My grading system for the pipes isn’t easy in that it takes into consideration various factors. I will now try to simplify this, asking you to write me if I’m not clear enough or in case you want further explanations. Along the stems of my pipes you can see the following markings: A) brand: “Il Duca”; B) origin:Italy; C) grade (Barone, Conte or Duca). Having already explained in another section of this site why I use the brand “Il Duca” and the origin “Italy”, I will now explain the classification of my pipes.
Above all for grading and categories various elements are taken into consideration, for example: the Briarwood and its flaming, the shape (more or less unique), the presence or not and price of inserts, if the stem is made of bamboo, cumberland or metacrillato mouthpieces, workmanship (on the pipe, inserts or mouthpiece), etc. The presence of one or more “D”s next to the grade indicates the level of perfection of that grade, determined by the above described elements. The SANDBLASTS (totally or partially) belong to the grade BARONE; the FLAMED or pipes in unique shapes or originality that are not as perfect as I want them to be belong to the grade CONTE; the FLAMED and BIRDSEYE with unique shape and originality and perfect under all aspects belong to the grade DUCA. When the pipe is a “Duca” and is a unique piece, the price is up to my discretion regardless of the price-list. So as to better understand my price-list below is a table of the different grades and some photos.
“B” – Sabbiata
“C” – Fiammata
“D” – Fiammata – Best Design