At best, the way they're often sold is confusing, and at worst, buyers are straight-up being mislead. The Cassano brand was established in 1926 when Enrico Ceresa, coming back from , modernized his father's Gerolamo factory built in 1919 in Cassano Magnago. And some even simply make stuff up because they can. If I view all pipes in terms of their brand, I will begin to use those brand categories to organize various observations about pipesmoking in terms of who made the pipes, and not the pipes themselves. Very few of these are made. I think it was only around for a couple of years.
Briar is a root, of course. This is a Collection quality piece in a cross cut or birds eye cut. Check out the 60 Minutes piece on counterfeit wines from this past weekend. Red Briar stained cherry; smooth 9. It smoked great, every bit as good as the great smoking old Comoys or Barlings. I include the 85 because some hold that Ascorti was making Caminetto's in 1985, but the majority of who I have talked to and the information I have researched claim official production and retail sale did not begin until 1986. Anyway, I've heard all that several times with mostly consistent explanations.
Yet another friend and pipe store manager has one old Custombilt Rhodesian that he says smokes as well as any of his high grade Ashtons, Upshalls, Ser Jacopos, and Dunhills. It obviously did not know that it was supposed to be of low status. The Castello Pipe of The Year Series will run for ten years until the year 2000. On both occasions the pipes were shipped quickly and arrived in excellent condition. Castello was created in 1947 by Carlo Scotti in Cantu, Italy. Bare in mind that any Cavicchi is going to be a superlative pipe no matter the grade.
Dunhill provided information on origins several decades back. In short, the old stamp has a 2x2 grid specifying the shape, finish, series, and year in that order , while the newer stamp only shows the finish, the letter 'L', and the year. Several Dunhill collectors have told me in no uncertain terms that the old patent Dunhills before 1955 smoke decidedly better than the later models. What is true though is that there are very, very few Castello pipes that are new and unsmoked that carry a registry number. Trademarks and Collections are the best grain. In 1969 Franco Coppo joins the firm.
We have handled many thousand Castello pipes during the last 7 years and have viewed many more. Gianni Davoli, last chimney standing, stayed behind, now owning a pipe workshop without any pipemakers. He shipped some pipes across the pond for inspection and received excellent feedback for the very high quality of the pipes. Ascorti shared Radice's concerns about maintaining the quality in the face of the higher production, but Davoli had gained almost total control by this time, insisting on the higher production. David Field told me on two occasions that he is convinced that oil curing stopped after 1968, and after that Dunhill pipes were quite different. I would post some pictures but I am really new to the forum and I haven't a clue how to add any images to be honest.
I think we discussed this elsewhere in a thread I started specifically about it, but my memory isn't so great this morning. Starting in 1989 Castello added the K stamp to these higher graded series of Greatlines or Fiammatas. Gianni Davoli, last chimney standing, stayed behind, now owning a pipe workshop without any pipemakers. In my eyes, there is old Caminetto production the line of gold stamped logos and new Caminettos white inlay logos. All prices are subject to change and inventory is subject to availability. This series can vary in color from a very light natural color to a fairly dark two tone stain.
I hould be very pleased with some information. Thanks for this great piece of research. Radice started quarreling with Ascorti about the future course of Caminetto, and they were unable to find a solution. These are also the years that Castello switched from machine made pipes that were hand finished to completely hand made pipes. Truthfully, in my opinion, they are very inconsistent in their grading on size and grain quality. Even Ascorti's elder son, Roberto born 1958; and the current owner helped with stamping and shipping the pipes when he was yet a schoolboy.
But, Ascorti had his own far reaching plan: He wanted to work as a self-employed pipemaker! Strangely enough, the old Caminetto workshop caught fire shortly afterward and burned down to ashes. I've only seen this on Sea Rocks, but that doesn't mean anything. The cake and the wood itself probably have more influence on taste than the curing method after many, many, smokes. Two other limited editions were recently made for the 40th anniversary of Castello pipes. Very few of these are made today, although I think that they would be popular if they were available. I don't know when the change was made, but currently, a π symbol is used instead of the 3xx. The upper case large K, was used for non smooth pipes to designate size and for smooth pipes to indicate grain quality.
It is stamped with 5 4 in the little Castle trade mark. Upon leaving Caminetto, Luigi Radice went through huge difficulties, but through the 1980s he also managed to establish himself as independent pipe maker. Even Ascorti's elder son, Roberto Ascorti born 1958; and the current owner helped with stamping and shipping the pipes when he was just a schoolboy. On the surface this sounds quite neat and tidy. The Tinder Box International would be under contract with successful nationwide distribution. . Over the course of 1989 we have carried less than a dozen Sculptured Castellos, although we have seen a few additional pieces during our trips to Italy.
Does a Dunhill pipe, a Charatan, or a Chonowitsch, have a unique taste that separates that brand from all other briar pipes? Like Dunhills, they are fine pipes. With prices well below retail and a strict evaluation criteria to ensure every pipe is as advertised, you can be sure that your new estate pipe is the best value around. Applying the lesson from Einstein, if I thoroughly subscribe to and presuppose the brand myth in pipes, then any observations I make about pipes are biased by the preconceptions imposed by the myth. The Natural Vergin were issued in 1967 first but only in 1985 they started to be produced in series only on the natural carved pipes. Well, what about the great Danish pipes made by renowned makers such as Jess Chonowitsch, Lars Ivarsson, and the two carvers Ulf and Per of S.