Friday, November 25, 2005

The Last Great Trade?

The Last Great Trade?

First off, I do not know if I want Mike McCain at a show. The last time I saw him was Chicagoland 2002. He had just opened up this big green can of Exotic...something. I asked how was old it was - something like 40 years old. (I like Mike but asking me to smoke some stale tobacco - I mean after 40 years you figured he would have smoked it already.)

So being polite, I took a bowl. Knowing that Mike was trying real hard to get rid of the stuff, I helped myself to another bowl. But Mike, next time, you have to offer me some of that nice black sweet tobak instead of stuff that smells like old sweaty socks!

Well Mike (Davis) is certainly offering me a most interesting trade offer. As everyone can see, this is a very long, giant tamper. I know the Castello factory has one other tamper that is at about as long but that's it (so far as I know). So the tamper is rare. I have a number of tampers and only one is almost as long as this. I like tampers but do not collect them. All tampers that I have are actually used so his big boy would be dirtied up by me as soon as I got it.

The next question - what is is it worth? Since there are so few - we ask to look at the other Castello tampers. A rather ordinary large smooth Briar one could run me say $150 to $200. This is one is so much larger - but I am not sure if it is briar. Even so it is still a very rare and worth owning.

Without knowing more I would say that if offered to me between $500 to $600 I would add it FOR SURE to my collection. However, it could be "worth" even more to Mike than that.

Now the next step - the trade. First off, obviously Mike values this tamper a lot. He wants something that will fit in and improve it. This makes sense. The question is what does this mean? I must determine if Mike's value is so high that it will make a trade impossible. Or do I want the tamper so much, I will be willing to trade whatever it takes?

Mike has an outstanding collection of Hawkbills. I would say he has everything in that shape there is. Mike D, if we're at a show and you offered this to me as a trade - I would ask what pipe would of interest that would want "add" to your collection that you would want in trade for this "crappy" tamper? I mean who would want a tamper this big anyway?
~ Rich Esserman