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 It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey

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Bonanzadriver

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Registration date : 2017-04-12

PostSubject: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:48 pm

This past Saturday was a scorcher here in Pinehurst.  The mercury was 100 F and the heat index was over 110 !

Way too hot to go golfin, for me at least, so my son and pipe pal Nick and I decided to go hit up some antique shops and see what we could see.

The first couple were "Granny Antique" shops, you know, full of china, crystal and figurines.  The third place was pretty decent.  Not too big, but in a neat old victorian house built in 1870 sumthin.  The ower, a nice lady, was very friendly and took us on the nickel tour.  I shared that I was looking for things for my mancave and primarily interested in tobaciana types of things, specifically pipe and cigar stuff.

She took me over to a book case that had a few shelves of Decatur pipe stands, rests and cigar ashtrays.  When it was all said and done I left there with 5 single pipe rests and one 3-pipe stand, all walnut & pecan that she was askin $70 or $80 for.  I got her down to $20.

Nick picked up a really neat pewter stein from Amsterdam, got her down to $10 on that.  Smile

On the way out she told me that she did have one pipe... A Sherlock Holmes type of pipe.  Turns out it was an unsmoked Calabash with a Meerschaum bowl.  The stem was vulcanite but the mount/shank was acrylic or plastic.

She was asking $189 for it, OBO.  I looked it over, the cork seal was in good shape, the stummel/gourd was in great shape, as was the mount and the stem.  The only downside was that the stem was brownish from oxidation.

I politely shared that I really wasn't in the market for such a pipe.  She pressed me a little bit and asked what I would offer her for it.  I explained that in my limited opinion, I thought the pipe wasn't really all that old and that although it was in great shape, it had no markings whatsoever and was what we referred to as a "No Name" pipe.  The acrylic/plastic mount lead e to believe it was probably only 5 to 15 years old at best.

With all of that being said I offered her $30.  She pondered just a few seconds and said that she really couldn't take less than $40.

I again politely thanked her and suggested she try ebay.

After I got home that evening I got online and started looking up Calabash's.  I concluded that $40 wasn't a bad price, especially considering the great condition of the pipe.


So, yesterdayday I took an extended lunch break and drove back up to her shop.  She was surprised to see me and asked if I was back for the Sherlock Holmes pipe?  I shared that I would like to look it over again and proceeded to thoroughly examine it.

When it was all said and done with I told her I'd pay the $40 if she would throw in a pipe rest for the Calabash and another of the 3-pipe stands.

She agreed.

So here it is....

Before...

[img][/img]


After the stem has been cleaned up...

[img][/img]
[img][/img]

Finally, here she is sittin on the shelf with some of her new stable mates, Beautiful Bent Bulldogs.  Smile

[img][/img]
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:40 pm

Looks like a winner to me, well worth the price, and maybe even worth the original $189. But shame on you for ruthlessly chiseling a poor little old lady out of her livelihood. She'll probably be on the street in days. Given the chance, I might do the same, but still... Wink
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Slowroll

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Location : Northeast PA
Registration date : 2017-05-05

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:02 pm

That is a nice calabash. How come you haven't smoked it yet?
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Bonanzadriver

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Registration date : 2017-04-12

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:36 pm

Slowroll wrote:
That  is a nice calabash. How come you haven't smoked it yet?



http://brothersofbriar.forumotion.com/t35407-calabash-aged-margate-nirvana#494841



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Bonanzadriver

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PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:38 pm

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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:55 pm

What a great find at a steal. You cleaned the pipe up nicely, looks perfect and it's being smoked by the .... king . My gourd Calabash pipe I had for years with removable bowl was recently dropped or stepped on by somebody. But nobody know's!  Now I'm keeping my eyes open for another.
Enjoy your fabulous find for many happy & healthy pipe smoking years... cheers cheers

PS....you do look a bit like Ronald Reagan

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:01 pm

You did very well for yourself Dino. That was a steal, even if it isn't a very old pipe!

Cool



Cheers,

RR
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Terry292

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Registration date : 2009-04-14

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:46 pm

I suspect you may have underestimated the age of that calabash. It has all the earmarks of a Pioneer gourd calabash, particularly the ferrule/stem intersection. If it is a Pioneer, it's at least 30 years old. Great score, anyway you look at it, though.
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Bonanzadriver

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PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:01 am

Terry292 wrote:
I suspect you may have underestimated the age of that calabash.  It has all the earmarks of a Pioneer gourd calabash, particularly the ferrule/stem intersection.  If it is a Pioneer, it's at least 30 years old.  Great score, anyway you look at it, though.


That's intriguing Terry.

How would I go about confirming whether or not it is a Pioneer?

Dino
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Terry292

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PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:41 am

Bonanzadriver wrote:
Terry292 wrote:
I suspect you may have underestimated the age of that calabash.  It has all the earmarks of a Pioneer gourd calabash, particularly the ferrule/stem intersection.  If it is a Pioneer, it's at least 30 years old.  Great score, anyway you look at it, though.


That's intriguing Terry.

How would I go about confirming whether or not it is a Pioneer?

Dino

I'll have to dig out some of my literature and see if I can find some definitive information for you, Dino. It may take a little while. I don't really have any of my reference materials in any logical order, so I just have to look until I find it. I'll get back to you soon.
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Fazby

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Age : 60
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:47 am

After seeing the prices of new calabash pipes (and the flaws in the gourds...) at the Chicago show, forty bucks is indeed a steal. Especially when the only flaw is a oxidized mouthpiece. Well done!
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Terry292

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Registration date : 2009-04-14

PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Bonanzadriver wrote:
Terry292 wrote:
I suspect you may have underestimated the age of that calabash.  It has all the earmarks of a Pioneer gourd calabash, particularly the ferrule/stem intersection.  If it is a Pioneer, it's at least 30 years old.  Great score, anyway you look at it, though.


That's intriguing Terry.

How would I go about confirming whether or not it is a Pioneer?

Dino

The definitive resource for dating calabash pipes is Gary B. Schrier's "History of the Calabash Pipe, 2nd Ed," Briar Books Press, 2011.  He devoted an entire chapter to the Pioneer Meerschaum Company, Middle Village (Queens), NY.

As for the distinctive extension and stem configuration, he wrote:  "Mid to late 1960s, Pioneer deserted the briar extension in favor of a cast black acrylic, military-mount-styled threaded extension that was glued to the gourd neck; the mouthpiece type and fit was called a 'military stag.'  At the outset, the design was such that the confluence of the acrylic shank extension and the gourd was smooth.  Within a few years, however, the design was altered to where there was a pronounced flat portion to the extension bottom, taken as a whole, resembling a 'top hat."

Later he stated:  "Wally Frank and its distributor, Hollco, closed the factory in 1986.  Enough inventory remained for Hollco to sell to its retail tobacconists through 1990."

If your calabash is indeed a Pioneer, the earliest it could have been manufactured is the mid-1960s, the latest, 1986.

Here's a link to Steve Laug's Reborn Pipes blog, in which he restored an old Pioneer 'bash:  https://rebornpipes.com/tag/gourd-calabash-pipes-by-pioneer/.

Schrier's book is available at http://briarbooks.com/ or, sometimes, on e-Bay and Amazon.
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Bonanzadriver

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PostSubject: Re: It's Elementary my Dear Watson... A Calabash Journey   Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:39 pm

Terry,

Thank you so much.

It's great to learn more about my pipe. I agree with you completely that this is indeed what I've purchased. The plastic/acrylic shank/mount is exactly what my pipe has.

Thanks for the links.


Dino
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