Wesley's Logo and link to Homepage
Click to go to the Homepage
Navigation1 Search function being updated Find your nearest Franchise Contact us by email Search for items on our Webshop
navbar03 THE LIBRARY - ARCHIVED BLOG POSTS Frequently Asked Questions Trade Enquiries Sweepstakes Subscribe
Main menu line 01 Cigars Tobacco Snus & Snuff Lighters & Accessories Roll Your Own Other Smoking Gifts & Games Mens' Grooming Walking Sticks

Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"

Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

 No.525. 28 September to 19 October, 2022

Refurbished Estate pipes.
Pre-owned, mostly pre-smoked, pipes

This was going to be an easy blog to write.
After all everybody knows the advantages of pre-smoked pipes to the smoker.
I thought I would just highlight some of the pipes currently on offer and be finished.

I started by going through all the previous blogs Colin had written on the subject, all 15 of them.
I remembered much of the stuff. Editing was always a combined job,
Obviously he thought that the advantages do need to be re-stated – so using Colin’s words here goes:

Where do we get these pipes?
These pipes come from many sources – an estate, a smoker who has had to give up, a pipe that just didn’t suit the smoker. But they have some things in common: they are all quality pipes from leading brands - Dunhill, Charatan, Savinelli, Stanwell, Peterson, Sims, Lorenzo, etc; they haven’t been battered and mostly have their original mouthpieces.

What’s so good about an Estate or Refurbished pipe?
This quote sums up exactly what these pipes are:“A Refurbished Estate Pipe" is just a pre-smoked pipe.
Because they’re used, all these pipes are likely to sport a few small dings, a few teeth marks, bowl edges slightly out of round, etc. – but in most cases their condition is the same as a new pipe after a few smokes.
The beauty of these pipes is that you can buy a gorgeous, brand name pipe with history, for much less than a new pipe!”

The pipes which have been smoked have been sterilised, cleaned and polished to restore their mature, dignified, appearance - like a fine piece of antique furniture; ready to give many hours of good smoking to their new owners.
The unsmoked pipes have been lightly buffed up and sanitised
All are given a good rub with a Dunhill silicone cloth which leaves an invisible film of protective wax over the whole pipe, bowl and mouthpiece.
Most of these fine pipes are pre-Teflon peg pipes, with no stem filters.
(If this is of concern use “bowl filters”.)
Many of these pipes were cured and turned over 20 years ago, and the briar was at least 20 years old at that time. So you are getting a pipe of at least 40 year old briar – well-cured, well matured.
And the prices will take you back many years.

What will you find in this collection?
The selection includes many of the great brands – Dunhill, Charatan, Savinelli, Peterson and even our own, the late Willie Mattner. A few are still unsmoked, waiting to be baptised.
Plus some very good bargain pipes, and a Calabash, a Meerschaum, a Ropp Cherrywood.
This time we also have some pipe racks to offer – interesting designs.

Finally – are you on the List?
The list of pipe smokers waiting for the link to preview the new selection of refurbished estate pipes.
Make sure you are.

You have enough pipes, but are your old favourites looking a bit tired?
If you’re impressed by the way these refurb pipes have “cleaned up” - send us the old favourites for a complete refurbishment.
An idea - there are a lot of Rugby matches coming up on television: you could pick up some cleaning materials and relieve the tension with some vigorous rubbing and reaming.
At least you’ll have some nice clean pipes, even if we don’t win.

The collection will be on the website as soon as ready –
but if you are on our database we will email you a link
for a special preview before that date.
You may just pick up the best bargain pipe of your life.

If you haven’t tried a pre-smoked pipe before – try one now.
You could find an immediate new Friend.
No breaking in – just “Welcome”.

Colin (and Gillian) Wesley
No.525. 28 September to 19 October, 2022

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Archives Library.Top

Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"

Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

 No.526. December 22, 2022 to January 11. 2023

While Covid delayed new blogs

Over the last 8 weeks, while waiting for the refurbished estate pipes to be ready, and while Covid finished its incursion into our webmaster’s office, I have received (and enjoyed) nearly 30 cigar-related articles in my IN BOX, plus emails from the preceding 3 months that I hadn’t had time to read.
Amongst them were some items I found interesting, items that I thought worth passing on.

Are you planning to visit Zermatt in the coming skiing season.
You may like to consider the Schweizerhof Hotel which caters for smokers in a big way. It offers a large Smoking Room “Le Fumoir” with semi-private options, and an open lounge including a pool table. The menu format follows the cigar theme, and the tables have a button to call the waiter.
Not only that – every room has a private balcony complete with ashtrays and matches.
There was no indication of prices in the Cigar Aficionado article, but I’m sure we can guess.

Extract from Famous Smoke (I receive Cigar Advisor emails regularly, but have trouble accessing their website.)
Labour day tips for a cigar smoking barbecue – good for a South African summer late afternoon braai – with many guests.:
1. Have a good variety of cigars on hand for guests
Even if you love your cigars “well-done,” some of your cigar smoking guests may not. So, make sure they’re provided with cigars that are suitable to their individual experience (mellow, medium, and full-bodied choices).
2. Don’t forget to accessorize
Pick up a couple ‘el cheapo’ guillotine cutters, torch lighters, and ashtrays. You know, the kind of lighters and cutters that you wouldn’t mind losing.
3. Beer’s good, but whiskey’s better
A lot of cigars go well with a fine lager or IPA, but various bourbons, rums, and single malt whiskeys are made for pairing with cigars. You don’t need a luxury hotel’s worth of booze on hand, but a modest selection will make your Labor Day that more special.
4. Flavor is your friend
Level up by grabbing a couple of infused cigars for guests that want to try a cigar for the first time. (We offer Acid cigars)
5. Have a designated smoking area
Let’s face it, not everyone is enamored with cigar smoke. More for us, right?! It’s a good idea to have a cigar smoking area to keep your non-smoking guests happy too!

27/9/2022 About 4.30am, Hurricane Ian, with sustained winds of more than 200km per hour, hit the western end of Cuba island.
It destroyed houses and barns in the Pinar del Río area and brought flooding of up to 30cm in the fields.
Planting had for the most part not yet started in this most important area for cigar plantations, but tobacco cannot be harvested unless barns are available.
Cigar Aficionado has the story with some pictures of the destruction caused on one of the farms.
Together with the problems caused by the Covid pandemic, the shortage of Cuban cigars will continue for some time it seems.
Fortunately there are “New World” cigars available to us. We have a very nice array available now.

Jul 5, 2022 | By David Savona  (I only saw it in September.)

Federal Judge Issues Opinion In Favor Of Cigar Industry
Supports Cigar Industry In Fight Against FDA Regulation; Final Action Still To Come
“Judge Amit P. Mehta issued his opinion on the lawsuit between the Food & Drug Administration and the three main cigar industry organizations. The judge sided largely in favor of the cigar groups, calling the FDA’s move to regulate premium cigars “arbitrary and capricious,” while inviting additional briefing from both sides before he issues his final judgement.”

October (This was a very interesting month)
We’ve gradually grown accustomed to seeing the cricketers wearing Pink to draw attention to breast cancer research – but Cigars?

Rare Pink line cigars

The Rare Pink line was created by Carlos Fuente Jr in late 2020.
This is a project to benefit breast cancer research, a $13 donation from the sale of every box.
The idea is for his daughter who mourns the loss of her grandmother and aunt due to breast cancer.

Carlos Fuente Jr. said during a video call with Cigar Aficionado. “The boxes are so unique. It’s a gift for my daughter, and my mother, and my sister, and all the women in my life.”
The Rare Pink is a line of Perfecto shapes with Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, Dominican binder, and dark Ecuadorian wrappers.
And interesting names: Short Story (as in the Hemingway series), Signature, Work of Art, Happy Ending,
Queen of Hearts, and Sophisticated Hooker (named after a fishing boat, but with a double meaning).
Not just pretty names – they rated 92 to 93 points in their debut Cigar Insider vertical brand tasting and Sophisticated Hooker was placed No.10 in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2022.

But this wasn’t the whole story. I often click on links to learn more, and this time I found a mine of interesting information….
Rare Pink line – why, how, and with many further links.
Ecuadoran wrappers – the volcanoes, the clouds, the fields, the Oliva family and the Rosado wrappers.
Cameroon wrappers – CETAC S.A, a private company with local shareholders inspired and guided by Rick Meerapfel of the Swiss based company, has brought the Central African tobacco industry from near-extinction to producing some of the finest Colorado leaf outside of Cuba. I liked the comment: “Central Africans use the phrase "C'est l'Afrique" to explain anything from poor weather to a coup d'etat, but it still seems the best way to describe the magnificent view of the rain forest and tobacco plants.”
Carlos Fuente Jr.  – a look into the history of the Fuente family, the times in which they lived, and the passion and inspiration that has turned ideas into great cigars.
The family business – a parallel look at the history of the Fuente family and associates, filling many gaps.

If you have time to spare over the holidays immerse yourself in the world of cigar tobacco and cigars.

By the way –

DuPont roulette


S T DuPont have designed this Casino Pocket Complication Cigar Lighter
with Las Vegas in mind.
It features a working roulette wheel, and 26 Rubies are incorporated into its design.
Small enough to fit into a pocket.


Nov 4, 2022 | By Gregory Mottola
Habanos Festival 2023
After 2 years, the Habanos Festival will be held again in 2023, February 27 to March 3.
For some history see our blog on http://www.wesleys.co.za/archives48a.html#484

Scrolling aimlessly through older emails from Cigar Aficionado, you know how one does, I found links to 2 very interesting sets of “facts”:
Cohiba – 15 fascinating facts  https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/cohiba-15-fascinating-facts-about-cuba-s-most-famous-brand

Montecristo  - 9 things you need to know https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-montecristo

And I read about the new Montecristo Wide Edmundohttps://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/cuba-has-a-new-montecristo-wide-edmundo-premiers-in-spain
I suppose it will be some time before we see it in real life.

Then there was the news from David Savona Nov 11, 2022
Imports of handmade cigars into the United State continue to grow, with Nicaragua leading the field.
We can test the quality here, some excellent New World cigars in our humidor right now.

Cigar Aficionado magazine’s 30th Anniversary.
The magazine includes an exclusive interview between David Savona and the founder Marvin R Shanken. The magazine certainly encouraged the cigar boom.
Colin and I were in Cincinnati in 1995 for a RTDA convention at the height of the cigar boom – an amazing experience.

More - “Els for Autism” Pro-Am golf tournament raised nearly a million dollars. Co-founded by Marvin Shanken, the founder of Cigar Aficionado, this was the 14th year.

Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2022. Nos.1-10 were released daily from December 12 with the full 25 on screen on December 16. https://www.cigaraficionado.com/top25/2022

December also means the Christmas holiday season – and a time when we need to consider gifts.
You know, Wesley’s is not just a good Tobacconist – it also concentrates on other gifts for men – it is in fact a One-stop Man’s Gift Shop. (Some gifts are for women too.)
See the ideas on http://www.wesleys.co.za/gifts.htm.
Choose for yourself, or direct the person who says, “I don’t know what to get you for Christmas”.
Just one idea – have you ever tried Shaving Creams from Taylors of Old Bond Street?
Colin really appreciated his Sandalwood shaving cream. Pure luxury!

I mentioned earlier that we had a good array of New World cigars available right now – great cigars from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras. A fine gift for any cigar smoker to taste while relaxing during the holidays.
I do like the quote from Cigar Aficionado
“Cuban cigars are great, but they are not alone in their greatness.”
(My family can now complete the quote once I say the first 4 words.)

And it is just as well – since Cuban cigars are in short supply.

Whether the cigar is classic Cuban or ‘great’ New World, what every smoker of a hand-rolled cigar needs is a sharp cutter to open the head of the cigar.
Cutters that may be lost, broken, blunted, or left behind!
A cigar cutter will always make an ideal Christmas present – a simple cutter as a stocking filler, or a top quality precision instrument when appropriate.

To encourage this thought, we offer our full range of cigar cutters for your choice.

From December 22, 2022 to January 11. 2023
All Cigar Cutters less 25%
Prices from R70.00
Excluding Sale items.
Only from Wesley’s Shops and Online

You can still enjoy a rich flavourful cigar, even when Cuban cigars aren’t available.
Add a couple to your humidor

Gillian Wesley
No.526 December 22, 2022

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Archives Library.Top

Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"

Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

 No.527 11 - 31 January, 2023

Change for the better?

At least for one happy customer:
“I am proud to say that thanks to your pipes i have not touched a sigarette for over 6 years.
My health has improved significantly since starting the pipe and leaving sigarretes.“ Gavin R

This is not a “one size fits all” suggestion, but, if you are a cigarette smoker, changing at least part of your smoking style may well benefit you.
Maybe cigarettes or nicotine devices when out and about (if you can find somewhere to smoke), and a relaxing pipe at home, in your favourite private place, possibly at peace in the garden.

Then the question arises – how do I start?
We have the answers.

First the pipe – choose one that is:
Not too big – it’s easier to keep the pipe going for a short time when you start;
Not too small
– you need some time to practice keeping it alight;
Well priced – you may not want to invest too much in a new idea;
Lightweight – preferably bent or half-bent to reduce strain on the teeth.
Quality well-cured briar – so the taste won’t put you off.
Suitable for easy-burning tobaccos - such as Houseblends #1, #43, #47.

Some suggestions:
Marca Medio
Marca Medio briar pipes


Marca” is our own brand, created over 15 years ago. It has proved itself over that time.
“Medio” is the new range of Marca pipes with medium-sized bowls. R595.00


Savinelli Fuoco – fine quality pipes which we bought at a special price. Last few.
Two medium size bowls - from the Fuoco range – the finishes have fire in their hearts.
Savinelli Pipe -Fuoco (Fire) 642 R1650.00  Savinelli Pipe -Fuoco (Fire) 315K R1875.00

Nording Keystone pipes – Read about them. If you prefer a straight pipe, one from this range could be it.





 Nording bowls
4 finishes

Not sure if you will like this pipe smoking thing? Try an even better-priced pipe:.

Corn Cob Filter Pipes

R295.00 Special Hybrid Cob

The Jujube pipe is offered in an attractive bent shape.

Jujube wood
Mr Pipe, R395.00 extra hard wood.

Both pipes have received very complimentary comments.

You will also need:
Pipe Tool – simple tool with round-tipped scoop, pick and tamper,
Pipe Cleaners – Run a pipe cleaner through your pipe after each smoke. Occasionally, maybe every 10 smokes, give the inside a good scrub with a bristle cleaner. A dose of CG Pipe Spray or some form of alcohol will help.
Lighter – with a soft flame that won’t burn the bowl, or  you may prefer slightly thicker Three Star matches.

And an optional extra:
Pipe Rest – to hold your pipe between smokes, so that it won’t fall over and spill ash,

Does this sound too much to think about?

Marca Medio pipe Starter KitWe have a “Medio Starter Kit” with everything you need, at a very special price.

Choose: Leather or PU (Vegan) pouch.

The pipe: Select the Medio Shape and finish (Sandblast/Smooth).

It includes the leaflets “The Complete Pipe Smoker” and how to find “The Perfect Blend”.

Leather R1378.75  R1100.00,   PU R1138.75  R910.00

Anything I need to know about to smoke the pipe?

Read the 2013 blog “Put the tobacco in your Pipe and smoke it?”
Very little has changed in the last almost 10 years.

What about caring for my pipe?
We emphasize the general rule: The cleaner and drier you keep your pipe, the nicer the smoke!”
The details are in a blog written towards the end of lockdown in 2020.

Do you need some encouragement?

For just three weeks we will offer special prices:

25% off suitable starter pipes as pictured above:

Marca Medio (Normal price R595.00)
Savinelli Fuoco Smooth shape 315K (R1875.00)
Savinelli Fuoco Rusticated shape 642 (R1650.00)
Nording Keystone(R750.00)
Corncob pipes(R295.00)
Mr Pipe - Jujube wood (R395.00)

Valid January 11 - 31, 2023

And don’t forget the Medio Starter Kit – permanently at a special price

Gavin finished his comments:
I breath better and i am a lot calmer since starting pipes and leaving sigarettes. Additionally the xrays on my chest because of medicals i have to do for work (every 2 years) also indicates that my lungs have repaired themselves since stopping sigarettes. GR

This is not medical advice, just one man’s experience – but it does give you something to think about.

Gillian Wesley
No.527 11 - 31 January, 2023

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Archives Library.Top

Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"

Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

 No.528 February 1–22, 2023


What is a “full-bodied” cigar?
And a “rich” cigar?
What is meant by a “strong” cigar?
Is it the opposite to a “mild” cigar?
What does a cigar taste like?
Do all cigars of the same brand taste the same?

I’ve read many answers to such questions, some quite different, but the following seem to be the most popular.

But first – it might help to be aware of the names and characteristics of the parts of the tobacco plants, and of the different seeds. Here is an excellent summary from Holt’s Clubhouse site.
Don’t worry about the brands of the cigars mentioned. We can’t get most of them – but we do have a good range of New World cigars to offer right now, including the Arturo Fuente Rosado Sun Grown 52
New World Cigars? Cigars using leaf from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador for sought-after wrapper leaf, and similar areas – cigars other than the old world Cuban cigars.
Did you know that Villiger also make handmade New World cigars. Four ranges from Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil? Very good reviews. They’re on the list, at special prices.

This describes the intensity of flavour provided by the cigar. This comes to a large extent from the density of the smoke from the cigar. A full-bodied cigar has a heavy, rich smoke that coats the tongue and palate so that we can taste more. A light-bodied cigar would be like a Castle Light beer when compared with a Carling Black Label, or a cup of weak tea compared with a strong, dark coffee, or a light Riesling wine compared with a heavy Cabernet.

This comes from the nicotine content of the cigar.
Nicotine belongs to a family of compounds called alkaloids and occurs naturally in several varieties of plant – including tomatoes, aubergines and potatoes – but is found at its highest levels in the tobacco plant.
Different leaves have different nicotine content.
At the bottom of the plant, the Volado gets the least sun so it has the least flavour and strength, but it burns particularly well;
the Seco (and Viso) in the middle is stronger than Volado with more flavour, but less than the top Ligero leaves;
the top leaves are the Ligero – they get the most sun and as a result are very strong.
A strong cigar with many Ligero leaves has a high nicotine content. This (or the cigar being smoked too fast) can make you dizzy.
A good reason to smoke a cigar slowly!
This will also keep it cool so that you can appreciate the fine flavours.
About 10-15% of cigar tobacco plants have at the very top two small leaves - called Medio Tiempo. These are above the Ligero so they get the most sun and are the strongest leaves.

Cigars taste good – but to you some taste better or richer than others. Taste is subjective, one taste does not suit everybody.
If the cigar satisfies you, that is all you need.
But maybe you’d like to delve deeper – can a cigar really taste like wet leather, or cinnamon, or have a floral bouquet?
Read a recent blog on flavour – it tells you how to experience the full flavour of a cigar. It adds that all kinds of flavours are there, and they will offer different descriptions to different people depending on the memories they trigger.
To appreciate the flavour best, smoke the cigar slowly, keep the temperature cool. I like this tip: “A cool smoke is a tastier one, because your nose and mouth can pick up more nuance than just hot, carbonized tobacco flavor.”

The taste of the cigar that lingers when you have stopped smoking it. Lighter blends may have a short finish, no matter how complex the cigar. Heavier blends tend to leave a sensation of the flavour for a longer time.

The Cigar Blender must consider Flavour, Strength and Body when he creates the blend.
At a lecture we attended during a cigar expo, we were given several cigars to test. The first cigars were each rolled from one type of leaf only – the final cigar was a combination of all the leaves. What a difference!
The single leaf cigars were one-dimensional, and even harsh and unpleasant. One could really appreciate the skill of the Blender in choosing the different leaves for the filler, binder and wrapper which would combine to create the smooth full-flavoured cigar we enjoyed at the end of the presentation.
The Blender must consider too the size of the proposed cigar, and make sure it develops the flavour over the full length of the cigar. Burning rate is important as well – maybe a bit more or less Volado leaf?
Once the Blender has the desired blend for say a Robusto in the brand, he needs to adjust it if he wants to make a Petit Robusto, a Churchill or a Half Corona.
This was very obvious when Colin and I talked about the then new Hoyo Petit Robusto introduced in 2004. I didn’t like it. The cigar didn’t burn as well, and the flavour didn’t develop as the cigar was smoked. He just looked at me. I felt justified when I asked Colin one evening why he didn’t just cut down his Cohiba Siglo VI when he said it was too large. His reply was “You can’t do that, it won’t smoke as it should!”
Subsequently the Hoyo Petit Robusto blend was apparently adjusted, said James Suckling in Cigar Aficionado, and today it offers a great “time is short” smoke, as do several others of this size.

The Blender should also be innovative.
A while back I read how the manufacturers of Cohiba cigars heard that there was a cigar that was better than Cohiba, or at least more expensive. That was no good. Cohiba should be the best and the most expensive cigar brand. What could be done? How do you make a perfect cigar even better?
I can no longer find that article so it may be apocryphal, and currently only the last sentence is mentioned. Whatever the reason, in a Cohiba meeting the question was raised, “How do you make a perfect cigar even better?”
And so the Behike was born.
Thicker to incorporate more leaves for a more complex taste.
Plus a “secret” ingredient, the “Medio Tiempo” leaf.
As I said earlier, this is the strong leaf only occasionally found at the top of the tobacco plant – very rare.
This became part of the blend of the Cohiba Behike cigar.
It’s rarity, as well as the high quality of the other leaves making up the Behike, have led to the limited availability and high price of the Cohiba Behike - BHK 52, 54 and 56 (named for the ring sizes).

The blenders of New World cigars can choose from a wide range of leaves from different plantations in different parts of the world to create complex and interesting cigars.
Read more.

To appreciate any of the qualities of a good cigar, it is important to smoke it slowly, keeping it cool.
And the start is proper lighting.
We have covered this in a number of blogs – here is the most recent.
Interestingly, it includes a section on how to light a cigar using a normal Zippo fuel lighter. Zippo now sells butane gas replacement inserts with 1 jet, 2 jets or soft flame.

We have just received a new triple jet lighter with cigar punch attached.
It has a great feel, comfortable in the hand, and an easy slide striking action.
And the triple jets are strong.
Finally, a gas level indicator, and a 12 month guarantee make this lighter extremely desirable.
Even more so ….

From February 1 to February 22 – or until stocks run out,
55-EJ063 R640.00 less 25%
We have only 15 Triple Jet Cigar Lighters at this price.

Only from Wesley’s Shops and Online

The background is interesting, but the final question is:
Do you enjoy the cigar?
If so, stick with it.
If not, don’t buy any more. Life is too short to waste time on an unsatisfactory smoke.

Gillian Wesley
No.528 February 1–22, 2023

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Archives Library.Top

Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"

Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

 No.529 February 1–22, 2023

Buried Treasure

Smoking a meerschaum pipe is a truly special experience.
Meerschaum is one of the most naturally porous substances in the world.
This makes it perfect for pipes as it absorbs the tars and oils from the tobacco being smoked.
This allows for a cool, dry smoke that most smokers would say is unique.

In 1970 the name Andreas Bauer was to Meerschaum pipes as Dunhill was to briar pipes - the epitome.
Andreas Bauer was the most famous and respected brand in Meerschaum pipes.
We were fortunate to be able to buy them, and featured them in our 1969/1970 Catalogue – print in those days.
Here is the Andreas Bauer page from the Catalogue.

So who was Andreas Bauer?
Where was his factory?
Why were his pipes considered to be so good?

Andreas Bauer started his meerschaum pipe factory in Vienna in 1904 (some records say 1906 or 1908). The quality of his pipes made his a famous brand, acknowledged internationally as the best.
He was succeeded by his son, Ernst, in 1942.

Andreas Bauer used only top quality meerschaum blocks imported from Eskişehir, Turkey.
But he didn’t stop at that.

His bowls were carefully cleaned and completely finished by hand – superb workmanship.
The original mouthpieces were of amber as was traditional, but amber is brittle, and cracks easily.
Andreas Bauer developed the synthetic “Amberoid” material for his pipes which was much more comfortable. Amberoid included some amber in its composition as is shown by the fact that when rubbed with wool it has the same static electrical charge as amber (ēlektron in Ancient Greek).
More, the original amber mouthpieces had a bone tenon which screwed into the meerschaum shank.
A very fragile connection.
Andreas Bauer patented a push/pull mouthpiece fitting which was far sturdier, and easier to use.

The resultant pipes were amazingly light – a pleasure to hold, and with little or no strain on the teeth.
No wonder they were so highly regarded.

He soon became the largest producer of meerschaum pipes.

“In most “normal” planes of existence, there is supposed to be a trade-off between quality and quantity, but (evidently) the word never got to Andreas Bauer; at the very height of their production they were raking in Gold Medals for excellence and design (such as the one they were awarded at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition).
Then, or now, to own a Bauer meerschaum is to own an iconic meerschaum, the likes of which have never been surpassed…” –Bear Graves

Then, in the 1970s, the Turkish Government banned the export of raw meerschaum.
The Andreas Bauer company was sold to the family Mrstik in 1972, and in 1990 Andreas Bauer merged with Konçak Meerschaum of Eskişehir, Turkey.
Andreas Bauer meerschaums continue to be made, and are still of a high quality.
The new pipes sell today for around EUR509 (R9600.00).
Konçak Meerschaum also make meerschaum pipes under their own name at lower prices.

Read a full overview of Meerschaum pipes on https://www.tobaccopipes.com/blog/meerschaum-pipes-the-complete-overview/

The Treasure:
At Intertabac 2022, the annual trade fair in Dortmund, Germany, my long-standing supplier had on offer some old Andreas Bauer Meerschaums which he had bought from the original Andreas Bauer heirs.
They may not have been buried, but they had certainly not been carefully displayed on a shelf.
In fact, they had odd surface marks on the bowls.
But they were beautiful pieces, exceptionally lightweight with the trademark “Amberoid” mouthpieces with push/pull fittings.

I am delighted to offer them to you at one-third less than the prices of the current Andreas Bauer Meerschaums.
Click here to see the 4 pipes, pictures, sizes, descriptions. Plus one normal Turkish Meerschaum with Black mouthpiece (presumably Konçak).

More Treasure:
At least that’s what we found when we bought some “Old” Dry System pipes from Savinelli.
You probably know the story of the “Old” Savinelli Dry System pipes. Pipes found buried in cupboards during a spring-clean at Savinelli, Italy.
They were offered to us at a price which meant we could retail them for slightly below the price of our current range of Dry Systems.
The “Treasure”: the quality of these pipes is higher than our normal range – good enough for Savinelli to stamp the briar with their full name, as they do on the Premier quality pipes we import.
Certainly a treasure for our customers – real smoking pleasure.

We currently have 11 shapes in stock, including 4 new shapes just arrived, and there are only sufficient pipes remaining in Italy for one more shipment.
We offer these 11 pipes to you at special prices:

25% off all Savinelli “Old” Dry system pipes
Normal prices: R1595.00, R1795.00, R1995.00
From February 23 to March 8, 2023

Colin always said that what every smoker looks for is “a cool, dry smoke”.
Here’s your opportunity – Meerschaum or good quality briar.

Gillian Wesley
No.529. 23 February to March 15, 2023

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Archives Library.Top