Pre-transition Barling Guinea Grain?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by CptBeefheart, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    I got my hands on a pipe that I'm starting to think is a pre-transition Barling. I've included pictures of it, but here's what's stamped on it:

    Barling's [in script with the apostrophe 's']
    GUINEA GRAIN REG.

    other side of shank:
    MADE IN EXEXEL
    ENGLAND

    Unfortunately, as you can see from the photos, the pipe is dinged up pretty badly, but the stem is in good shape despite the oxidation. Can anyone shed some light on this? Is this a pre-transition Barling? If so, I've opened up a can of worms because I traded a friend some old records for this pipe and two others. I was under the impression that this pipe was post-transition because of the Barling in script. Now I've read other stuff that seems to indicate this is pre-transition ('s on Barling's).


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  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr Moderator Moderator

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    Memory is so cruel to people my age, but that looks like a transition or post-transition to me. I recall that pre-trans Barlings had the words"Barling's Make" in kind of a half-circle above the name "guinea grain". The scripted "Barling's" came about either during the transition phase or post-transition.

    At least that's what I remember.
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  3. furious

    furious Active Member

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    I would respectfully disagree with Mr Kerr as the only real exception to the arched block nomenclature in pretrans Barling is the guinea grain with its fancy script and possessive ending.

    That is quite a nice pipe you have there and even in less than perfect shape is worth several hundred on consignment.
  4. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    This is the info about Barling Guinea Grains I found on Pipedia that makes me think it's Pre-transition:

    "A script “Barling’s” logo is used for the Pre-Transition Guinea Grain grade. In addition to the script “Barling’s” logo the pipes have an “EB” and “Regd” stampings."

    Pre-transition grades: "Guinea Grain - something between a flame grain and a straight grain, often featuring tight, fine graining. These pipes have a script “Barling’s” logo and "EB" stamped on the shank (a tribute to Edwin Barling) (Gage), a block-stamped "Guinea Grain Reg'd" to reflect the patent on the name, and usually carry a size designation. They were not stamped "TVF" however. " (My pipe does not have TVF stamped on it)

    "Guinea Grain nomenclature change
    The Transition version of the Guinea Grain is easily distinguished from the Pre-Transition pipe by the change to the logo. A Pre-Transition Guinea Grain has a script “Barling’s” logo. A Transition (and later) Guinea Grain has a script “Barling” logo. No apostrophe and no “s”."
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  5. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    So, just to make sure I have it right, you're saying that it is a pre-transition Barling?

    If it is, this raises an ethical dilemma. I got this pipe yesterday from a friend of mine who has a bunch of old junky pipes he picked up off of ebay about 10 years ago. He doesn't smoke pipes and just collected them when he was younger for the heck of it. I traded him a stack of collectible old records I don't listen to for this pipe and two others (one definite post-transition Barling and an Amphora X-tra). I looked this stuff up when he mentioned the pipes to me and was pretty sure this pipe was post-transition for the reasons dmkerr stated (script Barling). I had no idea that this pipe could be pre-transition and therefore worth the money that it might be.

    So, my options as I see them are:
    (1) Tell him right away and give the pipe back to let him sell it.
    (2) Do the same as one, but ask to split the profit.
    (3) Pay to have the pipe professionally restored and then tell him with the intention of selling and splitting the profit.
    (4) Don't tell him, get the pipe restored and keep it.

    I wouldn't consider selling the pipe myself under these circumstances. I'd really like to just get it fixed up and keep it, but that's not really the honorable thing to do. Ugh...I kind of wish I just had this beautiful straight-grain pipe that wasn't worth anything so I could enjoy it as a part of my collection with a clear conscience.
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  6. furious

    furious Active Member

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    Ok, the first part if your question is easy. Yes, that is a pre-transition Barling. No doubt about it. I have several pre-trans Guinea Grains and the nomenclature is identical. And it's a biggie, an EXEXEL, the largest regular production size. Not too many of those around now. Third, it's a great shape with flat oval stem.

    Now, the second part is what to do with it. I would definitely tell your friend about it. Offer more vinyl to help make up the difference or barter something else, but do it legit to his satisfaction. Or sell it. I say by all means have it properly cleaned up by a professional. Do that regardless of your intention to keep or sell. To me, that's a great pipe that you are seldom going to find at any price, so I'd do my damnedest to keep it.
  7. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    You're right. I need to figure out how to tell him and still keep it without shelling out several hundred dollars that I don't have.
  8. Rodfather

    Rodfather Active Member

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    "What difference does it make" Hillary Nice pipe with a generous bowl, the beauty marks don't bother me. Just hope your friend doesn't find out much it is worth.
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  9. dmkerr

    dmkerr Moderator Moderator

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    Right - I knew we had a Barling expert in our midst but couldn't recall who it was. Thanks for the huge assist. :th1:
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  10. furious

    furious Active Member

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    Good man. Note I said "to his satisfaction" in my response. That pipe may not be worth all that much to him even though it is a pre-trans Barling. You never know. Sounds like he wasn't a serious collector to begin with.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
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  11. furious

    furious Active Member

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    Blush. I hate that word expert. And for the record, you have forgotten more about pipes and tobacco than I know.
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  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr Moderator Moderator

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    Are you calling me senile???? :mad:

    Yeah... ok... I represent that remark. :D
  13. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    Well, I called him to tell him the good news. The good news for me is that I get to keep the pipe! I'm going to trade him a bunch more records and he's satisfied. I told him I wouldn't sell the pipe and if I did I'd split the profit. His reasoning for letting me keep it was that it sat in his parents' house for more than ten years in a bag with a bunch of junk pipes and that if I hadn't looked into it he never would have known it was worth so much.

    I'm really happy that it's working out this way and I have a clear conscience! This is exciting! Now I need to figure out my restoration options. Do you gents have any advice on that? I've looked into Walker Briar Works and Briarville. Walker is moving shops so it seems like it'd take longer to get it done and Ric from Briarville told me it'd take 2-4 weeks at $35. Any other options I'm not aware of? I'm in the States.

    The other question is whether or not I should load it up and give it a smoke before sending it off...I'm not too worried about the germs.
  14. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    That is a sweet pipe!
    Here is what I would do:
    I'll clean the pipe up, and keep it. If the conversation goes that way with my friend I would tell him that it is a pipe that is worth a lot to ME, as a collector myself, and that I so enjoy smoking it. He traded three old pipes for a stack of vinyls and he was happy with the deal. If he's a real friend he would take joy in knowing that he sold you a pipe that makes you happy.
    If someone sold me an old VW that turned out to be an Porche after I did the research, I would keep it and drive the crap out of it!

    Edit: Just read your post, and that's great news! makes my post kind of moot...
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  15. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    Believe me, once I get this thing refurbished I'm going to smoke the crap out of it! Can't wait to try it out! I'm tempted to smoke it dirty right now, honestly.
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  16. furious

    furious Active Member

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    Great news!! You are in for a real treat, my friend. Only the best of the best was used in pre-trans guinea grain!! I love mine to death and wouldn't think of parting with them.

    I say go with the quoted price which sounds reasonable and by all means fire up a bowl of something you love before sending it off.
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  17. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    And that's what I'm going to do right now! Penzance is the fanciest I've got, but I love Pelican so I think I'm going with the Pelican. This will be an International Pipe-Smoking Day to remember!

    Thank you so much for the insight and advice on this, Furious. I really appreciate it. This couldn't have worked out any better!
  18. furious

    furious Active Member

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    My pleasure! Now go enjoy that pipe... And let us know how it smoked although I betcha we already know.
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  19. psquared

    psquared In quarantine pending release.

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  20. CptBeefheart

    CptBeefheart Member

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    Just sent him an email. Thanks!
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