Choosing an estate pipe may be a daunting task for the new pipe smoker. They will likely first be drawn to ebay, as their results dominate the search engines…. but is this the best place to start looking?
Picking out a pipe is an important matter for all pipe smokers. After all, a pipe may be with you for the rest of your lifetime. Pipes have a cost but may provide many years of return on the investment if you choose carefully.
It is likely that many estate pipes have already lasted a lifetime. I have restored briar pipes from as early as 1890 which are still being enjoyed today 125 years later! If well looked after, expect a briar pipe to last your lifetime and beyond.
I generally would avoid eBay. While there are some great deals, you have to know what you are doing and what to look for.
Credits: Pipe Smoking 101 | The Catholic Gentleman
Buying a used estate pipe from eBay if it has not been previously professionally restored, is like going all-in on a mediocre poker hand. What lies beneath the cake, dirt and grime is unknown. I have received pipes with wall cracks, cracks in the shank, ill fitting incorrect stems and burnouts. If you do not know how to restore pipes yourself and how to bring them to a smokeable condition, you could just be throwing your money away.
Image by Xarls R. via Flickr
Although you don’t want to be forking out a small fortune for your first pipe, you can expect to pay more for a good quality pipe. The price usually reflects the quality of the product and as a first time pipe smoker, the quality of a pipe is important otherwise it may leave you with a bad experience that can deter you from smoking. If you are sure about becoming a pipe smoker, investing in the right pipe is important and the price bracket is likely to be between £45-£100.
Some people may worry about the health issues around smoking a pipe that has been smoked by someone before them. Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before and used their cutlery? A properly restored estate pipe will have any previous debris removed and will be sterilised using medical grade alcohol.
If you have no issues with using restaurant silver and glassware, you should have no problem smoking an estate pipe once it has been properly cleaned and sterilized
Would anyone be able to point me towards a reputable vendor or source who sells restored estate pipes?
Reborn Briar sells fully restored estate pipes specialising in top quality London Made brands from the first half of the 20th century. Brands like Dunhill, Comoy, Charatan, GBD and Loewe are timeless pieces made from the best quality briar. I have always found these pipes to smoke much better than their more modern counterparts. www.estatepipes.co.uk