Straight Grain

(HALL & FITZGERALD) Straight Grain

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Fortunately the name “Straiht Grain” is not a proprietary trade mark and each manufacturer can distinguish the best samples of the briar grain with such stamping. Usually internet search gives Comoy’s Straight Grain series or Barling Straight Grain pipes. However this pipe is hardly a Comoys or Barling creature. Comoys used substantially different serif font, Barlings pipes had “MADE IN \ ENGLAND” stamped in two lines.

Among the known and respected English manufacturers in our sources there are just a few who applied the stamp “MADE IN ENGLAND” in one line: Blakemar, John Redman, Hall & Fitzegerald and pre Cadogan Orlik. However our analysis of theirs stampings, fonts, produced shapes and series hints it is the most probably a Hall & Fitzgerald pipe.

Hall & Fitzgerald is first mentioned in an 1878 Directory of Bristol as a ‘Fancy Goods Warehouse’. Within a few years the company is in the partnership of William Sydney Hall and Edward Thurston Davies trading as Hall & Fitzgerald, of 147 Temple Street, Bristol, Tobacconists and Fancy Goods Merchants. Silver hallmarks for pipe fittings are registered in London in 1899 and in Chester in 1901. Hall & Fitzgerald is making and selling smoking pipes until liquidation and closing in 1982 (except the Wold War II years). Known brands: Clifton, Dorchester, Excelsior, Hercules, Oxford, Craftsman and Wessex.

The pipe markings are “STRAIGHT GRAIN \ MADE IN ENGLAND”. The lenghts is 15.2 cm (5.98″), bowl’s hight is 5.3 cm (2.09″). External and internal diameters of the bowl are 5.0 cm (1.97″) and 2.2 cm (0.87″). The depth is 4.1 cm (1.61″) and this pipe weights 70 gr. Briar, vulcanite stem, no filter. The bowl has a few dents, patches and suface neat cracks including the very small one on the inner rim nevertheless looks still gorgeous and convincing. The stem had a dent close to the button – we have carefully and reliably patched it, but the trace is visible under a bright light.

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