Blog by Steve Laug
This beautifully grained freehand is stamped on the heel of the bowl CHAMP of Denmark over Larsen & Stigart. The pipe was in pretty good shape with the finish intact and just dirty. The grain on the bowl is quite nice and there are some unique swirled carvings in the briar on the right and left side of the bowl near the bottom. There is also one swirl at the top edge of the back of the bowl. These in no way detract from the beauty of the briar but actually follow the flow of the grain and add a unique touch to the bowl. The rim of the bowl was dirty with an overflow of lava on the top surface. The inner and out edges of the rim were in great shape and showed no damage. The bowl itself had a thin cake that was uneven throughout the bowl. The stem was oxidized and had some tooth chatter on the top and bottom sides near the button. There were no deep tooth marks just a light chatter. I took a close-up photo of the stamping on the bottom of the bowl and of the cake in the bowl and the tar on the bowl rim. In the back of my mind I had a vague memory of the CHAMP brand. I could not dig out the details but I knew that it was not a carver but rather some kind of distributor. I turned to Pipedia and to Pipephil’s site to do a bit of research on the brand. I found the information that was niggling at my memory. Champ of Denmark pipes were made for and distributed by Larsen & Stigart, a famous tobacconist in Copenhagen that is now closed. The warehouse had a workshop where several pipe carvers stayed. Two of the more famous of those carvers were Karl Erik Ottendahl and Soren Eric Andersen. They supplied some fancy Danish Pipes to Dunhill in London. I have included the two links to the material I found below. https://pipedia.org/wiki/Champ_of_Denmark ; http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c4.html
I started the clean up on the Champ by working on the rim of the pipe. I scrubbed the rim with saliva on cotton pads to remove the tars. I scraped it with a pen knife that I used for this kind of work and rescrubbed it. The oils and tars came off with little work. There was still work to do but the majority of the buildup was gone. I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Pipe Knife to remove the crumbling cake. I scrubbed the rim harder with saliva and cotton pads and then wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and was able to finish removing the last of the oils and tars.I buffed the bowl with carnauba wax and then with a clean flannel buffing pad. The buffed and shined bowl is shown in the photos below. I scrubbed out the interior of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It did not take too much work to clean out the insides of the pipe.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I let the oil dry. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave both multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine on the pipe. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe and I am glad that I finally had one that was easy to clean up. This one will be up on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for looking.