An eBay ES: I suppose first and foremost eBay is a place to acquire pipes, but increasingly for me at least it is a place to learn about pipes. Here’s a case in point:
As I write this the eBay auction has yet to close and of course I have not seen the pipe in hand. The written description of the nomenclature makes clear that the pipe is a 1923 ES, i.e. ‘Canadian’. But a glance at the pictures (here in composite) suggests more then a question mark.
I’m into nomenclature, so not untypically for me, at first my eyes are blind to all else and what catches my eyes this time is that the DUNHILL / LONDON appears to be of even length, suggesting a rare late 1918 dating, notwithstanding the written advise of a 1923 date code. Visions of an ‘eBay steal’???
Turning back though to, of all things, the pipe itself, something though seems not quite right. Its suppose to be an ES Canadian. The overall described dimensions for the pipe are correct for ESs of this period but the picture shows a very questionable shank/bit proportion – one would anticipate that the former would be considerably longer and the latter much shorter, at least as compared to the 1920 and 1921 examples in my collection and the one pictured in a 1925 Dunhill catalog. Certainly suspicious although not absolutely dispositive, for instance pictured below is an ODA 850 Canadian from a 1968 Dunhill catalog with an unusually short shank/long bit:
still even with that unusual ODA 850 the short shank is longer then the long bit, while here the short shank is clearly shorter then the long bit. Yet another consideration is that there were some dramatic changes in at least a few early Dunhill shapes, for instance the 151 I have written about previously. On the other hand “ES” likely was meant to signify “Extended Shank” and if so the pipe at hand can hardly be considered representative.
So lets take a closer look: First, its clear
that this pipe has been ‘cleaned up’ probably, more then once, note the ‘weak
nomenclature’ description: the clean bowl top, a recently reamed bowl interior
and probably an earlier slightly off center reaming. This is a well smoked not
a lightly smoked pipe. Second, while
scans can sometimes be ‘off’, the DUNHILL /
Add to this my general observations that during this early period Dunhill (i) datecoded its repairs: (ii) attempted to preserve or replicate original stampings (including the original datecode) as part of the repair; and (iii) (based on a few other examples and the factory stamping log) did not have most of the 1910’s stamping tools in the 1920’s (thus forcing later replications to be stamped by individual letters). My conclusion readily comes to mind, to wit:
It is most likely a 1918 ES, the shank of which was cracked or broken off around 1923 and repaired at the Dunhill factory by amputation and refitting with a new longer bit. The 1923 repair effectively lost the essence of the ES shape, but the pipe still remains marginally collectable because of its early date.