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Dunhill 1963 Tanshell Shape 126 Billiard

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Product Description

1963 Dunhill Tanshell 126 Billiard - Lovely Patina


Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Tanshell finish was introduced by Dunhill in the early 1950s; originally called the "Root Shell", within the first year of introduction it was re-named the Tanshell and has been so ever since.  Tanshells - and their copycats, such as the Oldchurch from Ashton - have always been a favorite of mine; on a lightly smoked pipe, the near virgin finish shows the detail of the underlying grain, while on well-smoked examples the pipe will darken into deep reddish tones.

This Dunhill Tanshell is a shape 126 billiard that dates from 1963.  The 126 is kind of a smaller version of the 127, which in turn was a smaller version of the LB; it is a classic fat billiard with a shank just a touch thicker than normal. At first glance in the photos looks very much like an LB, just 3/4 size.  The blast is typical 1960s/70s Dunhill:  Shallow but detailed, this one is a crosscut showing full birdseye on both sides with some growth rings in between.  The stem is original and free from toothmarks (although there is a very small shallow 'wave' that you only see when the light reflection bends around it), while the nomenclature is weak but readable.  The pipe has been a bit overbuffed, though, which is the largest issue with the pipe.  Still, though, this lovely 53 year old pipe is ready to find a new home; like all my estates it has been lovingly restored and is ready to pack and light.

Markings are consistently weak but still completely readable: 126 F/T, DUNHILL TANSHELL, MADE IN ENGLAND3, 3 (in a circle), T.  


Length: 5.28"
Bowl width: 1.37"
Bowl Height: 1.66"
Chamber dimensions: .79" across, 1.48" deep
Weight: 33 grams


7.5 out of 10.  Yeah it isn't perfect, but it isn't $300 either.  Issues mainly have to do with the buffing wheel; whomever owned this pipe before the current owner certainly liked to keep his pipes shiny.  So, the blast is buffed down overall, which gives the pipe a lovely patina but let's be honest, the high points are gone.  The nomenclature is weak overall, but it is consistent and all nomenclature can be read without the aid of magnification.  The stem face - where it meets the shank - has been buffed and is rounded, so that the diameter of the stem where it meets the shank is slightly smaller than the shank itself.  The rim shows some very slight rounding on the inner rim edge and some moderate darkening overall in the blast (which is one of the few areas of the pipe that actually isn't overbuffed).  The stem is original and free from any tooth marks or deep indentations, but there is just the smallest tiny 'wave' on the top which you only notice if the light hits it just so.  Otherwise this nifty 53-year-old Dunnie is fully restored and ready to pack and light.


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