Pipa Croci pipes are created by Paolo & Gianni Croci from Mantova, Lombardia. The company was founded in 1983 and on each pipe you will find the nomenclature reads "dal 1983". Each and every pipe is hand crafted from aged Italian Plateau Briar. This is a company that makes no two pipes alike and they truly create some masterpieces. In their own words:
"The Pipa Croci is an artisan enterprise. The pipes which are born from our hands are all differnt from each other. This means that the owner of a Croci pipe possesses something totally unique. Keeping up with the avant-garde in styling and marketing, in addition to our Free Hand we have created the Classical Models. Furthermore we produce several hand-carved objects related to the pipe smoker and made of briar."
The quality classification of the pipes is as follows (ascending): Pipa Croci; Amica; True; True 1; Quality Street; Starlight; Golden Flame.
So the "Pipa Croci" is the least expensive and the "Gold Flame" the most costly, but the most exceptional. The classification takes place in a careful and accurate manner and the criteria for these choices are form, character of the briar and beauty of its grain.
The pipes are divided into groups according to their design; these groups or series have been given the following names: Normale; Artistica; Gran Camino; Gran Camino Artistica; Calumet; Calumet Artistica; Calumet Gran Camino; Calumet Gran Camino Artistica; Calumet 2000; Calumet 2000 Artistica; Calumet 2000 Gran Camino; Calumet 2000 Gran Camino Artistica.
The Classical models are hand-made reproductions of the traditional shapes. These well-known shapes have the following letter-number references: Billiard = A1; Apple = F1; Dublin = H1, etc.
All pipes are made of "plateau" pieces of briar. The annual production is ca. 3,000 pieces.
In 2003 a limited edition of 150 pipes was released to celebrate the 20th anniversary. ...and in 2008?
Their grading, is acending order: Pipa Croci, Amica, True, True I, Quality Street, Starlight, Golden Flame.
Other brands made by Pipa Croci:
- DDD - These are private label pipes made for the now extinct DDD Pipe Company (USA) around 2000. They retailed in the $85.00 - 90.00 range.
- Siro Taioli - Taioli is the Spanish distributor of Pipa Croci. He has private label pipes stamped with his name. The probably most spectacular project was the Templar Collection, a line of nine pipes dedicated to the nine knights who founded "The Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem".