Tag Archives: a good day pipe hunting

It turned out to be an Epic Pipe Hunt

Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and his wife Sherry went on an overnight trip to Utah and did a bit of pipe hunting along with other things on their agenda. Throughout the day Jeff would either Facetime or send me a message with photos of what he was running into.  As I watched from a distance it seemed to me that he was having an epic pipe hunting trip. Each place he went whether new places that we have not been to before or places that the two of have hunted in the past yielded some great finds. I progressively wished that the border between Canada and the US was open so that Irene and I could take a trip down and join them on their journey. The first picture below is the one that he sent me when he got home – he gathered everything together and took the photo. He found the six pipe rest to the top left of the photo and the carved fisherman at the top center. Both were very interesting pieces to me. The find included a lot of different brand pipes and two of them freehand bowls without stems. There were quite a number of unsmoked pipes in the lot as well. A list of the pipes he found will be shown below with a closer look at that portion of the main picture. The first picture gives you a good feel for what he found this hunt. The second picture gives a closer look at the carved fisherman and the pipe rest. Pipe hunting over Facetime is not as good as being there but it allows me to experience some of the joys of the hunt. Thanks Jeff.

Jeff made a list of the pipes by column so that I could have a good feel for his finds.

The first column on the left has the following pipes from top to bottom:

  1. The 6 pipe rest
  2. Cowan’s Handmade Custom Unsmoked Pot
  3. Cartigiano Italy – freehand bowl sans stem
  4. Israeli Made Bridge Freehand – bowls sans stem
  5. Cowan’s Handmade Custom Unsmoked Squat Apple
  6. Genuine Meerschaum Imported Lovat (meerschaum lined??)
  7. Meerschaum Apple with acrylic stem and gold plated band









The second column from the left top to bottom has these pipes.

  1. Sasieni Four Dot Ruff Root Bark Billiard – Unsmoked with box and sock
  2. Scandanavian Freehand with plateau and rustication
  3. Preben Holm Regal Freehand
  4. W.O. Larsen Copenhagen Freehand with horn shank extension
  5. Dunhill Shell Briar Billiard 1969
  6. Blatter Montreal Billiard – red dot
  7. Mauro Series 2 Italy – Bent Billiard











The third column from the left top to bottom has these pipes.

  1. Sasieni Four Dot Rustic Billiard – Unsmoked with box and sock
  2. Sasieni Four Dot Ruff Root Bent Volcano
  3. Sasieni Four Dot Walnut Billiard
  4. Savinelli Non Pariel 9412 Bent Dublin
  5. Castello Natural Virgin Saddle Stem Billiard
  6. Castello Sea Rock Briar Apple
  7. Savinelli Capri Root Briar Dublin
  8. Comoy’s Blazon Rusticated Billiard











The fourth column from the left  top to bottom has these pipes

  1. Cowan Handmade Custom Bent Bullmoose
  2. Cowan Handmade Custom Bulldog – unsmoked
  3. Gourd Calabash (small) with an amber stem
  4. Custom Bilt Taper Billiard
  5. Custom Bilt Scoop
  6. BBB Natural Grain Zulu
  7. Caminetto Business Pot
  8. Cowan Handmade Custom Apple – unsmoked











This truly was an epic pipe hunt when you look at the brands of pipes he found and how many of them were unsmoked. The Dunhill, Sasieni, Preben Holm, Castello, Caminetto, Custom Bilt and BBB are well known brands and those alone were great finds. Added to that some of the others such as the odd Comoy’s Blazon, the older Gourd Calabash and the Savinelli Non Pariel give depth to the find. The unsmoked Cowan Handmade Custom pipes are a new brand to me and one that should be fun to search out. I would say that Jeff had a great pipe hunt and from the list of pipes I would say and epic one.  I only wish I could have been present as there is nothing quite like walking into an antique shop and finding a bonanza of pipes that have not been picked through. Thanks Jeff for sharing the trip.

A long awaited pipe hunt in Salt Lake City & Surrounding Communities

Blog by Steve Laug

In May, in talking with my wife, Irene it was decided that I would travel to Idaho Falls from Vancouver Canada for my Father’s 91st Birthday at the end of June. I began to search for flights that were both affordable and would not require a lot of transfers to other airports and planes to get to Idaho. The prices were crazy and all included significant layovers on the way there and back. I talked with Irene and pretty much decided this trip was not going to happen this year. I was a bit sad as every visit could well be the last one with age and distance. I went to bed and woke up with a plan. I decided to check on the cost of a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah (about a 3 hour drive from Idaho Falls). The price was literally a third of the cost of everything else I had checked. I called my brother Jeff to see if he would be willing to drive there and pick me up. As we talked we decided to take some time include a pipe hunt! I booked the earliest flight I could which gave me a whole day in Salt Lake and another day to drive through the neighbouring communities back to Idaho Falls – all the while stopping by antique shops and malls scavenging for pipes. We hung up and I booked the ticket. It was set for June 28th which was perfect all the way around. The wait for the date to arrive seemed to take forever.

The morning of the flight arrived and I was on the way! The flight was a short 1 hour and 40 minutes and I was on the ground. Jeff picked me up and he had a plan of attack for the pipe hunt. We decided to visit Jeanie’s Smoke Shop first as it was close to the airport. From there were would visit the antique shops in Salt Lake City and Ogden that day. The following day we would visit Brigham City and Logan. We also would visit small communities between the major stops noted above. We were off on the hunt. I have written about Jeanie’s in a previous blog (include the link here). So I will focus only on the antique shops. We found the Salt Lake shops empty of any pipes that caught our interest and manned by sales staff that had no desire to help us out in our hunt. In fact they were almost offended that we would expect them to have such “filthy” items as estate tobacco pipes. It was like they were saying, “You are in Utah after all and we don’t do such things.” What is funny is that in all the shops we visited we came away from SLC with just one pipe – little Dublin with a red, white and blue band and stamped St Claude, France. We laughed and continued our hunt.

We finished the last of the shops and malls in Salt Lake and headed to Ogden. There was a great shop there that Jeff had previously found some great pipes at. So we set off to see if there were more. The shop was called “The Estate Sale Antiques” and it advertises itself as Ogden’s best antique mall. The Estate Sale Antique Mall was nearly 6,000 square feet in size filled with some of the finest and most unusual antique and collectible items anywhere. The owners Lance and Becky are both life long collectors with a wide variety of knowledge including advertising items, coins, bottles, country store antiques, toys, western memorabilia and jewelry.Lance greeted Jeff like a long lost friend and we were made to feel very welcome in the store. In Googling the shop here is what I found and I have to concur with the description: “Estate Sale Antiques brings together a fantastic group of antique vendors under one roof in the heart of Ogden. With convenient accessibility and plenty of parking, The Estate Sale is a must-see stop on any antique shopping quest in Ogden or even from Salt Lake City!”  The next photos are from theire website and give a pretty good idea of the size and diverse contents of the shop. It was a great place to visit and contained two floors of treasures. Jeff lead me to a corner near the cash register and not far from the front door where he knew there were pipes (It is shown in the second photo above). In fact not only were there ones that he had looked over previously but there were also new pipes as well. We found 8 pipes that we wanted including some real beauties and some old timers. We also found a walnut pipe rest made specifically for holding a gourd calabash pipe and a PipNet pipe reaming set.

We settled out bill and went for a visit to the town of Layton where we found one more pipe. It was an interesting Italian made pipe with a rusticated finish that had been sandblasted over the rustication. It had an oval shank and an unusual shape. The shop was managed by a group of very friendly seniors (meaning a bit older than my 65 years). We enjoyed the stop even if all we took away was one pipe. There were lots of others there but nothing that caught our collective eyes and called out for restoration. We called it a day and headed back to Salt Lake City for dinner at the Red Iguana – a restaurant that is famous for its Mole dishes.We had a great meal and waddled to our hotel. I spread out the haul on the desk top and took some photos. It was a good day pipe hunting. I included the day’s haul along with the tins of tobacco I had picked up at Jeanie’s Smoke Shop for the photo. These included a tin of Dunhill Flake, Capstan Blue, Dunhill Durbar and a tin of Royal Vintage Latakia No. 1 made by Mclellands. The pipes included from left to right – a Rossi Rubino, Schoenleber billiard, Irwin by GBD Canadian, a no name Meerschaum Apple, 2 Duncan Aerosphere Billiards with pearlized stems, a Kaywoodie Relief Grain 18S, an Ansells of Washington DC Prince, a St Claude Americana Dublin, and an Italian Made unique.Not a bad haul for the day.The next morning we got up early and after a good breakfast at the hotel continued the pipe hunt. We drove to Brigham City and went to several shops. There was an interesting mall in an old Residential School that was well laid out. Despite the horrendous history of the treatment of aboriginal peoples the place had been cleaned up and redeemed. There were aboriginals working in the shop and it seemed to be a great place to work. We found one pipe in the cabinet toward the front of the shop. The first photo shows the layout of the shop. Jeff found the meerschaum in the display case in the centre of the photo. The second photo shows the pipe that Jeff picked up – a nicely carved lion’s head meerschaum that was in the original box and in pretty decent condition. We left the shop with pipe, put it in our bag of finds and headed to our next stop in Logan, Utah. Logan is a nice looking town with wide boulevards and several antique shops. Other than finding an old Medico Brylon pipe we almost came away empty handed. However we went into a large Antique Mall on the main street and talked with the seated clerk. He did not seem interested in helping much until we got talking about pipes and I gave him a source for tobacco. He said they did no have any pipes in the shop and then I happened to see a pipe case over his shoulder. I asked about it and he said he thought it was empty. I reached for it and low and behold it was not empty after all. Inside was strange looking pipe like nothing I had ever seen before. The inside of the cover had a sticker that read Oriental Frischen Socket Pipe. I turned it over in my hands and found that the pipe had a screw in meerschaum bowl that was threaded into the base. The base appeared to be made of Bakelite and the stem seemed to be cast into the shank of the pipe. We made and offer and added one last pipe to our collection.We went back to the car and headed to a final shop that had no pipes. We were a bit hungry so we decided to visit a cheese factory nearby. We bought some cheese curds to snack on and something to drink. The pipe hunt came to an end and we headed for Idaho Falls. It was a great time pipe hunting with my brother. It has been a long time since I took a trip for the sole purpose of stopping at every antique shop on the journey and sleuthing through their stock for the hidden or not so hidden pipe treasure. I thank my brother for taking time out of his “busy” retirement to come and pick me up and take me to some of his favourite hunting spots. We had a ball. Thanks for giving this a read.



A Perfect Pipe Hunting Day

On Friday John, a friend of mine from Calgary, Alberta came for the weekend for a visit. We planned to go to the US for a day so that I could take him to a couple of pipe shops in Bellingham, Washington – the Senate Smoke Shop and the Fairhaven Smoke Shop (I have written reviews of both shops here on rebornpipes). When John arrived and we were planning our day he said that he also wanted to visit some of the places where I went hunting for estate pipes when I am down there. It was going to be a great day and I was hoping that we would find some good pipes to make his first hunt a success. We decided to leave early on Saturday morning and spend the whole day hunting. We crossed the border, headed to a local restaurant for breakfast while we waited for the shops to open. We each downed an order of biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs and orange juice. We took our time to enjoy our breakfast and once had finished we headed to the first hunting spot – an antique mall.

We cruised slowly through the store looking at all the cupboards and tins, ferreting out old pipes. I found quite a few old timers that did not grab my interest. John found a pigskin covered opera pipe stamped Longchamp and bearing a horse on the stem. It was in good shape and lightly smoked. The rim was tarred and the leather dirty. It had a ¼ bent stem that was very clean, though oxidized. He found an old 10 pipe rack made of oak and a brown glass humidor in the middle that had a worn finish but beautifully grained wood. It came with four old pipes – a Falcon, a nylon Falcon style pipe, a Yello-Bole Bulldog and a no name Imported Briar Apple full of fills. We paid for our finds and headed to the next stop to see what we would find. I had a bit more luck and found an old Canadian stamped Paul’s and Italy. It was a large Canadian made from a nice piece of briar but was filthy and the rim was beat up. I purchased my Canadian and then we moved on to the next shop. IMG_2051 IMG_2052 We visited with the shop keeper who had just returned from a trip to California and he showed us a dozen or more pipes that he had purchased from an estate. None of them caught our attention but we had a great visit with him before heading to our next stop. At that shop we enjoyed looking through the pipes that were for sale. John picked out two of them that caught his eye. The first pipe was a Danish Sovereign Peewit shaped sandblast. It was a dark brown/black stained blast with a typical Stanwell style stem. The shank bore the stamping Danish Sovereign, shape #30. The stem was dirty but easily fixable. The tenon had an interesting Delrin sleeve over the end that made the diameter large enough to fit the shank as it had been drilled out to make it larger. I am not sure why they had enlarged the shank but it had been well done. The second pipe was a Peterson Dumore shape 72 that had some beautiful grain – birdseye on the sides and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. The stem was in great shape though badly oxidized. All totalled John had added seven “new” pipes to his “new” round 10 pipe rack. IMG_2050 I picked out four that caught my eye. The first one was a Savinelli Punto Oro 804 Canadian black sandblast that was in decent shape. The finish was very good while the stem was oxidized but had no tooth marks. The bowl was smoked but clean. It would be an easy one to clean up. The second was a Peterson Tankard with a rounded rim and a military bit. The finish was very worn, the stamping was weak in spots but it said Peterson Tankard over Made in the Republic of Ireland. The stem was oxidized and had a few tooth dents on the top and bottom sides near the P-lip button but should clean up nicely. The third one was a Dunhill Shell Billiard with a saddle stem. It was stamped Dunhill Shell over Made in England. Next to the Shell stamping it had a 23 stamped. On the other side of the Dunhill stamping it read 42121. After the D in England it was stamped 20 which if I read it correctly makes it a 1980 pipe. It had a nice blast and the finish was not terribly worn. The rim was dirty and the bowl was thickly caked. The stem had the inner tube insert in the tenon and it extended to the airway in the bowl. The stem was badly oxidized and had tooth dents in both the top and bottom sides near the button. The fourth pipe was an Astley ¼ bent cherry wood. It had a black rusticated finish and the stamping on the smooth bowl bottom read Astleys over 109 Jermyn St over London. The shape number 48 was under that. The bowl had a thick cake and heavy buildup on the rim. The finish though was in very good shape. The stem had a thick calcification on the top and bottom, tooth marks and chatter as well. It was oxidized but bore a very clean capital A stamp on the top of the saddle. The stem was over bent. IMG_2049 We stopped by the Senate Smoke Shop and spent the better part of an hour visiting with the owner/proprietor, Mike. John bought two pouches of tobacco from him before we left the shop to drive south to Fairhaven to visit his other shop. I had visited the Fairhaven Smoke Shop many times over the years and it has the air of an old time pipe and tobacco shop. I always enjoy going there and wanted to introduce John to the charms of the place. We visited with Jesse, the sales clerk and I picked up a pouch of McClellands Oriental and a few flakes of 2035 that had some age on it. We each bought some bundles of pipe cleaners so that we could clean up the pipes we had added to our collections.

We finished the hunt having had a successful day each of had found some good pipes, some tobaccos to try and John had picked up a nice oak pipe rack for his pipes. We decided to celebrate a great day and headed to a favourite Mexican restaurant of mine for lunch while we looked over our finds. We laughed and ooohed and ahhhed at the various pipes we picked up. We had a great visit over lunch and after lunch found a spot outside to enjoy a bowl of our new tobacco and visit before we headed back to Canada. We relaxed and smoked our pipes and commented on what a great day it had been. We were pleased with our finds and looked forward to working on them later. When our pipes had gone out we tipped out the dottle and headed home.

The plan was to spend the evening cleaning up John’s purchases – both pipes and the pipe rack so that he could take home some clean pipes and a refinished rack. He wanted to learn about the craft of refurbishing so these pipes would be a great place for him to begin. Over the evening we refinished the pipe rack – stripped it and restained it with a light Cherry stain. We washed the humidor and reattached the clay disk to the lid. We also refurbished the Peterson Dunmore, the Danish Sovereign Peewit, the Falcon (the bowl was shot, so I gave him an extra bowl that I had here), the Yello-Bole Bulldog and the Longchamp Opera pipe. John loaded his car and left this morning with his cleaned and restored finds for a short road trip back to Calgary. It was great to spend time with him chatting, hunting, refurbishing and enjoying our pipes. I always enjoy my visits with John and on top of our normal good visits this time we had added great day pipe hunting. IMG_2106 Now the time has come to begin cleaning up my pipe hunt finds. I am looking forward to seeing these five pipes cleaned and refurbished and then filled with tobacco to smoke for many years ahead.