Blog entry by Al Jones
The 999 is Peterson’s version of the Rhodesian pipe shape. Pre-Republic versions are slightly chubbier than a modern 999. A chubby shape 999 has been on my “Holy Grail” pipe list for a number of years. This one came to me via a member of the PipesMagazine forums. It was a piece in huge treasure trove of estate pipes he bought as a lot. The seller sent me good pictures of the pipe and disclosed the issues he observed. The biggest concern was the dark marks on the bowl side. The pipe arrived today and gratefully, as I suspected, they were indeed only scorch marks. Sometimes you don’t have to find a pipe, they find you.
The pipe is stamped “Made in Ireland” in the circle format, which I’ve learned was used for 1945 to 1947. While the band is stamped “Sterling” as is the finish, there are no date hallmarks on the pipe. This would indicate that the pipe was made for sale in the United States, where silver hallmarks weren’t required. The dimensions of this 999 are almost identical to those of my GBD 9438’s, including the weight of 54 grams.
The pipe had plenty of dings, including on the silver band. The nomenclature was legible with the naked eye, a detail that I needed to preserve
The stem had mild oxidation and a few tooth marks. The tooth marks lifted up nicely with some heat, a big restoration plus. I soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-Clean solution.
While the stem was soaking, I turned my attention to the bowl. I used a worn piece of 8000 and then 12000 grade micromesh sheet. I was able to diminish but not completely remove the scorch marks, but I’m satisfied with the result. I think using some lower grade wet paper, I could probably remove the marks. But, in doing so I might change the profile of the bowl and the pipe would certainly require a complete stain strip and restain. I then I didn’t want to risk the nomenclature to that process. I wiped on a very light coat of Medium Brown stain to blend in the lightened area with the existing color. I then buffed out that area with some Tripoli followed by White Diamond. After several coats of Carnuba wax, the effected area blends in well with the rest of the bowl. Here several bowl pictures showing the original marks, pipe after the micromesh treatment and one after the stain/buff and wax.
I removed the oxidation from the stem with 800 grit wet paper, and worked my way thru the 1500 and 2000 grade papers. Next up, 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets were used. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Megiuars Plastic Polish. There was a stubborn burn mark on the stem that I was able to diminish but not remove completely. The large dent on the bottom of the stem finished off nicely and is almost invisible.
Below is the completed pipe. The pipe is far from “Mint” condition, but I think the patina earned after decades of use is fitting.
I went back and removed a little oxidation I observed around the P-lip button. I also was able to dimish the scorch mark on the stem.