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Letís carry on from last week and see if we can find some other brands of pipes that may be found at good prices.  Last week, I suggested Il Ceppo as an option for those interested in Italian briar.

Over the years the one thing that has really amazed me is how few pipe smokers venture into the briars from France.  I have my suspicions why this might be, but Iíll leave that till later.  For now letís look at some of the French brands. 

Chacom and Butz Choquin come to mind immediately.  The range is shapes and sizes are vast.  Classics, to variations on classics, to full blown free form shapes.  Finishes from natural, a variety of reds and browns, through to multi colors, and psychedelics. 

Some of the lesser known and seen lines are also worthy of your interest. GOC a long gone brand offered some very fine straight grains in classic shapes.  Morel, carved by either Pierre Sr or Jr offer excellent grain in some fantastic freehand shapes.  However IMHO the real sleeper is Jean Lacroix.  Most often classic shapes , but on occasion an interesting free form comes up.  The Lacroix brand has a long history in St. Claude.

Finally what about GBD?  Not the ones made in London, but the very early ones.  For some reason very few collectors give them much thought.  Before moving to England the pipes were made in France.  Some of these older examples are of superior quality and more than worthy of your interest. 

For more possible other brands I strongly suggest a visit to Pipedia and do a little research into the pipes of France.

 So why have French pipes not grabbed much collector interest?   I believe this is due to the wide range of lines that the companies offer.  Many offer a full range of low end, mid range and high graded pipes, but for the North American market we tend to see the lesser quality ( read cheaper priced ) lines.  Thus we have been fooled into thinking that these companies only offer lower end items.  The higher end series of pipes offer grains that rival the Great Danes and Fiammataís coming from Italy. 

 Donít let some great opportunities for a great pipe slip by purely because you see the country of origin being France.

 Regards

Mike