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1947 - Carlo Scotti begins the company. In the beginning ( 1947 - 1949, maybe 1950 ) the pipes were stamped Mi Reserva ( my reserve ). Later the Reg No was added. This Reg No has nothing to do with shape numbers, but is merely the Castello company trademark.
Vulcanite stems used until? This is an interesting question. From early Castello pipe advertising from the Wally Frank and later Hollco Rohr companies it says the pipe comes with Vulcanite stems. However the photo's appear to have pipes with Lucite stems. To our knowledge no one has yet seen a Vulcanite stemmed Castello with the faux diamond logo inset. To see these adds please visit http://pipepages.com/ , the superb information site by Chris Keene.
The Old Sea Rock and the Sea Rock co-existed. As far as I know, the OSR was US only, imported by Hollco Rohr, and sported the rhinestone. The Sea Rock goes back to the early days.
There was an Antiquari (not Old Antiquari) that was also a Hollco import, and was fume top and rusticated. I think it was only around for a couple of years.
Stem logo's. White bar, black dot, and faux diamond. The first stem logo was the white bar. However once Castello began it's working relationship with The Wally Frank Co a different stem logo was required, as The Wally Frank Co had a line of pipes named White Bar.
The faux diamond logo was created and used primarily for the US market for many years.
Castello still occasionally put rhinestones in the mouthpieces, just to maintain it's value as a trademark. It's not on many pieces. The black dot logo is used on Castello pipes with white Lucite stems.
Shape numbers. Shape numbers are all 2 digits. A 2 in front indicates a "fancy" interpretation, a 3 in front means that the carving is somehow unique. I don't know when the change was made, but currently, a π symbol is used instead of the 3xx. I've only seen this on Sea Rocks, but that doesn't mean anything.
Hollco Rohr begins distribution in the mid to late 1960's when they take over the Wally Frank Company.
Big Line - stamp used from 1968 - 1972. Replaced by Great Line, although still used on huge pipes.
Colored Lucite stems - used in the 1970's and on occasion today although the material is difficult to find.
Pre K grading. Late 1950's to mid 1960's the pipe carried stamps which indicted sizes. These were as follows; SA, SB, SC, and SS. SA being the smallest and SS the largest.
K grading begins. In 1969 Franco ( Kino ) Coppo joins the firm. In the late 1960's and early 1970's the company began the use of the K grading. The upper case large K, was used for non smooth pipes to designate size. For smooth pipes to indicate a combination of grain quality and size. These are also the years that Castello switched from machine made pipes that were hand finished to completely hand made pipes.
Switch from large K to small k in an oval. In 1982 the company changed from the use of the large upper case K grading to a small lower case k within an oval ( 2 k or greater ) or circle for single k grades.
1984 - 1985 Franco ( Kino ) Coppo takes over the running of the firm. The Kino "knickname" given to Franco by Carlo Scotti, and is a shortened version of his full birth name, Franchino.
The Natural Vergin were issued in 1967 first but only in 1985 they started to be produced in series only on the natural carved pipes.
1987 - the 40th anniversary Castello begins the number within a castle stamp. The number added to 1947 gives the year of pipe creation. ie 50 within a castle = 1947 + 50 = 1997.
1992 - Carlo Scotti passes away.
US stamp begin in 1997
KINO stamp begin in 2007 - 60th anniversary. Kino is Franco Coppo's nick name.
X - stamped on pipe. This stamp is added to pipes that are picked up directly at the factory by customers. Indicates a "friendship" pipe.
Ever wonder where your pipe came from? Which shop had it first? If so, read below;
N1 = Novelli ( Italy )
N = Noli ( Italy )
F = Fincato ( Italy )
LO = Lorenzi ( Italy ) ( this shop has closed and they used to add a * on every pipe )
B = Bonfiglioli ( Italy )
BO = Bollito ( Italy )
V = Agide ( Italy )
SO = Tabaccheria Scarafioffi ( Italy )
JO = Osstermann ( Austria )
R3 = Ruocco Raffaella of Savona ( Italy )
L - Lanzola ( Italy )
US = sold into the US via the US Castello agent
A = "Amicizia" or friendship. That is the stamping for the pipes given for free to friends. It is quite rare.
LOB = is part of a large collection that the factory just re-purchased and they stamped with LOB (Legendary old briar)
The information gathered on this page comes from a variety of sources on the internet and through emails and conversations. I'd like to Thank these gentlemen for their help; Marco Parascenzo, Franco Coppo ( via Marco ), Greg Pease, Mike Penix, Bob Hamlin, Chris Jones, Mike McCain, and Mike Davis ( Pipestems Place ) .
Current finishes, grades, & SRP in US dollars;
Castello US prices have not increased since 2012!!
Sea Rock Briar - carved finish - various stains
k 380.00, kk 395.00, kkk 405.00, kkkk 425.00, G 450.00, GG 550.00, GL 615.00 & GGG 615.00
Old Antiquari - sand blast - various stains
k 415.00, kk 415.00, kkk 450.00, kkkk 450.00, G 530.00, GG 675.00, & GL 675.00
Trademark - smooth - various stains
k 430.00, kk 430.00, kkk 480.00, kkkk 480.00, G 500.00, GG 660.00, & GL 660.00
"Castello" - smooth - various stains
kk 550.00, kkkk 590.00, G 600.00, GG 690.00, & GL 690.00
Perla Nera - smooth polished black
k 560.00 & kk 590.00
Collection - smooth - various stains
k 595.00, kk 655.00, kkk 750.00, kkkk 825.00
Occho di Pernice - smooth - graded birds eye
k 685.00, kk 750.00, kkk 800.00, kkkk 855.00
Aristocratica - smooth - fumed rim
Trade Mark - 595.00, "Castello" - 690.00, Collection - 865.00, Collection Great Line - 910.00
Castello Collection Fiammata - 1090.00, Collect Great Line Fiammata - 1545.00
Dune - carved
k - ???.00, kk - ???.00
Big Line - various grades
Sea Rock - ???.00 Old Antiquari - 900.00, "Castello" - ???.00, Collection, ???.00
Collection Great Line - smooth - free style
k 780.00, kk 850.00, kkk 1000.00, kkkk 1270.00
Collection Fiammata - smooth - graded straight grains
k 970.00, kk 1150.00, kkkk 1270.00, kkkk 1600.00
Collection Great Line Fiammata - smooth straight grain free style
k 1660.00, kk 2300.00, kkk 3100.00, kkkk 3780.00
Special Series - Cavallo, Riso, etc
Sea Rock 765.00, Old Antiquari 810.00, Trademark 950.00, Castello 1050.00,
Collection 13000.00, Occhio di pernice 1300.00, Fiammata 1455.00
Preziosa ( semi precious stone floc )
Perla Nera 950.00, Castello 980.00, Collection 1180.00, Collection GL 1390.00,
Madreperla 1545.00, Fiammata 1700.00
briar shank or stem application + 75.00
silver floc or band + 90.00
18 k gold band + 500.00 - now a very rare addition, due to gold cost
18k gold band with lacquer inlay + 500.00
silver pin / nail + 160.00
common stone inlay + 105.00
special pi trim + 55.00