Pipe 'character'

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by SalopSt, Aug 19, 2012.

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  1. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    What gives a pipe character? I am wondering because I seem to have become preternaturally attached to a very recent purchase. The majority of my pipes were my father's, and they bring forth great memories for me, but why this-- one of several-- new ones?

    I did manage to drop it in a river today, and retrieved it safely after some scrambling, but I felt attached to it even before this 'adventure'. Instant character!

    So, I suppose the question is: How do pipes became irrationally favoured after one has logically worked out which baccy for which pipe under such and such condition, where in the rotation it fits, etc. _ad nauseam_?
     
  2. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    That pipe is awesome, and I know it, because I have the same one.
    Peter Ellam gave them character - his character.

    Praise him.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. furious

    furious Junque collector

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    Those are some swell looking Invictas there!!
     
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  4. ThePipingKevin

    ThePipingKevin Member

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    Because this new one is yours. While your dads hold great memories i think you know that deep down they are not really yours they are your fathers. You lik- love that pipe for its shape, color and everything else about it. it is comparable to finally dating that girl that you have been searching for. Ill tell you what my favorite pipe? i saw it and loved it immediately. that is the pipe that defines us. shares our stories and above all shows others whom we are. like immodest clothing shows you that the person is immodest. a good pipe tells other but mainly pipe smokers who you are. As to your last question its like having a child or finding your true best friend. you do not know why, but you should almost immediately feel attracted to them. this is my baby here. a Peterson churchwarden, Dublin bowl with a nice dark green finish. excuse while i go cry. :sh: [​IMG]
     
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  5. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    I will every other day light something in this altar!

    P.S. I'd love to see a pic of that natural pipe when she gets some colour!
     
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  6. Old Codger

    Old Codger Well-Known Member

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    Irrationally favoured? Some pipes just feel right. Some pipes can attract you just by the way they look, shape, grain, colour or any number of other details. The ones that really stick with me are the ones that feel right and smoke exceptionally well. There are a couple that smoke pretty well and feel good, but they came as gifts from people that I care about very much and when I smoke those pipes there's always a smile to be had.
     
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  7. MikeInMaine

    MikeInMaine Well-Known Member

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    It took every bit of willpower I have not to order this. I am doing my damndest to not use credit for pipe purchases. But I WILL have one as soon as I get some overtime. How's the drilling? And how do I get the natural colored one? I didn't see it on the website.
     
  8. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    You ask. Contact Peter Ellam through the Invcta Briars website. Both of the pipes I posted above are "customized" from "standard" shapes. The bent dog has a natural finish. The straight dog has a taper stem instead of a saddle-bit,

    Peter enjoys special requests and is more than willing to come up with whatever you desire (including other shapes). You'll make his day. The drilling is perfect. I opened the bit up on mine a little, but that's just my personal preference.
     
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  9. Artistik

    Artistik Active Member

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    Those that know me on this forum know that I am primarily a cob smoker. I love the look of the cob and the feel of the cob in my hand. I have no family pipes. My grandfather was a pipe smoker and he smoked "drug store" pipes; I am sure they were Dr. Gs or Kaywoodies and smoked Edgeworth tobacco. He quit smoking while I was in the Navy and I guess he threw his pipes away :(. I have purchased a number of new briar pipes in my pipe smoking life including some Savs, Stanwells, a Boswell and assorted other brands. Also, I have bought a few Estate pipes from Smokingpipes.com. My favorite briar pipe that has "character" to me is an Arlington that was an antique store find. I love this pipe and when I die, I want it, a CG Cobb, and a couple of pouches of Carter Hall placed in my casket. I do not know who owned this pipe before me, but I hope he/she loved it as much as I do.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Coda

    Coda Well-Known Member

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    Pipe Character is individual to each pipe smoker...
     
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  11. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    That's it. I've been wanting an Invicta and a bulldog for awhile now, and you just simplified the whole thing and made my decision for me. An Invicta bulldog, of course! As soon as my wallet recovers from tour (which starts Friday for me!), that will be my next pipe.
     
  12. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Active Member

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    I've come to think that the best pipe is the one that I think the least about while I'm smoking - because it's comfortable in my hand and mouth, stays lit, takes a pipe cleaner mid-bowl with little effort, has an easy draft, and delivers copious amounts of smoke. Of course, I have to hold up my end of the bargain with respect to packing, lighting, tamping, burn rate, and cleaning.

    For me, "character" mostly has to do with the pipe's history (either with me or prior to my ownership) and, to a lesser extent, aesthetics. One of my favorite pipes is a Bertram squat bulldog. It's a pretty good smoker, and I've dedicated it to burley blends. But what I like about it is that Bertram was a pipe shop in Washington, D.C. from the early 20th century. They made cigarette holders for FDR, and pipes for Nixon, Ford, and maybe a few other presidents. The store was burned down in the riots after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. I enjoy having something that's connected to our history like that.

    Another favorite is a small Marxman apple I bought as an estate a few years back. Perfectly fine smoker, but nothing special. One day when I was walking with my 3yo daughter back from the park near our house, she wanted to race, and I obliged. I was carring the pipe in my hand and dropped it on the pavement. No serious damage, just one small ding on the bottom of the bowl. I could sand it out and re-stain easily enough, but I decided to leave it just to have a memento of that time in our lives.
     
  13. MikeInMaine

    MikeInMaine Well-Known Member

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    I finally ordered my Bent Rhodesian in the natural finish. Peter Ellam was great to deal with, said he had some briar with extra nice grain for this pipe that he would hook me up with. My first email to him somehow didn't get read for about a month but when he got back to me the customer service was superb. Said he would be getting to it today so I guess it will be here in a couple of weeks.
    This is the last pipe purchase of 2012.

    First pipe purchase of 2013 will be my first BST.
     
  14. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Magic briar. I don't know how else to describe it. Some pipes just have a magical combination of weight, balance, style, shape. texture, color, and draw that somehow combine to make an exceptional pipe.
     
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  15. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    I have an old Arlington also ... it's a good sized pear and it " tugs " at me for no reason I can figure other than it's awesome . Then I have , for a flip side example , my first pipe .. a Tugboat brand made in Italy bent billiard blasted . It has character for many reasons ... memories and such . I still have it . I rarely smoke it and dont know why . I've smoked it since I was 14 . I've lost it , found it and lost and found it again . I smoked it a good while cause it was the only one I had for a time . It's been onboard U.S.N. Landing Craft , in the Appalachian Mountains , the White Montains , the Poconos , out to Calif , down in the Fl swamps and beaches and some other places , I'm sure . That pipe has character
     
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  16. Atom

    Atom Member

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    I have always been drawn to a pipe with a character like my own. Almost a stray dog mentality. A pipe with a bowl full of cake, teeth marks, oxidation, scratches scuffs and dents. It may not look like much at first, but with a little bit of care and attention underneath it all is a loyal friend. Sometimes its not where you've been but where your going. And a neglected pipe that I can clean up and enjoy will always have a home with me.
     
  17. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    A purchase I know you will not regret.
     
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  18. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I feel that way about 7 or 8 of my pipes. They are unique and irreplaceable. I get more fond of them with each passing year.
     
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  19. PipeWife

    PipeWife Active Member

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    You just described the big estate box ... pretty much 32 of the 34 pipes in it! And a couple other pipes won on evilBay as well ... one of which is now hubby's favorite, a Kaywoodie bent bulldog which doubled chamber size once reamed. So far today, I have smoked "character" pipes from the estate boxes: the old H&B Cobb, the old rim-chipped and chewed-bit MM cob, the estate Wally Frank that cleaning revealed to have beautiful grain, and the little John Middleton sig pipe that smokes like a charm. None of these four are anything special ... except to me. What makes them special to me? I'm not sure I can explain, but they just FEEL right.
     
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  20. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    I have pipes that I absolutely adore; for many different reasons. Whether it's sentiment, or aesthetics, or function, for whatever reason they appeal to me and remain in my possession.

    They have become my passion, and my healthy obsession. At least to me.
     
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