PIPE COLLECTION SET TO FETCH £100,000
Time was when no image of an English gentleman was complete without his pipe but long before cigarette smoking became as acceptable as sniffing snuff, the pipe had been confined to the wastebin of history.
Now, only the eccentric and some recalcitrant Americans smoke a pipe, and even the new Sherlock Holmes has forsaken his Calabash trademark. So, like other earlier forsaken pastimes, pipes and the paraphernalia that went with them have become great collectors items.
Rated as one of the world’s finest collections of pipes, The Trevor Barton Collection comes up for auction at Christie’s this autumn. It provides an orgiastic opportunity for pipe dreamers to wonder at the variety and history of the smoking habit.
Introduced into Europe in the 16th century from America, the tobacco-smoking pipe habit spread rapidly and saw all kinds of ornate and plain designs created. This collection includes one pipe reputedly once owned by Chief Sitting Bull. There are Nguni pipes from South Africa, Austrian Meerschaum pipes, rare Staffordshire coiled pipes, Chinese opium pipes and an intricately carved lion pipe from Sri Lanka, and hundreds more.
Trevor Barton, pictured above with some of his pipes and who died in 2008 aged 88, began collecting in 1947, and became known as The Pipe Man. He was a globally recognized authority on the history of smoking, and collected all sorts of smoking related material as well as books on the subject in addition to pipes.
This Austrian Meerschaum pipe is expected to fetch between £2000 and £2,500.
Representing an age when smoking was seen as manly, the total collection is expected to realise something in the region of £100,000. Nostalgic ex-pipe smokers and collectors may view it from September 18th to 20th and an ecatalogue is available from www.christies.com/calendar from mid-August.
FOR LOVERS OF THE BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE
The ultimate book for anyone who loves the British countryside is out in September.
'A Book of Britain' is a complete compendium of the lore, landscape, crafts and customs of the land, put together by a countryman who is steeped in its history and devoted to its culture.
In 600 pages, Sir Johnny Scott shares his passion and his knowledge, with a wonderful store of illustrations. A farmer, historian, broadcaster, columnist and co-presenter of the BBC2 series 'Clarissa and the Countryman' he represents the quintessial English country gentleman and brings an unsentimental and affectionate approach to his subject.
From Harper Collins, the books ISBN is 978-0-00-728815. Price £50.