Thursday, July 27, 2017


The shape is classic: the Derry, that being an elegant billiard with a thin shank and tapered mouthpiece. It feels very nice in the hand. In the coming weeks I shall smoke Stonehenge Flake by Greg L. Pease in it while poncing around SF Chinatown and North Beach.
A good pipe, if you will, for summer days.
New stem by Schulte in Florida.

[Stonehenge Flake is well worth stockpiling.]

Like Comoys, Loewe and Company represent a standard that Dunhill aspired to have. And, like Comoy, the once beloved brand has been diminished by Cadogan's ham-handed approach to business.
Dunhill is no longer as good as it once was either.
There are fewer pipe smokers in these days, and both the level of skill required to make pipes as well as the labour involved in harvesting and curing briar now command higher pay (hence the stellar one-ofs made by American, Danish, and Italian carvers, et autres).

[Loewe & Co. was founded in 1856. Comoy in 1850 or shortly thereafter. Alfred Dunhill turned his hand to vending pipes and tobacco in 1906. Charatan, founded by a Russian Jew in 1863, supplied Dunhill with pipes for a few years. Sasieni founded his company after working for Charatan and then Dunhill in 1919. Apparently Alfred Dunhill grew to despise all of his competitors in the pipe business, and like a typical British snob referred to them by opprobrious terms.]

From a badly composed pre-war advertisement:

"The gift of a Loewe is a compliment to a man's good taste. A Loewe is the aristocrat of good briars. Hand-made by craftsmen proud of their skill in fashioning Loewe briars. A man appreciates the beautiful grain of its old matured briar bowl and its stream-line mouthpiece hand-cut from Para Vulcanite."

"Give a man a LOEWE -- it's a gift you will be remembered by."

End cite.

That's some fearfully horrid copy writing. My teachers in grammar school would give it a failing grade. On the other hand, they smoked fairly shitty tobacco, whereas we have some damned fine stuff, including Dunhill and Pease. Dunhill was largely unfindable in Dutch tobacco stores when I was growing up, Greg Pease had not even discovered smoking yet. Dunhill's blends were nearly ruined by the Northern Irish during the eighties.

[Carreras International bought Alfred Dunhill Ltd. in 1967. Rothmans bought Carreras in 1972. Rothmans moved pipe tobacco manufacturing to Murrays factory in Belfast in 1981. Twigs, stems, and crud. In 1999 British American Tobacco finally killed Rothmans. Since then the tobacco has been manufactured by the Danes, who understand quality control.
The blends are worth buying again.]

I was thinking of smoking Dunhill Dark Flake in this bowl, but the weather is not suitable at present. Dark Flake requires rainstorms, whereas Pease's Stonehenge Flake is perfect for warmer summer weather, foggy evenings, flowery summer frocks, and sweaters late at night against the cold.

Stonehenge Flake is NOT suitable for dingy blondes.
It is a lovely product for sensible people.
Goes very well with hot beverages.
Hong Kong style milk-tea.

In four or five months I'll probably enjoy Dunhill Dark Flake in this pipe, at which time dingy blondes will still not be suitable, and milk-tea will be enjoyable for entirely different reasons.

The pipe smells of fratboy party vodka right now. I cleaned it thoroughly while waiting for my apartment mate to free up the kitchen.
Her non-smoking goofus boyfriend will eat well this weekend, when she takes stuff over to his place for dinner.
Why would anyone date a non-smoker who can't cook?
I truly cannot understand that.


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