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Dunhill pipe size numbers

SteveH

Active Member
Member
#1
I know Dunhill have long numbered their pipes according to the bowl size, 1-6, 1 being smallest, and that the system is now used for other makes as well, but, despite googling and searching on 'Pipedia', I've been unable to find details of the exact size parameters for each number. Can anyone provide the details, or a link?
 

Jim44

Member
Member
#2
I've been kind of wondering about the same thing (I think). I see "group 4" "group 5" etc. a lot, but have no clue what it's all about.
 

Spillproof

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Moderator
#3
To be clear on this, let's get fuzzy. There is some flexibility in class sizes, particularly between different bowl shapes, and some over-lap between classes.

Not sure there is a "Definitive" answer to what size is what, other than what is stamped on it.
 

dwaugh

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Not a very good graph, but awhile ago I began plotting pipe sizes trying to see what the different group sizes meant. There is clearly some overlap.... it doesn't help that some of the number I got from people selling pipes so I cannot vouch for how they took the measurement, also, the amount of cake in a given pipe will effect things.... I should work on this more, but I'll through the graph out here for people to see, even with it's issues
 

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
Staff member
Member
#10
To be clear on this, let's get fuzzy...
Not sure there is a "Definitive" answer to what size is what, other than what is stamped on it.
I read through an older Dunhill catalog a few years ago. Fuzzy has it for me. The Group Number seemed was what Dunhill wanted it to be, pipe by pipe. I deduced it was a range of pipe length and chamber size, not some absolute measurement. Take what you will from this dealers explanation: http://www.wesleys.co.za/dhpipes.html

(I gave up trying to firm up a definition. For me, a group one is something doesn't quite fit my little finger. Group three is index finger snug, group four index finger loose and group five is thumb-sized. group six is for a better man than I. Hope this makes everything more clear. :D )
 

SteveH

Active Member
Member
#13
I've just been googling to try to find out what "ODA" stands for - I believe it was used by Dunhill for very large pipes, bigger than a 6. I didn't find the answer, but one link I clicked on led me to my own opening post on this thread, which I'd forgotten about! So, anyone know what ODA stands for?
 

daveinlax

Member
Member
#14
I've just been googling to try to find out what "ODA" stands for - I believe it was used by Dunhill for very large pipes, bigger than a 6. I didn't find the answer, but one link I clicked on led me to my own opening post on this thread, which I'd forgotten about! So, anyone know what ODA stands for?
Own Design possibly later Oversize Dunhill. This article by my late friend John Loring is about as good as it gets. I'd disagree about ODA's being bigger than a group 6 size. Generally, as we all know the wide range within a group size, a gr. 6 is a size larger that an ODA. IMO in the past couple of decades Collector, Collector XL or rarely XXL seems to be what they stamp on pipes larger than a gr. 6. :confused:
http://loringpage.com/pipearticles/The Early Dunhill OD.htm
 

jdto

Active Member
Member
#15
I think it probably has something to do with the theory of relativity. As in, the size number is relative to the other pipes of that same shape. But also relative to what period it was made. So a group 3 bent billiard made on Tuesday, November 5th, 1962 is smaller than the group 4 made on the same day, but not necessarily smaller than the one made a few weeks earlier, since Tom the Stamping Guy was hung over and had four different sized pipes to stamp, so he just went from 1 to 4. It also has a link to smoking strong-smelling tobaccos around mothers-in-law, which is known as the reverse theory of relativity.

I like Dunhill Nightcap.
 

SteveH

Active Member
Member
#16
Own Design possibly later Oversize Dunhill. This article by my late friend John Loring is about as good as it gets. I'd disagree about ODA's being bigger than a group 6 size. Generally, as we all know the wide range within a group size, a gr. 6 is a size larger that an ODA. IMO in the past couple of decades Collector, Collector XL or rarely XXL seems to be what they stamp on pipes larger than a gr. 6. :confused:
http://loringpage.com/pipearticles/The Early Dunhill OD.htm
Thanks for the link. Clearly, I was wrong to think that had something to do with size.
 

darkflake

Old Ted Award 2016
Staff member
Forum Guide
#18
I've just been googling to try to find out what "ODA" stands for - I believe it was used by Dunhill for very large pipes, bigger than a 6. I didn't find the answer, but one link I clicked on led me to my own opening post on this thread, which I'd forgotten about! So, anyone know what ODA stands for?
According to Mr. Gomersall, erstwhile Dunhill Company Historian, in the "old days" OD meant Own Design and designated a pipe designed/commissioned by a customer. The tertiary letter (A through J) was a price designator and had no relation to size. After WWII, Dunhill revived the stamp for the large series destined originally for the USA, because Americans like large pipes. Allthough ODA's weren't common, ODB/ODC were even less so, representing price points above ODA. As this was not commin knowledge, I heard a lot of stuff about what the letters actally stood for; the most often used was "Oversize Dunhill American", "Oversize Dunill Britain" and "Oversize Dunhill Canadian". Another I heard frequently was ODA = over Dunhill's average. For information purposes, there were some ODH billiards that measured some 9" long with 3+" bowls. Blatter&Blatter in Montreal have one, don't know the date or it it's even still there. The most expensive was a single ODJ from the late 20's that was sold for some $1200 when new; it was a copy of a clay churchwarden, very large, and a flawless straight grain. It was the only ODJ made. Hope this helps.
 
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darkflake

Old Ted Award 2016
Staff member
Forum Guide
#19
I know Dunhill have long numbered their pipes according to the bowl size, 1-6, 1 being smallest, and that the system is now used for other makes as well, but, despite googling and searching on 'Pipedia', I've been unable to find details of the exact size parameters for each number. Can anyone provide the details, or a link?
The parameters were unique to the makers who used them (originally Dunhill and Charatan), and were used to designate prices, not sizes. I have seen Gr. 2 Charatans larger than Gr. 4 Dunhills, so there you are. Hpe this helps.