I have been looking for a Comoy’s pipe in the higher grades since I read a thread on Smokers Forums on the various grades of Comoy’s. On my anniversary trip to the States I came across a nice Tradition at an antique store. With a little bit of haggling the pipe and three others became mine (in the picture below the top pipe is an older Edwards that I picked up the next day at a different shop).
Please forgive the blurry pictures in the next foursome, I was too hurried to get at the clean up and restoration and did not focus them well. They are clear enough to see that the finish was in pretty good shape. The bowl was thickly caked and the rim was gummed up and looked to be dented. The stem was clean but oxidized and had tooth marks on the top of the stem near the button and on the underside in a matching pattern. I did a bit of field dressing to the pipe last evening while we were at the hotel, cleaned the stem and the inside of the shank with Isopropyl alcohol and also sanded the stem with a piece of 240 grit sand paper and some micromesh pads I had in my bag. (I know – it was my anniversary but I had thrown my book bag in from work and when I opened it I found the sanding disks. I have them in the bag when I have a break at work and want to get outside and have a pipe and work on one I have with me.) My wife was occupied with talking to the kids on the phone and looking through her purchases from the days shopping. So I had about an hour to do a bit of work!
I wiped down the top of the bowl with some Murphy’s Oil Soap (undiluted) on a cotton facial cleansing pad I picked up in the US. I had read about that on a post by Alan (Castana on SF) and they work very well. I applied the soap and removed it three times to soften and remove the grime. Once it was gone I found that the rim itself was pretty pristine. Just a little bit of wear on the chamfering on the right front. I reamed and cleaned the bowl and shank. I also used the micromesh pads (1500 and 1800 grit) on the rim and then restained the rim only with a dark brown aniline stain, wiped on and buffed off to match the bowl.
I worked on the stem next. It had bite marks on the top and bottom side near the button. I heated the stem and raised them as far as I could with heat then sanded out the remaining marks. To sand them I used 240 grit sandpaper first then used a fingernail sanding board that I picked up at Walmart this afternoon before coming home. It is pictured below in several of the pictures with the stem. It worked extremely well to remove the remaining tooth marks in the stem. I cleaned the oxidation with micromesh pads (1500-6000 grit) and put it back on the pipe to give it a buff with some Tripoli before returning to finish the polishing with the micromesh pads. I gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil and let it soak in before taking the whole pipe to the buffer to buff it lightly with White Diamond and several coats of carnauba wax.
Here is the finished pipe. I have been researching the stamping on this one. I found out that the stamping dates it to the early 1950’s. It is stamped in a circle with “Made” at the top, “In” in the middle and “London” at the bottom with “England in a straight line beneath. From the Derek Green’s History of Comoy’s Article I quote: “I believe this stamp was first used in the export drive in the early 1950’s and I have not seen any pre WW11 Comoy’s stamped in this way”.