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Early Sasieni Eight Dot Patent Smooth Shape 157

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Product Description

Early Family-Era Sasieni Eight Dot Patent Smooth Liverpool Shape 157


Description, Markings, Measurements:

The Sasieni Eight Dot is one of the most enigmatic pipe lines from a British pipe company in the 20th century.  It is believed that they were created specifically for the US market at the insistence of the importer, who wanted to prominently display the four-dot logo on both sides of the stem, and yet not a single US catalog throughout the 1930s mentions them.  There are no photographs or illustrations in any Sasieni literature that I have found from the time frame (although there is a rather famous photo of Clark Gable smoking an eight dot bent bulldog).  There was no mention of the eight dot on price sheets.  We don't even really know how long the eight dot existed for; it is assumed that it was introduced around 1933 and was discontinued around the start of the war (1939 or thereabouts).  I currently own catalogs from 1933, 1935, and 1937 and there isn't a single mention of the line.  Why is it, if this was created specifically for the US market at the request of the US importer, that they never bothered to mention them in their literature?  It's obvious from their rarity that they were not produced in large quantities, and they very well may have been sold at a premium. But why no mention anywhere?  They were significant enough to the company that the eight dot was re-issued in 1979 to celebrate the new ownership while Alfred Sasieni was still managing director; this coincided with the 80th anniversary of the company.  Yet to this day, no one really knows exactly when they were produced, how long they were produced for, or what the pricing of the eight dot versus a similar four dot was.

This particular Eight Dot is yet another enigma; it bears no shape name, but rather a shape number.  So, why?  That's a great question.  Shape names appeared shortly after the introduction of the Four Dot for the US market, somewhere in mid 1924 to early 1925.  Prior to that, all one dots (and a smattering of four dots) had shape numbers.  Still, though, I have seen other four dots with shape numbers that were clearly not from the early 1920s; is this due to a variation of a standard, named shape?  Is this because the proper name stamp had been misplaced, so it was quickly stamped with the internal shape number code?  Or were Eight Dots available from the very beginning of the switch from the one-dot logo?  It is impossible to tell for certain.  If I had to guess - and this is pure speculation - I would say the most plausable answer is that this was a special request from a customer to have the factory duplicate one of their older shapes (this is back in the days when large factories would honor special requests regularly) for something that was close to one of the standard shapes but not quite the same; the pipe was then stamped with a shape number to designate that it was a special piece (special in the sense of not exactly the same as a particular catalog shape).  Like I said, that's my best guess... it's impossible to know for certain why, exactly, an eight dot would have a shape number like this.  Still, though, it makes for fascinating conjecture, no?  This shape 157 most closely resembles the "Liverpool" shape (both what we know as a Liverpool and what Sasieni called the "Liverpool" in their catalogs) and most likely still dates to the mid 1930s at some point.  Overall the pipe is in very good condition outside the nomenclature being incredibly weak.  The bowl and finish are in remarkable shape; the rim itself is pretty close to pristine (it has not been topped and came to us in this condition).  There are few dings and hardly a scratch or handling mark to be found.  The original Eight Dot stem is in great shape, with only the slightest of tooth "waves" on the top of the button, and outside the buffing issue which has rounded the stem face and done quite a number on the nomenclature, this piece is in really nice shape overall.

Markings are weak overall (x's represent what is not readable):  Saxixxi (in the florid pre-war script), LONDxx xxDE, PAx xx. 15xxxx/20 (all on left side of the shank), MADx xx xxGLAND (straight line, on right side of the shank), 157 (also on the right side, near the bowl).  Please note that most stampings are weak; what I have recorded here was best observed with a magnifying glass.  


Length: 5.96"
Bowl width: 1.34"
Bowl Height: 1.75"
Chamber dimensions: .73" across, 1.55" deep
Weight: 35 grams


7.75 out of 10.  Issues:  It mainly all has to do with buffing.  The biggest buffing issue is the nomenclature.  What I have listed above is hard to read, and I recorded down after looking at the pipe in good light with a magnifying glass.  The stem has been buffed while removed from the pipe, so unfortunately the stem face - where it meets the shank - is very slightly rounded so the diameter of the stem is just a touch less than the diameter of the shank.  There is a very small, shallow ding on the outer rim edge at the 10 o'clock position, along with a couple pinprick dings on the bowl (these are tiny).  Finally there is a very slight weak area on the inner rim edge from some careless reaming; this is at the 1 o'clock position and is very minor (please note that the chamber itself is NOT out of round, just a slight "woozy" in the circle at the 1 o'clock position). That's really about it; the finish is, by and large, in beautiful shape.  All cleaned up and ready to pack and light.

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