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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: Parker Super Bruyere Patent - RAREST 1942 "19" Date Code!!

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Price:
$349.95
SKU:
PKR1019
Brand:
Condition:
Refurbished
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Minimum Purchase:
1 unit(s)
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)
Current Stock:
SOLD OUT

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Product Description

RARE 1942 Patent Parker Shape 73 Super Bruyere Bulldog - "19" Date Code, Only A Handful Ever Seen

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

 

Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Parker Pipe Company was formed by Dunhill in 1922 as a way to market and sell pieces that were not quite up to Dunhill quality levels.  Often considered Dunhill "seconds", the fact of the matter is that much of the additional work that went into Dunhills did not go into Parkers.  Certainly there might be pieces that did not qualify as Dunhills after the oil curing process or the sandblasting or what-not, but for the most part, Parkers were made from Dunhill wood that didn't qualify to be a Dunhill after the initial turning of the bowl.  Still, there is an uncanny similarity in the look and feel between a Parker and a Dunhill, and this is especially true of the pre-1950s patent pieces.

This particular Parker is probably one of the rarest Parker patents you'll ever come across; it's a "19" date code, which is for 1942.  Why is that significant?  Well, during the war, pipe manufacturers received an allotment of briar, as everything was rationed.  Dunhill received an allotment, as did Hardcastle.  Parker - being a subsidiary of Dunhill and not a manufacturer in its own right at that time - did NOT receive any allotment of briar during the war.  Parker, of course, had a stock of briar, like any factory would, but by the end of 1941, they had run out of briar, and had switched over to making the "Wunup" pipe - a clay bowl joined to a bakelite base and stem.  Parkers, like Dunhills, were date coded for the year of manufacture, and even the Dunhill log books did not indicate the existence of a date stamp for 1942 (which would have been a '19' as the 1941 date stamp was '18' and the 1945 date stamp was '20').  However, a few '19' date code Parkers have popped up from time to time; in speaking with Michael Reschke - probably the most knowledgeable Parker historian and collector in the USA, if not the world - he told me he had personally seen two or three over the decades and had owned one of them.  The late John Loring - in his invaluable reference guide "The Dunhill Briar Pipe" - references that "a Parker pipe with a 19 date code has been reliably reported."  This is most likely in reference to Reschke's pipe.  Regardless, I'm sure you get the point:  The 19 date code on a Parker is kind of the "Holy Grail" of Parker date codes - kind of like the mythical 1951 date code for Dunhills (which, by the way, DOES exist, although for whatever reason is exceedingly rare, to the point I have only ever seen one in person, but it is verifiable as a true 1951 date coded Dunhill.)

So how is it - if Parker did not receive a briar allotment, and ran out of briar sometime in 1941 - that there are 1942 Parkers?  Well, let us not forget how Parker got into this pickle in the first place.  Parker was a subsidiary of Dunhill at the time, not a stand-alone pipe manufacturer.  This means that Parker took in Dunhill "failings" - a fancy word for bowls that didn't quite meet the criteria to be a Dunhill, for whatever reason.  As Dunhill continued to produce pipes throughout the war - albeit at a much smaller, slower rate - they would occasionally have pipes that could not be Dunhills.  These were passed over to Parker, and when bowls of a sufficient quantity were collected, a run would be produced, stems would be hand cut and fitted, and the pipes would be released for sale.  MOST LIKELY, a "19" date code doesn't just indicate 1942 production; it likely indicates, first off, that this is truly a Dunhill "second", a pipe that was going to be a Dunhill but didn't make the grade.  Secondly, because it would make absolutely no sense to just take one bowl here and there and fit a hand-cut stem to it and sell it on to a retailer (especially considering the entire Parker production had switched over to the "Wunup" pipe), more than likely the '19' date code indicates any pipe made between 1942 and 1944, and also most likely they were done in a few batches, as sufficient quantity of bowls from Dunhill's "failings" accumulated to the point where it would be worth doing a batch.

So now we come to this pipe.  The pipe itself came to me in a collection of pipes accumulated between the early 1920s and the mid 1940s, with many pipes purchased in London.  I highly doubt the original owner of this pipe knew of the significance of this Parker, but he did know quality pipes as the collection has a number of rare, unique pieces (including, for example, many of the prized straightgrain early GBDs that have been offered, as well as pieces yet to be listed such as straightgrain Loewes and Orliks as well as other rare specimens).  The shape is a classic Bulldog, shape 73, in the "Super Bruyere" finish (Parker's version of the Dunhill Bruyere.)  The pipe is in amazing condition, regardless of its age and provenance; the previous owner took very good care of his pipes, and it shows.  This example is in beautiful, near-mint condition:  No dents, no dings, no handling marks, only the slightest of wear to the nomenclature, only one small, shallow toothmark.  Graining is a mixed-grain crosscut; the finish is the classic burgundy-over-black "Bruyere" finish.  It's immaculate.  The fact that it's also one of the rarest date-coded Parkers in existence is just icing on the cake - or perhaps it's the other way around?  Even a ragged-out '19' date code Parker would be a find; that this one is nearly pristine makes it that much more of a treasure.

Stampings read: 73, PARKER (over) SUPER (in a diamond, over) BRUYERE, MADE IN LONDON (over) ENGLAND 19, PAT. NO. 116989/17, T.  The stem is stamped "HAND CUT", and has the "P" logo deep and white.  As you can see in the photos, there are some areas of weakness in the stamping around the "SUPER" and the areas of the letters in PARKER and BRUYERE that are directly around that diamond, but due to the overall condition of the stamping and the fact that *MOST* of the stamping is crisp, I personally believe that the weaker areas have to do with stamping at the factory rather than the buffing wheel (this mainly due to the fact that you have, say, a very sharp and deep shape number literally a millimeter away from a shallow weaker stamp; buffing wheels just aren't that precise and would have softened everything).  The stem is original, with the P logo fully intact.  Measurements: 5 3/8" long, bowl is just over 1 1/2" wide and 1 3/4" tall. The pipe weighs 34 grams.  About a Dunhill group 4 in capacity.

 

Condition:

9.5 out of 10.  Exceptional overall condition, with minimal issues.  Nomenclature as described above, with the weakness in some letters believed to be weak impressions at the factory.  A bit of soft rounding all around the inner rim edge, but mainly between the 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock position.  A very very small, shallow buffed toothmark on the bottom of the stem.  An exceptional pipe, and a once-in-a-decade find.  All cleaned up and ready to pack and light.

 

 

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