03 Apr Fakiest
Thas fake, sorry Bruh!
Fake for sure, Dunhill would never yadda yadda yadda. Sorry Bruh, those aren’t Cohibas. (Guy could be standing at the Cohiba factory with a box of newly minted cigars and someone would tell him they were fake, it’s cultural in the cigar world. Presumably the only real Cohibas are the one the guy yelling “Fake” has in his humidor, hmm?)
Once again, a guy gets a pipe, posts a picture and the whole world tells him what a dummy he is. Except they’re all wrong. One glance and the pipe is legit. Here’s the pic:
The idea that there are hundreds or thousands of pretty good fakes of Dunhills or Castellos or Barlings or whatever pleases you…. Is wrong. Are there fakes out there? Yes, a few, mostly pretty well documented, like the “stolen” Dunhills that were in fact made in the Dunhill factory (so are the fakes fake fakes?). Occasionally one finds a pipe bearing a stamp or a set of stamps so wildly wrong as to be ludicrous. A smooth pipe proudly bearing a “Dunhill’s Shell” stamp. Donhill’s if you look close. A bad fake, and obvious to anyone in the industry. But to anyone who has handled these things, it looks not just probably real, but obviously and indisputably real. Here’s my ’48 for comparison:
Note the flat area for the stamping, note the color (deep cordovan, not black). Note the size and location of the stamping (and its crookedness). Note the little bevel on the mortise shoulder… these could be replicated, yes, but all together, they never are. Or rather, if someone every went to the trouble to make a pipe that looked this exactly like a Dunhill, stamps and all… the damn thing is for all intents and purposes a Dunhill.
Why? Why aren’t there thousands of these things around? It’s an easy equation, ripe for the picking, you make a pipe, you stamp it with a forged stamp, and Bob’s your uncle! Except the pipe probably looks NOTHING like the pipe you are trying to replicate. And that’s my point here – anyone who can make a pipe that even resembles a Dunhill is a damned decent pipe maker in their own right, and would be making the same money selling pipes under their own brand.
Yeah I’ve faked up a few. Not-quite-white-dots. Banhills, if you will. And stamped as such. There are no forgeries proper coming out of here – it’s possible I suppose, but why? The investment in microscopic stamps, tooling, etc, the time it takes to make this stuff work, the time invested to make a pipe that would fool an expert? Not even close to worth it. It’s not.
I recently received a pipe from a friend, a 40s Dunhill, with a really bad replacement stem. My mandate was to make a period correct stem for it. I did. It took forever, it was really difficult to not just make a BST stem, I had to make it quite differently. It sucked. And even then my stem would fool a casual observer, but not a serious collector. There’s just a few details that weren’t quite exact.
Here’s a test, which one’s fake?
Neither? Both? The front pipe isn’t shaped that perfectly, the blast kinda got to it. The back pipe is shaped better. But the bowl is …. Oh shit it’s raw wood, that’s not a Dunhill. Or was it reamed.. We’ll never tell now!
I know a few people in the world who could glance at this photo and make a good guess. It’s a … pretty good fake.
Take it from me, it’s not fooling anyone, and it’s not worth any money because it would only fool someone who didn’t know anything (which is what fraud is about, I suppose). It’s far easier, and frankly far more profitable to just make nice pipes and put your own damn name on them. There’s no one capable of making a fake Dunhill who isn’t just better off making their own pipes.
If anyone feels like they have come across any fake Scotch and need me to analyze it…
LATE BREAKING NEWS!
Of all the weird shit, about a week after I wrote this painstakingly researched and probably mostly accurate blog article thingy, a guy pops up on facebook with what is to my eye… you guessed it, a fake Dunhill! So let’s look at this thing:
First glance, stamping is sorta kinda okay, might fit into a certain age range. But there’s a few things off (probably everything actually). The T designator would mean the pipe was a Tanshell. And it’s not. Nor did Dunhill ever that I know of stamp anything like that onto the stem itself. So that’s another big “hmmm”. The color is okay.
But the pipe is RUSTICATED (evinced by zigzag toolmarks on the smooth section). The stem is… probably a pre-mold, that waist shape is not too Dunhillish.
So I call “fake” here. It has too much, too many, wrong everything.