A Few Words of Wisdom:
• Some estate pipes are WORTHLESS!
• Most are NOT collectible or worth antique value
• But some are worth buying for the right price to smoke with
• Buy a few to compare between them
(pipe "lots", or multiple pipe auctions, are great for this).
I buy my estate pipes from eBay, as many others do too. I use my knowledge and resources to pick and choose pipes that are worth their price.
Some pipes are simply junk and I pass them up for various reasons:
• Some are not estate pipes at all, but crappy new pipes made in China or eastern EU
• These crappy pipes often have titles like "Estate New Vintage Pipe"
• Some are made with inferior wood, such as ebony or cherrywood, and
• Inferior wood pipes are typically brand new too (see the first point)
• Many others are just simply over-priced
• Some are in awful shape, or worse cracked or broken
• Some are made by crappy makers - drugstore brands, etc.
I don't mind if it is dirty, has a few LIGHT teeth marks, or has lots of cake - this means it was well enjoyed, and I will clean it before I use it.
A few more points:
• Be VERY skeptical until you have some experience
• Look for Pipe Lots - you can often save money
• Shape, Condition, Brand, and Price are the four major considerations
You will need to consider the shape, brand, and condition, versus the price plus shipping to determine if it's worth buying. Many are not.
In order to determine this you will need to become familiar with brands and their estate market prices, as well as what styles are available and, of course, what your tastes in pipe shapes are.
More on that to come in Part 3! To Be Continued...Again.