Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ropp Cherrywood

After yesterday's post on the Westminster cherrywood, I though it would be a good idea to post a more typical example.

The Ropp company of France is well-known in the pipe-smoking world for the production of cherrywood pipes. I think they produce (or produced) nothing else. This example from my collection is more typical of the cherrywood, however, it is not the classic cherrywood shape.

I don't have a picture of a classic cherrywood, but this little gif snagged from Pipe Shapes should suffice. The limb of a cherry tree is cut straight across one end and diagonally on the other. The flat end is hollowed out to form the bowl, while the diagonal end is polished and forms a flat bottom so that most cherrywoods--if their balance is right--are also sitters. This shape may also be referred to as a slant poker. The example from my collection was cut with both ends roughly parallel to each other, and the bottom polished but left rounded so that it is not a sitter.

Here is a picture of my pipe disassembled. You can see the threads cut into the wood of the shank. The shank is also cherrywood, but obviously cut from a smaller limb. The threads of both the bowl and the shank have been reinforced with aluminum to help prevent damage. The stem is made from typical vulcanite.

Since one purpose of the cherrywood design is to preserve the rugged, woody appearance, the bark is left on both the bowl and shank. The nomenclature is typically stamped into the polished smooth bottom of the bowl.

The shape depicted in the small black and white gif above is, as I said, the classic cherrywood shape. In fact, pipes of this shape may be referred to as "cherrywood shape" regardless of the materials they are made of. Although briar is by far the most popular wood for pipe-making, there are other woods that are suitable. Cherrywood is probably the second most common.

This pipe was one of two Ropps that were in a lot I bought several years ago. The other one I refurbished and sold. It was of the classic cherrywood shape and I elected to keep this one because it was different. The buyer of the other pipe was a collector of Ropps, and offered to buy both, but I kept this one so I would have at least one example in my collection.

My only complaint about this pipe is that the bowl volume is very small. It smokes just as well as any pipe should, but the tiny interior bowl can provide only a 15 to 20 minute smoke, tops. So I don't use it very often.


  1. Very helpful, Thanks

  2. how much does a traditional ropp cherrywood go for?

  3. I have a very early ropp cherrywood with a two piece stem thet is held together with small cherry stick wedges. The overall bowl is about 4" in circumfrance bark is left on the entire piece where can I go to get an appraisal?

  4. A very helpful site, thankyou. I am now going to list,starting tonight on E-bay, a ROPP pipe with a hexagonal shape. Four sides flat and four sides rounded. Stamped on the base is "Deluxe 604"
    If you are interested, please view "carnkiecloggie"
    Regards and thanks again for your help.

  5. I have a Ropp , supreme , Is that the very best pipe?

  6. Just bought one on ebay myself, a lightly used Ropp. Got it for $16 including shipping! Looking forward to smoking it on my next camping trip. The pipe looks like it should if one were to smoke in the woods. :D