METALandMIRRORS: Ben Wade Harlequin Half Rustic Bent Squat Calabash

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ben Wade Harlequin Half Rustic Bent Squat Calabash

Happy day, happy day; we woke up for another day in our life. Our legacy continues. What a great day to remember one thing that made you happy. Just take a minute, 60 seconds of your busy day, close your eyes, take a deep breath, focus on that happy positive moment, and smile. Now, open your eyes and continue your day. Yes, you've earned that minute of pure happiness.

The Ben Wade of London Harlequin Half Rustic Bent Squat Calabash Pipe is a little bit of happiness, too. It is a briar pipe handmade in England which features half woodsman rusticated with an orange stain and the other half smooth with a buckskin tan stain. It has a nickel band and a blue marble acrylic stem. The length is 5.9" and weighs 1.9 oz. with the bowl being just under an inch wide.

Ben Wade is one of the great names in English pipe making and, like many, has a motley history. It was founded by Benjamin Wade in 1860 in Yorkshire. The pipes were always extensively classic and "very British". Many models tended to be of smaller dimensions and were considered high grade as they were held to high standards and quality without any fills. They, also, were considered a major competitor to other famous English brands, such as Charatan.

Ben Wade Harlequin Half Rustic Bent Squat Calabash Pipe
Ben Wade Harlequin

In WW II the factory was destroyed and rebuilt immediately after the war to restart production. They reached pre-war success and decided to sell off the company to Herman G. Lane, at about the, coincidental, same time as the Charatan company. Lane Ltd bought both firms in 1962. Ben Wade soon became second as Charatan was the focus and "not one of Lane's or Charatan's proudest moments", as stated by an American pipe dabster. 

Lane's heirs had no interest in Charatan nor Ben Wade and sold them to Dunhill Pipes Limited in 1978. Dunhill had no need for machine made pipes and thus, was Ben Wade's second end. Ben Wade turned Danish for a few years under the Lane Ltd. name for artist Preben Holm. Ben Wade suffered its third end in 1989 at the death of Holm. These pipes are highly sought after and cult in estate markets.

Ben wade harlequin half rustic bent squat calabash
Brave, Distinctive, Characterful

Today's Ben Wades are an order production for Duncan Briar. A grandson of the founder sold the Duncan Briar firm to his brother-in-law, Peter Wilson, who worked the magic of Ben Wade's resurrection in 1998 by buying the rights from Dunhill. This pipe is such a pleasure to have in the collection for the showcase. I love collecting unique and new Harlequin items and this definitely satisfies that.

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