At every stage of the process there are a mandatory quality checks that ensure a Dunhill pipe will smoke well from the first to last bowl of tobacco, regardless of age. Each step in the six-week process is done by hand. Over 90 different steps are required in a process that has changed very little since the days of Alfred Dunhill almost a century ago. Dunhill Pipes are now prized collector pieces and the most famous pipes in the world. Alfred envisioned the Dunhill Pipe to be something special, a pipe to be coveted for its quality, sophistication and refinement.
To Smoke a Dunhill is to experience this tradition, a tradition of excellence that is perhaps the greatest in the world of pipes.
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The Bruyere was a smooth finish with a deep red stain, obtained through two coats, a brown understain followed by a deep red. The Shell finish was the original sandblast with a near-black stain though the degree to which it is truly black has varied over the years. Lastly, the Root finish was smooth also but with a light brown finish.
Early Dunhill used different briars with different stains, resulting in more distinct and identifiable creations Over the years, to these traditional styles were added four new finishes: The orignal finish produced, and a big part of developing and marketing the brand. It was the only finish from until A dark redish brown stain. Bruyere pipes were usually made using Calabrian briar, a very dense and hardy briar that has a mediocre grain but does very well with the deep red stain.
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A deep craggy sandblast with a black stain finish. Duhill pantended the sandblast finish in England in Patent No. See The Art of Sandblasting , and by R. Field, for in depth look at Dunhill's revolutionary new finish. The deepest and craggiest finishes were from Algerian briar, which is softer and yields more to the blasting. These are found in circa 's, 's, and 's Shells. The pipes were double blasted until the 's, and then the double blast technique resumed in the 's calling it the "Deep Shell" finish. The black shell sandblast finish uses a stain the was developed for the color, not the taste.
They hvve a more bitter taste, even when well smoked. Introduced in , the "Ring Grain" RG was created by blasting a straight grain bowl. Ring grain pipes in the Cumberland finish are designated "Shilling". It is an interesting variation on the original sandblasts which were mostly cross-grain sandblasts.
A Dunhill Pipe Dating Guide
The straighter grain plays a much more prominent role, giving the pipe a very distinct look and feel. These are usually the best Dunhills and are very rare today new. The finish often tastes like vanilla at first, then the taste becomes normal an good. Intorduced in and highly prized because the grain is more pronounced in this finish. The Root Briar finish required a perfectly clean bowl with excellent graining. Therefore, it is the most expensive of the Dunhill pipes.
Corsican briar was most often used for the Root finish, since it was generally more finely grained. This is a rare finish, due to the scarcity of briar suitable to achieve it. These pipes are normally only available at Company stores, or Principle Pipe Dealers. Straight grained pipes were formerly graded A through H, but are now graded with one to six stars, with the letters G and H still used for the very finest pieces. The Tanshell is a light tan sandblast. Sardinian briar was used for this sandblast. There is a distinct contrast in the sandblasts using Sardinian as opposed to Algerian briar.
The Sardinian is much denser and much harder. The resulting pattern, when blasted, is far more even and regular both in terms of the surface texture and the finish. Originally, the stain was a medium red. A couple years later the stain was changed to a brighter red, almost pinkish in color. The almost pink color caused pipe sales to plummet. In , the stain was changed back to the original darker medium red finish.
The Redbark finish was officially retired in The County and Russet finishes have also been retired. Introduced in , the Dress is a black smooth finish designed to look elegant with a tux or other formal ware--refined and sophisticated. A smooth jet-black stain with black bit gives this line of pipes the distinctive elegance that has come to be associated with the Dunhill name. Originally, the Cumberland always featured a smooth brown rim, but in the current production the rim is sometimes smooth, sometimes sandblasted. The Shilling series is named for the British coin: Named after the warehouse on Cumberland Road.
The old pipes that inspired this finish were found there. Introduced in to commemorate the closing of the Cumberland Road warehouse. The same stain and stem material as used on the Cumberland, but on a smooth bowl. A tan sandblast with a Cumberland mouthpiece.
It has since been discontinued. Introduced in December of A medium reddish brown stain and smooth finish that has since been retired. A warm yellow orange stain, reminicent of the original Root Briar finish. Cumberland stems were used, although recently, Amber Root pipes have appeared with black stems. This is also a limited production pipe that is found in mainly Company stores and Principle Pipe Dealers. Straight grained pipes are made available in this finish under the name Amberflame, and are graded from one to three flames. Chip states, "I understand that Dunhill rarely makes a spigot in a size five.
They're few and far between due to the limited production. At least that is what the Dunhill representative told me - maybe one a year. Who's knows, he might have been playing salesman. Fields writes, "As a pipe collector, a pipe hobbyist, and as a Dunhill principal pipe dealer, I hear comments over and over again about the comparative merits of the older pipes versus the newer models. Most discussion centers on the quality of the briar and the sweetness of the smoke.
I hear comments such as "I love my old Dunhill pipes, but these new ones People I consider to be very knowledgeable on the subject of 20th Century briar swear that, by far, the sweetest smoke comes from those Dunhill pipes bearing a patent number pre ; they will not even smoke those made after , believed to be of substandard quality.
The used pipe trade has followed the same trend - patent number Dunhills are commanding a higher price than those made from , and a still higher price than those made after Due to the mystique surrounding the older Dunhill pipe, there is, indeed, a need to explore any factual basis behind the "myth". This, reader, is the purpose of this article. John Loring's website is currently down. His son, Michael Loring, reports that he is working to get the site back up and will be continuing to make it available.
Dunhill: shell dating guide
John Loring, now a "broken pipe" was a leading authority on Dunhill pipes. His excellent book, "The Dunhill Briar Pipe - the patent years and after"  , is an essential addition to any Dunhill collectors library. Loring also wrote several important articles, which he has graciously contributed to Pipedia, and will be added here:. Dunhill's guarantee is generally credited as the impetus for implementing the date codes, as well as establishing its reputation.
Dunhill expert, John C. More excellent Loring articles coming soon! For now they are still available on the author's website.
- Help dating a Dunhill Shell. :: Pipe Talk :: Pipe Smokers Forums;
- Dating a Patent Dunhill :: British Pipes :: Pipe Smokers Forums.
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The Bent-Rhodesian in Root finish was made in and of course it shows the white dot on the Vulcanite stem. On display in Dunhill's London showroom. The lid is worked — like the Cologne cathedral itself — out of sterling silver.
The smoke can escape through several holes in the lid as well as through the head portal of the cathedral. The pipe is therefore fully operable, but will hardly ever be smoked. John Loring and I were in his room discussing the cataloging of various stampings on pre WWII Dunhill mouthpieces when the discussion turned towards the peculiar year of However, four of these pipes were all date-coded to I remarked that I had only seen one Dunhill pipe that was a definitively-stamped , and this is that pipe.
PRO mouthpiece stampings also on this pipe, but faint were on the earliest Dunhill pipes. I have only seen this stamp on Duke St. This is the mate to my shell of the same shape a "notched shell", as John called them , and will be a fine and very important addition to the Dunhill collector. I found dating info on Pipephil, but there is so much there that it's confusing. Any Dunny experts here? What a fantastic score Joe.! Do you have a pic of the entire pipe you could post please, I would love to see it.
As far as dating the pipe, we do have members here that can help you with this. Congrats on your Dunhill pipe.!! That Dunhill dates to Excellent Dunhill pipe from a very interesting period! Can u edjumacate me as to what tells us it's from ? I have not received it yet. It's very oxidized and dull.
Have a look here: The patent number is different than the one for and the era pipe includes that as a potential patent number. Bo, I found this on pipedia and it seems to date the pipe earlier: As above but with annual change of suffix number 6 7 8 9 0 11 12 13 14