It so happens that there are some Charatan Experts (even in THE Charatan Club) in one of the pipe clubs I belong to. -- Brent There are a couple of reasonable articles out on the web. title=Charatan But one of the best in recent years was written for the P&T Magazine by Tad Gage.The Ivy Ryan one (cited above) is certainly worth reading just to get a bit of the flavour of the Dunhill vs. You can find it on the archive here: a small clarification on shape number / stem types stamping:4420DC - indicates a double comfort stem4420X - indicates a normal saddle stem4420 - indicates a normal taper stem (ie without the X or DC)The Lane era is generally considered to be bracketed by the years 1955-1984. Lane imported Charatan pipes starting in the late 40's to early 50's.Edit: Also read here for some info, but my understanding is that some of the info on this page is incorrect..not sure what: Is anyone savvy with dating Charatan Pipes?The B&M I work at has had this awesome Charatan sitting on the store's employee pipe rack for over a year now and I have been eyeing it up.The pre lane are generally considered the most desirable, lane era less so but still worthy, and the post dunhill sale pipes are the least desirable as far as collectability goes.Chris' pipe pages has a couple of old catalogs with some charatan shapes in them...might want to try browsing through to see if you can find one of similar shape with your shape number: thing I remember most from researching charatans is that dating them can be confusing as hell.And Colin Fromm (ex-Charatan master carver), working for Dunhill, is now making Charatan pipes again.In 1999 Lane became a BAT asset when BAT acquired Rothman's International.
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-- Brent Brent, I'm not an expert, however, I own several Charatans and everything I have read says that the "L" stamp indicates that the pipe was manufactured during what is called the Lane era. ) Lane was the company importing Charatan to the States.
It started in the early 1960's, I think, and continued until Dunhill purchased the company, some time, I think, in the late 1970's.