipe smokes noticeably better? I tend to find my cheapos work great. Especially my recent obsession with my MM's
    My Cavicchis smoke noticeably better than my Stanwells. My Stanwells smoke noticeably better than my cheap basket pipes.
    ********.com

  13. #43

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by steinr1 View Post
    Ah, Dunhill... Apologies to the aficionados, but I really don't get it. Well made, very high quality manufacture. But the Patented Dunhill Process. I'm really not sure about it. Boiled in some sort of oil to drive out the natural oils, replacing them and speeding up the seasoning process. I may well be wrong about that, but that was my understanding and I'm not sure about it at all. You'd think think it would make the pipe heavier than it needed to be. I've only ever had one and I wasn't impressed. I've lost it and I'm not THAT annoyed.

    As usual, I'm ready for the Dunhill enthusiast onslaught...
    The thing is, from what I've read, they haven't done the oil-cured thing in years. Dunhill today is just a nicely made factory pipe. Oops; I left out "overpriced"...
    ********.com

  14. #44

    Maturing Puffer Fish rogermugs's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    My Cavicchis smoke noticeably better than my Stanwells. My Stanwells smoke noticeably better than my cheap basket pipes.
    And your MM's fall where in the spectrum I'm curious?

  15. #45

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: What's the most expensive pipe that you own?

    That's a very good question, although keep in mind that I've been comparing briar to briar so far. It's been a while, so let me pack a bowl and see. I'll be back in a bit...

    Ooooh...still time to edit this post!

    There's really no way to compare a MM to a briar pipe; the construction of the MM, say what we would refer to as the drilling in a briar pipe, is of course, a joke. The hole is nowhere near the bottom of the bowl, the stem actually protrudes into the pipe, etc. In addition, I would classify a MM as having too open of a draw (my choice; I hate the filter, and it's made to use the filter), but that problem has been solved for me with a Forever Stem.

    That said, as far as smoking performance excluding the obvious bottom of the bowl problem, I'd say they surpass my Stanwells. The only difference I can spot (other than taste) is that I can 'not puff' for a longer period of time with my Cavicchis and still not need a relight.
    Last edited by MarkC; 02-17-2013 at 01:56 AM. Reason: adding more info
    ********.com

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