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FrontRunners: A Pipe for the Ages

Richard Carleton Hacker

The newest pipe from Alfred Dunhill is also its oldest. Each of the 500 Thames Oak pipes, which are sold through Music City Marketing (800.251.3016, www.musiccitymarketing.com), features a small piece of 2,000-year-old oak excavated from a site that served as the first riverside port in Londinium, the city that would become England’s capital. According to the Museum of London, Romans built the structure, most likely a dock, from timber that grew sometime between 186 B.C. and A.D. 63; the river bed silt that covered the wood helped to preserve it. Dunhill acquired a portion of the wood from the pipe-smoking North London businessman who purchased the underwater find. Each of the $745 pipes features a titanium band etched with a rendering of the Thames River and inlaid with pieces of the ancient oak. A matching titanium-tipped tamper is included with the presentation case.

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