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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: Early Loewe Cased "Captain Warren" Meerschaum

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Product Description

Rarely Seen Loewe L & Co Cased "Captain Warren" Meerschaum




Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Loewe Pipe Company dates back to 1856 at 62 Haymarket St and is truly one of the benchmarks of pre-war British pipe making.  Kind of a "cult classic" amongst those-in-the-know, early Loewes are sought after by a small but dedicated group of collectors who recognize these pipes for just how great they were.  Before Dunhill even thought of getting into the pipe business, when a high-grade, handmade pipe was considered in London, Loewe was on the short list of candidates to choose from.  Their silverwork is renowned as excellent - certainly on par with Barling at the time - and their pipes were superb.  They exemplified the old English pipe shoppe where production was in the back room and sales were in the front.  Of course Loewe production grew and soon Loewes were available in many high-end tobacconists around the world.  By the 1970s, however, the brand had languished and unfortunately production was absorbed into the Cadogan factory, along with GBD, BBB, and Comoy (Oppenheimer had actually owned Loewe since the mid 1920s; in the late 1920s, Oppenheimer was re-organized as Cadogen Investments), who ultimately pillaged away any value the brand name still possessed.  

Here we have a beautiful early Loewe; the shape was popular around the turn of the last century and is referred to by most catalogs (not just Loewe) as a "Captain Warren".  What makes this one interesting is that most Captain Warren shapes were a meerschaum chamber pressed or screwed into a briar bowl; this one is fitted meerschaum to meerschaum.  The pipe, being without silverwork or stampings, cannot be accurately dated, but I would guess it is probably late 1800s or very early 1900s.  The pipe features a handcut amber stem with the old-style oval button and a single round airway hole.  The shape is really very elegant, more than the briar versions I've seen, with an acorn shaped bowl and bulldog style meer chamber.  The shank and stem are oval with an extreme curve, and the pipe is fitted in a high-quality leather case which bears the Loewe label on the inside (the only identifying marks).  Overall, the pipe is in fair condition, with some damage.  The amber stem does have some tooth marks on the bottom and a very small buffed-over tooth wave on the top, but no cracks or breakage.  The biggest issue is that the meerschaum chamber does have a crack on the back right side; this mainly runs down the outside of the chamber bowl and is barely noticeable on the inside of the chamber (just a hairline extending down about a quarter inch).  In addition, the rim has quite a bit of darkening and some rounding/chatter around the chamber opening.  The pipe does have these conditional issues but is still solid and smokeable; the price has been adjusted to account for the conditional issues as if this were mint and perfect it easily would list out around $600 or more.  


Markings are only in the case and read: LOEWE & Co, LONDON, 58 HAYMARKET.  Measurements: 5 3/4" long, bowl is just over 1 1/2" wide and just under 2 1/2" tall. The pipe weighs 55 grams. About a modern Dunhill group 5 in capacity, with a chamber that's .80" across and 1.43" deep.


7 out of 10.  As indicated above, there are some conditional issues which do not affect your ability to smoke the pipe, and I will highlight them all. The original stem has one large, shallow toothmark on the bottom along with a couple small toothmarks next to that.  There is a very small, slight tooth 'wave' on the top of the stem as well, all of which have been documented with photos.  There are some handling marks and various light, slight scratches on the meerschaum bowl.  There is some moderate darkening and moderate-to-heavy rounding around the chamber opening in some areas, but the main issue is the crack running down the outside of the meerschaum chamber, which you can see clearly in the photographs.  It is minimal - hairline, really - on the inside of the chamber.  That's really it with the pipe itself; I'll guarantee that the fracture will not spread over the next six months of smoking and if they do, you can send it back for a full store credit of the purchase price.  The case it in good overall shape, with quite a bit of darkening to the chamois lining inside, and numerous light scuffs and scrapes to the outside, mainly along the edging.  The clasp closes solidly, and the hinges are intact, but it does look like the hinge pins were replaced at some point.  Overall this is an early rare Loewe in solid overall condition, and due to conditional issues is priced much less than it otherwise would be.  

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