The Mill
March 27, 2017;
  Another week has come and gone
without a single thought entering my
head, or at least not one worthy of
presentation here.  (I am, and always
have been, amused when told to clear my
head...maybe in yoga, or during some
other activity.  Is that a challenge for
some of you?  Do thoughts regularly fill
your cranium, even when unbidden?  
What a source of pride that must be.  I've
heard that people often can't fall asleep
easily because their m
ind is so active.
That happened to me once.  Really.  I
remember the incident well.  I climbed
into bed and 3 minutes later, I turned to
Joy and said, "I have insomnia."  She
nearly pissed in the bed laughing.  
What's so funny about insomnia?  
Anyhow, it is good to talk about your
problems and air them out because
before she finished laughing, I was
  I can't remember the connection with
the above paragraph and what I wanted
to say, which is about business.  I read
an article in The New Yorker today about
expensive watches. A waste of time
pun intended)
as I have little interest in
either expensive or inexpensive
watches.  I have a handsome Timex that
works well and the comic author of the

above referenced
text failed to deliver
any laughs.  There was, however, a
valuable nugget in the
article.  It was that
in the luxury watch business, China is a
diminishing market.  (Another country
was also mentioned
as now languishing
in that department
, but it's not worth
going back to find out which
So, that's the same thing we're facing in
the luxury pipe business.  If you were
holding on to your Bo Nordhs and Lars
in hopes that their value would
, you missed your opportunity, at
least until the next cycle and who can
guess when that might be.  
 Yet, business seems good and sales to
Asia, at least in the very recent short
term, have been good.  Maybe after a dip,
the economy in Asia is rebounding.  That
wouldn't hurt my feelings.  If there's a
message for the international financial
analysis people, it's that instead of
those complex indexes, and their
attendant algorithms (whatever that word does sound clever though,
don't you think?) the world merely needs
to come to sellers of used pipes and
have us fill out a short questionnaire.
  You, too.  Whenever your finances look
to be Equator-bound, just drop a line and
say, "hey, Marty, the checkbook balance
is dwindling and I'm getting do things look
economically for the future."  And if I
say, "they look great," you can  feel free
to buy a pipe.  Then, we'll all feel better,
  With that in mind, and as a gentle
encouragement to pull that trigger, a
generous customer, who is
now barely
smoking, sent me about 40 tins of
tobacco he no longer wants.  He is
charging nothing (and even absorbed the
shipping cost) so I'll give it away to you
at the same price.  If you buy a pipe,
I'll t
hrow in a tin of tobacco.  Some of it
is slightly aromatic, some is not.  I think
the vast majority is from Cornell & Diehl.
And no, you can not lobby for one kind
or another.  It is what I grab and put into
your box.  Don't make more work for me.


Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100
Balkan Sobranie Virginia # 10 50 grams. 4 tins.  
$290 each.  
New Tins arrived, including
Mephisto, Blackpoint, Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.

More old, collectible tins from the 1990's:

McClelland Mixture #1 (2000?) 100 grams. $50
McClelland Virginia Woods. 1997. 100 grams. $50
Ashton 1997 Old Church 4 oz., $125
Ashton 1997 Celebrated Sovereign 4 oz., $100
Esoterica Pembroke...2 oz., 56 grams. $80
Davidoff Royalty 50 grams. $30
Davidoff Danish 50 grams. $25
Dunhill Nightcap from Lane Ltd. 50 grams. $85
Dunhill Std. Mixture Mile from Lane 50 grams. $65
Butera Matured Ribbon 1996 & '97 50 grams. $50
Benjamin Hartwell Pvt. Reserve 50 grams from
Consolidated Cigar (thus from mid '90's) $30

Coming in are vintage tins of the following, all from
2008 - 2010.  The prices are $8 or $9 per tin.
Postage is extra, so get multiple tins and spread
the mailing charge.
McClelland Wilderness
McClelland/Ashton Black Parrot
McClelland/Ashton Pebblecut
McClelland/Ashton Celebrated Sovereign
McClelland Aurora
McClelland Arcade
McClelland Orient 996
McClelland Jubilee
Quotes & anecdotes from "The Portable Curmudgeon"

The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its
diseases is called man.    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Man is a puny, slow, awkward, unarmed animal.
Jacob Bronowski

I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand.  Charles Schulz

To succeed in the world, it is not enough to be stupid, you
must also be well mannered.   Voltaire.

Manners are especially the need of the plain.  The pretty can get away
with anything.                                   Evelyn Waugh

He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.  H.L. Mencken

All tragedies are finished by death.  All comedies are ended by a
marriage.                                               Lord Byron

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most
insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are
required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal and
exhausting condition until death do them part.   George Bernard Shaw

A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through
the nose of the gentleman.                Herbert Spencer

A friendship recognized by the police.    Robert Louis Stevenson

The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get
married.       Cyril Connolly

I got married the second time in the way that, when a murder is
committed, crackpots turn up at the police station to confess the
crime.                                 Delmore Schwartz

It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how mch we admire
him.                                     John Barth

There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to be burned for an
opinion.                               Anatole France

Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as
mediocre as possible.                           Margaret Mead

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics
and women are idiots.                          Rebecca West

When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her
appearance.                                            Victor Borge

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment,
other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.
George Bernard Shaw

The amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in
inverse proportion to his mental capacity.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend
in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.   G.B. Shaw

Assassins!      Arturo Toscanini to his orchestra.  

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the
whole girl.                                                                       Stephen Leacock

Many a man has fallen love with a girl in a light so dim he would not
have chosen a suit by it.                                         Maurice Chevalier

Nature is a hanging judge.                            Anonymous

The murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.
Peter DeVries

A mother-in-law dies only when another devil is needed in hell.
Francois Rabelais

Getting out of bed in the morning is an act of false confidence.
Jules Feiffer

On Marilyn Monroe: She was good at playing abstract confusion in the
same way a midget is good at being short.    Clive James

Morality is a disease which progresses in three stages:
virtue--boredom--syphilis.                                    Karl Kraus
This photo was taken only days before my beloved San Francisco
store, Sherlock's Haven,  was closed for good in June of '06, thereby
diminishing the quality of life on this planet no little and quite some.  
The man to my right was my trusty pipe tobacco and cigar taste-tester,
Johnson, of the sensitive palate.  He is now  plying his trade in
Phoenix.  The tall gent behind him is Jimmy Walker, hand picked to be
my successor until lease negotiations broke down.  The hoodlum
looking character to my left is my good friend and Consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  Among the regulars are a number who are still friends and
with whom I have regular intercourse.  There has never been a more
congenial spot than Sherlock's Haven, the Camelot of tobacco stores.  
As its proprietor is how I'd like to be remembered.
I wanted to caption this photo, "I knew more about pipes when I was
seven than you know now," but my P.R. firm nixed that idea.  So, let's
try, "With the pristine palate that accompanies youth, Marty smokes a
blend without a full complement of Latakia for the first time in his life."
I don't actually know what was going through my mind at the time, but
the photo was taken circa 1950, and probably in Williamsburg, Virginia.
(And no, I did not actually smoke a pipe until I was 18 years old, really.)
Shortly after my mother met my wife, she told Joy that all it took to
keep me happy in the back seat of our 1938 LaSalle during our annual
one week vacations was a pipe in my mouth and a cap on my head.  
Joy responded with the fact that nothing has changed except that now
I'm in the front seat.  
Above is my sister, with whom I contentiously shared that large back
seat, and my father.  The sweater was knitted by my Aunt Rae.  The
site was most probably Niagara Falls and the year 1949.  I'm guessing.
Welcome to Pulvers Briar
This website is devoted to pipes and my enjoyment of talking
about and showing them.  For your part, I hope you derive some
pleasure in seeing and reading about briar and meerschaum
There are plenty of pipe websites and lots of good pipes other
than mine.  What will distinguish my site from most of the others
is the willingness to voice my  opinion in the relatively rare
occurrence when a pipe is not superior, or has a noticeable flaw.
Mostly, I'm pleased with the pipes I choose to offer for sale, both
in pipe quality and price.  But please, look and decide for
You will see new and used pipes for sale, the new often having
been hand picked and the used always having been cleaned
and reconditioned and ready for you to smoke upon arrival.  
Please enjoy your time spent here today, and please come back
I'm almost always happy to hear from you and to field your
questions, concerns, ideas or other input.
Feel free to write.
Marty Pulvers
Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 61146
Palo Alto, CA  94306

(650) 965-7403