I got this KB&B Yello-Bole 86b apple off of Ebay.
What drew my attention to it was the propeller emblem on the stem is vertical instead of horizontal like all other propeller emblems I have ever seen. I asked a couple other collectors who have many Yello-Boles and they have never seen or own any vertical propellers Yello-Boles.
I have another propeller 86b i can show for comparison.
Here is some other shots of the pipe as it arrived in the mail.
All in all the pipe was in excellent original condition and the uniqueness did not stop at the horizontal propeller.
As I started to take the stem out of the bowl it unscrewed! How many have ever seen a Yello-Bole with a screw in tenon and a non-removable stinger? I was completely shocked by this!
For those unfamiliar with Yello-Boles , every Yello-Bole made from the brands beginning (very early 1930’s) til today use push stems with removable stingers.
Like this or similar.
I checked the pipe over carefully and could not find any sign this was not factory made. The stem fit flush and registered to the shank perfectly.
I started doing some research and did find out that Kaywoodie ( KB&B’s main top of the line pipe) had used a similar non-removable stinger on early Campus models.
After Dave Whitney pointed out to me that they also used a similar one in Yello-Bole and Kaywoodie cigar holders. That made me think I have a Kaywoodie cigarette holder.I dug it out ,sure enough it is similar. It confirms my thinking that this pipe was made like this at the factory. Maybe the propeller was turned vertical to designate it as a screw in tenon removable stinger pipe?
The pipe is not stamped with anything unusual , just basic 1936- 1955 KB&B Yello-Bole Premiere “Cured with Real Honey”. I know its no later than the 1940’s because propellers ceased to be used on stems in the early to mid 1940’s.
Since this pipe is very unique for a Yello-Bole i just did a basic cleaning and preservation to keep it original as possible. It maybe be a one of a kind Yello-Bole.
The cake came out easy and was not that hard a pipe to clean. It had been taken care of and not abused by its previous owner.
The rim cake came off easy as well with just a little scrubbing with mild detergent/water and a green pad.
I gave the briar a good wipe down with mineral oil and a very slight go over with 2500 grit to knock down some slight bumps and scratches.I also gave the female thread’s a cleaning with 000 steel wool.
After a good soak in 91% alcohol the stem and stinger came clean pretty easy . I gave the stem a slight going over with 1000-2500 grit wet sanding. Stinger shined up with some steel wool.
That’s about it. After another rub down with mineral oil and a little sit time . Its ready to be wiped dry and a gentle buff and wax.
I did contact the Ebay seller asking if he had information on where the pipe came from. This was his response.
“The gentleman whose estate these pipes came from was a pipe connoisseur. He traveled the world and often picked up pipes from many of his travels. He was a local doctor. But his pipe collection was extensive and rare these are some of the last that he had. I would say he had no less than a hundred pipes all different origins,types and kind of makes. Sorry I can’t give you any more details than that.”
I thought maybe it used to belong to a KB&B employee or some such. I wish i knew where the doctor picked it up at.
Why this Yello-Bole was made like this ? Maybe its a experimental prototype or special order? I really wish i knew. I do know you will most likely never see another like it. The only other Yello-Bole i know of that does not have the traditional push stem /removable stinger is another odd prototype that i picked up a few months ago. You can see it here also on Baccy Pipes.
Well how does she smoke you may be wondering? Well I’ve smoked a couple of bowls in it by now.
To be honest I prefer the traditional push stem Yello-Boles, they just smoke better to me. I would judge it as good as a Kaywoodie 4 hole stinger (if not better) and far better than a 3 hole Kaywoodie stinger. It smokes cool and dry and does not gurgle , but i just like the open draw of the push stem with stinger removed better. I’m very glad it did not fall into someone’s hand that would have clipped the stinger on this unusual pipe.
Its still a very unique pipe and will be a center piece in my Yello-Bole collection.
If you have any idea or information on this pipe or a Yello-Bole like it , PLEASE post in the comments.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you.
After one more bowl and a slightly lighter pack the pipe smokes really well. The stinger works quite well. Kaywoodie should have used this one, especially over the later 3 holers. The biggest negative i can find so far is as hard as it it is to get a pipe cleaner to pass through a Kaywoodie Drinkless stinger , this one is even harder. It leaves a pipe cleaner after one use on the stem in a bent up mess.
I think Ed James has helped solve the mystery Yello-Bole. He pointed out to me a pipe he saw on ETSY.
Look at this KBB Monterrey, Select Grain Mission Briar (Manzanita). Same stinger as mine.
I think this apple is Misson Briar. The color is same and the grain pattern’s not typical of imported brair. I don’t think i noticed is because I have only handled eastern mountain laurel WWII era non-briar pipes and its much softer. This pipe bowl is as hard as briar.
I think pipe was mis-stamped as a Yello-Bole with a simple fix the vertical line stem emblem on the KBB Monterrey becomes a propeller.
Or maybe they experimented with making mission briar Yello-Boles? If they did make some there cant be many.
If you not familiar with Mission Briar (Manzanita)………..Faced with shortages of briar during World War II, Kaufman Brothers & Bondyused expedient sources and methods to maintain production. The most notable of these was the “Mission Briar” pipe made of Manzanita burl (Fam: Ericaceae) harvested in California. The Manzanita pipe production gradualy decreased from 1943 when Algerian briar shipments started again.