Belgium - Netherlands, 1980s
A pipe from the very old and highly respected European manufacturer. The foundation of the Hillson brand was laid in the City of Bree, Belgium, in 1846 when the clay pipes where widely offered, but until the end of the XIX century the company becomes a famous supplier of briar pipes. In the XX century Hillson is already a highly popular manufacturer and produces mostly machine made pipe though they were highly appreciated both for the quality and for skilful and attractive design.
"It is my desire to create sensual pipes, beautifully grained that are pleasing to the eye. I work with only the rarest of briar burls that are seasoned in a manner that allows for a minimal break in period and a very smooth smoking pipe. The briar grows in the wild and there is a remarkable difference in grain between each block . This variance of grain together with the myriad of designs in my mind and the nature of the work, makes for truly one of a kind pipes. The essence of my work is in the creation of sculpted smoking instruments that are functional pieces of art".
Andrey Peshkov was born on Jan 27th 1968 in Russia, but since 1987 he's living and working in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. He is undoubtedly one of the most interesting Ukrainian pipe carvers of the new generation. The first pipe was carved in 2009 and since than Andrey has made an outstanding progress thanks to his natural talent and great menthors such as Konstantin Shekita and Valery Ryzhenko. As it's typical for Ukrainian pipe making tradition, Andrey is doing his work very meticulously with the highest attenton to engineering and briar selection. Today Peshkov pipes made of Italian and Spanish briar and German vulcanite are widely offered both in Ukraine and at international market places.
Great example of success of a pipemaker from a small Italian town! GiGi is a nikname of Luigi "Gigi" Crugnola born in 1934 in Gavirate (a municipality in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Milan). By a lucky coincidence the same year Rovera pipe company was founded by Giorgio Rovera along with partners Angelo and Adele Bianchi, who also happened to be Luigi Crugnola's Uncle and Mother, respectively. In 1964 Luigi took over the company and changed the brand name to GiGi.
Zino Davidoff (1906-1994), one of the most famous tobacco businessmen and revolutionary (even iconic) people of the XX century's culture said "the pipe is a valuable companion, the essence of tranquility and must be smoked with respect".
A product of the Empire Briar Pipe Company Inc. of New York, most probably from the 1940-50s. The pipe did require some more attention than just a clean up . The stummel had a few dings which were carefully and reliably patched, the right side of the shank seems to be not ideally straight (oversanded?). The chamber looks a bit off center of the bowl (see the picture from the top). Anyway that's a good and affordable American pipe from the middle of the XX century.
In 1886 Ferdinando Rossi founded a pipe factory in Barasso, Lombardy. Over the time production came to leading positions: between two world wars Rossi's factory was recognized as the largest in the world, 860 people worked there (95% of them - women), 50 000 pipes a day (it's not a typo! yes, 50 000 a day!).
The pipe can be dated quite precisely. Hans Sørensen founded the Danmore company in the early 1970s and it was quite a lucky start up, Danmore pipes were popular and sold in the Pipe Dan catalogue as well. But due to raising labour costs and falling demand the pipes production was closed in the early 1980s. Today the Danmore Hobby Aps company is known only as pipe cleaners maker.
In the pre WWII period the nomenclature "Bruyere Garantie" (Real Briar, Echt Bruyere) was much more than just a stamping for identification of pipes made of briar (not of any other, cheaper wood). At the same time this nomenclature didn't become a brand status because many manufacturers used it without any concerns regarding patents, rights etc. For many large factories it was at times the simplest way to mark a pipe with "something" and send it to a tobacconist. But only such "Bruyere Garantie" pipes met an extremely high demand in pipes in the first half of the XX century. ("Remember, those were the days when good restaurants offered a free pipe to the gentleman to end a fine meal with a fine smoke!" (c) Pipedia)
Generally speaking, Italian pipes were always beautyful, expressive and tasteful designed. But shortly before 1950 Lorenzo Tagliabue, new top manager of the Manufattura di Pipe Tagliabue (former Fratelli Lana), realized that skillful design is a much more important success factor than large production volumes and began to design new models of his own in an unmistakable style.