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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