Saturday, November 19, 2005


Rare is overdone!

There are tons, thousands, more than one person in the world that doesn't know diddly from daddly about pipes. To these folks, "mea culpa". It's Saturday, I've got chores to do around the house. I've finished my morning coffee (percolated, thank you..) and I'm wading through the drivel on ebay just to get a look at what's happening.

People with real lives probably don't head to their computer first thing in the morning, before the first sip of coffee. Stock brokers surely check the markets many times daily - Store owners check the receipts many times daily - yet I'm a working stiff who can't keep away from looking (rarely bidding!) at how the pipe market is rolling on ebay. It's my hobby. Not EBAY.. but pipes. It's in my blood. It's a sickness.

To those ignorant souls who think that any pipe grandpa had in the front pocket of his overalls - which grandpa wore last in 1963 - which they just found in an old trunk in the attic after 40+ years - these folks are allowed to be ignorant. There is no culpability here. It's old, grandpa was too, it's a rare pipe and I'm going to list it on ebay and retire from the profits.


Not all pipes are rare. In fact, most are NOT rare. Pipes used to be rare because they were hard to find. Now, it's easy to find pipes. I've got a selection of Dunhill ODA's, Castello White Bars, Celius, Ilsted... I can buy until my credit card melts! Not just one - no, countless numbers of them.

I'm just at a point where I'd like to "mammy slap" some of these folks who know better - or, should know better... nope, I'm convinced that they DO know better and that they're simply attempting to polish the proverbial turd in hopes of getting $300 for a $50 pipe from some unknowing bidder. I'm turning these ebay listers off and have been for some time now. Why do I feel some moral obligation to warn others of this stuff? I'm a schmuck sometimes, I suppose.


When "knowlegeable" people list pipes as RARE on ebay it makes me want to scream. Some are worse than others. Some YELL at me when I'm looking at their listings. Heck, I'll go one step further; There are some listings I never bother to even review! There are other collectors who turn people like this off, when every machine made pipe that's over 3 weeks old is RARE... and every estate pipe is PRISTINE... that's just not true. "Minty" would be a better adjective to use if indeed, the used pipe is sincerely like new. Anything Pristine is supposed to be new.

I'll go a step further in hopes of driving a little debate amongst the small but growing group posting here - Dunhill Magnums (registered/old pieces) ain't rare. They're scarce, to be sure, but they're not RARE. A Castello Ecpoca Hawkbill is RARE. A Dunhill Magnum Canadian from 1925 with a 7" shank would be RARE. A Charatan carved portrait pipe of Adolph Hitler would be darned RARE. But a Sasieni pipe from the 1950's, when they made them by the thousands, isn't rare. If it's unsmoked then it's RARE. Most 55 year old pipes that have gone unsmoked are rare. Back then, people bought pipes to smoke. If it's unsmoked in the original box then it's VERY RARE.

FWIW, "mammy slap" is a term meaning 'the kind of slap that your Mother would give you in hopes of getting your brain to function correctly'. Motherly love, you understand.

I'd rant some more but I've got work to do. I'd like to "mammy slap" the guy who keeps producing these dirty clothes that I'm forced to wash weekly.

TRUE RARITY is about the only thing, pipe related on ebay, that's RARE these days.

Do others tune these "carnival barkers" off like I do?


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