For the longest time I swore that I would never buy an estate (= "used") pipe for all sorts of reasons. Then, a friend by the name of Al Maloney got me involved in ebay, the auction site. Ostensibly, the reason involved someone auctioning the tobacco Condor, but then I found that ebay was also a source of pipes by Preben Holm (as well as his line of pipes, Ben Wade).
Preben Holm is a landmark in terms of freehand pipes, and his passing (some 15 or so years ago) has been a great loss. Finding an unsmoked Preben Holm is gold; however, aesthetics can become more important than whether a pipe has been previously smoked.
The sight of the pipe below (Crown) converted me into an enthusiastic collector and bidder.
Crown from a three-quarter view.
Subsequently, in trying to modify my own smoking habit, I culled most of my oversize pipes via ebay, which included Crown. And although I did not intend to show any images of pipes that I do not presently own, Crown has a life beyond ownership.
Crown was purchased by Tim Fuller, who after an absence of many years returned to pipe smoking. In his return, Tim also began carving pipes. In this particular instance, one could say I was in the right place at the right time. After we began exchanging email first over the sale of Crown and then in general friendship, I got to see (and try) some of Tim's pipes. Terrific experience!
Anyway, over at ebay one can find the odd unsmoked Preben Holm available. One in mid-March 1992 went for over $700. Consequently, it seems that a lot of people are discovering Preben Holms to sell. Which is very, very convenient for those of us wishing for such pipes.
Look Out! | Ben Wade 1 | Pipes & Tobacco