Saturday, October 16, 2010


I started smoking pipes years ago. I bought my first pipes as many of you did, from a Tinder Box in the local mall. For years I smoked cheap pipes and was happy. Then I discovered Ebay and the thrill of Olde England got the better of me. I was entranced by Dunhill, Sasieni and Barling. Unfortunately I couldn't afford the good stuff. I was only able to win the pipes that no one wanted. They were beat up or from the wrong time period. As my finances increased, or I suppose the truth of it is, that my schemes for diverting money towards pipe purchases got better, I became enamored of of the Danes and then the German pipe makers. But I have always clung to a fondness for England. Sherlock Holmes, smoking jackets and wood paneled libraries- what's not to like? And then along comes Neill Roan and his passion for Comoy Blue Ribands. Once again I felt the lure. But I didn't want to become a pipe historian. I didn't want the thrill of the chase. I'm an American. I want what I want ...NOW. At the Richmond show, I was fortunate to stumble across Jim Craig and his son. Jim has taken over the Ashton name. I had of course heard of Ashton and had even had a lovely conversation w/ Bill Taylor at the bar during the Chicago show some years ago. But Bill's pipes were just too large for me. but now, here in Richmond, was a table full of English pipes that seemed just right for me. I had a hard time deciding which to get. In the end I picked up the small bent billiard w/ silver band shown above. It's a fine little pipe and a really wonderful smoker. I think my problem has been solved. I think I am now an Ashton collector - on a small scale anyway. -T

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