Savinelli Guibileo d’Oro 320KS Fiamatta Restoration


By Al Jones

The Savinelli 320 shape has been on my “Holy Grail” list for a few years, but I wanted the pipe to be in the Guibileo d’Oro grade and have a vulcanite stem. After a while, it seemed hopeless to actually find one. In fact, I had dropped it from my eBay search list last year. Only because of the eagle eye of my friend, Dave J, was I able to acquire one. Dave gave me the heads up on this pipe when it was listed. I put in a last second bid and lost by one dollar. I figured it was not to be. A few weeks later, the seller messaged me that the winning bidder had never made payment and it was mine for my final bid, how fortunate!

After making the purchase, it only occurred to me that this one has the additional “Fiamatta Straight Grain” stamp. I knew that only one in a thousand Savinelli’s make the Guibileo d’Oro grade but I had no idea on how many of those had the “Fiamatta” stamp. This pipe has a Vulcanite stem, with no filter, which means it was made before 1982 when the factory switched to acrylic/filter stems.

The pipe was in very good shape, with a mild cake, some oxidation on the stem and a few minor bite marks. The stem fitment was excellent.

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Before (1)
Savinelli_GBD320KS_Before (2)
Savinelli_GBD320KS_Before (3)

I used a wet cloth to remove the thin layer of buildup on the polished rim. It was undamaged underneath. I removed the cake with my Castleford reamer set. The bowl is quite wide, conical and in excellent condition. The briar was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Here’s a shot as it was soaking, after the rim was cleaned, polished with White Diamond and some Carnuba wax.

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I put some grease on the gold stem dots and soaked it in a mild Oxy-Clean solution. While it was soaking, I removed the salt from the bowl and cleaned it with a bristle brush and alcohol. I was able to raise the teeth marks with some heat from a lighter flame. The stem was then mounted to the bowl and I used 800, 1000 and 2000 grades of sandpaper to remove the oxidation and polish the stem. 8,000 grade micromesh was then used. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars plastic polish.

The KS designation is for an oversized pipe and this one is a hefty 70 grams, which is slightly larger than a GBD 9438. Here is the finished pipe.

If anyone has information on the “Fiamatta” stamp, please comment.

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (1)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (2)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (3)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (4)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (5)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (6)

Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (7)

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Savinelli_GBD320KS_Finish (1)

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15 thoughts on “Savinelli Guibileo d’Oro 320KS Fiamatta Restoration

  1. Dal in Bulgaria

    Al, I liked this post and appreciate your knowledge of the Savinelli name and pipes – you threw out helpful factoids here and there! I felt your pain missing the eBay bid by a buck but the elation that came with the treasure restored was great. Beautiful pipe. Would you answer a few newbie questions – you referred to KS regarding a weight standard for pipes – what is KS? I’m asking because I have a Savinelli Goliath 619EX that is in queue and is a pretty large pipe. How long did you do your sea salt soak? That’s it! I appreciated your post.

    Reply
    1. upshallfan Post author

      Dal – I’m far from knowledgeable when it comes to Savinelli, I’ve only read a little about the Guibiloeo d’Oro line (and worked on a few). From what I’ve read they have two plus sizes – the KS and EX (being the largest). From their website, the 320 in KS is 70 grams, while the EX is 79 grams, so about 12% larger. The 320 doesn’t seem to be available in Regular size, at least none come up in their filter system. The Pipedia page is almost devoid of brand information, grading, sizing, etc. There is internet info on the Guibileo and Autograph lines, but little else. There appears to be no Collectors Club, brand specific forum, etc. Given how long they’ve been making pipes and their popularity, that is quite curious.

      As for the length of time for the soak, it varies from pipe to pipe, depending on condition, type of blend used previously, etc. I’d say the average is 4-6 hours. By that time, the salt is typically as dark as it will get and I’m not sure prolonged exposure is helpful. I never let it get dry or hard as I’ve read about cracked bowls or shanks, although that has never happened to me. In preparation, I do put my hand over the bowl top and “shake” some salt into the shank. Immediately following the soak and disposal of the salt, I clean the shank area vigorously with a wadded up paper towel, which removes a surprising amount of build-up. This is followed by a hard bristle brush and the a soft bristle brush, dipped in fresh alcohol and cleaned between scrubs. Getting that shank clean to me, is a huge part of eliminating ghosts.

      Reply
      1. R.Borchers

        Hi folks,

        Dal, if you do not feel comfortable shaking salt in your pipe, cottonballs do a good job too.
        Remember the salt ( I always reach for the kosjer -, not seasalt ) is only there to contain the alcohol.
        I mostly leave the patient to it untill the alcohol is completely vaporised. Never a worry and the salt drops out the bowl,like dry sand; shanks I carefully ream with a tiny bristle brush and like Al clean out etc.
        Like Al, I “tap” the salt in the shank and cork it. Always do, spilled alcohol can ruin the stain on the shank .
        Vinegar does a great job on stubborn ghosting, apply it on cotton bowls and it will vaporise like the booze does.

        Reply
        1. Dal in Bulgaria

          Al and Roland, thanks MUCH for the details of the processes you have utilized! I will add both of your responses to my ‘De-Ghosting’ file that I started with Dad’sPipes’ recent posting where Charles’ Deghosting a Stinky Champagne by Savinelli 606KS described his battles with unyielding stink. Roland, I noticed Charles used Kosher salt too and I didn’t know why. I asked him about it, and his response was helpful – it doesn’t have iodine which can leave a taste in the briar. So, technically, sea salt is without iodine too and should work – which I’m hopeful of because sea salt is found easily here in Bulgaria – not sure about the kosher. Al, I do appreciate your detailing out the process. For newbies, that’s really helpful. I think that is part of the reason Steve coaxed me to start writing up my restorations because I’m still at the front end of the path and still ask ‘dumb’ questions :-), you all have been walking a bit longer. Thanks!

          Reply
          1. upshallfan Post author

            You are welcome! My salt is not iodized, sea salt can be found in both varieties. The bowl on this one was in great shape, and on the first smoke yesterday, I had no foul tastes or ghosts. Scrubbing that shank is a big key to success.

            Reply
              1. upshallfan Post author

                Ah, yes that name! At that time, a James Upshall S grade Bulldog was my first quality British pipe. This led to to other Upshalls that needed restoration. I really began to focus on estates in need of work, which enabled me to add quality pipes to my collection at reasonable prices and I found the work enjoyable. I’ve since added other classic British makers (Ashton, Sasieni, Comoys, Dunhill & GBD), but a James Upshall started it all. Upshall pipes are typically large, and as I gained more experience, I’ve focused on smaller pipes and sold a few of those originals. But, I still have a number of larger pipes that I believe will get more use when I’m retired (including this somewhat large Savinelli).

                Reply
                  1. Dal in Bulgaria

                    Wow! Lots of very beautiful pipes! Thanks for sharing this with me. How do you display them all or do you have to box them and rotate them out? I found that storage is a challenge where I am! You’ve really done well in restorations.

                    Reply
                    1. upshallfan Post author

                      After trying a number of rack/case solutions, I found this old oak,bow-front cabinet at a local antique store. Like my pipes, it too needed some work. I added LED lights and three six-pipe “Fairfax” brand racks to each level (the racks were modified to accept my larger, bent pipes). While it doesn’t keep the pipes in the dark, it does keep them out of the dust and danger from our two cats. It is in a shaded part of the house, so there is no direct sunlight. The size is a somewhat self-fulfilling prophecy and it is close to full. I have a collection of “Scottie” pipe stands on the top shelf (we had two West Highland terriers). So now, if one pipe is acquired, I sell one to free up a spot. I’m nearly the end of my 20 pipe Holy Grail list (one pipe remains, a 286 Comoys), so that works out well.

                      http://s1295.photobucket.com/user/upshallfan/media/Misc%20Pipes/fa801dd9-21fa-43bc-b0eb-2fa342b5ef42_zps6a4adb6f.jpg.html?sort=3&o=41

                    2. Dal in Bulgaria

                      Very attractive! Your collection is very impressive and beautifully displayed in the china hutch. You give me something to shoot for! Hope you find your 286 Comoys. I’m sure we’ll read about it when you do :-).

  2. R.Borchers

    Hi Al,

    Great pipe and once again spot on refurbishing. It is on my wishlist too, but so far to no avail.
    I only wonder about the “straight grain” on a sandblasted pipe ?
    Best wishes,
    Roland

    Reply
    1. upshallfan Post author

      I’ve found that stamp only on one other sandblast and very rarely on smooth pipes. I wish Savanelli would have answered my email.

      Reply
      1. R.Borchers

        Try again, do not give in 🙂 So far they always replied to my emails ( sometimes after a little encourament ) .

        Reply

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