Basket pipes.

craig

Well-known member
#1
In todays world of high end pipes, artisan carvers and the Internet age, there is a type of pipe that has kind of been lumped in what I think is an unfair category.
That is basket pipes.

In todays world where the general consumer demands perfection in every respect, basket pipes seem to have been largely neglected.
But when we look back to 30, 40, 50 years and beyond, most working class pipe smokers will of seen basket pipes as an utter god send.

Granted some basket pipes can be real clunkers and they best place for these clunkers is the firewood pile, but they mcan be diamonds in the rough, granted they are not going to be high end pieces of briar with perfect grain and not a bit of filler in sight, quite the contrary, smooths are a bit of a mish mash of grain, most are heavily carved/rusticated and fit and finish can be far from perfect, but if it smokes perfectly is fit and finish to an extent and aesthetics really a big issue?

Last week I had sold some stuff and got quite a bit of tobacco in and while perusing I foundpipes available for £10.
I like a heavily rusticated/carved finish and I thought for a tenner.... Can't really go wrong..... This is the pipe.
IMG-20190906-WA0000.jpeg
IMG-20190906-WA0002.jpeg
IMG-20190906-WA0003.jpeg
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I will be the first to admit, its looks aren't the prettiest, I doubt they will put savinelli out of business, but what a surprising little revelation, filled with burley for the break in, it performed impeccably, smoked cool and sweet from the get go, burned right to the bottom and drilled dead centre right at the bottom.
This little pipe really amazed me given its price and I consider it an absolute bargain for its price.
Yes basket pipes can provide some right clunkers but this one goes above and beyond in smoking qualities and on smoking qualities alone, it performs above and beyond what you would expect from a basket pipe.
Well chuffed and happily puffing away.
Good evening gentlemen.
 

craig

Well-known member
#3
I have a few excellent smoking basket pipes. I paid $5-$10 for each many years ago.

I think the idea of the basket pipe works.
But it's a tough sell in today's market.
Basket pipes are marked the same price as Rossi and Bones pipes...which are far more consistent in their quality IMO.
Fair comment.
Generally your low mid range pipes over here are around the 30-50 pounds mark, generally anything under the 30 pounds mark is generally considered not worth having.
Which to an extent is correct, but like I said there is some diamonds in the rough to be had.
 

Terminus

Drink Water, Walk It Off
Patron
#5
I have a few excellent smoking basket pipes. I paid $5-$10 for each many years ago.

I think the idea of the basket pipe works.
But it's a tough sell in today's market.
Basket pipes are marked the same price as Rossi and Bones pipes...which are far more consistent in their quality IMO.
I've never seen one called out in a store. I think retailers would want to tell you their whole stock is top quality. I have seen no-names next to Petes and savs for $50-60 but some weren't even briar, that and the powder-meers going for a couple hundred :hahaha-024:. I saw one meer that wasn't even drilled through completely for $120 and the guy explained in broken english that 'white pipes for home display'.
 

JustScott

Well-known member
#7
I bought a basket pipe (from an actual basket full of what were probably all crappy pipe-shaped things) a long time ago, and tossed it when the airway got unfixably gunked up. The no-way-that-was-briar bowl was also starting to burn out about halfway down because of, let's say, improper use. The stain bled on my hands and the almost-churchwarden stem went cheap vulcanite olive the first time my friends and I used it. Knowing a little about pipes now, and remembering that one, I don't even feel bad about the abuse I gave it in its month-ish of service. I think I paid $25-30. It was more usable than the "home display" not-quite-drilled pipe above, and wasn't one of the plastic "Durable Pipe" things. Those are the only good things I can think of to say about it. The "basket pipe" reputation is because of pieces like that one.
 

aGAKWq

Well-known member
Sales
#8
In todays world of high end pipes, artisan carvers and the Internet age, there is a type of pipe that has kind of been lumped in what I think is an unfair category.
That is basket pipes.

In todays world where the general consumer demands perfection in every respect, basket pipes seem to have been largely neglected.
But when we look back to 30, 40, 50 years and beyond, most working class pipe smokers will of seen basket pipes as an utter god send.

Granted some basket pipes can be real clunkers and they best place for these clunkers is the firewood pile, but they mcan be diamonds in the rough, granted they are not going to be high end pieces of briar with perfect grain and not a bit of filler in sight, quite the contrary, smooths are a bit of a mish mash of grain, most are heavily carved/rusticated and fit and finish can be far from perfect, but if it smokes perfectly is fit and finish to an extent and aesthetics really a big issue?

Last week I had sold some stuff and got quite a bit of tobacco in and while perusing I foundpipes available for £10.
I like a heavily rusticated/carved finish and I thought for a tenner.... Can't really go wrong..... This is the pipe.
View attachment 41026
View attachment 41027
View attachment 41028

I will be the first to admit, its looks aren't the prettiest, I doubt they will put savinelli out of business, but what a surprising little revelation, filled with burley for the break in, it performed impeccably, smoked cool and sweet from the get go, burned right to the bottom and drilled dead centre right at the bottom.
This little pipe really amazed me given its price and I consider it an absolute bargain for its price.
Yes basket pipes can provide some right clunkers but this one goes above and beyond in smoking qualities and on smoking qualities alone, it performs above and beyond what you would expect from a basket pipe.
Well chuffed and happily puffing away.
Good evening gentlemen.
Nice. Has a Halloween look to it.

From my understanding of basket pipes, they are sold at brick & motor pipe (tobacco?) shops and are not in a regular pipe display, like the name brands or artisan pipes, but displayed in a basket at a discount / reduced price. Is this correct?

My first pipe, a P.Viou purchased in the 80s, which I still have and still smoke, may have been a basket pipe.
 

3 Olives

Well-known member
Patron
#10
In todays world of high end pipes, artisan carvers and the Internet age, there is a type of pipe that has kind of been lumped in what I think is an unfair category.
That is basket pipes.

In todays world where the general consumer demands perfection in every respect, basket pipes seem to have been largely neglected.
But when we look back to 30, 40, 50 years and beyond, most working class pipe smokers will of seen basket pipes as an utter god send.

Granted some basket pipes can be real clunkers and they best place for these clunkers is the firewood pile, but they mcan be diamonds in the rough, granted they are not going to be high end pieces of briar with perfect grain and not a bit of filler in sight, quite the contrary, smooths are a bit of a mish mash of grain, most are heavily carved/rusticated and fit and finish can be far from perfect, but if it smokes perfectly is fit and finish to an extent and aesthetics really a big issue?

Last week I had sold some stuff and got quite a bit of tobacco in and while perusing I foundpipes available for £10.
I like a heavily rusticated/carved finish and I thought for a tenner.... Can't really go wrong..... This is the pipe.
View attachment 41026
View attachment 41027
View attachment 41028
View attachment 41029
I will be the first to admit, its looks aren't the prettiest, I doubt they will put savinelli out of business, but what a surprising little revelation, filled with burley for the break in, it performed impeccably, smoked cool and sweet from the get go, burned right to the bottom and drilled dead centre right at the bottom.
This little pipe really amazed me given its price and I consider it an absolute bargain for its price.
Yes basket pipes can provide some right clunkers but this one goes above and beyond in smoking qualities and on smoking qualities alone, it performs above and beyond what you would expect from a basket pipe.
Well chuffed and happily puffing away.
Good evening gentlemen.
That’s a good looking pipe.
 

craig

Well-known member
#11
Nice. Has a Halloween look to it.

From my understanding of basket pipes, they are sold at brick & motor pipe (tobacco?) shops and are not in a regular pipe display, like the name brands or artisan pipes, but displayed in a basket at a discount / reduced price. Is this correct?

My first pipe, a P.Viou purchased in the 80s, which I still have and still smoke, may have been a basket pipe.
In the few tobacconists I have been in basket pipes are just that, sold in wicker baskets at low prices you can see the imperfections on most of them, chances are if mine was a smooth it would be fills galore but for what it is can't fault its smoking qualities.
 

MakDragon

Former PSF Wizard
Patron
#12
One of my all time favorite pipes is a basket pipe I bought in Connolly's Smoke Shoppe in Clarks Summit, Pa. The place doubled as a barber shop and John was a great blender! Sadly he passed about 7 years ago. His wife still runs it but it's not the same.
Anyway, I bought this pipe from him and he swore it was a gem in disguise. It was, and is. Love that pipe! When I get home, I shall take a pic of it and hopefully remember to post it here tomorrow.
 

SmokeRings

Well-known member
Patron
#15
I believe the term basket pipe used to apply to what would now be marketed as a "seconds" pipe, and using that definition there are some really solid smokers out there to be had, I find I really enjoy my cobs and cheap ugly pipes for the work environment, but then I work in a blue collar field, so dirt, grime, sweat and all sort of unpleasant things are just facts of life for me...if I worked in an office or from home with a computer or was a writer or something, I can almost guarantee my Peterson Deluxe System pipe would get a lot more use
 

Zembla

Well-known member
#16
An added advantage of basket pipes...

“I’ve seen this lonely pipe sit on this crowded shelf for several years now,” I once said to an owner of a B&M. “Tell ya what,” I continued, “sell that to me for half price, which probably covers your cost on that thing, and use those funds to buy something that will actually sell for a profit. Your money is just sitting their on the shelf doing nothing for you.”

He acted like I was doing him a favor instead of the other way around.
 

thuber88

Well-known member
#17
35-40 years ago my local Tinder Box always had a basket at the far end of the counter with pipes in them, for around $20( dirt cheap for that store) I bought several and still have one left next to me now, they were and are all decent smokers, but I was not an all day pipe smoker then or now, I tend to go with cheap crappy cigars( cant afford anything nice) if I am moving around a lot, or mowing, for convenience sake.
 
#18
I bought this basket pipe just because I love the shaping. Later research indicates it probably came out of the Hardcastle factory. No shape number, but it lines up real nice with a Hardcastle 810. It feels right in the hand, and I am smoking it right now.

The drilling is pretty good, and the stem/button work is excellent.

It's obvious how it became a basket pipe: the grain sucks and the shallow blast makes it look worse. A basket pipe fails to live up to its parent maker's aesthetic standard, not a functional standard. It's a smokeable second.

 
#20
They could vary a lot. I have a Theydon (GBD second) I bought non-figuratively out of a basket on the counter that is one of the nicest smoking pipes I own in a rare shape to boot. One tiny flaw relegated it to the basket. Others in the same basket looked like Grabow knockoffs carved with a chainsaw and finished with shoe polish.