Well first off i accidentally deleted my before and refurbish pics off my camera before i could save them. So its just the after shots.I have actually had this pipe a while and just got around to working on it. In fact i cant recall where i got this pipe now , so I’m gonna guess Ebay? Sounds good to me.
This is a early production Imperial four digit (3151) Yello -Bole . Since I have no pictures of me working on the pipe I will break down how I date this pipe.
3151 ( In case you dont know Yello Bole uses same shape charts as Kaywoodie )
31- KB&B Yello-Bole Imperial, push tenon, black vulcanite stem (1932-1940’s) or if it was a Kaywoodie – Drinkless Kaywoodie Relief w/black vulcanite push-in stem (late 1920’s)
51- Medium billiard, short stem 1932-1966
Here is a guide i use to date the Yello -Bole model stamping’s ( thanks to the Kaywoodie Forum ).
If it has the KBB stamped in the clover leaf it was made 1955 or earlier as they stopped the stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
From 1933-1936 they were stamped Honey Cured Briar.
Pipes stems stamped with the propeller logo they were made in the 30s or 40s no propellers were used after the 40s.
Yello Bole also used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 30s.
If the pipe had the Yello Bole circle stamped on the shank it was made in the 30s this stopped after 1939.
If the pipe was stamped BRUYERE rather than briar it was made in the 30s.
Here is the stamping for the Imperial
So the KBB in clover means before 1955.
Cured With Real Honey (not Honey Cured Briar ) means its a post 1936.
This with the four digit number dates this Yello -Bole between 1936/37-1939/40 approximately.Most likely 1936-1938 most all four digits stamping’s were dropped by 1938.
This pipe also has the early Imperial Crown and name on the stem along with early metal tenon.
The early Imperials used the same vulcanite stem as the Kaywoodies ( just without the screw part machined in the tenon ) , these stems are prone to oxidizing unlike most Yello -Boles. The Crown logo was later dropped to the inlaid yellow circle and non metal tenon stem. Like the non Imperial Yello Boles the stems were also made out of some sort of vulcanite type material. It wasn’t plastic but i don’t know exactly what they are. I know they will not hardly oxidize and alcohol will not melt them like it does plastic stems. Beginning in the 50’s Yello Bole did switch to a pure plastic stem. Right before or right at when S.M. Frank took over Kaywoodie and Yello -Bole.
My guess is these style Imperials only seen production for a short while. Maybe ended before 1940 , certainly by the start of World War II. All the magazines ads i can find of Imperials are at the beginning of World War II and the Crown Logo on stem is gone.
The only advertising item i have been able to find with the Crown Logo stem is on some of the early pipe cleaner packs.
Here is the pipe after i cleaned and refurbished it . It wasn’t too bad, just well used and dirty. The stem needed some minor tooth marks and oxidation removed. The pipe still has a couple of dings but i wanted to leave it as original as i could.
The grain is actually pretty good for a Yello-Bole ( as most know these are Kaywoodie seconds , so the Kaywoodies got the best grained briar).
Its a fine and excellent smoking pipe. I have enjoyed several bowls so far in this old American classic.
I’m a hopeless old KB&B Yello-Bole ( pre 1955) nerd I think . I really like the pre -war Yello- Boles the best though.
Til next time ,
Good smokes to you .
I found this from a 1938 Yello-Bole catalog . It appears by 1938 the early style Imperial Crown logo was gone from the stem. Most likely around the time the four digit code was gone so was the metal tenon and crown logo ,replaced with the circle or propeller emblem.