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Most Expensive Tobacco Pipe

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Smoking tobacco pipes isn’t new.

The internet isn’t new (alright it’s “newer”).

Rinaldo Pipes

What is new is the growing number of tech-savvy pipe collectors using Instagram, Reddit, Ebay and other forums to track down obscure artisan collectibles, estate models from historically significant brands like Savinelli and all manner of pipe tobacco, both new and aged.

Many of today’s collectors see the hobby as much about acquiring as it is about smoking. By turning the hobby, more so than ever, into one similar to art collecting, prices often skyrocket for unique and/or obscure items. This trend can be positive, by allowing handmade pipes like Rinaldos to find increasing patronage. It can also be negative, by driving up prices artificially when a new Sherlock Holmes or Lord of the Rings movie comes out.

Expensive Pipe Characteristics

The characteristics that drive up the price of a tobacco pipe are different for estate pipes versus new creations. Estate pipes can sometimes have amber or ivory stem and/or ring elements that will drive up the price. It isn’t always about the designer. When it comes to new pipes the Artisan brand, quality of the briar used and name association all play a role in whether or not the price will be high.

Savinelli Autograph

Expensive is subjective

Keep in mind that “expensive” is subjective. We know serious collectors who pay thousands of dollars for unique estate pieces and every Italian pipe collector we know lusts after a unique Savinelli Autograph Series creation.

On the other hand, we know veteran smokers who wouldn’t dream of spending more than $50 on their smoking pipe.

It’s all subjective, according to your tastes and opinions.

What’s in a price

That being said, we think it’s safe to say that once we get over $100, the difference between one smoking pipe and 

Vauen O!

another comes down to luxury choices could versus simple improved mechanics. We’d compare it to the difference between buying a Volkswagen and a BMW. Both are German-made with care, beautifully designed and will last for a lifetime. The upgrades that make BMW’s at least double are optional. They are highly desirable and enjoyable options, but not needed to get from point A to point B efficiently and consistently. The same is true of more expensive pipes, we love them but the “upgrades” are not essential to enjoying a good smoke.

An important point about more expensive tobacco pipes versus their cheaper counterparts is the distinction between artisan and brand made. Artisan pipes are made by hand, usually in a small shop and by a one or two person business. Part of what you’re paying for is the time, commitment and artistic expression put into your pipe’s creation. In essence, it’s artistic patronage. An act that cannot be measured in dollars and cents like we measure a corporate- produced product.

Buy what you like

Whether it’s a six dollar corn cob or a $400 Vauen O!, we say buy what you like and enjoy it. Nothing tastes better than a smoke in a pipe you love, which usually has little to do with its price tag. 

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