James Upshall Handmade Magnum-sized Straight Dublin Estate Briar Pipe, Unsmoked [SOLD OUT]

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James Upshall was, along with Ferndown and Ashton, part of a new wave of British hand-made, high-grade pipes in the late 20th century, with their founders largely coming from previous positions in the factories of companies such as Dunhill and Charatan. James Upshall was founded in 1978 by Barry Jones and Ken Barnes, both of whom had previously worked for Charatan and who had worked their way up to being carvers Charatan’s higher-end, non-standard shapes. Jones and Barnes’ pipes quickly grew to being something of a status symbol, and were enjoyed by King Hussein of Jordan, Anwar Sadat, Bing Crosby, Yul Brynner, Robert Wagner and Tom Selleck. The company also made house-brand pipes for Astleys in London, along with Les and Wood of Ferndown fame. Sadly, James Upshall pipes are no longer made, but their reputation as some of the best British pipes ever made lives on.

Here’s an interesting pipe. For one thing, it is quite lacking in the usual stamping I’ve seen on Upshall pipes (and I’ve seen many). It doesn’t have the ‘FH’ (‘freehand’) stamp that was introduced at the end of the 1980s, nor does it have a size or finish designation. It’s also a large pipe, even by JU standards, hence why I’ve described it as magnum-sized, but it doesn’t have a stamp to indicate this distinct sizing. The Upshall nomenclature is also different to the circled one I’m used to. As such, I would wager that this was a very early Upshall, which should prick the ears of collectors. It’s a beautiful pipe on its own merits too, wearing a tight, ring grain sandblast and a smooth polished rim. It also has an elegant silver collar dividing its shank from its vulcanite stem, applied for Upshall by their preferred silversmith, Les Wood.

The last remarkable thing about this pipe is that it is completely unsmoked, with a work-shop original bowl coating that was common practice by JU in the early years. It comes with its original sleeve, and a box that may or may not be original – I’m not sure. A wonderful find, regardless.



Length: 6.5″ / 165.1mm

Bowl Width: 0.92 / 23.36mm

Bowl Depth: 1.85″ / 46.99mm

Weight: 2.7oz / 78g

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Condition New