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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: Charatan's Make 1970's Unsmoked Carved Figural - The Rarest Charatan You've Never Seen

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  • THESE ARE NOT FOR SALE and are for illustration purposes only, to show examples of other Charatan figurals.  Thanks to Bobby Eichorn for allowing me to use his photographs and for his assistance in filling in the holes of the story.
  • THESE ARE NOT FOR SALE and are for illustration purposes only, to show examples of other Charatan figurals.  Thanks to Bobby Eichorn for allowing me to use his photographs and for his assistance in filling in the holes of the story.
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Product Description

1970s Charatan's Make Hand-Carved Figural - The "Thrush", Number 154


Description, Markings, Measurements:

Most of you have owned a Charatan or two in your day; Specials, Perfections, Belvederes and even Distinctions are relatively easy to come by and we've all had a few at one time or another.  Some of you have owned Selecteds and Supremes.  A select few of you have had your hands on a Coronation, or an Achievement (I know, because I've sold you some.)  But here is probably the rarest Charatan you've never heard of, and it's a fascinating story.  

Before I go on, I want to give credit where credit is due.  While I am familiar with the overall picture of these interesting and unique creations, Mr. Bobby Eichorn, one of this hobby's preeminent Charatan collectors, was INVALUABLE at telling the full story behind these pipes.  Without his help, I would not have been able to share the history and knowledge of these pipes with you, the pipe collecting community, and for that I must say, thank you, Bobby.  You are a true gentleman, and I look forward to meeting you in person.

This particular pipe is part of a series of hand-carved figurals that was created in the 1970s, as a celebration of British history and literature.  Most all of the pipes were carved heads; this stand-alone Thrush is the only example I've seen of a whole animal figure, although I am sure there was more.  Many of the carved heads were based on characters such as Oliver Twist, Lady Macbeth, and others, and each one was unique, with no duplicates.  The series of pipes was the brainchild of none other than Herman Lane, who, together with the managing directors of the time (Colonel Ken Barnes of course, as well as D.M. Marshall) wanted to show the world that besides making the greatest straightgrains in the world, they could also pull off fantastic carved heads, much like the meerschaums that were becoming so popular in the day.  The pipes were sold in a special presentation case, and included hand-drawn "build" sheets done by the carver, a Mr. M. Elliot, showing side and front views of the carved pipes, along with liner notes about the character, the reference to whatever piece of literature it related to, and other information.  At the most, a few hundred examples were created over the course of about six years, and Elliot was the only carver who worked on these pieces.  Known in London for his figural carvings, he was selected specifically by Charatan to produce this series.  He worked alone, toiling over every last detail, before the bowls would be fitted with hand-cut Charatan stems (this one has a double comfort, although I'm sure other stems were fitted over the course of their creation.)  Once the series was over, Elliot left Charatan and continued to carve figurals for local shops.  Today, he is a relative unknown carver, as most people who know anything of these pipes assume that Jamieson was responsible for them.  

These pipes were made for both the British and the American markets, and originally sold for the princely sum of $750.  Besides the 'build sheets', each pipe came with a certificate of authenticity signed by both the carver and the current managing director of the time.  Rare even by Charatan standards, less than ten have changed hands over the last 15 years.  That is, by the numbers, rarer than even the original Dunhill Magnums.  Although this pipe lacks all original extras (such as box, sleeve, and paperwork), it is a rarity that far exceeds even finding an unsmoked Coronation.  PLEASE NOTE there are many pictures, including the last two which are shots of Mr. Eichorn's extensive collection and thus are only for display purposes.  When looking at the other photos, though, please note the level of detail carved into the feathers, the detail to the face, the exquisite replication of tree bark.  This really a phenomenal pipe in all respects, and it's no wonder that collectors hang on to these pipes once they get them.

Markings read: CHARATAN’S MAKE, LONDON ENGLAND, 0154, (there is no Lane "L" so this was likely a British market pipe). The stem just has a ghost of the CP logo as it was HEAVILY oxidized when received, but the registration number is reasonably intact which proves it is an original stem.  Measurements: 7 5/8" long, bowl is 1 1/2" wide and 2 5/8" tall. The pipe weighs 81 grams. This one is about a Dunhill group 6 in capacity, with a chamber that measures .74" across and 1.89" deep.



9.75 out of 10. Unsmoked, and thus, no toothmarks, no wear to the bowl or the finish.  No dust in the carve.  No buffing to smooth sharp edges, and of course an original stem.  The only detraction is the basic lack of the "CP" stamp, but this is so commonplace amongst Charatans that it's almost not even worth mentioning.  Rare beyond belief, and presented here in all its magnificent glory.  Enjoy.



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