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.  $1150.
Cornelius Maenz Collector for  Rattray's #89-3139JJ
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. $325.
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
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: $425.
Porsche Pipe #1112214AG
 
knocked the tobacco out of their bowl.  Otherwise, the cond.
here is exc., with no bite marks on the stem.  The draw is wide-
open & the size is Grp. 5.  The bowl, with the rings, or vents
(although they don't ventilate anything) does feel good in the
hand.  Used.
5.55" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight; 1 7/8 oz., 53 grams. $165.
Joura Infinity C #218029
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 #117019FT
A pleasure to look at, and to hold and to puff on.  It has a wide-
open draw & a clean, crisp bowl rim.  There are shallow tooth
marks on the top & bottom of the stem but otherwise the pipe is
near new.  It is a Grp. 6 in size.  The stem is vulcanite. Used.
5.9" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 51 grams. $845.
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.
Eder Mathias #89277CO
The draw is open and it easily takes a pipe cleaner.  Nor is it too
work, is clearly as good as possible, feeling very comfortable.  
work, is clearly as good as possible, feeling very comfortable.  
The trim here looks like Olive Wood to me, but I could easily be
mistaken.  Regardless, it is very handsome.  The condition of
the pipe is excellent, it having been smoked once.
5.3" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 56 grams.  Used. $625.
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. $650.
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. $650.
Porsche Pipe #89157CO
The Porsche is made in Holland, but I figured that since they
share much of a common border, it would be OK to put the pipe
here, rather than on the Misc. page.  The car, after all, is made
in Germany.  As with all Porsche pipes, this one can take a
9mm filter, and there is one filter included.  One most definitely
does not have to use the filter...it's a matter of choice.  Also,
the pipe is unsmoked, so condition is not an issue. The stem is
acrylic and it's about a large Grp. 5 in size.
5.8" long, bowl 2.15" tall.  Weight: 2.5 oz., 71 grams. $345
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. $625
Peter Klein AA #89160CO
The side of the bowl that may appear flat is not that flat...it is
gently curved and rounded.  Peter incorporated some of the
plateau into the design, on the bottom of the bowl & the stem is
a wonderfully flat and comfortable vulcanite.  The draw is wide-
open & with a twist of a cleaner, it goes through to the
chamber.  Grp. 5 in size.  New.
5.2" long, bowl 1.8" tall.  Weight: 2.5 oz., 71 grams. New. $425
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. $725.
Peter Klein A #89174CO
I could almost talk myself into believing this pipe was unsmoked,
but I do think someone gave it a quick walk around the block.
In short, the cond. is exc.  The draw is open and the stem is a
comfortable vulcanite.  It's really only a Grp. 4 in size, although it
gives a larger appearance, perhaps because of a a thick shank
& a bowl with plenty of briar at the bottom.  Dig that Bird's Eye
on the bottom of the bowl.  Used.
5.3" long, bowl 1.9" tall.  Weight: 2.5 oz., 70 grams. $225.
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
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. $395.
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. $345.
Rainer Barbi #1214234
I'll call this a Grp. 3 in size, although small 4 might also be right.
More interesting, to me, is the fact that it can take not a 9mm
filter (Barbi often made pipes for his home German market that
could take 9mm filters...which is the subject of a good story
with me and a German retailer at the Dortmund show one year)
but a 6mm filter.  If you are like me, you just don't use a filter on
these pipes and fuhgeddabout it.  They work just fine that way.
The cond. is exc. with a tortoise-shell style acrylic stem. Used.
4.85" long, bowl 1.75" tall.  Weight: 1.25 oz., 36 grams. $325.
Steffen Müller #89283CO
As you can see the dramatic Bird's Eye and cross grain patterns
for yourself, I will spend the space giving a few dimensions that
I normally wouldn't.  On the tall size, the bowl is 2.7" tall & the
shorter side is 2.15" tall.  The width of the bowl, at its narrowest
point, with the cross grain, is 1.1" across.  The construction is
also fine, as the draw is open.  Vulcanite stem and unsmoked.
5.4" long, bowl 2.55" tall.  Weight: 3 5/8 oz., 95 grams. $595.
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.
Steffen Müller #1214103CO
A beautifully sculpted pipe.  The bad news is that a a small
piece of the "wing," I'll call it, was damaged, leaving a bit of a
ragged edge.  The pipe still stands up, and the pipe is still
unsmoked, but short of having some repair genius like Ronni B
work on it, that flaw persists.  The size is difficult to characterize
in Dunhill terms, but call it a large Grp. 5 or small 6.  It feels
light, the stem is surely hand-cut & the draw is open.  New.
5" long, bowl 2.25" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 56 grams. $175.
Ingo Garbe #8932FT
Large, a Grp. 6 in size.  In very good cond., with a mere tough
of use visible on the inner rim.  The draw is wide-open & the
business end of the stem is comfortably flat.  Some buffing has
reduced the size of the stem's circumference, so it is not as
smooth & flush against the shank as when new.  Vulcanite stem.
6" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 50 grams.  Used. $650.
Karl Heinz Joura A #11714FT
Grp 6 in size, with enough straight grain to warrant the A grade.
Although Karl is now known as Karlo, this pipe was made when
CAO imported Joura pipes and he was still Karl, so that is how
this pipe is presented.  The condition is excellent, the draw is
open & the pipe has the insignia of the briar's origin, although I
can't remember which leaf this one is.  Used.
6 1/8" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 5/8 oz., 73 grams. $645.
Ingo Garbe #11724FT
The hardest part of describing this pipe is in trying to figure out
if it has been smoked, or is unsmoked.  I think unsmoked be-
cause the mortise is clean and that almost always picks up
tar first thing, and the chamber has that white residue that
develops in unsmoked chambers after some years of no use.  
No marks on the stem, either, obviously.  In any event, the
Bird's Eye & cross grain are excellent & the draw is wide-open.
6 1/8" long, bowl 2.5" tall.  Weight: 1.75 oz., 49 grams. $725
Ingo Garbe #11739FT
Swan-like is how I think of the graceful "S" of this long stemmed
briar.  The condition is excellent and the draw is wide-open.  A
pipe cleaner easily goes to the bottom of the chamber & it is
big enough to have my thumb fit in it.  Grp. 6 in size.  Used.
5.8" long, bowl 2.2" tall.  Weight: 2 1/8 oz., 59 grams. $650.
Ingo Garbe #11745FT
Grp. 6 in size, with a wide-open draw.  Some carbon residue on
the rim, but no char or loss of wood.  The cross grain provides
a full side of the bowl with stellar Bird's Eye, the kind you love to
contemplate for long periods of time.  The stem is vulcanite (&
needs me to polish it, which I will do) and as all of Ingo's stems,
very comfortable.  Used.
5.85" long, bowl 2.3" tall.  Weight: 2 oz., 55 grams. $525.
Joura Infinity B #11751FT
A fine example of Joura's work at the upper end of his grading
system.   Grp. 5 in size with a wide-open draw and hand-cut
vulcanite stem.  You can see the quality of the  grain.  New.
5.35" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 1/8 oz., 59 grams. $850.
Karl Heinz Joura Gold Dot #11765FT
Some yers back, the gold dot on the stem signified Joura's top
grade, and the sunburst-like flame grain testifies to that.  Along
with that grain goes an open draw, a very comfortable, thin,
narrow vulcanite stem and excellent condition. Grp.5 size. Used.
5.85" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 3/8 oz., 66 grams. $450.
Frank Axmacher #22735
6.5" long, bowl 1.45" tall. Weight: 1.75 oz. 50 grams. Used. $265
Wolfgang Becker Wolfpaw #31471 (SOLD 3/19/18)
Just another remarkable piece of craftsmanship and devotion
to detail from Wolfgang.  If there is anyone in the Western world
that is working at this level, I don't know who it is.  This is a Grp5
size with that wide-open, effortless draw and marvelous hand
feel.  His stem work is also the best.  The cross grain and Bird's
Eye can keep you entranced for as long as you want. New.
5" long, bowl 2" tall.  Weight: 2 3/8 oz., 66 grams. $1400.
Alex Kappeler #227219AG
Here is an example of deft use of the briar's grain pattern.  The
bowl sides have that cross grain/flame grain pattern while the
front of the bowl is all Bird's Eye.  That handsome wood shank
trim provides a break, or a 'rest' for the eyes.  The size is hard
to judge, but call it a Grp 5, and the vulcanite strem is comfort-
able.  The cond. is exc.& a cleaner passes right through to the
chamber bottom.  Vulcanite stem.  Used.
5.7" long.  Weight: 1 5/8 oz., 47 grams. $95.