By Al Jones
I’ve owned several GBD 357 Prince shapes, but all have had the Perspex stem, so they were eventually sold. I’ve had a 357 with vulcanite stem on my Holy Grail list since I sold my last of that shape in 2012. I love Virgin grade pipes and I was fortunate to win the auction for this one. Thanks to the Ebay app on my phone, I placed my winning bid while watching the sunset at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys and it was waiting for me at the end of our vacation. The pipe looked in pretty decent shape, with lava boiling over the bowl top and some degradation of the button, quite typical for an estate pipe.
Below is the pipe as received.
I used some light Oxy-Clean solution on a cloth to remove the heavy deposits on the bowl top, then some 1500 grit. A beautiful, beveled bowl top was revealed. There a couple of gouges just inside the bowl, which I smoothed over with some 800 grit paper. The stain had faded in several spots. I used a diluted Fieblings Medium Brown stain to revive and blend in the color. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. There was very little cake in the bowl. The bowl was then soaked with sea salt and alcohol. After the soak, I cleaned the shank with some bristle brushes and alcohol. The nomenclature was mint, so I was sure to steer clear of these areas during the work.
I used the Black Superglue and accelerator on both sides of the button with a little vulcanite dust mixed in. I used 800 grit paper to reshape the button. I removed the mild oxidation on the rest of the stem with 800 grit paper, then 1500 and 2000. Micromesh sheets in 8000 and 12000 grade were then used. This work was done with the stem mounted on the bowl. I then buffed the stem with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.
GBD pipes, even Virgin grades, aren’t known for their grain, but this one has a some nice features and a little birdseye on the bottom of the bowl
Below is the finished pipe, I’m very pleased to add this one to my collection.