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X - SOLD - "Blue Chip" Estate Pipe: RARE 1920s Sasieni Rustic "Royal Stuart" - Near Mint!

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Price:
$219.95
SKU:
SAS1038
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

Rare Late 1920s Family-Era Sasieni Rustic "Royal Stuart" Billiard in Near Mint Condition

 

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

 

Description, Markings, Measurements:

I have a special affection for old family-era Sasienis. Due to a serendipitous find at an estate sale when I was 23, my first pipes were a batch of unsmoked 1950's Sasienis and Savinellis, and I've loved both brands ever since, but especially Sasienis. So when I come across old Four Dots, I always get a little smile on my face. I guess it's all that "first true love" thing. But really, what's not to love? They're absolutely wonderful pipes in all respects, especially smoking quality. They have so much character and seem to have warmth about them that one also gets from early Dunhills, GBDs and Barlings; it's a quality you don't find very often in pipes today.

Here we have an interesting pipe:  A late 1920s "Royal Stuart", a seconds line introduced in the late 1920s  What makes this one so special?  In a word:  Rustication.  It was only for a very, very short period of time - probably less than a couple years - that the Royal Stuart was rusticated in the same manner as the Four Dots.  By the 1930s, Royal Stuarts had a shallower rustication similar to what you saw after the war; the fact is, the manner of pre-war rustication shown on four dots (and on this Royal Stuart) was a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that was probably only handled by a select few in the factory.  Economics forced Sasieni to re-think the finish on the seconds lines, and so the lighter, shallower rustication won out rather quickly.  In many ways, this particular pipe is rarer than most of the pre-war rustic four-dots and one-dots you'll come across, simply because there were so few made and so few to survive.  More expensive pipes were usually taken better care of, and thus show up in appreciable numbers today, whereas a "throwaway" seconds line like a "Royal Stuart" would have been smoked until sour then thrown away.  I can tell you that in all the years of collecting Sasienis, I've only seen a handful of Royal Stuarts that had this rustication on them, including this one and another I saw probably ten years ago.  Compare that to the number of pre-war rustic Four Dots you see, and you'll start to understand just how rare this particular Sasieni is.  This one is interesting in that its threaded tenon still features one of the original plumbing attachments, which easily unscrews should you prefer to take it out.

Markings read:  MADE IN ENGLAND (football shape), 19R, ROYAL STUART, SASIENI MADE (block letters; postwar this was changed to the same postwar Sasieni script seen on Four Dots).  Measurements: 5 1/2" long, bowl is just over 1 3/8" wide and 1 7/8" tall. The pipe weighs 39 grams. This one is about a Dunhill large group 4 in capacity, with a chamber that is .77" across and 1.59" deep.

 

Condition:

9.5 out of 10.  An absolutely delightful piece for the Sasieni collector, and one I would love to keep myself.  Positives include the original stem with intact (but weak) "RS" stamping, no toothmarks, solid readable and intact nomenclature, gorgeous carving and rustication with little handling wear (see closeups) and a great shape; I love the Billiard shape, and Sasieni did it well.  Issues are incredibly minor.  First off, the rim has some darkening and slight tar buildup in the rustication, but really overall the rim is in great shape as you can see in the pictures.  Outside that, the nomenclature - while all there, all readable, and in many areas deep - has lost its sharpness here and there.  FInally the smooth nomenclature panel has a smattering of small handling marks and slightly raised grain.  That's it.  All cleaned up and ready to pack and light.  If this doesn't sell, I will probably gladly add it to my personal collection, but I always offer the most interesting pieces out to my friends and customers first, so snag it while you can - I've been tempted all afternoon to pack this pipe and light it up myself.  The last one we had like this was priced right around $190 but this example is in so much better condition, and includes the original plumbing that came with the pipe.  You will not be disappointed.

 

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