Following the bombing, business picks up again thanks to a German from America who buys the firm, alters the way it is run, and then sells it. The new, prestigious owner transfers the whole activity, sells off the brand, but then later repurchases it. However, in order to do this there must be some sort of reference that may be consulted, which the companies, unfortunately, cannot always supply.
This is because the ancient archives have frequently been destroyed by fires and other disasters, or else have been neglected or abandoned altogether. However, collectors are a tenacious breed: Pipe firms and companies have only really realized the importance of collectors in the last few decades, and thus to meet their demands, as well as to increase production, they periodically issue a series of appealing, quality pipes.
Nevertheless, our indomitable heroes forge ahead, their favourite pastime being unearthing fleeting, slippery clues. In fact, at least until Lane arrived on the scene, routine procedure among the expert pipe makers was frowned upon.
Of course, stamps and codes were part of the process, but were not the most important part and were not always precise. When Lane and later Dunhill sought to impose some sort of classification, they were successful, but at the cost of losing some of the magic in the workshop. Furthermore, in order to attract more clients Lane himself increased the number of models and grades to the extent that today collectors have serious difficulties in gathering precise data. Moreover, there are those who do not stop at determining a period or model, but complicate their lives further by seeking models made by particular craftsmen.
From pipe to pipe, and clue after clue, these resolute sleuths hunt down pipes by Reuben Charatan, Ken Barnes, and Barry Jones. Through details that only their expert eyes can see they try to distinguish between products from Mansell Street, Prescot Street, or Grosvenor Street. The top collectors are like that: Thus, we should really divide the history into three eras: In future a fourth era may be added: Before examining the eras and periods in more detail it should be said that the information gathered from experts may not be complete and therefore may be integrated or altered with future findings.
On the other hand, we know that is the year in which Herman Lane bought the business, but it is also known that as early as or even the early s Herman Lane was the sole distributor of Charatan pipes in the USA.
Hence, is also an approximate year. The first era can be further divided into two periods: The letters are fine. May be in amber or horn, as well as in ebonite, and saddle shaped or tapered. The CP logo is stamped on it but may sometimes be absent. A subtlety that Herman Lane would later make clearer. These are slightly less rare, but still difficult to find. Underboar system see below used when necessary. From , Lane changed the nomenclature for models marketed for the US to clarify the message: Its manufacturing period ranged between and c.
This model was equipped with a duralumin plunger trap fitted in the stem, which served to clean the residue more easily. This particular model bore a special stamp on the stem, and also had its own catalogue. However, initially changes were almost imperceptible, and it was only when Ben Wade closed down in Leeds and all machinery moved to London that Lane brought about some radical changes, paying particular attention to marketing.
This is why it would be better to divide this era into two separate periods. To facilitate classification each era will be divided into various periods in numerical sequence. The saddle stem fits into the shank perfectly and has a flattened part. On the other hand, the Double Comfort features a saddle stem with a stepped bit, which is shorter. This type of stem dates from the beginning of the third period, although again this is approximate.
Indeed, some experts even date it back to the beginning of WWII. The stem bears a thicker Charatan logo CP. Pipes made for the American market bear the Lane logo with a serif, circled capital L. Some pipes were also commissioned to Willmer, the British manufacturers and Preben Holm, the Danish workshop.
The same nomenclature was used after that date, still arranged in three lines, but instead of using capital letters for the first part, the pipes now bore lower case script: Real changes started to be made in , increasing radically as time went by, which culminated in the closure of the London workshop and transfer of all manufacturing to Walthamstow in This date marks the transition from the first to the second Dunhill period. Dunhill then sold the Charatan brand to James B.
Dunhill I Features are similar to previous production, except for some differences. Althoughthis does not mark a division between two periods in production, nevertheless it was a breaking point of no return.
From that time on radical changes were made, even if they did not have a great impact on the features being examined. Here are some of the differences: The CP logo is the new one, the two letters being separate.
Catalogues can be consulted online to view the models, and pipes can be bought. Originally in ebonite, amber or horn. Up to the second era it was only in ebonite, apart from a few exceptions. As for its shape, in the first and second era it was tapered or saddle shaped. The tapered stem was absent, apart from some rare cases of special series. The saddle stem was for a long time present in some models, but later disappeared. The stem bore the CP logo, where the C penetrated the P until about , and then reappeared in the eighth period.
In the seventh period the script was more marked. We will not go into this now. The size and shape of the scripts stamped on them vary more or less according to the era and even during one single era. However, once Dunhill sold the firm to James B. Russell, the L disappeared. Another stamp that can help dating is the one referring to the quality of the pipe. Until Herman Lane arrived on the scene there were four quality grades. Starting with the lowest: Belvedere, Executive, Selected, and Supreme.
Lane went on to add higher grades from time to time: He also invented other, different grades, even changing the previous pipe classification standards. We shall leave further detailed analyses and dating to the experts, an enterprise that has only just begun, but which is at the same time surprising and highly satisfying for those who are prepared to rise to the challenge.