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Dunhill Ruby Bark - Best Deal in Dunhill-Land?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Mount Mandolin, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    So, those Dunhill Ruby Bark pipes are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. Now, I know they're not exactly your classic, archetypal, understated Dunhill, since they're a bit showy compared to the clean, reserved stylings of many other Dunhill pipes. Still, they are drop-dead gorgeous with that beautiful, ring-grain sandblast and silver band, and they are priced very attractively for Dunhill standards at the mid $300 range. I have been considering one as my first Dunhill, maybe.

    Anyway, I was just curious to see if any of you have had any experience with these pipes. They are just so damned beautiful, and the Dunhill mystique is undeniable and, for me, irresistible. My first Dunhill will realistically probably be an estate pipe because of the attractive pricing and the allure of owning an older Dunhill which has been broken in to its full glory. Anyway, opinions would be highly valued.

    Here's an example of a particularly nice one (I am a HUGE fan of the Zulu shape):

    [​IMG]

    Borrowed from http://smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/dunhill/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=91218
     
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  2. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    No experience, but that is one beautiful pipe!
     
  3. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    It's been awhile, but I owned a Redbark. It was a great pipe. All my Dunhills are/were great pipes.

    As I recall, the red finish was used on sandblasted pipes that had "lesser" grain than the ones used for Shells and Tanshells. If you hold a Shell up against a Redbark, you can usually see that the Shell has a more uniform grain. Tanshells also, to a lesser extent.

    Grain, of course, has nothing to do with the smoking capabilities (or at least that's the common wisdom). And the fact is that the pipe you're showing would not look as good with a black or tan finish. The red really shows off the grain that this pipe does have. Something about reddish finishes. Charatan used to do the same on smooth pipes. The old Belvedere finish was for random grained pipes. I took off the reddish finish from a Belvedere and experimented with other colors. Only the red made the pipe look good. Ditto with a Wiley I experimented on.
     
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  4. daveinlax

    daveinlax Member

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    They are priced by group size. I think they are priced in the same ballpark as Dunhill's other sandblast lines. I have four Red Bark oda's and one Ruby, a 6103. A great smoker with a very good ring grain blast. With a few bowls that bright red colors into a richer, darker red.
     
  5. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Get a Dunhill, you won't regret it!:th1:
    So far I have 10 Dunhills in my collection, all of them great smokers: 1 Bruyere, 1 Tanshell and 8 Shellbriars, all of them Estates.
    I do admit I'm no fan of the Rubybark; they're are bit too red for my taste but the shape of the pictured pipe is gorgeous! Zulus are great!
    Enjoy if/when you get it!!!!!!:bing:
     
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  6. NBPipe

    NBPipe Member

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    That pipe screams awesome smoke :th1:
     
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  7. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    No kidding... I almost don't know why I posted it on here. It just makes me want it so bad. I think I've decided for sure, 100%, that my next pipe will be a Dunhill, and I'll just have to save up the money for it, and suck it up on buying pipes for awhile. That's OK, I've got plenty of pipes for now, and I've bought five new ones since Christmas, so I'm sure I'll be fine until I can get up a couple hundred bucks for a nice Dunhill. It will probably end up being an estate Shell from Smokingpipes or somewhere... I wonder if they make Zulu's in Shell? I just love that shape, but the Shell and the Cumberland (which I also love) are the most affordable. Argh, it's a tough call. All I know is that it will be a Dunhill, because those things are owned by every B&M owner in the damn world, even if they claim that the craftsmanship and such on less expensive (usually Danish) pipes is superior for the money you pay. Sure Dunhills are expensive, but there's a reason for that, and all the shop owners smoke them for a good reason.
     
  8. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    As I've said before many times here, anyone that thinks a Dunhill is overpriced needs to get to England and watch them being made. I've never seen so much scrutinization and so much testing and inspection on anything, let alone pipes. They find a flaw (and they don't miss much) and it becomes a Parker or a Hardcastle, even if it's a flaw I can't spot.

    Part of Alfred Dunhill's mandate was to make the "best in the business". At least prior to 1995 or so (when I stopped following the company), he succeeded.
     
  9. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    I would think you're right, because there doesn't seem to be any other production pipe company (one that makes a large number of pipes rather than a small number of completely unique pipes) that makes such extremely high quality pipes with such extreme consistency. I have heard a couple of people say they got Dunhills that were bad smokers... but I don't know. I have found that a person (especially a person who isn't careful enough) can gunk a pipe up really bad, really fast. I gunked a Savinelli and a Soren up really bad, just from smoking too much and not cleaning enough. I know you could easily do that to a Dunhill, and I'd be willing to bet good money that's what happened. Because there just isn't any way the pipe had bad drilling or anything like that. Bad drilling is the sort of problem you get in a Grabow, not a Dunhill. And when bad drilling does occur... it's rare, and fixable.

    I would LOVE to see a Dunhill made. You're VERY lucky to have seen that. I need to find the episode of, I think it's "How It's Made", where they show the making of a Dunhill pipe from start to finish. That would be really cool to see.
     
  10. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Oh, and by the way, maybe this is goofy and geeky (probably so), but that beveled easy loading rim just makes my heart sing! Look at it! Think how well your tobacco would just slide on into that pipe bowl! No more spills! Flat rims be warned, the beveled Dunhill monster is coming to get ya! :byg:
     
  11. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    I don't know if this is true but I've heard that it takes just as long to become a doctor as it takes to become a fully fledged pipemaker at Dunhill!:bing:
     
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  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I've never had a bad smoking Dunhill but I have a very infamous experience with a terrible Charatan. No one could ever figure out why, but it smoked terribly bad. Since it was a 1/8 bent dublin (probably my favorite shape), I smoked it probably about 200+ times trying to get it to cooperate but it never did. I think a poor smoker happens by chance and there is a reason for it, but that reason can only be speculated.
     
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  13. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    It's goofy and geeky to the outside world, for sure. But on this forum, we're ALL goofy and geeky to the outside world. :ohyh:
     
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  14. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I would say it is true.
     
  15. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    There we are! Hence the "high" price!:bing:
     
  16. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I wonder if I could get Dunhill pipes under my medical insurance plan???

    Probably not. I can barely get major surgery covered. :D
     
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  17. daveinlax

    daveinlax Member

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    Here you go this subject just came up again the other day on SF. :confused:
    http://www.smokersforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=103910
    Note LL's reply, it's a great post the deals factory/artisan debate.
     
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  18. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Huh. That is quite odd. I hold Charatan in pretty high regard, especially their City of London pipes, and my favorite one is the "Executive Dublin". I hate to hear that you had a bad one, especially because I think they're so nice and especially because I particularly love the Dublin. I don't understand how that could have happened, you getting an inexplicable bad smoker. You would think it could be explained by the drilling or the fitment of the mortise and tenon or SOMETHING. That's truly bizarre that you would have just gotten a bad pipe. I can only hope that I never end up with a plain old bad smoker, because not only would it be a waste of money, but I would feel bad selling it to someone knowing that it didn't smoke well. But then again, I wouldn't want to keep it in my collection because I don't "collect" pipes to have them, I smoke all of my pipes, so if I can't smoke it, I don't want it.
     
  19. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Excellent post, thanks for the link!!!!!!!!
    I often wondered about this!!!!! There you are with a block of briar, you plan to do a Billiard, suddenly a flaw appears, you let your imagination go wild, you chisel and sand and shape and cut away and hey presto!
    There's a freehand!!!!!:bing:
     
  20. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Indeed, thank you for the link! Very much appreciated! I'm off to town now, and I won't be back out to the mountain until much later on, so I will have to watch it then, but I am very grateful to you for that. Ah, Dunhill. The mystique is just overwhelming.
     
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