By Al Jones
This shape immediately caught my attention – but the maker “Delacour” was not very familiar to me. I put in a meager eBay bid and won the pipe. While it was in transit, I found a bit more about the maker, but information was sparse. I learned that Delcaour was a French brand but also had operations in England. Steve has posted several older hallmarked examples on this blog. This one is a very nice sandblast and the only example of this finish that I can find.
I posted the pipe to the “Interesting British Ebay Auctions thread on the PipesMagazine forum. Several members pointed me to a post that pipe historian Jon Guss had posted on another Delacour pipe. Jon adds these details in a reply below, and I now include them in the here:
The factory destroyed in the 1935 fire was located in London on Salusbury Road. Delacour had made pipes in its London factory for over 30 years. I haven’t spent time on Delacour since I looked into the company about 9 years ago but my guess is that pipes made before the fire were stamped London and those afterward stamped England as COM. If true this could suggest either an owned factory or more likely a third party factory (perhaps Orlik) used for contract manufacturing outside of London.
This example is stamped “England” so based on Jon’s information, I assume that the pipe was made between after the 1935 fire. The company was dissolved around 1955. In the meager information available, I found no reference to the “Knotty” grade. Scott Thile add my pictures to the Delcacour page at Pipepedia:
The grain and sandblast really caught my attention. The stem has a “Hand Cut” stamp and what appeared to be one brass dot. The pipe arrived with some mild oxidation on the stem but was overall terrific condition. Below is the pipe as it was received.
I reamed the very slight cake from the bowl and soaked it with sea salt and alcohol. Following the soak, the shank was scrubbed with a bristle brush dipped in alcohol, until it came out clean.
The stem was inserted and I removed the oxidation with 800,1500 and 2000 grit wet paper. I was surprised to find two brass dots. I then used 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic polish. I used a wet “Magic Eraser” sponge around the “Hand Cut” stem, to avoid diminishing the stamping.
I used Halycon on the bowl, followed by a very light buff with Carnuba wax on a loose cloth wheel.
Below is the finished pipe, which I’m excited to add to my British collection of Author and Rhodesian shapes.
Weight: 53 grams