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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: EARLY Loewe "Leman" Bulldog - Gorgeous!

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Product Description

Superb Pre 1920s Loewe L & Co "Leman" Taper Bulldog in Near-Mint Condition





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 gorgeous, incredibly clean early Loewe; the shape is a "Leman", which is a classic bulldog; the shape was a staple for Loewe and one of the more popular offered by them in the early part of the 20th Century.  The pipe likely dates to sometime before the 1920s, although the 1926 catalog is showing that pipes could be fitted with either the older style tall oval button with round airway, or the more modern button with wide slot.  In addition, even though silver hallmarked bands were quite popular, both the 1910 and 1926 catalog show that any of Loewe's pipes could be had with or without silver.  As this piece has no silver band, it is impossible to know for certain when it was made, but it is completely safe to assume that it dates to before the 1930s and most likely dates to before the 1920s.  The nomenclature is simple, and is in line with what one saw prior to the 1950s, with "L & Co" in an oval, "Loewe LONDON. W." and the shape name, "LEMAN.".  There is, of course, no L&Co on the original stem, as this did not appear on the pipes shown in any catalog prior to the war and I have to assume this was a 1950's addition.  The graining is absolutely fantastic, a lovely mixed flamegrain with some blend into birdseye; the rich walnut stain (common for the times in London) is dark but doesn't hide the grain.  Overall, the pipe is in near-mint condition, and came to us this way with very little needed in the way of restoration.  There are no toothmarks.  There are no handling marks.  There are no dents or dings.  There is no darkening to the rim.  There is still a tiny bit of bare wood in the bottom of the bowl, and you can still make out some of the lathe tooling marks on the walls of the chamber.  In fact, the only conditional issues would be that the nomenclature - still plenty deep - has lost its "factory crisp" edges in a couple spots, and that there is just the slightest touch of rounding around the chamber opening.  That's really it; considering this pipe is likely around 100 years old, it's in amazing condition.  Even without Loewe's lovely silverwork, it can easily be a focal point in an early Loewe collection, and I highly doubt you'll find another this old in as good a condition as this one is.  


Markings read: L&CO (in an oval), LOEWE (over) LONDON. W., LEMAN. (yes that is a period after the shape name).  Measurements: 4 3/4" long, bowl is just under 1 1/2" wide and just over 1 5/8" tall. The pipe weighs 28 grams. About a modern Dunhill group 3 in capacity, with a chamber that's .74" across and 1.31" deep.


9.75 out of 10. Superb, nearly pristine condition with only a few very small conditional issues.  As indicated above, the only issues are that the nomenclature - still plenty deep - has lost its "factory crisp" edges in a couple spots, and that there is just the slightest touch of rounding around the chamber opening.  That's really it; it doesn't even look like it was smoked more than a dozen times, and probably spent most of its life in a bureau drawer.  Overall this is an early rare Loewe in exceptional overall condition, and while it isn't cheap, you will not find a cleaner example from this long ago.  

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1920s  Bulldog  Flamegrain  Loewe  Pre-War  Rare  Smooth  

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