"To smoke a pipe is not to be considered as a vice, it is art and a way of life!"

The famous Radice from Italy

Radice logo
Radice symbol
February 8,1999 I got an almost unsmoked estate pipe from Italy. (It was my first Radice, whereas today, June 2001, when adding these lines, I own four of them).
I had heard this brand mentioned quite often e.g. in the a.s.p., but do not know much about it yet. My impression is that Radice belongs to the highly valued names among Italian pipes. Perhaps it is of the same class as Ser Jacopo, Don Carlos or even Castello. As I do not know it writing this, I must find out! This will not be a problem, just a simple question in the a.s.p. and I'll receive numerous replies. ;)
A couple of days has passed since writing the above and now I have found out from the alfanet.it that Luigi Radice began his artistry with Castello, then co-founded Caminetto. Since 1980 he has worked with his two sons Gianluca and Marzio making pipes under his own esteemed name. He has got a distinctive style of his own. His craftmanship and crativity is valued high. Their workshop is in the beautiful village of Cucciago in Northern Italy.

Radice's contact information:
(Luigi Radice, via Tiziano 10, 22060 Cucciago (Como), tel. 031/787214).

My newest Radice, sandblasted Radice Lovat from May 2001

Radice Sand Grain
An early Lovat "Sand Grain"

This is an older Radice, which I got from eBay in May 2001. Thank you very much,
Mike Feldman! Mike wrote he got this pipe from a guy, who got it from Barry Levin.
Mike says it is from the 1980's and that the Tinskys have "show cleaned" it.
Mike writes with his personal, unmistakeable style:
"It is Perfectly Balanced and a Super Duper Lite Weight too and the Smooth Rimmed Cap
as only Luigi Radice can make and i beleive he is the Oldest Italian Pipe Maker still
making Pipes now adays and his skills are the best for he started with Castello and
then founded CAMINETTO and started Radice Pipes around the 80's i beleive or close to
it as i remeber ,and his pipes are just truely the best sweetiest smoking pipes and
always a cool dry smoke and it is the facts!!!"

Radice Sand Grain from top
The same pipe, a view from top

The stamps on the shank
The stamp on the bottom of shank

I have filled my new "Sand Grain" now a couple of times with GH "Brown Flake" and
can say that this nicely sitting "super duper lite weight" pipe smokes excellently.
Very clean, dry smokes and no gurgles at all. I put it on scale and it weighs only
40 g. Like Mike wrote, this is a perfectly balanced pipe and it was good to notice
it is also a sitter despite of its round shank. Thanks to Mark and Mary Ann Tinsky
this pipe is as good as a new. I am very happy with this Radice just like I am with
all my other pipes from this highly valued maker!

My second newest Radice, straight Rind bulldog, Feb. 29. 2000

Text on the box
The text and logo on the box

Rind bulldog from left
The Rind seen from left

Rind bulldog from right
Doesn't the shank design remind a little that of a bamboo?

The
The stamps on the bottom of shank

I love the design and the rustication of this Rind bulldog seen above, which I bought
from ebay. The seller was Pete Zaring from Knoxville, Tennessee. He sold the
pipe from the collections of Knoxville Cigar Company. The pipe came "new in the
box" and I am very happy with it. It seems to be worth of every cent I payed for it!
Actually I had to pay more than a few cents; the price was USD 150. Yet it is a bargain!
I have not yet smoked it it, but everything seems to be perfect. The smoke hole is just
where it is supposed to be and the geometry looks excellent. I am going to fill it with
Escudo and smoke a half bowl this evening after returning from work. Till then!

First smoking experiences
I filled half the tobacco chamber with S.Gawith's 'Best Brown Flake'. After the charring
light I immediately noticed the high smoking quality of this Radice. The taste came out
pure, soft and mellow, just like it is supposed when smoking a high class Italian pipe.
There is a certain difference between most of the English and most of the Italian pipes,
the best English pipes, i.e. Dunhills and L. Woods (a.k.a. Ferndown) have this dark,
nutty flavour, whereas the most Italian pipes are more light, I would say, neutral tasting.
There is an exception, though: The very same day I got this Radice, I received an
Upshall bulldog from Clive Humm. It tastes more like an Italian than an English
pipe to me. A great pipe it is anyhow!

A "stacked" Rind, Jan.19. 2000

I'll show photos, or actually scans of my two Radices. For a start the newer of the two.
I got this "Rind" January 19.2000 in pristine condition. The seller was Lloyd Heeger,
with whom it was a full pleasure to deal. To my surprise I was the high bidder (a little more
than $100) as I was almost sure the price would be higher but well, better like this after all.
I'll write about my experiences of this pipe as a puffer soon. This I believe to turn out as a
good start for the year 2000!

Radice Rind from left
Handsome and beautifully finished Radice Rind from left

The stamps on the bottom of shank
This Rind is stamped as "G O" on the bottom of shank

Excellent puffing experiences!
I filled the Radice Rind with Dunhill "Elizabethan Mixture", which is not my favourite,
even if it is a good neutral Va blend. As I suspected, the pipe is GREAT! Very mellow,
almost cool smokes with no gurgles! I place Radices very high on my personal ranking
system. Thank you once more Lloyd!

My first Radice, "Clear F" billiardish "apple"

Ny older Radice has a military joint connecting shank and stem, strengthened with a
sturdy Sterling silver mounting. I like the military bit as it makes it possible to
separate the stem even from a hot pipe without any risk of loosening the tightness.
The stem is personally shaped, somewhat thicker from the middle and a little bent,
perhaps 1/8th.
This pipe like all the used ones I get by the help of my friend from Italy is thoroughly
cleaned. The cake has been removed totally to the wood, which leads to a situation similar
as if breaking in a brand new pipe. Well this has its pros and cons. However, I like this
as after the somewhat tedious smoking-in process the pipe really feels one's own.
Radice from left
Radice "Clear" from left
The shape of this pipe is perhaps best described as a Billiard. It has also some resemblance with the Apple shape, and perhaps because of its stem, also to a Zulu. Actually the bowl is somewhere between a Billiard, Apple and Pot.
Radice from right
Radice from right
The grain of this briar has some rare beauty! It is almost straight grain, or "fiammata" as the Italians call it.
I paid only 87.79 euros (ITL 170.000), or about USD 100 for this personal looking and seemingly excellent pipe. I am not aware of the actual price level of Radice pipes, but I believe this was a good bargain.
I can see not fills or puttys and the grain is good. There are no bite marks on the bit and the tobacco chamber is as pure as in a new pipe. Also the mortise is thoroughly cleaned. I have no doubts about the puffing characteristics of my new Radice "Clear F" marked pipe. This I shall know after a few days and I'll come back writing about how it smokes.

A couple of days after writing the above: As I anticipated this pipe is an excellent puffer! I filled 1/3 of a bowl with "Engine 99" from C&D and thoroughly enjoyed the mellow puffs and perfect draw. Only at the very bottom of the bowl a slight dampness began to emerge, but I had not used a cleaner at all!

My "Clear F"-model seems to be relatively classy. Below are the basic models from Radice from the cheaper to the more expensive end (copied from the "pipeguy" site, my "Clear F" underlined).

grade		price (USD) from 1994(!)
Old Country 		195.00
Rind Carved		185.00
Rind/Smooth		215.00
Sandgrain		200.00
Silkcut s/b		230.00
Underwood		215.00
Rubino Smooth		285.00
Brown Smooth		285.00
Brown F			375.00
Radice Smooth		275.00
Radice F		375.00
Clear Smooth		335.00
Clear F			395.00
Clear OP		395.00
Clear FF		525.00
Clear FFF		720.00
Gocce D'Oro		720.00
The stem
Two brown spots of Radice in the
"military bit"

text in shank
"Radice Clear F" stamped in the
shank

Moretti from Italy

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Created February 11.1999, updated June 9. 2001