Rarity is one thing, but desirability is another. There have been plenty of more obscure marques out there, from which you may only rarely, if ever see a surviving pipe, but which aren't really worth much at all on the estate market. The pre-transition Barling, however, is that perfect storm of vintage, rarity, and a once-renowned, family-owned marque that produced quality classics from select Algeria briar... but which lost its magic (and the Algerian source briar) when it left family hands. These per-transition Barlings have survived decades, a testament to their original quality, but with that being said, even we don't see very many in the course of a year, despite our handling of hundreds upon hundreds of estate pipes annually. And of course, like that old line regarding the wisdom of acquiring land, when it comes to the original Barling nobody is making any more.
- Eric N. Squires