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1979 Dunhill

May 19, 2008

dunhill 001 I didn’t realise what I had here until I began to clean and inspect this pipe. I got it from a friend who simply couldn’t get comfortable with it because of its size and shape. It’s just not a pipe for him. Knowing I have a penchant for the larger varieties, he made a gift of it to me and I thank him for it.

I found out how to date it using a dating chart for Dunhill pipes. I will provide the link in the side bar on this blog. What I did not understand was the marking “DRD” and two stars. It turns out, according to sources available at Smokers Forums, that DR stands for “dead root”, which means a dead briar tree root was used to make the stummel. The extra D is a grading of the wood and the two stars a grading of the visibility of the grain. (From 0 to 5). The “DR” mark also denotes straight grain.

A lovely pipe, well balanced and a lovely smoker. A pleasure to hold and behold. This pipe is probably more valuable than I realise and no, it isn’t for sale!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kypros Christodoulides permalink
    June 20, 2010 23:31

    I’m rather shy of confessing it, but after trying several Dunhill pipes I came to the sad conclusion that they are hugely overrated. The first ever pipe I bought was a second hand Dunhill. It always smoked hot, tasteless and needed a refill every five minutes. The next ten or so attempts with Different Dunhills fared no better.
    I gave the first one to a friend (although I should have given it to someone i didn’t like) with him coming to the same heartbreaking conclusion (considering the price of one).
    Give me a Karl Erik, a Nording ,a Preben Holm , please a Peter Brakner or any well made Danish pipe and I will gladly leave the pleasure of smoking Dunhills to other more knowledgeable folk.
    I can safely say with the danger of sounding axiomatic that i would have been none the poorer in experience if I never tried a Dunhill pipe, although I do recognise the contribution to the art as a signifficant one.
    My father smokes and loves his dunhill pipes to death, but he cannot be convinced to try a Dunish pipe. He is too much set in his old ways. He will only smoke British, French or Italian pipes, but in his exentricity he will not try a mastro de paja , only savinellis. He has about five rancid smoking savinellis not to mention his Dunhills.

    I have only this one Dunhill in my collection. Luckily, it smokes very well. However, I also have “basket” pipes, bought very cheaply, that smoke equally as well.
    Experience tells me, that if the engineering is in order and the briar is well cured, then you have a good chance of getting a reasonable smoke out of it, whatever the name.
    I hope you manage to persuade your father to expand his horizons. He may be missing out on a marvellous experience. My regards to him.

  2. Kypros permalink
    December 27, 2010 15:15

    Hello and happy holidays to all of the pipe smoking fraternity.

    I have an other story to tell about Dunhill pipes. A few days ago , an old friend ,an ex pipe smoker and now a cigarette smoker gave me all his pipes to restore ,as they were all in a sorry state. In the lot there were two Dunhills ,(Bowl size 4, full bent both of them,one rusticated, one smooth), a couple of petersons 3 or 4 bewlays and a few more english ones.
    I have to admit thatIi’m very proud of the restoration i performed on them all and so was my friend. As a thank you gesture, he gave me one of the Dunhills which i put on the stand just to fill out the empty space. I knew that if I smoked it , it would be the same experience I had before with dozens of other Dunhills.
    One night however I just happened to pick it up, actually intending to pick a simillar shape one that is in my usual rotation and filled it up. I realized the error, but instead decited to go ahead and ruin 3.5 grms of my tobacco.
    I really did not believe how well and dry and sweet it smoked to the bottom of the bowl, returning only fine grey ash.
    It’s really the first Dunhill that I ever liked ( it’s really a pipe to die for) and if they made other pipes that smoke as well as my one, then the reputation is justly deserved.
    Well as my friend is not really a pipe smoker, he left his pipes with me to smoke together when he visits.
    Now that the Dunhill bug has bitten, I had to try the other one too and so I did with the same impressive result.
    The two dunhills are now in regular rotation and they both perform impressively well every time I use them.
    I’m trully sorry about my earlier comments about them , but may be they are not all to the same high standards.

    Nice story and a nice result. Indeed, the older Dunhills are somewhat exceptional. People I know say that the quality has fallen in recent years. Perhaps others will add comments on this issue?
    Happy new year Kypros, and thanks for your continued interest.

  3. taki permalink
    January 11, 2011 20:00

    Very Happy New Year to you.

    I’ve always smoked Dunhill pipes, I’ve always enjoyed their sweet dry tasteful smoking. I admit, although, that boring shape and their lack of briar beauty, in many of them, don’t worth sometimes their high price, thus I justify it by the excellent quality of smoking they provide.


    And a happy new year to you too sir. Thanks for posting your comment. I daresay the price and quality issues will keep us all busy for some time to come!

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