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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: 1920s Cased Matched Set of City Deluxe Billiards

  • The set of pipes sitting in the case.
  • Pipe number one, the top pipe shown in the case, left side.
  • Pipe number one, the top pipe shown in the case, right side.
  • Pipe number one, the top pipe shown in the case, rim and nomenclature.
  • Pipe number one, the top pipe shown in the case, closeup of grain.
  • Pipe number two, the bottom pipe shown in the case, left side.
  • Pipe number two, the bottom pipe shown in the case, right side.
  • Pipe number two, the bottom pipe shown in the case, rim and nomenclature.
  • Pipe number two, the bottom pipe shown in the case, closeup of grain.
  • One of the pipes in hand to show scale; both pieces are identical in measurements.
  • Closeups of the stems; the top pictures show the mild toothmarks on pipe number one.  Pipe number two has no toothmarks.
  • Shots of the case, both inside and out, showing the exceptional overall condition of the interior and leather.
Price:
$349.95
SKU:
GBD1029
Brand:
Condition:
Refurbished
Shipping:
Calculated at checkout
Minimum Purchase:
1 unit(s)
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)
Current Stock:
SOLD OUT

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Product Description

Gorgeous Rarely Seen 1920s City Deluxe Cased Set of Matching Billiards

(PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MULTIPLE PICTURES - TWELVE TO BE EXACT - WITH MULTIPLE SHOTS; PLEASE SCROLL TO SEE THEM ALL!)

Description, Markings, Measurements:

Ganneval, Bondier, and Donninger, three artisans who worked with meerschaum, formed GBD in 1851 in Paris.  The company soon decided to try their hand at briar pipe production, and the rest is history, finding huge success.  By the late 1800s, GBD had over 350 employees making pipes in their Paris facility.  In 1903, GBD set up shop in London producing pipes for the English market, and eventually the Paris pipe operations were moved to St. Claude around 1952, where they still employed hundreds of workers.  Even though the original founders were gone by 1903 when Oppenheimer (later re-incorporated as Cadogen) purchased GBD, I highly doubt even the new owners could have foreseen the powerhouse that GBD was to become in the pipe world.  With Oppenheimer at the helm, GBD flourished, producing a vast number of 'firsts' such as the XTRA and SPECIALE, followed by the London Made, The Standard, and then in 1931 the top-graded GBD:  The New Era.  The New Era remained the top 'standard production' finish until the arrival of the Virgin.  During this period of growth was the introduction of a number of "sub" brands, some of them considered "seconds" lines (such as Dr. Plumb, Digby and others) but also some stand-alone brands, which, at least for the first 20 years or so, weren't "seconds" nearly as much as they were separate stand-alone brands, often with their own shape charts, separate marketing and special stamping that didn't correspond to anything GBD produced at the time.  These included City De Luxe, as well as Irwin's, and examples of these two brands from the 1920s through the start of World War Two could very easily be considered fully on their own merits as a brand name, with quite a following.

Of the two, the City De Luxe line were considered the higher quality brand, with Irwin's a step down from there.  This particular example is a beautiful cased set of matching "City Deluxe" Billiards that date to the 1920s.  The fact alone that City Deluxe offered cased companion sets shows how this brand was, at the time, not a seconds line, but rather a sub-brand of the GBD family.  There are no fills, and minimal sandspots.  The pipes are nearly identical in all measurements, both with mixed grain in a rich mahogany finish quite popular in London at the time.  The pipes themselves are exceptionally well-kept, with only one showing any toothmarks, and both with sharp clean rims showing only minor darkening and rounding.  Stampings are good, if not great, showing some slight buffing over the years which has softened the stampings a bit.  One pipe shows a bit more use than the other, but generally speaking both of these pipes are in very good to near-excellent condition, complete with their original (and removable) inner tubes still intact.  The case is in excellent condition, lined with a soft tan felt (or is it velveteen?) and impressed with the City deLuxe logo in mossy green.  The outside of the case is near-new with barely any wear at all.  All hinges and clasps are tight and there is only modest scuffing on the outside, mainly along the edges.  One edge has just a slight little nick out of it.  Most all of the gold edge gilding is still intact as well; the edge of the case is impressed with "LONDON MADE" in gold as well.

Markings on both pipes read: City Deluxe (over) LONDON MADE.  There are no other stampings - no shape number or group number - which perhaps is because early City Deluxe pipes did not have shape numbers stamped on them, as many brands did not introduce shape numbers on the pipes until the 1930s.  Original hand-cut stems have the inlaid silver star logo. Measurements of both pipes are nearly identical: 5 1/4" long, bowls are just over 1 1/4" wide and 1 3/4" tall. One pipe weighs 28 grams, the other, 29 grams.  One pipe has a chamber that measures .77" across and 1.57" deep; the other is .76" across and 1.51" deep.  Both pipes are about a Dunhill group 4 in capacity.

Condition:

9 out of 10.  A very nice set from a rarely seen company, as most City Deluxe from this time-frame were sold in London and the brand didn't have wide distribution in the USA until much later, after it was established more as a GBD seconds line.  Issues:  Pipe number one (the top pipe in the case) has a few small, shallow pinprick dings on the rim proper as well as some very slight darkening and rounding to the inner rim edge.  Stampings are fully readable, but have been buffed a bit over time so they are no longer "factory crisp".  The original stem has a single small shallow toothmark on the bottom of the stem and a single small toothmark on the top as well.  Finally there are some very small, slight handling marks here and there, but nothing serious.  Pipe number two (the bottom pipe in the case) has a few small, shallow pinprick dings on the outer rim edge as well as a very small 'nick' to the inner rim edge at the one o'clock position.  Stampings are fully readable, but have been buffed a bit over time so they are no longer "factory crisp", but they are deeper than on the first pipe.  The original stem has no toothmarks at all and is in fantastic condition.  Finally there are some very small, slight handling marks here and there, but nothing serious.    The case is in excellent to exceptional condition, as described above.  That's really about it.  This pipe set has been cleaned up and is ready to pack and light, as are all my pipes.  This rarely seen set is sure to be a fantastic highlight to your GBD collection, or a unique addition to your collection of early cased British pipes.  Rarely seen and likely not to last long.

 

 

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