A recent addition to my pipe box is The Londoner. It is my first non-churchwarden (or semi-churchwarden) since I first started collecting/smoking pipes back in the fall of 2013. It’s also my first non-Savinelli in a while. After I gave away my Peterson, all I had were Savinellis. Now, that is no longer the case.
The story behind this pipe is mainly the Cumberland stem. I had been wanting a shorter pipe for a while, and when I saw this straight billiard with the Cumberland stem, I was intrigued. Truly, it was the stem that drew me to this pipe. From the SmokingPipes.com glossary, a Cumberland stem is defined as thus: A sulphur-hardened rubber material created much the same way as Ebonite and Vulcanite, only it often possesses red and brown pigments added for a brindled aesthetic. It’s soft like Vulcanite, yet far more flexible than lucite or acrylic. The name cumberland itself stems from Dunhill’s Cumberland finish, which was the first to incorporate this particular medium in its stems. I think it’s simply beautiful.
The second thing that drew me to this pipe was the price. For whatever reason, I really can’t remember, I had the bright idea to look at pipes on eBay. Unfortunately, I haven’t really stopped looking at pipes on eBay. But that’s not the point. This pipe only had a couple of hours left and it was around $20. I thought, “Surely I’ve got $20 somewhere.” By the time I turned around, I had bid on, and won, the pipe for $27 plus under $6 shipping. Cool! New pipe for under $33. One problem: I hadn’t told my wife anything about it.
It took me a couple of days to finally come clean with Bridget. I mean, I had spent $33 without her knowing it. On a pipe. For me. When I did reveal to her my purchase, my lovely bride simply said, “Happy Father’s Day!” And I said, “Yes, it is!”
And the last thing about this pipe that caused me to pull the trigger was that it was from England. I had three Italian pipes already. I’d like some pipes from different countries. So, now I have my English pipe. For $33. With a Cumberland stem.