I just finished restoring and restemming the last of the Ebay lot that is pictured below. I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what I look for when I pick a lot of pipes like this on Ebay. There are many lots that I pass over in my hunt for estate pipes but there are some commonalities to what draws me to them and why I bid and win most of the ones I choose.
When I came across this listing there was no information available as to brands, makers or stampings. I always look for certain shapes or designs that catch my eye and then save the photo and enlarge it to see if I can see clearly any issues with the pipes. I also enlarge the side views to see if I can read any of the stamping that may be present on the pipe. In this lot the stamping was unreadable in the photos so it made me wonder if I would be able to identify them once they arrived. The most I could do was to judge by experience what was present. The seller of this lot included several photos showing both sides and the top of the bowl. Upon examining them carefully in the enlarged pictures I can be relatively certain of the issues that I will find and minimize any unexpected ones.
In this lot there were several there that I thought I could identify, or at least reduce my guesses to two or three possibilities for that shape of pipe. Knowing what I had learned from my examination of the photos I entered a bid for the lot and won. I decided to write down my guesses as to what the pipes were in the photos. I don’t always do that but in this case I wanted to see how close I could come to identifying brand/make and/or country of origin. I looked at the shape, design and finished to make some “educated” guesses as to what they would be when I saw them in person upon their arrival here in Vancouver. The pipes are arranged in three columns in the side photos and each of the top view photos take a column and photograph the group. So I divided my guesses into the same three columns as to what the brands are and see how close I can come once they arrive. In the chart below the left column records my guesses as to the pipes.
I have included the remainder of the photos that came with the EBay listing so that you can see the same things I saw as I decided to bid on this lot. For a little challenge, try to identify the maker of the pipe before you look at the next chart. I have been working on my ability to identify either country of origin or maker by the shape and finish of the pipe. I find it really helps when I am scanning through EBay to look over pipes there or also when I scan flea markets or rummage shops. It quickly sorts potential pipes I am considering purchasing. I have listed what actually came in the chart below. There were some great old pipes in the lot. All of them have been restemmed and refurbished. All of them have been written up on the blog.