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
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.