The Dunhill Duke
|I collect Dunhill Dukes. An elegant pipe to be sure! The Duke was favored by Edward, Prince of Wales, and has often been confused with the Don, which is further confused with the Friendly, the Poker, and the Cherrywood. The Duke has one, consistent distinguishing feature: no shank! Think of the Duke as a group four poker bowl with a very thin stem. The stem is almost always a two-piece contrivance that is composed of a vulcanite bulbed mouthpiece and thin, either vulcanite or bone, stem. The end of the stem is usually fitted with metal (aluminum) and the bowl will have a similar fitted metal receiver. Officially, Dunhill made the Duke (shape numbers 519, 4144, and 41441) in Shell, Tanshell, Red Bark, Bruyere, and Root Briar. Production on this shape began in the mid teens and continues to this day. In addition to the offical finishes, I have obtained unique specimens in Cumberland and Amber Root finishes.
|Here is a reproduction of a mid-seventies Dunhill pipe catalog page. This page listing was for "unique" pipes and feature some of the more unusual things that Dunhill has produced. Bottom, left is the Duke, next to it is a Don (notice the absence of a shank on the Duke and the very slight one on the Don?), and top right is the easily recognized Cavalier.
A delightful group of Dunhill Dukes in the traditional Shell finish. The upper two are Patent pieces.
An interesting pair of Tanshell Dukes. Both are shape #41441, dated with the same code, purchased in the same shop, at the same time, by the same man. Yet, they have differing stem styles. Go figure?
One of my favorite Dukes. This guy has got a plethora of subtle bird's eyes and the coloring of the Bruyere over the years has resulted in a very rich red wine appearance.
Here you see a trio of Duke Root Briars spanning almost 30 years (60' to the late 80's). I wish Dunhill could lay their hands on some briar like this for today's production!
Here are two of the most important pieces of my Duke collection. Each is a one of a kind made for me in the past few years by the Dunhill factory with the gratefully acknowledged assistance of James Barber Tobacconists. The top is a Cumberland (I wish the scan could show off the swirled vulcanite mouthpiece) and the bottom is a magnificent cross-cut Amber Root.
Right now the only missing piece in the collection is a specimen in the Red Bark finish. Should you have one available, or know of someone who might, please contact me by clicking here. It would be greatly appreciated!