Chicago Antiques Guide

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Royal Danish Freehand Pipe

Posted Sunday, September 04 by CAG

Bill found this in an attic with 50-60 other pipes that had never been smoked. He suspects they are NOS (New Old Stock) from a store that went out of business in the early 60's.
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There is good news on several fronts for Bill. First, pipes that have never been smoked are preferred by collectors. I see pipes in antique shops languishing on the shelves, usually because there is nothing special about them and they have been smoked. Common pipes like Medico and Yello-Bole (both cheap brands) and even Kaywoodie (better quality, but common) are hard to sell when smoked. Royal Danish is a good quality pipe brand, and this one is unsmoked.

But what really helps this pipe is the fact that it is "freehand" shaped. This means that the pipe's maker did not try to shape the briar into one of the many traditional shapes (Bent, Bulldog, Churchwarden, etc.), but allowed the shape and grain of the briar to dictate the shape of the bowl. A pipe such as this one would probably sell in the $50-$60 range. Freehand pipes by better makers can go for hundreds of dollars.
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