The Ferndown Pipes of Les Wood
A friend of mine Ed Harvey and I were chatting via Facebook this morning, and he reminded me of a pipe he is selling make by Ferndown. While the name was familiar to me, and known to be a high end pipe that retains its retail value nicely, I had to confess sadly, that I did not know nearly enough to be able to add to Ed’s knowledge base of the pipe or maker. So – let the research begin.
Ferndown Pipes are in fact high-end pipes made by renown pipecrafter Les Wood, formerly of Dunhill fame. Les Wood, the second of two major carvers to leave Dunhill to start their own brand labels (the first being William John “Ashton“-Taylor), had perfected his craft there, but was most renown for his silversmith work, the apparent reason for which he was originally hired at Dunhill in the first place. As a matter of fact, it seems Les Wood silversmithing is used by such brands as Ashton, Comoy’s and Bentley.
What makes the Ferndown pipes so unique is the way in which the briar is treated. The Grecian briar used exclusively by Wood is oil cured in a similar fashion to the Dunhill, Comoy’s and Ashton models to which he has so many ties. But the Les Wood briar uses a different proprietary treatment. Pipedia states:
“The pipes are renowned for their pleasant, slightly nutty flavor and remarkable smoking characteristics. They feature impeccable craftsmanship extending to very good stem / bit work, though many pipes are often a bit heavier.”
Ed’s pipe (on the left) is a “Bark”, which registers on the highest end of quality in the Les Wood grading. What I found unique abo9ut this pipe from Ed, is that it has an acrylic marbled stem. This is a rarity, and the first and only of its kind that I have seen. Perhaps more are going to come this way, but most of the resource sites I have seen with information on the Ferndown pipes list them all as having German Ebonite. While it’s available the Ferndown on your left that belongs to Ed Harvey is for sale for the asking price of a very fair $200.00, especially considering the rarity of the acrylic stem. If you are interested, just contact and I’ll put you in touch with Ed.
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