Daily Archives: August 26, 2013

Tobacciana – Gifted a PIPE Lighter


I was gifted a pipe lighter – no I mean really a Pipe lighter. A friend gave me this Pipe shaped lighter because he knows that I appreciate the quirky pipe ephemera that are a part of our hobby. I collect the oddities along with the pipes, so this fit right into my collection. There is a part of me that supposes it was a hoax but it is never the less actually very unique. It is a heavy lighter as the bowl is made of metal and painted to look like wood. The stem is cast plastic and the end; the button is metal as well. The oval slot in the button is where the flame comes out. The bowl cap is a plastic button, spring loaded so that when it is depressed the butane is released and the igniter in the button sparks and the flame is sent out the button. The lighter is butane and is refillable on the bowl bottom.

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The lighter works quite well. The first time I used the lighter the heat of the flame melted the stem in front of the button and there is a “bite through” now. I may have to do a repair with the superglue and build it up so that the hole no longer is present. On the other hand it looks kind of well used the way it is. In the slot there is an igniter that sparks when the cap is depressed. The lead of the igniter is slanted toward the tube that carries the butane and when the spark hits the butane the flame leaps out as can be seen in the last photo below.

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That is it for the quirky PIPE lighter – truly an interesting addition to my collection of tobacciana ephemera. I usually have it on the desk or in the pipe cabinet. It is quite heavy and makes a great decorative piece. Anybody else have one of these?

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Courtesy of Choice – an Unheard of Option Today


My wife and I flew into Budapest and caught a ride to our hotel – the Hotel Budapest. It was a great cylindrical building on the Buda side of the Danube. We checked into our room and after unpacking set out to explore the hotel a bit. We needed some dinner and were interested in checking out the pub at the back of the hotel.

We looked through the gift shop, enjoyed the amazing embroidery and jewelry that were on display. Picked up a few postcards for the kids and then made our way back to the pub. Being from Canada we had no expectations about firing up my pipe but I had it in my coat pocket anyway. We went into the pub that first night and were quite astonished at what we saw and smelled! There were folks smoking pipes and cigars in half the room and the other half was non-smokers. The laughter and conversation was lively and loud. The two groups seemed to be quite oblivious to each other and were enjoying their evening.

The bar was in the middle of the room. So we picked our drinks and made our way to the smoking area – literally over half of the room. We put our drinks on the table and our coats on the chair backs and sat down. Sitting in the middle of the table there was a great card – I liberated one as I expect it will be a thing of the past – if it isn’t already! I read over the words below and enjoyed the sensibility of them. They were printed in Hungarian and English. Certainly very Canadian sounding to me – but certainly very foreign to the Canada I knew.

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Here is what the card said on the inside in English:

Courtesy of Choice
The concept and symbol of Courtesy of Choice
reflect the centuries-old philosophy that
acknowledges differences while allowing
them to exist together in harmony.

Courtesy of Choice accommodates the
preferences of individuals by offering both
smoking and non-smoking areas in the
spirit of conviviality and mutual respect.

International Hotel & Restaurant Association

I packed my pipe and lit it while I settled back with my wife for a quiet evening before we headed up to our room for the night. Needless to say we spent nearly every evening in the pub during our 17 day stay in Budapest. The spirit of conviviality was alive and well in the pub with a courtesy of choice.

Another Rustication Tool


Blog by Steve Laug

Last week I was chatting with Dan Chlebove of Gabrieli Pipes about how he accomplishes the rustication pattern he uses on the rusticated pipe that he makes. I have liked Dan’s rustication style since I first started following his work. One of the Gabrieli pipes that I have in my collection displays his rustication. It has a tactile, pebbly feel to it and is comfortable in the hand.

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We talked about it for a while as he described the tool he uses. He sent me some photos of the tool. He says that the tool was a gift from Alberto Bonfignoli, maybe 12 yrs ago. Dan had met him in Richmond and talked with him, As Alberto looked at Dan’s early work and he asked if he had a tool to rusticate. When Dan told him no Alberto insisted on having Dan’s mailing address and promised he would send him one. Dan says, “VERY kind of him to a new
pipemaker I thought. It looks very Medieval eh?”

The tool is made up of small nails held in place by a perforated piece of aluminum and held in place with a hex screw.
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Thanks Dan for the photos. Now I have to figure out how to craft one for myself. That looks far more kind to the palm as it is twisted into the briar than the tools that I use.