John Adler’s smoking pipe collection to go under the hammer in Colchester

Auctioneer Daniel Wright holding an ornate pipe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Auctioneer Daniel Wright holding an ornate pipe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

An extensive collection of smoking pipes belonging to an Essex expert is going under the hammer later this month.

John Alder MBE JP, from Chelmsford. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

John Alder MBE JP, from Chelmsford. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

More than 250 pipes, ranging from early Native American creations to exquisite 19th Century designs featuring Napoleonic battles will be auctioned off at Reeman Dansie in Colchester.

The smoking equipment comes from the collection of Chelmsford man John Adler, who died earlier this year.

Mr Adler, born in September 1935, was a pipe maker and member of a number of elite pipe organisations, including the Confrérie des maîtres-pipiers in St Claude, France, the L’Académie Internationale de la Pipe, Master of Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders in 1982, and twice chairman Tobacco Trade Benevolent Association.

He was also president of the Briar Pipe Trade Association, from which he received a Lifetime Achievement Award, and was made a German noble for his work in the industry in his role as chairman and managing director of A Oppenheimer & Company, a pipe manufacturer.


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Mr Adler also received an MBE in 2008 for his charitable work, and he was chairman of the Board of Visitors at HMP Chelmsford, a magistrate, first chairman of The Mid Essex Hospital Trust and a trustee of Barrow Farm Riding for the Disabled.

Lots range in estimates from £20 to £1,000, with the overall collection estimated to fetch between £20-30,000.

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Daniel Wright, auctioneer, said: “It’s an amazing collection, and probably one of the largest and most comprehensive to come to auction in recent years.

“John Adler was quite a character, and the pipes themselves are very quirky with some very outlandish designs – combined with the functionality of the product.

Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester will be selling a collection of antique pipes. Picture: GREG

Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester will be selling a collection of antique pipes. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“There are one or two really huge examples that were probably exhibition pieces, which have been smoked, which are pretty amazing, while a design with skulls and one of a lady in the bath – with her legs as twin pipes – also stand out as unusual.

“Meerschaum, which is his favourite choice of material for collecting, is quite malleable and good for carvers who can produce sculptures on a miniature scale.”

Mr Wright added that there had been international interest in the auction, which takes place on December 13.

Unusual pipe auction at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Unusual pipe auction at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Unusual pipe auction at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Unusual pipe auction at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Close up of a large pipe featuring Napoleon. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Close up of a large pipe featuring Napoleon. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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