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My Second Mastro de Paja

July 27, 2009

It arrived today. After waiting all weekend, it finally arrived this afternoon. It was worth the wait. I found this one on E-bay. I was almost sniped out of it but managed to snipe the sniper in the last second of the auction. Serves him right. I hope I ruined his day.

This Mastro is nice. I don’t often go for straight models but this one called to me from afar. I suppose one would have to call it a Rhodesian or a Bulldog but I don’t really like to hang myself in names. I like the form of this one and that’s good enough. I like the half rustication too. In fact the whole finish on this pipe is very nice.

It is marked as a “Medio” followed by the number “5”. It bears the Sun stamp, the name “Pesaro” and, of course, the Mastro signature stamp.
Should anyone be in any doubt, it is also marked  “Fatta a mano” and “Italy”.
The stem is decorated with the round Mastro de Paja silver badge.


Length: 150 mm

Height: 51 mm

Bowl: Ø 50 mm at the widest point

Chamber: Ø 23 mm x 45 mm

Airway: 4 mm and the stem is bored for a 9 mm filter

I have several 9mm filter pipes but never do I smoke them with a filter. I see no reason to use one. Generally I buy a plug to replace the filter and reduce the stem airway to 4 mm.

I have only one small detail to get sorted out. This is an estate pipe and the person who owned it before me has smoked a really foul aromatic tobacco in it. That aromatic has left a ghost that will need exorcising before I can really enjoy this pipe. I will try smoking a latakia blend in it for the first three bowls and then see if the ghost remains. If it does, then I will treat the bowl with salt and alcohol.

For €83.00, I think I have a bargain here. It is light and elegant and may well become a favourite for smoking whilst walking the dogs.   

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Highstump permalink
    August 1, 2009 21:43

    A second Mastro, congratulations!

    I just happened to be smoking one of mine when I got to your page. They really are a fine smoking pipe. I only have two but both have been great smokers from start to finish. As for your ghost, I have never found one yet that a few bowls of Prince Albert won’t fix.


    Hi Jim, It appeared to work. I stoked it up with Rattray’s Black Mallory and followed up with my own latakia blend. Alternating between these two has really laid the spook to rest.
    Mind you, my own blend will kill domestic animals at thirty paces (according to my dear wife!). Not much can survive beyond it in a pipe.
    The pipe smokes really well. But I knew it would before I bought it!

  2. Neill Roan permalink
    August 2, 2009 15:25

    I like the look and feel of this blog. Very good job.

    Having had a pipe blog for a couple of years, I know how much work it is and I take my hat off to you for your efforts.

    Thanks Neill. It’s a labour of love. Glad you like it.

  3. September 3, 2009 19:16

    I have only one and it is one of my best smoking and I have about 30 and have been smoking for 50 years. I like Yenji with Latakia mixtures.

    Thanks and welcome. Yenji (or Yenidji) is very spicey. I cannot say that I have ever smoked enough of it to form an opinion. After 50 years with the pipe, you must have some stories to tell..!

  4. Kypros Christodoulides permalink
    May 3, 2010 21:21

    I Honestly do not know how de paja pipes smoke since i never tried one, but upon recommendation by an Italiam friend of mine and after doing some research on the internet i decided to look for one. Luckily i came across one two nights ago being offered by an Italian Gentleman who is disposing of his entire collection of pipes, some 140 plus pipes, with a buy it now price of 112.50 euros. It’s a pipe that was never smoked and bought by him in 1990.
    It is a beautifull bend the picture of which i have e-mailled exile (feel free to post it for others to see). Now i am waiting with my fingers crossed until it arrives and i have the fist bowl of my favourite.
    It will hopefully be arriving early next week and i cannot wait to post my comments on it.
    So far my absolute favourite is a 90’s bark 1/4 bend upshall I bought last month on e-bay from Moty Ezrati, the owner of James Upshall pipe co.

  5. Kypros Christodoulides permalink
    May 22, 2010 01:08

    The mastro is in my hands. It arrived earlier today after a long delay from the Italian post office, even the seller was worried.
    Well I would beg to disagree with you gentlemen.
    The first smoke out of the box was disapointing, and did not show any qualities to write home about. It was really a bit hot, a bit on the acid side and not satisfying at all. What I have learned about Mastroes is that the first smoke is as good as the last. This was a bit of a disapointment. So was the second bowl of my favourite. After that I gave up, putting it up to bad luck as I paid dearly for it.
    Later that day I had to go to a neighbouring town on business so I cleaned it halfheartedly and went my way, anticipating the time I would come back and smoke my Brakner and Upshall.
    That I did. But the mastro was sitting on my mantlepiece staring at me and mind you it’s a beautiful pipe to look at. So I decided to ruin my night and smoke it for the last time. I couldn’t believe it was the same pipe I was smoking. It has transformed completely. If ever there was a perfect smoking pipe , then this is the one. After two bowls it has miraculously transformed into the perfect all rounder. Now it takes first place with the Brakner that i bought from our friend Will with close second the upshall.

    Kypros, my dear friend; You have to allow some time for the pipe to break in. I was very lucky with my Mastro in Milan. It smoked beautifully from the outset but not all pipes do that, in fact, very few.
    Smoke it gently at first, allow plenty of time for the pipe to rest. A few days, not hours, will make a great difference as the bowl absorbs tobacco oils and develops a little cake.
    Good luck with your Mastro, I’m sure it will develop into a fine smoker. Maybe even, your best smoker.

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