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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: Dunhill Shell 1982 w/$2200 Flush Engine Turned Gold "AD" Band

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Price:
$629.95
SKU:
DUN1051
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

Mint 1982 Dunhill Shell CRAGGY OLD SCHOOL Blast w/$2200 "AD" Gold Band, Box and Sleeve

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

Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Shell finish, introduced by Dunhill in the 1920's, has been constantly evolving. Although Dunhill employs a variety of finishes, many smokers consider the Shell finish to be their favorite - myself included. Excellent blast patterns, striking highlights, superb smoking qualities... New or old, a Shell Briar always looks, feels, and smokes great.  There's something special about a well-aged, well-cared-for old Patent Shell. The edges have softened slightly, exposing a dark red layer of highlight under the deep chocolate-brown stain. They smoke great, they look great, and they feel great in the hand and in the mouth.  

Every once in a while, a pipe shows up here that hits all the right buttons.  I don't necessarily mean just for me, personally, I mean, everything is working perfectly together and even if it is simple in design, it just sings out to you. This is one such pipe.  You may think this pipe is all about the gold band, and while that is part of it, there's so much more.  But, we will start with the gold band.  Let's face it, most of us will NEVER buy a brand new Dunhill with a gold band. They are just too ludicrously expensive.  The most current Dunhill pricing guide lists a plain 6mm surface-mount 18K gold band as a $1600 option - and that's without the pipe.  The grand master of all gold work, the 18K gold spigot, will set you back a heart-stopping $15,260.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Without the pipe.  But when it comes to understated elegance and sophistication, the best choice is a flush-mount, 10mm, engine-turned band, such as this one.  The flush fitment is what really takes the time and effort, as a pipe has to be made, then properly trimmed down a precise amount to accomodate the gold band so there is no "bump" as your finger runs from shank to band to stem.  THIS IS PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT ON A FLAT-SHANK PIPE, such as this one!  In 18 karat, that option is $4100.  The 9 karat option, like this one, runs around $2200, and Dunhill does not scrimp when it comes to gold, as these are THICK bands that need to be carefully fitted.  The engine turning is stunning and in my opinion the only way to go.  If you happen to have a matching gold engine-turned Dunhill Unique, you're stylin'!  

But this pipe, like I said, is about so much more than the very expensive gold band.  For starters, let's look at the blast, which in my opinion does a damn fine job replicating the look and feel of a patent-era blast.  The texture is craggy and sharp, a crosscut that's just a bit mis-shapen, and not something you would normally see from Dunhill in the 1970s or 1980s.  The hand-cut ebonite stem is a work of art; elegant in taper and with superb fit and finish, it gleams like glass.  And the condition?  Well, I think if I stained the inside of the bowl black, you would think it was unsmoked.  As a bonus, this pipe comes with the original box and sleeve.  It's been lightly smoked, was a snap to clean up, and has spent most of its life stored away in its protective box.  Everything on this pipe is just top-notch.  It goes without saying that the gold work is superb, but the condition is nearly mint, the stampings are PERFECT, the original hand-cut ebonite stem is free from toothmarks and sports the "white spot", and that blast... it's like Dunhill went back in a time machine and plucked a pipe off the factory floor in 1933.

Markings read: 41031, DUNHILL SHELL, MADE IN ENGLAND 22.  Gold is deeply impressed with "AD" in a diamond, as well as hallmarks, date code, purity mark and .375, indicating 9 KT gold.  Measurements: 5 1/2" long, bowl is just under 1 3/8" wide and just about 1 3/4" tall. The pipe weighs 26 grams - light, considering the amount of gold here. About a modern Dunhill group 4 in capacity; the chamber is .85" across (at the rim; it tapers in as it goes down) and 1.47" deep.  It passes a cleaner perfectly and the drilling is spot-on perfect.

Condition:

9.85 out of 10. The ONLY issue is a touch of red peeking through the stain, and some very, very minor scratch marks on the smooth gold stamping panel that could be buffed out; frankly you DO NOT SEE THEM until I took closeup shots at 10x resolution.  It looks like it was smoked less than 20 times.  Crisp rim, just a few red highlights peeking out of the deep brownish black finish, superb nomenclature, no toothmarks on the original stem.  All cleaned up and ready to go.  Absolutely superb and I wish I could keep this for myself as I do happen to have the matching lighter.  Sigh.... maybe someday.  Today to buy this pipe from Dunhill would be a special order and would cost a bit over $2700, all in, no discounts, no refunds.  This is the great thing about estate Dunhill with gold; there is NO WAY this pipe would sell for half that, or even a third.  Here, priced at less than a quarter of current retail, it isn't cheap but it's still a bargain, especially considering the condition.  Complete with box, sleeve, and guarantee card as shown in one of the photos.  

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