Dunhills

N80

If you can't question it, it isn't science.
Sales
totally in keeping with other luxury items like a Burberry raincoat.
My wife just got me a Burberry tweed sport coat the other day. It is wool and cashmere. She found it at the thrift store for $5. Had the sleeves lengthened and the waist narrowed a bit and a small moth hole repaired for about $30. Oddly, it was made in the U.S. and has a union label inside the pocket which probably puts it circa 1970s.

It is nicely made. The back has two splits and my wife says that makes it a 'hacking' coat which I think alludes to something about riding a horse. Rather than two buttons on the front like a blazer it has 3 and it has two side pockets on the right. One is small but fairly deep. I'm not sure what its actual purpose is but I'm calling it a pipe pocket! My old Dunhill will go in it.

I'd never heard of Burberry before. Just went to their web site. Good gosh that's a bunch of freaky ugly stuff on freaky ugly people at freakishly high prices!
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well, I'll be damned
Sales
View attachment 172684

Here's a ... pretty well cut pipe, modern... look at the button. It looks like it would attach to my garden hose. It should be 1/3 as long as it is. This isn't "tradition". The rest of the pipe looks lovely, even finish, the "gleam lines" of the light show meticulous work. But nobody in their right mind could think that's a good button. Compare to 1954's stem.

That's a group 2 pipe. The button is hugely oversized, in that the button is suited to like, a group 4 pipe. It's probably fairly comfortable but good lord is it ugly.

One of the great joys of a smaller pipe is that it can have a smaller button.

I imagine this is less ugly in person but it is still gonna be noticeable.

When I say the new ones get out the door with things done "wrong" I mean pipes like this:

View attachment 172688

This is such a bad rendition of the bent apple, with the line of the bottom of the pipe drooping below the established line of the shank (THE rule of English pipe shaping) and the stem just bent with a crank in the middle. The absolutel lack of grace here I have never seen in an older one. I've seen pipes sandblasted "out of shape", but I've never seen an example of an older Dunhill that looked this .... un-Dunhilly.

With just a tiny bit of photoshop, I can make a pipe that doesn't appear melted.

View attachment 172689


Now, yeah, this is real technical pipe making stuff, the reason pipes sell or don't. But.. isn't that what Dunhill is supposed to be a paradigm of? So again, that pipe isn't junk, the briar is super clean, the stem cut from rod, I assume the drilling is reasonable. But I see stuff in that pipe that I have never seen in the old ones in terms of shaping. A lurid, outrageous example? Sure. But a real one.

Yeah, it's a terrible fiddle sticksin shape. What is the shape code? Is it a bad version of a Dunhill shape that used to be good, or just, a bad quaint?

I ask because there are Dunhill shapes that have just always sucked. (The "egg" version of #26 comes to mind)
 

Sasquatch

May Cause Drowsiness
Staff Member
The ugly pipe is a 13, and that's why it's so egregious - other 13s share the pugged bowl proportions etc, but the droop-shank etc is just lazy work, just a failure of the carver. If there's a reason Dunhills have been recognizeable from across a room for 100 years it's that their lines are crisp, well done.
 

N80

If you can't question it, it isn't science.
Sales
There has been mention of Castellos in this thread. I have heard that they smoke well. I’m sure this just a matter of taste, but for me the Castello aesthetic is off-putting. I do not like most of their traditional shapes. They don’t look ‘traditional’ to me at all. This is most manifest in the stem and shank shaping. I think there is a peculiar taper there that isn’t at all traditional. Maybe it’s an Italian thing but I don’t see other Italian makers with that shaping.

The general Dunhill aesthetic is much more appealing to me.
 

BlueMaxx

Well-known member
Patron
There has been mention of Castellos in this thread. I have heard that they smoke well. I’m sure this just a matter of taste, but for me the Castello aesthetic is off-putting. I do not like most of their traditional shapes. They don’t look ‘traditional’ to me at all. This is most manifest in the stem and shank shaping. I think there is a peculiar taper there that isn’t at all traditional. Maybe it’s an Italian thing but I don’t see other Italian makers with that shaping.

The general Dunhill aesthetic is much more appealing to me.

Same thing with me and Radices.
Different strokes for different folks...no right or wrong.
 

SwampWeed

Black Twist & Black Beer
Patron
Sales
Not necessarily on topic so apologies in advance, but to add additional credence to this statement: one will immediately get this impression should you ever get the chance to pass by a Dunhill store. While on vacation earlier this year I happened to walk by their store on Jermyn St. in London (totally by chance) while on my way to Davidoff’s … don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not this. My momentary excitement was quickly tempered when I saw there was almost a complete lack of tobacianna on display.

Some cigars from Davidoff’s and James J. Fox set me right again pretty quickly, though. :thumbsup:

This is sad. I used to have a pipe that I bought from the Jermyn St location in 2010 and at that time there were no pipes on display, but when I enquired, the staff took me to a downstairs room and there was a display of about 50 pipes.

I regret selling that pipe. 😕
 

UpArrow

Member
I just today received a Dunhill County from James Barber.
The stem can be pulled from the strumel with zero resistance. When fully seated one can even wobble it a bit.
And, zero attempt was made in it's design to allow a cleaner to pass.

Sigh, was my first Dunhill, brought on by temptation of the good exchange rate.
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
Patron
Sales
Old Ted Award
I just today received a Dunhill County from James Barber.
The stem can be pulled from the strumel with zero resistance. When fully seated one can even wobble it a bit.
And, zero attempt was made in it's design to allow a cleaner to pass.

Sigh, was my first Dunhill, brought on by temptation of the good exchange rate.
A shame, that.
 

Ozzy

Well-known member
I just today received a Dunhill County from James Barber.
The stem can be pulled from the strumel with zero resistance. When fully seated one can even wobble it a bit.
And, zero attempt was made in it's design to allow a cleaner to pass.

Sigh, was my first Dunhill, brought on by temptation of the good exchange rate.
Can we see a picture of the pipe? I'm not a big "pass a pipe cleaner" guy, I have some great pipes that don't. The stem thing would be a concern. If you like the pipe there may be a easy fix for that.
 

UpArrow

Member
Can we see a picture of the pipe? I'm not a big "pass a pipe cleaner" guy, I have some great pipes that don't. The stem thing would be a concern. If you like the pipe there may be a easy fix for that.

I wanted a small bent clencher for brief flake smokes. This was stamped as group 3 but it seems a very smallish pipe for that.
James Barber replied promptly and asked me to wait out the tenon fit a bit to give the wood time to warm up after it's journey, which I'm fine with.

On inspection this morning though the fit is ever so slightly more loose.
 

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N80

If you can't question it, it isn't science.
Sales
Not suggesting what you should do at all, but I would not keep an expensive pipe with a loose tenon. First, it just isn’t acceptable for the cost of the pipe. Second, as a hobbyist pipe maker I have had almost zero success getting loose tenons to fit properly without a complete re-do. There are temporary fixes with wax or with water but they don’t last. You can also mess up a pipe if you go too far.

So that would be a deal breaker for me. Even on a modestly priced pipe.

I think it is fine for the dealer to say to give it time as long as he stands by it for a full refund for an extended time. You may smoke it for a while and the mortise might swell and tighten up and be fine. But what if you don’t smoke it for a while and then find the tenon loose again?

I also don’t really care about the pipe cleaner deal. I think it is great but if the pipe smokes well and can be cleaned properly with the stem off then it is of no consequence in my opinion.
 

UpArrow

Member
Not suggesting what you should do at all, but I would not keep an expensive pipe with a loose tenon. First, it just isn’t acceptable for the cost of the pipe. Second, as a hobbyist pipe maker I have had almost zero success getting loose tenons to fit properly without a complete re-do. There are temporary fixes with wax or with water but they don’t last. You can also mess up a pipe if you go too far.

So that would be a deal breaker for me. Even on a modestly priced pipe.

I think it is fine for the dealer to say to give it time as long as he stands by it for a full refund for an extended time. You may smoke it for a while and the mortise might swell and tighten up and be fine. But what if you don’t smoke it for a while and then find the tenon loose again?

I also don’t really care about the pipe cleaner deal. I think it is great but if the pipe smokes well and can be cleaned properly with the stem off then it is of no consequence in my opinion.

I'm sure JB would accept a return - but doing so across the pond seems daunting. A pity, as I love the way this little guy hangs in the mouth.
 

UpArrow

Member
I wanted a small bent clencher for brief flake smokes. This was stamped as group 3 but it seems a very smallish pipe for that.
James Barber replied promptly and asked me to wait out the tenon fit a bit to give the wood time to warm up after it's journey, which I'm fine with.

On inspection this morning though the fit is ever so slightly more loose.

Not suggesting what you should do at all, but I would not keep an expensive pipe with a loose tenon. First, it just isn’t acceptable for the cost of the pipe. Second, as a hobbyist pipe maker I have had almost zero success getting loose tenons to fit properly without a complete re-do. There are temporary fixes with wax or with water but they don’t last. You can also mess up a pipe if you go too far.

So that would be a deal breaker for me. Even on a modestly priced pipe.

I think it is fine for the dealer to say to give it time as long as he stands by it for a full refund for an extended time. You may smoke it for a while and the mortise might swell and tighten up and be fine. But what if you don’t smoke it for a while and then find the tenon loose again?

I also don’t really care about the pipe cleaner deal. I think it is great but if the pipe smokes well and can be cleaned properly with the stem off then it is of no consequence in my opinion.

I fixed it:
I put the strummel in a lidded jar overnight with a bit of damp paper towel and placed that in front of a heat register. No improvement.
Not wanting to deal with a return ship to JB, and possessing a decades long penchant for delicate craftsmanship, I used the lowest flame from my Old Boy and judiciously heated the tenon to somewhere on the low end between warm and hot. Then pushed the tenon down against a flat surface and held for a minute or so.
I believe I was going for about .003" expansion and got about .004" for a too-snug fit. I then wound around it a few times with 3000 grit auto body rub out pad and applied a bit of wax for a very satisfactory result. I also trumpeted the tenon airway a bit to facilitate linear air flow (it left the factory with a flat-ended tenon).
I'm pleased to say that the result was exactly as desired. It's a great little flake smoker without gurgle.
 

Zeno Marx

Active member
Well, I'll gather some thoughts and pictures, and do up a thread on classical vs neo classical shaping, and then we can really get the important work done!
Right on. I'd love to read and watch such a thread with a lawn chair and an iced sarsaparilla.

I like that you can generally tell the Italian or Danish riff on a traditional shape. They aren't fundamentalists. They take liberties, and they're fun. They're artists. But then there are the exceptions, like the Castello lovat, which in my opinion, blows away any British lovat. It's the quintessential classic lovat.
 
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