Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 61146
Palo Alto, CA  94306

Phone/Fax:
(650) 965-7403
Email:
mpulvers@aol.com
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Ingo Garbe # 1218615
Typically brilliant work by the man I consider to be the ultimate
purist in pipe-making.  All the usual superlatives apply (open
draw, stem comfort) with the additional factor of a unique
quality and level of carving.  He is the one and only.  This pipe
is a Grp. 5 in size and in excellent condition.    There are some
very shallow scratch marks on the bowl.  Used.
5.45" long, bowl 1.8" tall.  Weight: 1 oz., 30 grams. $850.
Joura 9 #102106
This goes back to the days when CAO imported Joura's pipes
and the 9 designation was one of his highest, as you should be
able to see by the abundant 360 degrees of straight grain.  If
you've been paying attention, you will have noticed that on the
vast majority of straight grain pipes, the quality of the grain falls
off dramatically at the front of the bowl.  Not here.  Full & tight
all around.  Joura's impeccable construction.  Unsmoked.
5.5" long, bowl 1.85" tall.  Weight: 2 1/8 oz., 62 grams. $1095.
Joura A #1021172BK
Close to a signature shape of Karlo's, or maybe it is his signa-
ture shape.  Regardless, it is beautifull shaped and balanced.
This is a special pipe, and with the grain quality, it would be
graded much, much higher were it made and released today
rather than when he was carving exlusively for CAO in the 90's.
It's a Grp. 5 in size and my thumb does fit into the chamber.
4.9" long, bowl 1.8" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 56 grams. New.  $1450.
Cornelius Maenz Collector for  Rattray's #803139JJ
This Maenz design also can take a 9mm filter.  It is a new pipe
and part of a series that a German company produces to
support individual German artisan pipe makers.  We have no
company in this country doing anything so clever.  the band is
European sterling.
5.35" long, bowl 2.2" tall.  Weight: 2.5 oz., 72 grams. $145.
Rainer Barbi BA #37013RS
I hate providing the grade for Barbi pipes because they are
no indicator of the grade of the pipe.  Barbi was not exactly
whimsical when grading, he was being practical...if he needed
money, he graded the pipe higher.  It is up to the pipe buyer to
be able to look at a multi-hundred dollar pipe and determine if
the thing is good or not.  If one can't do that, one shouldn't be
buying such an expensive pipe.  I subscribe to that theory, but
when it comes to getting money, I'm happy to advertise a high
grade.  So much for hypocrisy, huh?  This Grp. 5 Apple with a
rounded triangle shank is in exc. cond., with a wide-open draw
and a Barbi hand-cut stem.  It's a rounded button, so you will
not hang this pipe from your jaw, but rather hold that great bowl
in your hand.  Note also the good cross grain and Bird's Eye.
5.6" long, bowl 1.75" tall.  Weight: 1.5 oz., 44 grams. $525.
Joura King #1149504
Long periods go by when the wood simply does not exist to
produce a King grade.  The bonus on this piece is the shape and
style, making it a great pipe to hold and smoke.  I would guess
most King's get put away as collectors' pieces.
Since this pipe was produced, Karl Heinz Joura has started
compromising the quality of his more recent pipes, stamping pipes
as "Kings," when they clearly don't deserve the designation.  To
see how this pipe stacks up in comparison with the ersatz Kings
he is now peddling, please go to to his web site and look at the
laughable grains now called King:
http://www.joura-pipeshop.de/index.php/shop/polierte-pfeifen
5.35" long, bowl 1.8" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 58 grams. $10,500
C. Manz  for Rattray's #42519JJ
One of the designer pipes made for a series honoring the great
German pipe makers.  The pipe is new and can take a 9mm
filter is the smoker so desires, although i can't imagine why
anyone would want to do that to the draw of a good pipe.
the bowl here is large, but the shape and thick walls keep the
tobacco chamber from being overly large.  
5.4" long, bowl 2.1" tall.  Weight: 2 7/8 oz., 57 grams.  $125.
Rainer Barbi #1213117PN
For those who want to believe that pipe makers use grade
stampings for something other than revenue enhancing, this
has a "CA" on it.  The bowl size is Grp. 4, but it is short and
thus compact.  The condition is excellent, the draw wide-open
and the stem flat and exceedingly comfortable.  The front of the
bowl picture on bottom right is a bit light in color (the stain is
well represented by the mahogany colored shots) but it does
help reveal the good cross grain of the pipe.  Used.
5" long, bowl 1.7" tall.  Weight: 1 1/4, 35 grams. Price: $475.
Bertram Safferling 3 #218215 (SOLD)
Safferling is the perfect example of the stubborn artist who
insists on doing things his own way, despite its blatant
impractacibility.  He works very slowly, with almost no machinery
and obsesses over each detail.  He simply can not make any
money with his method, and his pipes are near impossible to
import because there are so few, and and effort turns into a
money-losing exercise.  So, we're not likely to see many more.
This one is beautifully made with exc. straight grain on 4/5 of
the bowl.  It's a Grp. 5 in size and feels great in the hand. new.
5.8" long, 1.7" tall.  Weight: 1 3/8 oz., 40 grams. Price: $450.
Joura Infinity C #218029
Getting us up there in his grading system, we have this
asymmetrical, sculpted gem from Karlo.  I will say that is fits
much better into the right hand than the left and it is a fairly
large pipe, of the Grp. 6 size.  As expected, it is an open draw
and the drilling of the air hole into the chamber is spot-on. New.
6 1/8" long, bowl 1.85" tall.  Weight: 2 3/8 oz., 65 grams. $1960.
Ingo Garbe #51814FT
This may look reconditioned, but I have a brand new Garbe
that I bought from a shop in Munich years ago, and the chamber
coating is just the same.  Fine cross grain, which is much more
Ingo's trademark than straight grain.  The size is Grp. 5, the
draw is wide-open & a cleaner goes right through, but
sometimes it needs a twist of the wrist.  Ingo's stems are the
best because he knows it's the most important part of the pipe.
5.95" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1.5 oz., 43 grams. New. $995.
Joura King #621743JJ
For those who are diffident and don't want to apear
ostentatious in their acquisitions, we have a Joura King that is
less costly that the piece above.  Here, too, the straight grain
quality is worthy of the grade designation and the handwork is
pure Joura, with each detail coming as close to perfection as
possible.  It is also a large pipe, with a chamber easily large
enough for me to insert my thumb into.  It is easy for me to
imagine the two Kings on this page being adopted by one
person and then paired in a custom-built box.  That's the way
things should be done around here. New.  Vulcanite stem.
5.7" long, bowl 1.85" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 57 grams. $9600.
Ingo Garbe #425238FT
The condition of the pipe's bowl & chamber are excellent, but
the stem is less than great, with a tooth indent right on the
button & visible, but extremely shallow marks on both the top &
bottom of the stem.  One side of the bowl seems to have been
bleached a little by the sun, but that will darken evenly with the
rest of the pipe when it is smoked.  This is large, a Grp. 6 size.
The Bird's Eye & cross grain are good & the draw wide-open.
5.75" long, bowl 2.2" tall. Weight:  1.5 oz., 45 grams. $550.
Wallenstein "Balance" for Chieftan (by Rattray) #925011
This original design by Roger Wallenstein was buried in one of
my drawers for far too long.  I found it while looking for
something else.  In any case, it's here now and is still
unsmoked.  Because it's from Germany, it can take a 9mm filter,
but it is not necessary to use one and I don't in my 9mm pipe.
It's a Grp. 5 in size.  I suppose it's called Balance because
despite it's asymmetrical looking design, it sits up very well on
its roundish bottom, exhibiting great balance. Lucite stem. New.
5.35" long, bowl 1.75" tall.  Weight: 1 5/8 oz., 47 grams. $160.
Rainer Barbi BB #102197BK
I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the outside of
the bowl is a bit oval shaped, giving extra panache to an already
beautifully crafted piece.  Also noteworthy is the fact that a pipe
cleaner goes through to the chamber with just a bit of twisting,
but without need to tweak the end of the cleaner.  That's
superlative construction on a pipe with this kind of "S" between
stem and shank.  So yes, the draw is open.  It's a Grp. 6 in
size.5.4" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1 5/8 oz., 44 grams. $795.
Juls #42506FT  (Julian Shäffer) #42506
In his exhaustive, comprehensive work on all the pipe makers
he could find, my friend José Manuel Lopes, of Portugal, said
that Shäffer made pipes from about 1982 into the 1990's and
then found other things to occupy his obviously very creative
mind.  Now, Lopes claims, his pipes are eagerly sought &
collected.  I'll soon find out. This one is a handsome Grp. 4 with
good grain all around...no weak spots.  It looks to be unsmoked.
5.25" long, bowl 1.75" tall.  Weight: 1 1/8 oz., 33 grams. $250.
Rainer Barbi BC #102127BK
It's for, for me at least, to see a master carver, Barbi in this
case, produce an original classic shape.  These are almost the
true tests of their ability.  In this case, it's clear that no machine
can cut a Dublin any better than Barbi can do it freehand.  Of
course the draw is wide-open.  Grp. 5. Vulcanite stem. New.
5.6" long, bowl 2.15" tall.  Weight: 1.5 oz., 44 grams. $750.
Barbi BC #102137BK
It can get tiresome, and feel redundant, to have to talk so often
about the beautifully sculpted pieces of pipe makers with the
creative genius (genius might be a stretch, but maybe it isn't a
stretch, at all) of a Barbi.  He has a never ending arsenal of
shapes upon which he can call and I'm not sure how he decides
what to carve, other than intuition and experience, which might
be one definition of creative genius for all I know.  Almost
everyone else would have made the triangle shape of this bowl
more prominent.  Here, Barbi employs a subtle, refined touch to
this difficult shape. This is a Grp. 6 in size, with wide-open draw
and construction that allows for the easy flow of a cleaner
through to the chamber bottom.  The wood trim might be
boxwood.  Vulcanite stem.  Unsmoked.
5.85" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1 7/8 oz., 53 grams. $785.
Barbi CB #1021047BK (SOLD)
The most recent in-coming collection is fairly loaded with pipes
from Rainer Barbi.  Being someone who favors sandblasts, this
is one that appeals to me.  Having been in Barbi's workshop a
number of times, I know he didn't have a sandblaster.  I'm pretty
certain that he sent the pipes that he wanted to have sand
blasted to Former.  Can't do much better than that.  The wood
trim is, I think, something called Leopard Wood.  I could stand
corrected there.  About it being attractive there is no dispute.
The pipe is a 6 size, with a wide-open draw.  Surprising to me is
the fact that with just a few twists, a pipe cleaner went to the
bottom of the chamber unimpeded.  Vulcanite stem.  Unsmoked.
5.3" long, bowl 2.15" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 56 grams. $750.
Joura 9 #1021052BK
This pipe was imported during the time that CAO brought in
Joura pipes.  It is probably a large Grp. 5, and despite the very
wide rim, I can squeeze my thumb into the tobacco chamber.  
The stem is brindle.  The balance is so good that the pipe sits
up and can spin around on the bowl bottom.  Unsmoked.
5.2" long, bowl 1.85" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 56 grams. $650
Rainer Barbi #218125BK (SOLD 7/15/17)
When you look at the other Barbi pipes on this page, and then
you look at this pipe, you can see the depth and breadth of his
range.  Amazing would be one word that comes to mind.  
Clearly, he is equalled be few others, and all of them would also
have to be considered among the greatest of pipe carvers.  
This is a wonderfully compact pipe...maybe a large Grp. 4 in
size.  The vulcanite stem is flat and comfortable, the draw wide-
open & the air hole drilled right on the bottom of the chamber.  
The straight grain all around is pretty good, too.  The condition
is near-new.  Indeed, maybe it is unsmoked.  I can't tell for sure.
5.4" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight: 1.25 oz., 36 grams. $495.
Joura 9 #218140BK
I don't know if Joura has what is called a signature shape, but if
he doesn't, this should be it. The pipe has a brilliant simplicity in
its design and an indescribable elegance & appeal in the
execution.  This smacks of being a great smoke, which isn't a
risky statement when talking about a Joura pipe.  This Grade 9
was made exclusively for CAO, when they were the U.S.
importers of Joura's pipes.  It's a Grp. 6 in size & the draw is
wide-open.  In keeping with the tradition of most high end pipes,
the stem is made of vulcanite.  Unsmoked.
5.75" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 58 grams. $850.
Ingo Garbe #42517FT (RESERVED)
In looking this pipe over, I noticed that Ingo Garbe did not stamp
the country of origin on the shank.  The only nomenclature
visible to my eyes is his name.  I then checked the two Garbe
pipes that I own and they have the same omission, although
one has the name of the Munich pipe shop from which I bought
it.  This pipe is in exc. cond., with an open draw.  It's a Grp. 5
size and has superb hand-cut vulcanite stem  Used.
5.7" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight: 1 3/8 oz., 39 grams. $440.
Ingo Garbe #42542FT (RESERVED)
This attractively cross-grained pipe is a Grp. 6 in size with a
wide-open draw.  The rim is clean & smooth, as is the tobacco
chamber & the stem is bite-mark free.  Vulcanite stem.  Used.
5.6" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 49 grams. $475.
Ingo Garbe #42559FT
In looking at some of these older Ingo Garbe pipes we can see
the evolution of someone I consider to be a near-genius pipe
maker...someone who's pipes embody everything a pipe should
be and do for the pipe smoker, and not a feature to aggrandize
the pipe maker's ego (which is not to say that Ingo doesn't have
a rather sizable ego...but he's 1/2 crazy, so it doesn't count the
same).  This is a classic Lovat, a shape that continues to
capture the imagination of pipe makers and smokers, despite
what might look like an easily executable form.  There is wear
on the rim, and weak spots in terms of grain, but nothing about
the integrity of the pipe is compromised.  The draw is wide-open
& Ingo appears to have already addressed his obsession with
creating the perfect, most comfortable stem.  Vulcanite. Used.
5.3" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight: 1.25 oz., 36 grams. $450.
Peter Klein A Grade #61514CO
I met Peter when he was just starting as a pipe maker and for an
income he was still working for a school district near Cologne,
Germany.  He is now one of the better established German
pipe makers, although I understand he's living in Denmark.  This
pipe is a Grp. 5 in size and can not take a 9mm filter (as many
of his pipes do) but does have an open draw.  Good cross grain
pattern & the pipe can sit up.  Acrylis stem.  Unsmoked.
5.85" long, bowl 2.1" tall.  Weight: 2 1/8 oz., 59 grams. $395.
Frank Axmacher #425143PN
I know it's irrelevant, but whenever I need to describe a Frank
Axmacher pipe, I can't help thinking how much I like the
gentleman.  He is a pleasure to be around and talk to,
especially when the conversation goes deep into the night and
concerns many issues, including pipes and other pipe makers,
but also personal history.  And since we're on the subject, you
can include Jurgen Moritz in there, too.  Back to pipes.  This is
what I would call a typical Axmacher, with the bone shank
extension & a military touch to the stem/shank treatment.  The
size is Grp. 5, the cond. is exc., the draw is wide-open and the
stem is vulcanite (I need to clean it up, but that's easy). Used.
5" long, bowl 1.8" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 50 grams. $285.  
Sam Learned #425244FT
Sam was a 100% U.S. pipe maker, but the pipe was
inadvertently posted here on the German page, and here is
where it will stay.  For a while, Sam was one of the hottest new
(but not young...he wasn't young) U.S. pipemakers, then his wife
died and I think he lost his mojo.  This is a handsome version of
his pipes and is in near-new condition. My thumb easily fits into
the chamber.   Vulcanite stem.  Used.
5.25" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight: 1 7/8 oz., 54 grams. $115.
Ingo Garbe #51809FT
Grp. 6 cross grain (Ingo's signature grain pattern) in very good
cond with an open draw.  A little tooth mark (hardly an indent)
on the top of the stem, & just a little wear at one point of the rim.
Very interesting patina on the stain...does this mean, asks The
Pipe Whisperer (me) that this is one of those magic-smoking
pipes?  Could be.  Vulcanite stem, used.
5.75" long, bowl 2.25" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 50 grams. $565.
Safferling #51834FT
Bertram Safferling was educated in Art & Design, which explains
his originality and avant guard shapes.  He also works with
perhaps fewer electric equipt. than any pipe maker other than
Baldo Baldi.  I haven't been in Baldo's workshop, but I have
been in Bertram's.  I don't know what size to call this, but it is
large, and because of all that briar, also heavy.  We'll weight it
soon.  The draw is open & easily takes a pipe cleaner.  The
condition is excellent.  Dig the Bird's Eye that covers the bottom
of the pipe.  Used.
5.8" long, bowl 2.25" tall.  Weight: 3.5 oz., 98 grams. $235.
Safferling #51840FT
This is almost a traditionally shaped pipe from Bertram, which, I
hope, didn't torture his soul.  (OK...I'm exaggerating...he makes
plenty of standard pipes.)  This certainly qualifies as a large
pipe & is in exc. cond.  The draw is open and a cleaner goes
right to the chamber.  If I hadn't been using the same cleaner
for 2 straight years, it would probably flow through easier.  The
grain you can see for yourself, including that great Bird's Eye
carpet on the bottom of the whole pipe.  Vulcanite stem. Used.
5.85" long, bowl 2.25" tall.  Weight: 3 7/8 oz., 109 grams. $325.
Ingo Garbe #518186FT  (SOLD 6/12/17)
This pipe was pretty clearly re-worked to make it look like new.
The rim thickness is not the same all around, which Garbe
would never allow.  I'm not sure about the stain color either,
which doesn't match what I know about his pipes.  If somebody
did recondition this pipe, they did a great job.  It's a Grp. 6.