On Friday John, a friend of mine from Calgary, Alberta came for the weekend for a visit. We planned to go to the US for a day so that I could take him to a couple of pipe shops in Bellingham, Washington – the Senate Smoke Shop and the Fairhaven Smoke Shop (I have written reviews of both shops here on rebornpipes). When John arrived and we were planning our day he said that he also wanted to visit some of the places where I went hunting for estate pipes when I am down there. It was going to be a great day and I was hoping that we would find some good pipes to make his first hunt a success. We decided to leave early on Saturday morning and spend the whole day hunting. We crossed the border, headed to a local restaurant for breakfast while we waited for the shops to open. We each downed an order of biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs and orange juice. We took our time to enjoy our breakfast and once had finished we headed to the first hunting spot – an antique mall.
We cruised slowly through the store looking at all the cupboards and tins, ferreting out old pipes. I found quite a few old timers that did not grab my interest. John found a pigskin covered opera pipe stamped Longchamp and bearing a horse on the stem. It was in good shape and lightly smoked. The rim was tarred and the leather dirty. It had a ¼ bent stem that was very clean, though oxidized. He found an old 10 pipe rack made of oak and a brown glass humidor in the middle that had a worn finish but beautifully grained wood. It came with four old pipes – a Falcon, a nylon Falcon style pipe, a Yello-Bole Bulldog and a no name Imported Briar Apple full of fills. We paid for our finds and headed to the next stop to see what we would find. I had a bit more luck and found an old Canadian stamped Paul’s and Italy. It was a large Canadian made from a nice piece of briar but was filthy and the rim was beat up. I purchased my Canadian and then we moved on to the next shop. We visited with the shop keeper who had just returned from a trip to California and he showed us a dozen or more pipes that he had purchased from an estate. None of them caught our attention but we had a great visit with him before heading to our next stop. At that shop we enjoyed looking through the pipes that were for sale. John picked out two of them that caught his eye. The first pipe was a Danish Sovereign Peewit shaped sandblast. It was a dark brown/black stained blast with a typical Stanwell style stem. The shank bore the stamping Danish Sovereign, shape #30. The stem was dirty but easily fixable. The tenon had an interesting Delrin sleeve over the end that made the diameter large enough to fit the shank as it had been drilled out to make it larger. I am not sure why they had enlarged the shank but it had been well done. The second pipe was a Peterson Dumore shape 72 that had some beautiful grain – birdseye on the sides and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. The stem was in great shape though badly oxidized. All totalled John had added seven “new” pipes to his “new” round 10 pipe rack. I picked out four that caught my eye. The first one was a Savinelli Punto Oro 804 Canadian black sandblast that was in decent shape. The finish was very good while the stem was oxidized but had no tooth marks. The bowl was smoked but clean. It would be an easy one to clean up. The second was a Peterson Tankard with a rounded rim and a military bit. The finish was very worn, the stamping was weak in spots but it said Peterson Tankard over Made in the Republic of Ireland. The stem was oxidized and had a few tooth dents on the top and bottom sides near the P-lip button but should clean up nicely. The third one was a Dunhill Shell Billiard with a saddle stem. It was stamped Dunhill Shell over Made in England. Next to the Shell stamping it had a 23 stamped. On the other side of the Dunhill stamping it read 42121. After the D in England it was stamped 20 which if I read it correctly makes it a 1980 pipe. It had a nice blast and the finish was not terribly worn. The rim was dirty and the bowl was thickly caked. The stem had the inner tube insert in the tenon and it extended to the airway in the bowl. The stem was badly oxidized and had tooth dents in both the top and bottom sides near the button. The fourth pipe was an Astley ¼ bent cherry wood. It had a black rusticated finish and the stamping on the smooth bowl bottom read Astleys over 109 Jermyn St over London. The shape number 48 was under that. The bowl had a thick cake and heavy buildup on the rim. The finish though was in very good shape. The stem had a thick calcification on the top and bottom, tooth marks and chatter as well. It was oxidized but bore a very clean capital A stamp on the top of the saddle. The stem was over bent. We stopped by the Senate Smoke Shop and spent the better part of an hour visiting with the owner/proprietor, Mike. John bought two pouches of tobacco from him before we left the shop to drive south to Fairhaven to visit his other shop. I had visited the Fairhaven Smoke Shop many times over the years and it has the air of an old time pipe and tobacco shop. I always enjoy going there and wanted to introduce John to the charms of the place. We visited with Jesse, the sales clerk and I picked up a pouch of McClellands Oriental and a few flakes of 2035 that had some age on it. We each bought some bundles of pipe cleaners so that we could clean up the pipes we had added to our collections.
We finished the hunt having had a successful day each of had found some good pipes, some tobaccos to try and John had picked up a nice oak pipe rack for his pipes. We decided to celebrate a great day and headed to a favourite Mexican restaurant of mine for lunch while we looked over our finds. We laughed and ooohed and ahhhed at the various pipes we picked up. We had a great visit over lunch and after lunch found a spot outside to enjoy a bowl of our new tobacco and visit before we headed back to Canada. We relaxed and smoked our pipes and commented on what a great day it had been. We were pleased with our finds and looked forward to working on them later. When our pipes had gone out we tipped out the dottle and headed home.
The plan was to spend the evening cleaning up John’s purchases – both pipes and the pipe rack so that he could take home some clean pipes and a refinished rack. He wanted to learn about the craft of refurbishing so these pipes would be a great place for him to begin. Over the evening we refinished the pipe rack – stripped it and restained it with a light Cherry stain. We washed the humidor and reattached the clay disk to the lid. We also refurbished the Peterson Dunmore, the Danish Sovereign Peewit, the Falcon (the bowl was shot, so I gave him an extra bowl that I had here), the Yello-Bole Bulldog and the Longchamp Opera pipe. John loaded his car and left this morning with his cleaned and restored finds for a short road trip back to Calgary. It was great to spend time with him chatting, hunting, refurbishing and enjoying our pipes. I always enjoy my visits with John and on top of our normal good visits this time we had added great day pipe hunting. Now the time has come to begin cleaning up my pipe hunt finds. I am looking forward to seeing these five pipes cleaned and refurbished and then filled with tobacco to smoke for many years ahead.