Its Open Line....!!
The Pipe Guru is asking you to submit your questions and we'll post the questions and answers here for the entire month!
Q - Who might have crafted the Tinder Box Unique in London, England,
when was it likely to have been made, and how many were made? Also, in your
opinion what is the best semi-aromatic blend (flavored is OK) with a
pleasant aroma and little to no bite? Thanks.
A - I am going from memory here but I think the Unique would be from the late 70's to the mid-80's and was probably made by either Parker or GBD in London. These pipes would have been mass produced for Tinder Box since there were about 200 stores at that time and all of them carried pipes.
One tobacco you might try is Wilshire from Tinder Box which seems to have all the qualities you are looking for.
Q - Why is the GBD Jollyboy the best smoking pipe I have ever smoked in my life? What makes it different, even from the Peterson's Systems pipes, to create a smooth, even burning, dry, cool smoke?
A - I think it is true with most pipe smokers that there will always be favorite pipes that lead the pack in smoking quality. Personally, I know that I have several pipes that will never let me down in terms of the way they smoke and these pipes are not all the same brand or shape. With your Jolly Boy the shape is most unusual and it is possible that with the type of tobacco you smoke and how you smoke happens to work well with this shape. I think this is one of the reasons why pipe smokers are committed to a specific brand or shape and hope that the consistency remains the same. I would keep an open mind about other brands, particularly Peterson, since there are many fine pipes to explore.
Q - Being someone who has not done this for quite awhile I need your help. I have just received the Manhattan Freshie and have forgotten how it works. All I remember is it has something to do with water. Do I soak it first? And for how long? And should I continue to soak it every now and then? Or is it just good for a limited amount of time and then needs to be replaced? Thank you.
A - This disc has clay inside to absorb moisture so all you need to do is drop the disc in a glass of water and when the bubbles stop rising take the disc out and wipe it off with a paper towel. Usually you can see the clay inside through the holes and when it is not pink it needs to be re-hydrated.
Q - I have a Tinder Box pipe stamped on the left side of shank "THE TINDER BOX"
in arched script. Under that is "MILANO" and under that is "MADE IN ITALY".
It is a smooth briar bowl with very nice grain in a Calabash style and about
3/4 bent, long saddle bit.
I can't find this pipe in the Tinder Box catalogs I can access on-line or by
doing a google search and was wondering if you could inform me which pipe
company made this pipe for Tinder Box and about when it was made or sold by
Thanks in advance for any info you provide.
A - Back in the 70's and 80's Mauro Armellini made a number of pipes in Italy
for Tinder Box. Two of the main brands were Verona and Napoli both of which
had multiple finishes. So, it is a good guess, going with the Italian city
theme,that your Milano was also made by Armellini. However, there was a
short period in the mid to late 90's when Savinelli produced some pipes
exclusive to Tinder Box and just maybe your Milano( I cannot seem to
remember the exact name) is one of these. You can be confident that either
one of these manufacturers made a fine reasonably priced pipe for Tinder
Box. If you know the time frame in which your pipe was purchased you may
solve the mystery.
Q - I work at a mom and pop coffee shop, the kind where everyone knows everyone and the customers are more like family. One of these customers, an older gentleman, gave me two estate pipes. Both are Dunhill's in excellent condition! One if them is a beautiful hand turned one. I wasn't able to find any info about them. I'd love to find info about their dates and how much they are worth. The stamping:
MADE IN ENGLAND' (3)R note the small accent after England & 3 is circled 251 F/T DUNHILL ROOT BRIAR
Hand turned one:
DUNHILL ROOT BRIAR
MADE IN ENGLAND_14 15
Made in England is a smaller font & just the 14 is underlined.
Any information you could give me would be appreciated.
A - We don't do appraisals on the site but I can give you some dating info. Your first pipe should have a number after England on the shank- this is key. The circled 3 refers to group or size and the R to finish, which is probably a root finish.
The second pipe was made in 1974(14) and this pipe is also a root briar.
Both pipes are hand made.
Q - Hello...among my late husband's pipes I found a very nice looking one whose maker's name I cannot quite read-- It is hard to read but looks like "baxter rosenbur_ (a silver cap covers the letter(s) at the end of the second name.) Other marks on the pipe are: Hand Cut, La Rue. It is a very nice looking pipe with a gorgeous grain and a silver cap. Any information you could give me about the pipe and the maker would be greatly appreciated!
A - From your description it sounds like you have a Huntsman's or Tyrolean pipe.
Most of these pipes were made in Germany or Austria and had decorative tassels, wood extensions and silver work. It sounds like you have a lovely pipe.
Q - Are there any pipes that stay cool to the touch, while your smoking?
A - Any pipe whether it is briar or meerschaum should stay cool to the touch if it is packed properly and smoked slowly. You might want to alter your packing so the tobacco is loose at the bottom and more springy toward the top of the bowl. This will allow the tobacco to burn down evenly all the way to the bottom and will require minimum re-lights. Also, slow down on the puffing and this will help your pipe to remain cool.
Q - I was given a pipe by my grandfather that is stamped "Hand Made In Denmark." It also has the initials/stamp of LS, IS, HS or _S. It supposedly came from a Tinderbox store in the mid seventies. Any idea what the initials mean. They are located about an inch below the Hand Made stamp. Thank you very much for your time.
A - Most of the time initials on pipes have to do with the finish, size or the model of the pipe. In the 70's there were a number of Danish pipes sold by Tinder Box including Stanwell, Karl Erik, Ben Wade and Erik Nording.
Q - Trying to find information on an old pipe my grandfather had for as long as i know. It is a John King made in France #1227, which all this information is stamped on the pipe. I can't find any info even about the company.
A - This sounds like a private label pipe to me, which was a very common practice when your grandfather may have purchased the pipe. A shop would order pipes from English or French manufacturers and put their name on the pipe which I believe is the case with John King- the #1227 is a shape code.