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"Blue Chip": 1929 Civic Gold Mount Bent Apple - Adorable!

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Product Description

1929 Hallmarked Civic Fat Billiard w/Silver Military Mount

Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Civic Pipe Company has a rich, complex history and was established in the early part of the 20th century, presumably by the Imperial Tobacco Company (later transferred to Cadogen).  While some records show that Civic was formed by Imperial in 1921 after the acquisition of Salmon and Gluckstein's pipe manufacturing works (Salmon and Gluckstein being the company behind the Bewlay line of tobacconists, which itself was acquired by Imperial at a later date).  However, other records show that Civic was a stand-alone company prior to 1921, with shape charts and pattern books dating to at least 1918 being held currently by The National Pipe Archive in England. Indeed, I have seen Civics that pre-dated the supposed formation of the company in 1921, so my suspicion is that it was either a brand produced by Salmon and Gluckstein, or was a separate company altogether (more likely) that was acquired by Imperial.  Regardless, Civics from this timeframe were contemporaries to many well-established brands - BBB in particular - with rough production shifting from St. Claude to London sometime around the end of World War I (finishing and silver fitting was always completed in London prior to this.)  While the Civic pipe company had a number of lines, the "Civic" branded pipes were of high quality, emphasizing grain, free from fills or flaws, and fitted with silverwork (or in rare cases, gold).  Pipes could be had loose, or in cases, and in the early 1920s a silvermount Civic "first" sold for over 6 shillings, which was on par with (if not a little more expensive) a BBB "Own Make" silvermount.

This particular Civic is a 1929 which features a 9 carat rose gold military mount.  It is a beautiful bent apple/pot with a thick, short shank, original vulcanite stem, and factory crisp, deep stampings.  The finish is nearly flawless with no dents or dings, and only a small straight-line scratch on the back wall of the bowl.  The graining is a mixed-grain crosscut, with birdseye on the left and a sunburst/flamegrain on the right; the deep reddish walnut stain (quite popular at the time) really makes the grain pop.  The rim is rounded, and the bowl top is slightly canted toward the right; due to the overall condition of everything else on the pipe, I can make a reasonable assumption this was how it came from the factory (rather than a later repair to remove knock marks, for example); it was not entirely unheard of that pipes might get a bit more handwork to remove a flaw in the briar on one of a company's higher-priced pieces.  Seeing how the rest of the pipe is in near-mint condition, it is the most reasonable explanation; that said, I cannot 100% guarantee that my hypothosis is correct.  Regardless, it's an adorable little pipe in exemplary condition; the rose gold mount is a wonderful addition to this fine old pipe.

Markings read: "CIVIC", LONDON MADE, 11.  Silverwork is marked "CIVIC", SL (over) SL, and London hallmarks for 1929; the stem has an impressed (but weak) "CIVIC" stamp on the top where it meets the military mount cap.  


Length: 4.63"
Bowl width: 1.28"
Bowl Height: 1.42"
Chamber dimensions: .69" across, 1.19" deep
Weight: 24 grams



9.5 out of 10. Exemplary overall condition with only a few small issues.  Original stem with no toothmarks, deep crisp stampings (including the hallmarks and associated gold stampings), lovely grain, no dents or dings.  Issues are all minor:  The inner rim chamfer on the rounded rim shows some slight darkening, from smoking, there is a small straight line scratch on the back wall of the bowl, and there is a very small split to the gold mount at the end of the shank, near the bottom left of the military mount cap.  That's really it.  This adorable little pipe is ready to pack and light, having been lovingly restored.  


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