Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dover slant poker

In keeping with the cherrywood thread of the past few days, here is a "cherrywood" that is not a cherrywood. Click for a slightly larger version and you can see the nomenclature.

The classic poker is carved with bottom and top parallel to each other and a straight-sided, round (or tubular) bowl. Here's a little graphic from Pipe Shapes.
The story is that the poker takes it name because poker players could put their pipe down and it would sit on its own while they handled their cards. Pokers may have either a long shank and a short bit, or like most pipes it could have a short shank and a long bit. It doesn't matter. The thing that defines a poker are the parallel, flat top and bottom and the round, straight-sided bowl. It should be able to sit.

The example above was carved in the classic cherrywood shape, although it is made of briar. To prevent confusion, it may also be referred to as a slant poker, which is what I prefer to call it.

This pipe is a Dover, which if I recall correctly is a seconds line of Whitehall, and was made in England. "Seconds," in pipe terms, means that the manufacturer for some reason didn't deem it quite worthy of their main brand name, so they marketed it under a different name. Seconds are normally less expensive and of lesser quality than the main line, however, this doesn't mean they are necessarily inferior pipes. For example, Irish Seconds made by Peterson are very good quality for a seconds line.

This pipe turned up in a lot I purchased several years ago and I immediately decided it was a keeper. It is the only pipe I have from the poker family. It may look a little dingy in this photo, but that's because it has been a while since I gave it a good buff & polish. I did give the stem a quick toothpaste buff to make it more presentable for this photo. It does have one nick on the rim which I have never bothered with because I have never felt the urge to sell it. It is a no-frills, no-nonsense pipe that smokes good and looks good and it is one of my favorite pipes.

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