The Shape 120 bent billiard is one of Dunhill's most iconic and beloved shapes, still in production after 95 years. Alfred Dunhill was apparently fascinated by this shape, which originated in St. Claude, France circa 1880 and soon became popular with British pipe makers and smokers alike. He produced a number of variations, including the Shape 56 and the famous "LC" as well as a "Magnum" version. But the 120 was the grandfather of them all, and arguably the best balanced and proportioned.
This example is one of the most elegant and graceful renderings I have seen, notably superior to those produced during and after the war. Moreover, it's marked as an "Ao," a superior grade of briar just below that of the "DR." It was well cared for by previous owners, remaining largely unmolested but for some almost imperceptible dings in the outer finish to be expected in a pipe of this vintage. However, the rim remains intact, and the chamber is smooth and free of heat stress. The bit is without toothmarks, and its ivory dot remains creamy and flush with the surface of the vulcanite. The grain is pronounced and covers the entire bowl, without dead spots or sandpits.
Thus it is eminently smokable, especially with English mixtures, and should be a continuing source of pleasure for its new owner.