Collecting estate smoking pipes can be as tricky to maneuver, as with any item with a long history. It is best to begin by reading books and guides that detail the different pipe styles and manufacturers and also communicating with other pipe collectors before buying pipes at online auction sites and stores.
Estate pipes, previously smoked pipes, come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, designs and materials. When beginning the hobby, a wise collector consults available experts who share their knowledge through books, clubs and vintage tobacciana websites. In many cases, you will find photographs showing details of pipes made by a long history of manufacturers that include distinctive carving marks, signatures and trademark designs.
There are also numerous online pipe collectors clubs that feature member forums discussing the best places to buy estate pipes, alerts to fraudulent sellers and trends in the pipe smoking world. And, due to the nature of estate pipes, it is important to learn how the value is affected by a pipe that has been previously smoked. Some pipes lose much of their original collector value if it has had parts replaced, damage to the stem or bowl or significant scorching evident.
A sure footing in the world of estate pipe collecting will yield the best results when venturing into the marketplace where estate pipes are bought and sold.