How do we grade our pipes?

We make a lot of different pipes here in the Talbert workshop, in a wide variety of grades and price levels.  Let’s start off with our entry level pipes, the Ligne Bretagne brand.

Ligne Bretagne pipes are each stamped with a  grade from 1 (rusticated) to 5 (flawless smooths).

  • 1 – $189

    Fully rusticated

  • 2 – $189

    Fully sandblasted pipes

  • 3 – $196

    Sandblasted pipes showing superior grain
    Also, Smooth pipes begin at grade 3

  • 4 – $221

    Sandblasts that are genuinely mind-blowing
    Smooth pipes with exceptional grain

  • 5 – $255

    The top grade, very rarely produced, with truly extraordinary grain and/or briar flawlessness. Smooth finish only

Ligne Bretagne Collector Grade

These handmade pipes sit at the top of the Ligne Bretagne brand, offering quality workmanship in creative styles derived from classical pipe shapes. They’re created using the same briar I use for Talbert Briars, and go through the same processes in order to be fully comparable smokers and beautiful pieces of art combined. Each pipe is priced individually based on grain and complexity of design, with prices typically running between $350 and $500.

Next, we have our flagship brand, Talbert Pipes.

Talbert Briar grading has been simplified for 2020, to wit – It’s gone! I just found trying to adapt within a stratified rating system too cumbersome. Does a nice flamegrain smooth billiard outrank a complex carved shape, or a rustication effect that took 3X as long to create? The reality is that Talbert Briars just aren’t produced in large enough numbers or regular enough shapes for economies of scale to kick in, so from here on out the Talberts will be individually priced, just like our Goblins and Halloween Pipes. This should give me a good bit more creative freedom and leeway for experimentation, when I don’t have to keep an eye on a certain pre-determined price point on an arbitrary scale.

In general, expect a Talbert-stamped pipe to run between $500 and $1500.

And finally...

Prior to 2012, our Halloween pipes were stamped “Talbert Pipes” and marked with an H. This worked OK, as it was usually pretty obvious if one was looking at a Halloween pipe or not, but in my commitment to upgrading the entire series, I’ve had a new stamp created for 2012 onwards, which will be exclusive to Talbert Halloween pipes. Each pipe will have the logo stamp and the year of creation. There are no grades or rankings, since the pipes are often so different as to defy any formal grading system, and each pipe is priced individually according to its complexity and invested labor.

Talbert Halloween Pipes typically run between $700 and $3000.