Blog by Steve Laug
My brother Jeff picked up this interesting pipe on eBay and sent it my way. He has a real knack for finding unusual and interesting pipes. This one is stamped Bonnie Brier in script and underneath that is stamped Interlude over Imported Briar. The bowl was carved with lines and leaf patterns on the sides. The smooth left side of the shank bears the stamping mentioned above. The finish was not too bad but a bit spotty. Some nice grain on the briar shines through the mottled finish. The stem is not vulcanite or even Bakelite. It is far softer than that. I am not sure what the material is it may be a plastic derivative of some sort. The bowl was lightly caked and the rim had some overflow of tars that darkened it. The stem has a JB logo stamped on the side in gold. The stem is over bent and the angle hangs the bowl so that the tobacco falls out. The stem looked like it had a dark stripe of oil in the airway and the slot in the button was really darkened from the tars.Jeff took some close up photos of the rim, the bowl bottom and the stamping on the shank and stem. The rim shows the tars and oils on the back side of the top. There is a light cake on the inside of the bowl. The underside of the bowl has well carved lines that are cleanly laid out on the briar. The stamping on the shank gives a clear view of the stamping and the JB on the stem. I was unfamiliar with the Bonnie Brier brand and the circle JB logo.so I looked it up on the internet. I found a notation on Pipedia. There I found the following information. First the link: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Brier Bonnie Brier is a trademark of Finsbury Products, Inc. of Elmsford, NY. The trademark was registered in November of 1976, and expired in August of 1997. The pipes are signed “Bonnie Briar” in script with the name of the model line underneath and “Imported Briar” below. There are several model lines with different makers’ marks on the stem or shank: Matterhorn (a crown), Standard, Highlands (script “H”), Interlude (stylized “JB” in an oval) and Willow Ridge (script “W R”).
I also looked on Pipephil’s site (www.pipephil.eu) and found the photo to the left of the stamping on the shank of an Interlude. It has the same stamping as the one I am working on. The circled JB is also the same.
My brother scrubbed the externals of the bowl and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. He scrubbed it under running water and the grime and finish came off the bowl. The rim because cleaner but still needed some more work. He also cleaned the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem. The next four photos show the pipe as it was when it arrived in Vancouver. I took a close up photo of the rim as it looked when I got it and also a photo of the stamping on the stem.I stained the bowl with some Cherry stain in Danish Oil. I put a cork in the bowl and rubbed the stain on to the bowl with a cotton pad. I put the cork in a candle holder and let the bowl dry.I heated the stem in boiling water to straighten out the bend. I wanted to correct the overbend in the stem. There was a small trough in the underside of the stem. I filled it in with clear super glue.I sanded the repaired spot with 220 grit sandpaper until it was smooth and it blended into the surface of the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I set it aside to dry. I applied several coats of Conservator’s Wax to the bowl and hand buffed it with a shoe brush.I lightly buffed the stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It turned out pretty well. Thanks for looking.