Barling’s Make Ye Olde Wood Special Billiard Briar Pipe, English Estates


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B. Barling and Sons was originally founded in 1812 by Benjamin Barling, and began as a family business making silver-adorned meerschaum pipes. In the early 20th century, however, the Barling family began to produce what the brand is today most famous for – expertly made briar pipes.

While Barling pipes still continue to be manufactured, it is the earliest examples of these pipes that collectors around the world prize. These early pipes were made by the Barling family themselves, before the company was sold to Finlay & Co in 1960. While Finlay allowed the Barling family to continue making Barling’s pipes for a short while, the family was soon sacked, and production was taken over by Imperial Tobacco. Pipes made before the Finlay acquisition are termed, ‘pre-transition,’ and are highly sought after.

This particular Barling’s Make pipe is a pre-transition example of a Ye Olde Wood ‘Special’ grade billiard, made by the Barling family and sold through the London tobacconist J.J. Fox. Unlike corporate era (Finlay owned, Imperial Tobacco made) Barlings, this pipe has the famous ‘BARLING’s MAKE’ nomenclature, and unlike the transition era (Finlay owned, family made) Barlings, it does not have a four digit shape code, nor indeed any number whatsoever. Based on the nomenclature and the stem, we estimate this pipe to have been produced some time between 1926 and the onset of World War 2.

The stamping on the pipe reads:

BARLING’S (arched)



Special (cursive)





These stampings indicate that the pipe is one of the Barling family’s high end, Ye Olde Wood line, and is an even higher end YOW, as designated by the ‘Special’ grading. They also indicate that the pipe was distributed to J.J. Fox for sale, and that it is a small-medium size.


Length: 5.6″

Bowl Width: 18.6mm

Bowl Depth: 1.5″

Weight: 0.8oz / 23g

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Condition Used


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