Butera collectors and experts, please dive in! This page is just a stub and needs extensive work and photos of Mike's beautiful work.
Butera's pipes are very hard to find these days because of minimal current production and high collector appeal. His pipes are still Butera's first love, but the responsibilities of owning a large tobacco distribution company keep him out of the workshop more than he would like. Ten years ago, at his peak pipe production, he was making 150 to 200 pipes a year. Now, unfortunately, he makes only a few pipes each year.
Often referred to as America's greatest pipemaker, Butera won awards for his pipes on a regular basis. At the first pipe show he ever attended as a pipemaker, in 1985, he won the Best Standard Shape award. He won awards every year he actively presented pipes at Pipe Collectors International shows - nine straight years. His pipes have achieved legendary status, coveted by collectors and commanding impressive prices. He attained this level of respect through a simple philosophy: “I will not market anything that doesn't represent the best, to my own taste, in its category.”
Meanwhile, check out the excellent article in the Winter 2005 issue of Pipes and Tobacco. You can read the first couple of pages on-line: Pipes & Tobaccos Magazine on Mike Butera