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No 355 April 16 - 29, 2015

Stanwell - the Innovators

Why are we so keen on this brand?

Well, we have been associated with Stanwell for many years.
On one trip to Denmark, we helped them with the English descriptions for new models and finishes they were about to launch.
On another occasion we entertained the late Poul Stanwell and his wife when they visited South Africa.

But the real bonding comes with the pipes produced under this brand.

Stanwell pioneered the use of a metal template to turn four pipes at a time, making these Danish “freeform” shapes more affordable to a larger pool of pipesmokers.

Stanwell was the first to use acrylic mouthpieces, fitted with Delrin pegs.
These mouthpieces do not oxidise and turn bitter, and the pegs do not easily snap under pressure.
In addition they can accommodate a 6mm or 9mm filter.

Their most recent innovation is the use of glass beads for “sandblasting”. These are less aggressive towards the briar and used under a lower pressure; more time consuming, but creating a much more defined and detailed finish.

Stanwell offers the most innovative shapes, yet they are elegant, practical, comfortable.
They have their own distinctive style as we pictured in a previous article.
Just look at a “bent billiard”:

Classic English from Stanwell Stanwell modified English Stanwell Classic Danish

Shape 246
Classic English from Stanwell
(Can’t you just see the Pinstripe/Bowler?)

Shape 85 (Discontinued)
Stanwell modified English
(Slightly more relaxed)
Shape 185
Stanwell Classic Danish
(Expansive / Avante Garde)

With the move of the factory to Italy, the logistics are more difficult, and it isn’t always possible to be sent our full order at any given time.
As a result, we often have limited availability in any given shape or finish, but we are able to offer a wide range. And they are very good about back-ordering, and advising us when the pipes become available.
In addition they regularly send us “on hand” lists.
Although production is well-settled in Italy, all orders are shipped from Denmark, no doubt under the careful attention of the quality control department.

Most of our October 2014 order was ready in February so we looked at the current list of “stock on hand”. Were there any pipes we might like to add to our order?
To our delight the Hans Christian Andersen pipes were available again, in the shapes our customers prefer, and with 9mm filter option. We were able to add these to our order – now arrived.
And here is another Stanwell “innovation”:  on occasion you may wish your churchwarden had a shorter stem. Anticipating this, Stanwell provides two mouthpieces for each HCA pipe, 22cm and 8cm – you can choose.

We also received the new “Black & White” pipe – two new shapes, new finishes with white rings – in matt black or black sandblast; and with a choice of white 7cm standard mouthpiece, or black 12cm “three-quarter churchwarden” mouthpiece.

As well as traditional colours, bold new finishes are a feature of their production, and we have chosen one shape (185) in six different finishes to illustrate this:

Smooth, light black, satin finish highlighting the grain
Army Mount
– a new model, smooth, light black, satin finish highlighting the grain, a shadow effect, and enhanced with a polished aluminium collar; R1620.00

Autumn-brown satin finish

Silke Brun - Autumn-brown satin finish; R1250.00

De Luxe - Autumn-brown polished finish; R1250.00
Vario - A pleasing mix of polished and contrasting sandblast finishes; R1195.00
De Luxe - Glowing black sandblast finish; R1150.00

Royal Danish – Rich Mahogany satin finish; R1150.00

For the period 23 April to 6 May, we offer shape #185 in each of the 6 finishes

Stanwell pipes shape number 185 in 6 finishes
Less 25%
Only from 23 April to 6 May - only while stocks last.

Because of the limited numbers, the pipes are mostly in the Johannesburg stock room. Orders will all be despatched to the Wesley’s of your choice (save shipping charges too) or directly to you if you live too far from your nearest Wesley’s.

Stocks are limited, so hesitation could see you miss out.
Wesley’s is only an email away.

Colin Wesley
No.355 April 16 - 29, 2015

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No 356 April 30 – May 13, 2015

“I’m just looking for a few cigars”

“I’m not really a smoker but sometimes I like to enjoy a cigar with a few friends - over a coffee or something more substantial, like a Single Malt.”

I’ve heard this often, and it’s always a pleasure to discuss the reply.
So what do I say in the 5-10 minutes I may have to reply, and put my customer at ease?
These are the main points I cover:

It’s the soil that influences the flavour of the tobacco leaf, and each tobacco-growing area has its own distinctive flavour and strength.
If you plant Cuban seeds in the Dominican Republic, you don’t get Cuban-tasting cigars.
Just like wine – if you plant French vines in the Cape, you don’t get French-tasting wine.
He nods with a slight smile.

Cuban cigars are considered to be the richest in flavour, with a tangy taste.
Dominican cigars are milder – but combined with wrappers from Connecticut, Nicaragua, Java/Sumatra or Ecuador, the taste can vary from creamy to spicy.
The country which supplies the filler for any cigar claims to be the origin of the cigar.
Short-filler cigars are easy burning, and achieve complex flavours by blending as many as 22 different varieties of leaf.
Smiles and nods again, we’re making progress.

So how long will you be sitting smoking and talking?  More than an hour?

This is an important factor, because you need to correlate the size of the cigar with the time available.
Too big, and you are finished before the cigar is;
Too small – and the reverse happens.

So let’s look at some cigars suitable for less than an hour:
Sizes like Petit Corona or Robusto/Petit Robusto – depends on how much smoke you would like with each draw.
Actually I prefer lots of smoke, easy to draw.

We settle on three Short Robustos:
Cuban Hoyo Petit Robusto,
Dominican Republic La Aurora Short Robusto (Claro);
Nicaraguan Quorum Short Robusto (but not the lighter “shade blend”).

Turns any ashtray (or saucer) into a cigar ashtrayTurns any ashtray (or saucer) into a cigar ashtrayA brief assurance on the etiquette of cutting, lighting and smoking the cigars, and the importance of resting it horizontal when not holding it. Maybe a special cigar ashtray?
He looks at the cigar ashtrays, but isn’t ready for those yet.
So I show him the portable Cigar Rest – suitable to stand in a normal ashtray – or even out of it.
Turns any ashtray (or saucer) into a cigar ashtray.

And now he is satisfied.
He leaves, taking with him a copy of “Cigars, Smoking for Pleasure”, and promising to visit our library to expand his knowledge and enjoyment of cigars by reading more “Across the Counter cigar articles”.

All done in less than 10 minutes – time well spent for both of us!

If you haven’t spent time in our Library, please feel free to do so.
Visit the Subject Index – look at the articles, especially:

Choosing a cigar
Starting your collection
Condition of cigars, maintaining
What can go wrong?

Do you have a proper cigar ashtray, with a suitable rest for the cigar – or are you struggling with normal ashtrays? And when you‘re away from your home or office, is there always a suitable ashtray available?

Have you seen the new portable Cigar Rest?

Here’s your chance to pick up one at even less than the normal inexpensive price.

From May 7-20, 2015
Your Cigar Rest will cost you only R41.25
That’s 25% off the normal price – a bargain!
While stocks last.

After he had left, I thought, as I often do, that this is what I like about the business – we try to offer solutions, especially for those who enjoy the “Gentle Art of Smoking” as Alfred Dunhill so nicely put it.

Colin Wesley
No.356 April 30 – May 13, 2015

You can read previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The Library.


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No 357 May 14 - 27, 2015

Father’s Day - 21 June 2015

Mother was pampered on her special day in May;

June 21 is the turn of Father.

And we thought of what we could offer to those of our customers who’d like a gift for the pipe smoking or cigar smoking Dad.

Here you go, well in advance, plenty of time to decide.
Something every pipe or cigar smoking Dad needs, but often can’t find, or has lost (and he can always do with more than one), is an appropriate pipe tool or cigar cutter.

The pipe smoker:
A pipe tool – sore, singed fingers, a hole in the bottom of the bowl of the pipe, blocked shank, and more - these can so easily be avoided. There is a wide choice of pipe tools, from a simple gadget (doesn’t matter too much if he loses it), to the finest Sheffield Stainless Steel pipe knife (with rounded blade).

The cigar smoker:
A cigar cutter – honestly, biting off the end of the cigar is not an option; yet the cutter is never where he wants it when he wants it. They needn’t be all the same, maybe a beautiful Solingen model when he is seated in his favourite place, or a budget cutter for when he is out and about, and it may get lost.

Here are some tools you might like to look at.

Pipe Tools:

74-Rog300AB R455.00; 74-Rog300ET R540.00 
“Sheffield, England” is stamped on the blades of these two pipe knives, authenticating their origin. The engine-turned model includes its design registration. They combine all the necessities of a good pipe tool: a solid secure tamper, a pick, and a blunt-tipped blade with a notched finger-hold and partial cutting edge.
Offered with a smooth brushed finish (300AB), or engine-turned pattern (300ET), it’s the smooth action, the slender size and the overall stylish design which make these two top-of-the-range models stand out.
This is an ideal special gift that Father will cherish for many years.

74-Rog210BR  (black, red) and 74-Rog210St (steel)   R265.50
“Rodgers, Sheffield, England” is stamped on the blade, authenticating the origin of these pipe knives – which also bear the over-300 year’s old Rodgers “Star and Maltese Cross” trademarks. Yet these three pipe knives embrace modern knife-making technology and materials.
The two side panels (red or black acrylic, or brushed steel) are clamped together with brass pins. The end pin also clamps together two steel levers, which work independently to create the “spring-back” action of either the blade or pick. Very clever!
Also clever – the tamper is secured by another of the brass pins which hold the panels.
The blunt-tipped blade is part cutting edge, and part finger support, easing pressure on the pivot point.
This is a multi-purpose pipe knife which Dad can also use as a letter opener, pencil sharpener, lightweight screw-driver (end of the blade) and string cutter.

“He’ll lose it in 5 minutes” I hear you say? Read on……….

74-J0221 R130.00 Slim steel
A solid (34g), super slim, steel pipe knife.
The blunt-tipped blade has a serrated edge for better scraping out. An indented cut-out allows the forefinger to support the blade, easing the strain on the pivot point.
Both blade and pick are spring-loaded, ensuring good closure.
An early indicator of Dad’s commitment to pipe smoking – a proper pipe knife.

74-Sav402 R35.50 Pipe gadget
One up from the absolute basic pipe tool. This sturdy compact model has a firm, neat swivel opening/closing action of the blunt-tipped spoon, tamper and pick. Made in Italy.
I recommend it for bush trails; and for Father if he is likely to lose his pipe tool. Maybe 2 or 3?

Cigar Tools:

73-D152/02 R699.50 Stainless steel, polished, gilt pocket scissors
Donatus is situated in Solingen which is the heart of the German, razor-sharp, stainless steel cutting instrument business. They have been leaders in the field of small hand tools for many years. These gold-plated stainless steel scissors, comparable to surgical scissors, smoothly remove the cap of a premium cigar as Dad rotates the cigar while gently applying pressure as the scissors close against the head of the cigar – the cap then just pops off.
Alternatively you could just close the scissors with a sharp snap – but don’t be timid; you want a clean cut, no ragged edges. If necessary, use the scissors to tidy up around the edges.
Perfect for a Dad who really enjoys and cares for his cigars,

73-J1341 R330.00 Matt Steel
The 10 brass screws bring a touch of high class elegance to the matt finish of this model.
But we bought it for the 22mm diameter opening which works for the most popular sized cigars.
The fluid, steady, opening and closing of the blades assists in achieving a clean cut, and the action preserves the sharpness of the blades.
This is a long life cutter for Dad, worth looking after.

“He’ll lose it in 5 minutes” I hear you say? Read on……….

73-J1020 R55.00 Brown, Blue, Black
This is a snappy 22mm, 2-finger cutter in black, brown or blue casings. The twin blades are self-sharpening providing a clean cut to all but the very thickest cigars.
This is the type of cutter that Dad can dot around - every place where it might be useful to enjoy a cigar.

73-J3461 R53.50 Flat and V-cut, 23mm diameter
Some cigar smokers enjoy both thicker and more slender cigars.
Maybe what he needs is a choice of two cuts, flat- or V-cut, combined in a single sturdy plastic housing, and the blades are razor-sharp.  He can try the V-cut on slender cigars (ringsize up to 42) and appreciate the easier draw of the smoke through the larger opening.
Dad should keep this cutter in, or near, the humidor. Although not expensive, V-cut cigar cutters are hard to find.

For the period leading up to Father’s Day, we offer these pipe and cigar tools at special prices:

25% off the following useful tools for Dad

Pipe Tools
74-Rog300AB R455.00; 74-Rog300ET R540.00
(black, red) and 74-Rog210St (steel) R265.50
74-J0221 R130.00  
Slim Stainless steel
74-Sav402 R35.50 Pipe gadget
Cigar Tools
R699.50 St.steel, polished, gilt pocket scissor
73-J1341 R330.00 Matt Stainless Steel
73-J1020 R55.00 Brown, Blue, Black 22mm diameter
73-J3461 R53.50 Flat and V-cut  23mm diameter

From May 21 to June 21, 2015

One other thought for Father’s Day
The most luxurious shave – he’ll appreciate it.
All shaving soaps are essentially the same aren’t they?
High quality Shave Soaps and Shaving Creams from Taylors of Bond Street show him the difference.

I treated myself to a tub of Mr Taylor’s – quite amazing.
The first thing I found out was how little I needed to use, less than a half teaspoon gave me a great lather.
And the silky feel is such a pleasure.

I visited Taylors Bond Street website, and found a very nice section on Grooming Tips
Interesting, are the directions for the use of the shaving creams:
The cream is placed on either the shaving brush or directly on the palm of the hand and then applied to the face, where the shaving brush is used to work up a lather.”

We have four of these great creams for you, as well as three hard soaps.
With notes taken from the Taylors Bond Street website.

I’m unlikely to change again.

Spoiling Father is as great a pleasure for you as it is for him!

Colin Wesley
No.357 May 14 - 27, 2015

You can read previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The Library.


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Fortnightly Articles
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No 358 May 28 – June 10, 2015

Many places where normal smoking is not allowed
– also restrict the use of e-cigarettes.

“Snus” is the answer

The question is - What is Snus?

“Snus” is the Swedish word for snuff; but the Swedish product, with a tradition of over 200 years, is quite different from the nasal snuff found in Europe and South Africa.
It is a moist, oral tobacco product sold loose or in portions, made from finely-ground, air-dried tobaccos carefully selected from various parts of the world, mixed with water, salt, sodium carbonate and flavourings.
In Sweden or Denmark, the production of Snus is regulated by the relevant Food Acts, so all processes and any additives are approved for use in food, and the manufacturing process is subject to strict regulations.
The production technique may include the use of heat and steam to cure the tobacco – a pasteurisation process. The relatively low temperature keeps the TSNAs low (Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines, which are potentially carcinogenic).
Read about Lancet’s article on Snus.

Scandinavian Snus is also different from the US Snus which is fire-cured, and from “chewing” or “dipping” tobacco – no chewing or spitting.
We offer Jakobssons and V2:

 Jakobssons from Sweden V2 from Denmark
Wintergreen Melon Offroad  Thunder
Jakobssons Snus from Sweden	Wintergreen Jakobssons Snus from Sweden  Melon V2 Snus – from Denmark Offroad V2 Snus – from Denmark Thunder

Using Snus
The portion, or sachet, of Snus is placed under the upper lip, and that’s it.
For you – no inhaling, no chewing, no spitting.
For those around you – no smoke.

Watchpoint: Try not to lick or worse, suck the pouch.

The nicotine is absorbed through the mucous membrane of the mouth and kicks in almost immediately. For some people this generates a tingling sensation.
Because of this natural absorption process, Snus is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s own nicotine gum”.
When you have finished (or even halfway) the sachet can be placed in the special, sealable cavity in the lid of the can.
Snus portions are ideal for those times when smoking is not allowed – having morning tea with a friend, to go with your after dinner coffee, or in fact with any drink that goes with the flavour of the Snus you are using.
Going on a long trip (car, flying, motorbike??) - take Snus with you and relax.
Going to your favourite Restaurant - take Snus with you and sit anywhere.
It’s raining in the outside smoking area – keep warm and dry inside with Snus.
A game drive, a walk in the mountains, a round of golf, a game of soccer, the movies, the list goes on.

Watchpoint: Although we are told that Snus need not be refrigerated, beware of the effect on moist tobacco of heat such as lights or our hot summers – keep it cool!!

The History:
Snuff dates way back to Columbus’s second voyage to the Americas, when a monk in the party noticed the local priests inhaling tobacco powder through a reed. The idea of snuff was introduced to Europe in the 16th Century and became popular with the French Court after Jean Nicot suggested it to the French Queen Catherine de Medici as a migraine remedy – and it worked.
The use of nasal snuff became fashionable in all the courts of Europe.
In Sweden in the 1700s tobacco was grown in order to make snuff. Farmers ground snuff for their personal use.

The French Revolution put an end in fashionable Europe to the use of nasal snuff, which was largely replaced by cigars, but mainly replaced in Sweden by a pinch of moist snuff (snus) placed under the upper lip.
This use of snus became so popular amongst the Swedes that factories were developed to ensure sufficient production.
In the early 1900s the Swedish Government introduced a pension scheme, and needed money to fund it. They also needed money for the Defence Force as WWI started. In 1915 they nationalised the previously private tobacco industry.
The tobacco monopoly lasted until the 1960s when American cigarettes became popular amongst the upper classes; snus was relegated to the rural and lower income population, and demand slumped. The production of snus was almost discontinued.

Then the restrictions on cigarette smoking started to come into force and in Sweden snus again became the accepted way to use tobacco, spurred on by the introduction of Snus portion packs in the 1970s. Instead of having to pinch together loose snus to form a shape suitable to slip under the top lip, one could just open a can, take out a portion (like a tiny tea bag) and discreetly pop it into place.

There are plenty of indicators that the switch from cigarettes to Snus in Sweden has resulted in substantial health benefits. Sweden now has the lowest rate of tobacco-related diseases in Europe and the world's lowest rate of lung cancer in males. While using Snus is still highly addictive, it is widely held to be between 95% and 99% less harmful than smoking.
Read more:
The Guardian
Royal College of Physicians

V2 Snus – from Denmark

A genuine interest in Snus was the driving force that led brothers Marc and Patrick Vogel to launch V2 Tobacco in 2006. Production began on a small scale but, as demand for their products grew, the brothers soon realised that they were out-growing the factory.
Today V2 Tobacco is producing snus out of the most modern factories in Scandinavia.
They say that their concept is simple:
To manufacture portion snus and loose snus of the highest quality at the lowest possible price.
Their snus is characterised by a well-formed basic flavour where the tobacco's full body and bite combine in sweet harmony, and high quality achieved through small-batch production.
They consider snus to be a convenient and sophisticated product filled with flavours and aromas provided by fragrant ingredients and naturally fresh spices.
Each can has a special, sealable cavity in the lid – for finished, or half-used, portions.
V2 Tobacco knows what really good snus should taste like.

Offroad - A classic medium-strength traditional flavour Snus blend – exciting taste sensation

V2 Snus – from Denmark Offroad V2 Snus – from Denmark Offroad V2 Snus – from Denmark Offroad


Full strength, full flavour Snus

V2 Snus – from Denmark Thunder V2 Snus – from Denmark Thunder Thunder Snus is one of Scandinavia’s strongest snus brands when it comes to nicotine content: twice as strong as conventional snus.

This is accomplished naturally by using a larger percentage of tobacco leaves in each gram of Thunder Snus

This costs more, but results in a hearty, great-tasting snus loaded with natural nicotine.
No pharmaceutical nicotine or other undesirable additives are ever used in Thunder Snus

The packing is in plastic cans with 20 x 1g portions.

Smokeless Aficionado comments on Off Road and Thunder

For both blends: “Earthy, peaty tobacco and citrus are the predominant flavors in this original type portion snus

Off Road:Offroad Original portion's flavor is noticeable as soon as you place the portion in your lip and lasts for over an hour and a half due to the moisture level in this snus. If you're looking for a portion snus with an up front, traditional flavor then Offroad Original portion is the snus for you. We feel that this snus is a great original portion for not only the long time snus user but, the new snus user as well due to it's traditional flavors and moderate Nicotine hit.”
Thunder: “A touch of salt and a hint of smoke flavor this Original type portion snus. Moisture level is a bit high but this is the norm for most portions of this type. A favorite worldwide, Thunder Original blends traditional taste with a high Nicotine kick!”

V2 – manufacture,  ex V2 website:

V2 Tobacco’s quality standard starts from Swedish quality requirements to snus.
V2 Tobacco has been working intensely with optimizing and sophisticating the production process and has on the basis of that specified a standard which applies to the snus products produced at V2 Tobacco’s factory in Silkeborg, Denmark.
All products are tested by independent laboratory for nicotine, TSNA and bacteria.

It can be said that moisture and taste is used to measure the durability of snus. Moisture is important for the snus to be experienced as fresh. Therefore, it is always recommended that the products are kept refrigerated as much as possible and that they are not exposed to heat. Heat changes the moisture and aromas of the snus.
The durability of the products is significantly better in unopened package. The snus should therefore be used before the printed “best before” date on the packaging, which guarantees the freshness.
If one wishes to keep snus for a longer period of time the best repository is the freezer. Here snus can keep the same moisture and taste for at least a year.

Snus is produced of air-dried tobaccos mainly from Asia.
All other ingredients that are a part of the production of snus are approved for foodstuff production.
Besides water and tobacco, which are the main ingredients in snus, salt is added as a flavour enhancer and sodium carbonate weakly basifies the snus and gives it its character.
Furthermore, to snus is added moisture-retaining substances (polypropyleneglycol and glycerol) which have the effect that the snus stays moist longer, especially after the packaging is opened.
The snus gets its taste by adding a number of flavoring agents, which are natural ingredients either in powderform, a solution of spirits or fruit oils. The flavouring agents used in snus are of very different character and are combined so balance occurs between scent and taste.

Jakobssons Snus – from Sweden

We are pleased to say we have developed an association with the Swedish Jakobssons family who have been making Snus, off and on, for over 200 years. Henrik Jakobsson is the fourth generation in the business.

The producing company is Gotlandssnus AB situated on the island of Gotland, off the Baltic Sea coast of Sweden about halfway between Sweden and Latvia. Visby, a World Heritage, former Viking, site is the only town, but there are several large, and many small, villages.

Because it is regulated by the Swedish Food Act, the production is subject to extremely high standards. Thanks to a long working relationship with a leading researcher, and an expert in the production of Snus, Jakobssons Snus has a particularly low level of TSNAs. 
Gotland Snus has its own laboratory and development centre, and because of its relatively small size is very flexible and able to follow the latest trends and tastes in Snus production.
Read this delightful article from SnusCentral.org

The packing is in plastic cans with 20 x 1g portions.

Every Jakobsson’s can has a special, sealable cavity in the lid – for finished, or half-used, portions.

Jakobssons Snus from Sweden  Melon
Smokeless Aficionado
Jakobsson's Strong Melon portion snus
A uniquely flavored portion snus with the taste of sweet Watermelon. Flavors of Watermelon, Canteloupe and Honeydew melon can be found in the front with the slight taste of herbal tobacco and a hint of salt rounding out the background flavors. A great snus for those looking for something on the sweeter side.
Nicotine: 14 mg per portion    Amount: 20 portions    Type: Original portion    Availability: Worldwide



Jakobssons Snus from Sweden	Wintergreen
Northener Blog
Jakobsson's Strong Wintergreen portion snus
Manufactured by Gotlandssnus AB, Jakobsson’s Wintergreen portion snus is, quite possibly, one of the most uniquely flavored, and sweetest Wintergreen snus on the market today. Wintergreen is not a typical flavor for Swedish snus, however Jakobsson’s Wintergreen is classed as an Original type portion which gives you much more flavor in the beginning than dry type portions will, and is soft and comfortable in the lip for over two hours. It is moderately strong as well!
 Nicotine: 14 mg per portion    Amount: 20 portions    Type: Original portion    Availability: Worldwide

Colin Wesley
No.358 May 28 – June 10, 2015

You can read previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The Library.


Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
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No 359 June 11 - 24, 2015

Meerschaum Pipes - Plain & Simple

Over the years we have written several articles on Meerschaum pipes, five in all between 2002 and 2008.
No.  41 2002  Manufacture, Smoking, Colouring, Cleaning, Pricing
No.105 2005  Meerschaum-lined pipes
No.132 2006  No carbon build-up – a meerschaum bowl can be smaller than your usual pipe
No.150 2006  Entry level, small meerschaums
No.181 2008  Update manufacture; Value compared with briar

The articles include the accidental original naming of the material, where it is found, how the pipes are made.
We highlight the allure of Meerschaum, originating in Turkey - a country with a history of mystery and intrigue.

To re-cap on the merits of meerschaum pipes – they are:
Lightness – no strain on your teeth;
Power of absorption – no soggy dottle;
Length of life – indefinite, provided you don’t drop it on concrete;
The purity of tobacco flavours achieved by this rare mineral – meerschaum has a neutral taste;
Cleaning is simple - just scrape out the bowl with a blunt tool or the back of your pipe knife blade.
Since there is no build-up of carbon in the bowl, you can smoke a size smaller than usual.

All these articles are worth reading as they all end up with the common reason why Meerschaum pipes are really desirable:
They provide a great smoke – plain and simple.

Our problem has always been to ensure that the pipes we offer you are the best available, in quality, and in craftsmanship.
For many years we had the services of an expert Meerschaum agent to select our pipes for us.
He retired a few years ago, which left us in a hole – you’ll notice, no articles after 2008!
The hole has been partly filled by one of our German suppliers, who hand-picks the pipes he buys for his business.
The top filling of the hole is that he lets us select the pipes we buy from his stock, one of the real advantages of our going to Europe each year.

This year’s selection of pipes has arrived, been photographed, and is on our website now.
The pipes are simply stunning.
There are 24 pipes
14 Beautiful classic bents and half-bents; black or “amber” colour mouthpieces; medium to large and extra-large bowls; smooth, lattice, and one bowl with a meticulously stippled finish, new to us;
2   Laughing Bacchus – wonderfully carved, real works of art;
1   Amazing Egg & Claw;
5   Small entry-level sculpted meerschaums;
2   Calabash pipes with removable meerschaum bowls

The pipes are mostly held in Johannesburg, but available through all Wesley’s stores and website.

Calabash pipes with Meerschaum bowls
In Germany we were also shown Calabash pipes with removable meerschaum bowls – something we haven’t been offered for many years.
The two Calabashes we chose (we were only allowed two!) are both exceptional examples of combining the two natural products, Meerschaum and Calabash, to create a pipe that will provide a great smoke and improve in beauty with age.
The inside top of the calabash gourd is lined with a ring of cork to ensure an airtight fit, and the tapered bowl is slightly larger than the top of the calabash, creating a small gap to allow for wear over the years
The embellishments of the mouthpieces are simple but elegant – enhancing the appearance of the pipes.

All the pipes will go on “special” from June 18, to (stocks permitting) July 1, 2015.

25% off is definitely a very special offer – on very special pipes!
But only from June 18 – July 1, 2015
And only from Wesley’s - Shops and Website

You don’t yet possess a Meerschaum?
You do and know you would love another?
The answer is plain and simple – take this opportunity and buy one.

The pipe you see pictured is the pipe you’ll get – there is no back-up stock.
We won’t have any more until next year, and who knows what the pickings and prices will be then.

Colin Wesley
No.359 June 11 - 24, 2015

You can read previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The Library.