LEFT: 1884 Wm. & Edwin
Silversmiths -
Briar: Crown Pipe -
Vienna / London.
"It's a
reading pipe"
- Bill Ashton
Taylor. The sterling silver
mounts are exquisitely
chased. The pipe can be
configured with or without
the albartoss wing-bone
extension using either the
fossil amber (to impress) or
the cow horn mouthpiece.
Unsmoked. Case marked:
"C.M. Recherche"
This pipe is featured on the
Pipedia Barling website -

From the Johnny Long
PCoL #UK603F
NOTE: The Collectors' Corner pages are exclusively for displaying items in the collections of members of the Pipe Club of London.
to the
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RIGHT: Briar silver
mount - 1890
Albatross wing bone
extension - Hallmarked
Birmingham, England
Makers: H.F. & C.F.
Vulcanite mouthpiece.

Johnny Long collection
Collectors' Corner Main

Pipes of all Types

Briars - 1850 - 1900

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Pipe Rests & Racks
The briar pipe, so the story goes, owes its existence to a French smoker who journeyed to Corsica in the 1820′s.
Arriving on the island and discovering that his prized meerschaum pipe had been shattered in transit, the Frenchman
asked a local artisan to carve a new pipe from the wood of the bruyere, or heath tree, which grows extensively on the
The smoker was so delighted by the finished product that he sent heath wood and roots to St. Claude, France and
began manufacturing the bruyere, or briar pipe. Today, the briar pipe is the most popular pipe in the world.
ABOVE: Briar silver mount - circa 1890 - length 18" / 45.7cm.
Amber stem (repaired) with albatross wing bone extension - Maker B.W. (?) -  stamped "Silver" (Most probably American
- or Continental, definitely not English, as it is not hallmarked). This pipe can be smoked as a short or long pipe - a
precursor of the now popular modern double-stemmed Stanwell churchwardens.

Johnny Long collection
ABOVE: Barling Reading Pipe - 1884 - E.B. over W.B. (Edwin & William Barling, sons of Benjamin Barling, the
notable London silversmith) Briar screw-silver mount (shownn here disassembled for cleaning and repair).
This is yet another example of the "pre-Barling-Barlings." Alabatross wing-bone extension with amber mouthpiece,
useable as a short or long pipe.

Johnny Long collection
BELOW: Briar silver mount - albatross wing-bone extension - amber mouthpiece

John Green collection
Briar silvermount - Churchwarden - Henry Perkins maker
hallmarked Birmingham, England, "w" for 1896
Length: 13" / 33cm

From the Alex Tseitlin collection
PCoL #IS001E
Above: Barling's Catalog
from the 1851 International
Exhibition in London
(Click photo to enlarge.)

EB is Edwin Barling;
WB is William Barling, sons of
Benjamin Barling,

See the
Meerschaum page for an
example of his work from 1850.

Our thanks to www.pipedia.org for
this photo.
Catching the Albatross
for sport - or - the making of
pipe stems

The home of the albatross is the
seas of the Antarctic . These
majestic birds often followed and
accompanied sailing ships in the
hope of picking up scraps of food.
Catching albatrosses was one of
the favourite pastimes on voyages
around Cape Horn. (See the poem
below right.)

To attract the great bird, a thin
metal triangle about 20 cm long
and 3 – 4 cm wide was attached to
the top of a piece of wood so that
it would float. A piece of lard was
wrapped around one of the angles.
In order to catch the albatross
without blood being spilt, the
triangle was tied to the end of a
thin line and let into the water.

Some captains placed a ban on
albatross hunting, others allowed
a few specimens to be caught and
killed, others took part themselves.

The long wing bones were very
popular with sailors as tobacco-
pipe stems,
and the beak could be
used as  a crook. But many
albatrosses were set free again.

German Maritime Museum

‘L’Albatros’ by Charles Baudelaire

Souvent, pour s’amuser, les hommes d’équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l’azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d’eux.

Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu’il est comique et laid!
L’un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L’autre mime, en boitant, l’infirme qui volait!

Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l’archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l’empêchent de marcher.

English translation, by A. Z. Foreman

Often for sport the crewmen will ensnare
Some albatrosses: vast seabirds that sweep
In lax accompaniment through the air
Behind the ship that skims the bitter deep.

No sooner than they dump them on the floors
These skyborn kings, graceless and mortified,
Feel great white wings go down like useless oars
And drag pathetically at either side.

That sky-rider: how gawky now, how meek!
How droll and ugly he who shone on high!
The sailors poke a pipe stem in his beak,
Then limp to mock this cripple born to fly.

The poet is so like this prince of clouds
Who haunted storms and sneered at earthly slings;
Now, banished to the ground, to cackling crowds,
He cannot walk beneath the weight of wings.

Click photo to enlarge.