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The Twins

March 2, 2008

the-twins.jpg These two have been with me for some time and have become something of a trademark for me. The twins are about 20 years old. I have smoked them faithfully every other day since having them in my colletion. They are robust pipes to be sure and big enough to fill my hand, but not heavy to hold in the mouth despite their size. They are however, not identical. Looking closely, one can see that the lower of the two is not a perfect Stanwell. It failed the selection and was marked as a “Royal Danish”. Both pipes are made by Stanwell. Actually the lower one is cracked around the shank close to the bowl. Noticing this when I bought it, I asked if I could have the pipe for much less than half the price and had the condition provided, that if it broke in two within a month, I could get my money back. I smoked it once, the crack sealed itself and it has served me well in all the years that I have had it.
The upper pipe in the picture is a Stanwell first grade. I bought it as an estate pipe, in case the other one did break. It needed very little renovation being virtually unsmoked. The model name is “Golf”. Not surprising when one compares it to the driver club in the golf bag.
These two have travelled the world with me. They have helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life and were always there when things were good. I have lost them twice but they found their way back to me. I carry them with me when I travel now, either in my pocket or in the pipe satchel hanging from my wrist and never in my baggage.

I recently had them both refitted with acrylic stems. The pipemaker was amazed at their condition and congratulated me on my care of these pipes. I told him that I look after my friends. He smiled and agreed and said, “You certainly do.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2013 17:44

    I’ve come across your blog as so many, i’m sure do, whilst investigating pipe care. I’ve taken to the pipe after many years of smoking cigars; perhaps in part because it reminds me of my father who died recently. It’s only been a few months but I already have 6!

    Having browsed a bit, I’ve decided to start at the beginning of your posts and take the journey with you 😉 I liked the way you talked about your friends here, hence my speaking out. I expect there will be more comments and questions to come, but for the time being, here’s a poser.

    I’ve bought a small old Puffin Meerschaum in a car-boot sale. obviously I can get rid of the deposits and sourness from the stem, but what about the bowl?

    Any thoughts?

    All the best,

    Richard White

    Hi Richard.
    Glad you found me! Meerschaums are in a class of their own. I’ve heard of Puffins but do not own one. Not having any idea of how the bowl looks or what kind of deposit you may have in there, I’m a bit lost. However, meerschaums aren’t really prone to “cake” so I would imagine it is merely blackened. IF you have carbon build up in the bowl, you could take a sharp penknife and gently ream the bowl being careful not to stick the point into the bottom of the chamber. Lay the knife flat in the bowl and turn the pipe over the blade. Rub out with very fine sandpaper wrapped around a finger. Once you have all the old carbonised deposit out, you’re done. Otherwise, apart from pipe cleaners down the shank, leave it well alone. I’m sure you can fix the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners.
    Any pictures?
    Best regards,

    • August 29, 2013 21:48

      Exile (why exile, I wonder),

      Thank you for the quick reply. Not sure yet how to add a picture to a comment here (but I will work it out 😉

      it’s not so much that there is caking or anything of that sort and i’ve given the bowl a gentle ream. It’s more a lingering bad taste and smell; mouldy /sour, that seems to emanate from the pipe itself – as though old tobacco went mouldy in there.

      I only paid a couple of quid for it, partly just to see whether I could get it sorted. The stem has bad bite marks as well. But! I like the shape and the name. ‘Puffin” – isn’t that what we’re doing when we smoke? I think it’s a nice witty bit of nomenclature 😉

      All the best


      P.S. I worked out a less than satisfactory way of letting you see the thing:

      Exile? Because I’m a Brit living in Denmark.
      OK, if this was a briar, I’d fill the bowl with salt and then pour some alcohol over it. Let it sit overnight and then scrape out the salt. I don’t know if this would work with a meer…
      Try joining and join the “All things Meerschaum” group. There’s a wealth of info there and some “decent chaps” to talk with. Very helpful people. You’ll find me there too…

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