Monthly Archives: October 2016

1985 Ashton Pebble Grain Restored

By Al Jones

This pipe was purchased by a buddy from the PipesMagazine forum. It caught my eye and he was looking to build an English collection. I have a small collection of Bill Taylor era Ashton pipes, but none are from the early 1980’s. This one, a Pebble Grain, is marked “5” which is the date for 1985. Early sandblasted Ashtons are prized for the craggy blast work and this one doesn’t disappoint. The briar was in great shape, but the Cumberland stem had some heavy teeth marks.


The pipe had a heavy cake and some build-up on the bowl top.  I reamed the cake and found the bowl interior to be in decent shape.  I used a cloth and water to rub off the build-up.  The bowl was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

I tried removing some of the dents with heat from flame but I was only marginally successful.  I don’t like super-glue patches on Cumberland stems and the owner is considering having a new stem made by artisan repairman, George Dibos.  So, I shined and polished the stem with wet paper and Micromesh paper.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

I  polished the bowl by hand with Halycon wax.  Below is the finished pipe.




Sometimes you just get lucky – an amazing pipe hunt

Blog by Steve Laug

Saturday evening, I had a call from my brother Jeff. He had driven to Boise the night before to go to an estate sale and visit a few antique shops afterwards. Now you need to understand that my brother has been bitten by the bug. He loves looking for old pipes even more than I do and that is saying something. He is not able to drive by an antique shop without checking it out. Each holiday he takes always has time for a few pipe hunts as a part of the journey. But this time even for him this pipe hunt was extraordinary. The crazy part of the trip was a find in a thrift shop.

The first photo below shows the bounty of the trip in one photo. The later pictures show various views of the lot. Across the back of the three columns of pipes were two pipe racks and humidor jars that he found – the first on the left is a nine pipe rack and jar and the other a six pipe rack. Both are in excellent condition. A great ship model forms the backdrop to these amazing finds.hunt1What about the pipes? Why do I call it a really good day hunting? Well, have a look at the list of pipes that he came home with – and for me a few of these were quite a surprise. Using the photo above as a template for the pipes found, I will list the pipes starting with the left column from top to bottom and working my way across and down each column. I think you will agree about the calibre of the hunting day he had. The only thing that bugs me is that I was not present when he found these beauties. Here is the list:

Column 1:

  • A new unsmoked WDC Wellington bent that is just gorgeous
  • A 1985 Dunhill 5113 Bent Apple Shell
  • A Sasieni Canadian London Made – a long rusticated pipe that is in excellent condition
  • A shallow sandblast that is stamped Wellpipe.

Column 2:

  • A beautiful Castello 54P Sea Rock Bulldog
  • A Peterson’s Emerald 80S Bulldog
  • A rusticated Italian pipe
  • A rusticated Calabresi
  • An older pipe with Black & Silver band, Yellow Curved Stem.
  • In between the second and third column there is a small pipe with a gold band – just 3 inches long.

Column 3:

  • An SMS Handcarved Block Meerschaum Church Warden
  • A Perkins LTD Rhodesian looking a lot like a GBD 9438
  • A KBB Yello-Bole Premier with a black propeller style logo on a yellow stem
  • A red Calabresi apple
  • A Savinelli Made Roma.

Not shown in the photos:

  • A Bryson Metal Pipe
  • An Ansell’s WASH. D.C.
  • A Garden pipe Italian Made
  • An L.L. Bean billiard
  • A red Italian Made Rusticated pipe.

The next photo is basically the same as the one above just a bit closer look at the lot. The list is the same as the photo above. You can see the pipes a little more clearly. Each photo that follows gives you a closer and closer look at the pipes.hunt2The first photo below focuses on the first and second column in the above pictures. You can see the condition of the pipes in those columns. There are some classic finishes that are dead giveaways for the brand of the pipe in my opinion. The first one is obviously a Wellington no doubt about it the Dunhill is a classic Shell Briar and the third pipe has a typical Sasieni finish on it. In the second column you can see the classic Castello Shape of the bulldog and the Peterson’s directly below it.hunt4

The next photo shows the second and third columns of pipes. The SMS Meerschaum at the top of the third column is a classic looking Churchwarden. The pipe just below that has the appearance of GBD 9438 but is stamped Perkins. I am pretty sure that GBD made the pipe for the pipe shop. The third one, a Yello-Bole is classic looking and has the propeller logo on the stem making it an old one. The others have the look of Italian Basket pipes.hunt3The next photos highlight some of the premium finds of the day. The first one shows the SMS cased block meerschaum church warden and the Perkins LTD Rhodesian – a GBD look alike.hunt5The next shows photo shows the unsmoked WDC Wellington, the Dunhill 5113, the Sasieni Canadian London Made and the Wellpipe. The Castello and the Peterson Dogs are peeking out on the right side of the photo.hunt6The next photo shows the beautiful Castello 54P Bulldog sitting on its pipe sock and the Peterson’s Emerald 80S Bulldog.hunt7The final photo gives a classic view of the of the Castello bulldog with it “diamond” stem logo.hunt8Trips like this always leave me excited but wanting to go again and find some more pipes. They keep me looking for that illusive pipe that is sitting there, dusty and unnoticed on some thrift shop shelf or in a display case behind odds and ends or in a thrift shop with some unbelievably low sale price. Or even at some estate sale where the treasures of someone’s life are being sold off to curious seekers. Wherever they may show up I want to be there and find them and feel the thrill of the hunt and capture of the prize.

In this case I was not present – only vicariously through my brother’s tale. I could see each pipe as he described finding it and then showed me the pipe. He parceled them out to keep me guessing what he had in hand. That was good, but to me one of the more amazing parts of the trip came about through a series of fortuitous events and being in the right place at the right time. In the last antique shop he stopped in on the way home in Pocatello, Idaho he asked the shop person if there were any pipes in the shop. The shop had a few and he bought the LL Bean, the Garden Italy, and an Italian billiard. A fellow who had a booth in the shop overheard the conversation and said that he had some pipes at home that might interest my brother. He went and got a box with some pipes in it and Jeff bought the Peterson Emerald 80S Bulldog from him. After that interchange a young guy said he could not help overhearing the conversation and said that he had seen some pipes at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop not far away. He gave my brother directions and Jeff went to check it out. At the thrift shop he found that great model sailing ship and four pipes – the Dunhill, the Sasieni, the Perkins LTD, and the Bryson.

Let me summarize his finds once again and tell you where he found them. From the estate sale he picked up the two pipe racks and 7 pipes at the estate sale – the SMS Meerschaum churchwarden, the Castello 54P, the Garden made in Italy, the Savinelli Roma, 2 Calabresi pipes from Italy and a reddish pipe marked Italy with a worm trail rustication.

From antique shops in Boise he picked up 5 pipes – an older KBB Yello-Bole Premier, a Wellpipe, a small pipe with gold band ~3 inches long, an older bent pipe with black & silver band and a yellow stem and an unsmoked WDC Wellington.

And from the stop in Pocatello he picked up 8 pipes – the LL Bean, the Garden Italian, a no name Italian billiard, a Peterson’s Emerald 80S bulldog, the Dunhill, the Sasieni, the Perkins LTD, and the Bryson.

Not a bad day hunting in my opinion – 20 pipes, two pipe racks and humidors in good condition and a model sailing ship. It is days like this one that keep me looking where ever I travel. Cheers and good hunting to all who read this.

Pinch Me – Another Stanwell Collectors Piece Pickaxe!

I had to reblog this post too! Two Stanwell matched collectors designed by Ivaarson are too good to not post. Great work by Charles on cleaning up the pair. Hope you enjoy them.


I purchased the estate pipe collection I’ve dubbed The Danish Lot last Spring, and have featured many of the fine pipes from that group here on DadsPipes. The vendors have stayed in touch, commenting now and again on several restorations and offering little details about the pipes and their late Uncle, the former owner. I recently received an email from them. They had come across a few more pipes; would I be interested?

Of course I said yes, we worked out an agreement and before too long a parcel arrived at my door. Inside the box was a leather pipe case containing five pipes. The case is shown in the picture below. I have already posted the cleanup of the large Harcourt freehand (bottom left on the left side of the case). The other pipes on the left side of the case are three more Stanwells – a Bamboo Hand…

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Comoy’s 334 Sandblast Restoration

By Al Jones

This Comoy’s 334 Sandblast caught my eye on Ebay and it looked like a pretty simple restoration and then re-sale. But when the pipe was delivered, the shape and size really captivated me. The tapered stem was magnificent and it was a fairly large pipe, by Comoy’s standards. The Comoy’s shape chart on Pipepedia calls this a “Globe” but I’ve seen it listed as an Apple as well. The stem was heavily oxidized, with a little chatter and no dents. The bowl had some mild cake. Below is the pipe as received.





I reamed the bowl and worked off some of the build-up on the bowl top with a cloth and warm water. The bowl was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt. I put a dab of grease on the “C” stem logo and soaked it in a mild Oxy-clean solution. The bowl and shank were fairly clean and after the soak, the bowl didn’t require much more clean-up.

I mounted the stem and removed the heavy layer of oxidation first with 800 grit paper. Then 1000 and 2000 grades, followed by 8000 and 12000 micromesh sheets. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I hand buffed the sandblast with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.





A Bit of Bizarre & Interesting – Restoring a Lenox Pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother found this extremely unusual looking pipe and sent it on to me. It is stamped Lenox on the top of the barrel. It appeared to be made of briar – the bowl and the barrel matched each other in terms of stain colour and possibly materials. He took the following photos of the pipe before he sent it to me. It looks a lot like a Kirsten at least externally.lenox1The stinger apparatus was made out of Bakelite and was hollow. The smoke was drawn through the bowl into the barrel and then through the stinger up the mouth piece. The stem was in excellent shape and the stinger sat in the end of the tenon.lenox2He took a close up photo of the stinger. It is an interesting looking piece of “plumbing” and I looked forward to seeing close up.lenox3He also took close up photos of the bowl. The first two photos show the damage to the side of the bowl – some dents in the briar. The third and fourth photos show the darkening of the rim top and the nicks in the outer edge of the bowl. The final photo shows the stamping on the left side of the barrel. It reads LENOX.lenox4 lenox5 lenox6 lenox7 lenox8I was not familiar with the Lenox brand so I did some research to see what I could find out. There was not much information on the brand online until I turned to one of my favourite sites for information on odd and unusual metal pipes –

I found the brand listed in three variations. The first of them was a Lenox made of Lucite (ed. By Lucite I assume that barrel is actually made of Perspex so in the information below I have edited it to read that). The link for the brand is: The site has this to say about the Perspex version of the pipe. I quote: “Hard to see the purpose of this one. There would be no significant extra cooling and there is no end plug to remove for ease of cleaning. It is stamped LENOX in the perspex top of barrel. (ed. I have included two photos from the site on the Lucite version of the pipe.) Centre image shows two colour versions. The dark version does not appear to be the result of discolouration by tar etc. These pipes were certainly on sale in 1951. The overall length 5 5/8 inch (143 m/m).lenox9The site also had photos of the Lenox with a metal barrel and wooden bowl. The metal barrel is stamped LENOX on the top of the barrel and a threaded bowl was screwed onto the top. The bowl had a brass insert in the bottom and it threads onto the nipple on the barrel. The following link has photos of the pipe: brother did his usual excellent job of cleaning the barrel, bowl and stem of the old pipe. When it came to me it was very clean. He also let me know that surprisingly the wooden looking barrel was actually not wood but was Bakelite.lenox12 lenox13I unscrewed the bowl from the barrel and took the stem out of the end. The next three photos below show the “exploded” view of the pipe. The rim darkening in the first photo needed to be cleaned up.lenox14 lenox15I took another close up photo of the stamping. It is a clean and sharp stamp with no damage.lenox16I pulled the pressure fit stinger out of the tenon and ran a pipe cleaner through the stem. It came out very clean – yet another testimony to the great job my brother does in his clean up.lenox17I put the stinger in the tenon and took two close-up photos of the stem to show the really clean condition the stem was in. All that needed to happen was to polish it.lenox18I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I set the stem aside to dry after the final rub down.lenox20 lenox21 lenox22I sanded the top and the sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 and then dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I buffed the bowl and stem on the buffer with Blue Diamond polish to bring a shine to the surface. I gave them several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the Bakelite barrel multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax by hand. I buffed the bowl, barrel and stem with a clean buffing pad to polish the wax coats. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finish unique pipe is shown in the photos below. The Bakelite barrel and the bowl really do match and look like they have come from the same piece of briar. The pipe is a beauty. It is a brand that I have never seen and one that is a collector’s piece. Thanks for looking.lenox23 lenox24 lenox25 lenox26 lenox27 lenox28 lenox29 lenox30 lenox31 lenox32

Restemming and Restoring a GBD Speciale Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to take a break from working on restoring the estate lot that I was given and turned my attention to one of the pipes I found on my recent trip to Southern Alberta. I have written about that pipe hunt previously. You can read about it at this link: The pipe was an older GBD billiard with a sterling silver band bearing hallmarks. They were hard to read through the oxidation. I found this pipe in a small antique shop in Nanton, Alberta. The clerk/owner lifted a cased pipe from a shelf – a nice black leather case with a dark blue lining. She opened the case and on the inside of the case top there was a GBD in an oval logo over Speciale stamped in gold. The bowl in the case also bore the same stamping. The stem was missing and the clerk told us the sad story of how someone had stolen the stem and left the pipe behind. The pipe was marked at $35 but since the stem was missing I asked her what her best price was for the pipe. She let it go for $25 and said to have fun fitting a new stem on the bowl. I added my second pipe to my hunt kit. It is shown circled in red in the photo below – the first pipe on the left side of the photo.gbdspeciale1When I started working on it I took some photos of the pipe when I started the cleanup. The finish was actually very good. The rim had a thick coat of tars and oil built up flowing out of the bowl and onto the top. The bowl had a thin cake in it. The left side of the shank was stamped GBD in an oval with Speciale below. It matched the stamping on the inside lid of the case. The silver band was oxidized but I could see the GBD logo in and oval over Speciale. The band was original. There were also some hallmarks that would have to be read once I removed the oxidation. There was no other stamping on the pipe or band. The inside of the case was undamaged but had a lot of dust and specks of debris in it.gbdspeciale2I took the bowl from the case and took photos of it before I cleaned it up.gbdspeciale3 gbdspeciale4I had a yellow Bakelite stem that would work with the pipe both in terms of age and also in terms diameter matching the shank. I would need to replace the tenon in the stem as it was too small in diameter to fit in the shank. I had a Delrin tenon that would work once I had removed the metal tenon from the stem. I used a drill bit to clean up the inside of the shank. I twisted the shank onto the drill bit by hand and cleaned it out.gbdspeciale5I heated the metal threaded tenon with a lighter and was able to unscrew it from the stem. I drilled out the mortise in the stem to fit the threaded end of the Delrin tenon. Once I had it drilled out I used a tap to thread the inside of the mortise in the stem. I painted the stem with slow drying super glue and twisted it into the stem. The stem was in decent shape other than tooth marks in the surface at the button and the edge of the button was worn.gbdspeciale6 gbdspeciale7I filled in the tooth dents with some amber super glue that I recently purchased from Stewart MacDonald. Once it had dried I used a needle file to redefine the sharp edge of the button and sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper.gbdspeciale8 gbdspeciale9I sanded the stem until the surface matched the surrounding stem area. The repairs show in the photos as slightly darker than the yellow of the stem.gbdspeciale10I scrubbed the rim with cotton pads and saliva to soften the tars and oils. I scraped it with a pen knife to remove the buildup and scrubbed it again. I was able to remove all of the rim build up without damaging the finish on the rim top.gbdspeciale11To clean off the band I scrubbed it with a tarnish remover and polish on cotton pads. I was able to clean off all of the tarnish and bring the hallmarks to light on the band. Using a small penlight and a lens I was able to clearly read them. They read as follows GBD in an oval over Speciale over the following hallmarks in shields: [anchor] [lion] [l], AO (assay office Birmingham). The AO on the front of the stamp was the Assay Office; the Anchor identifies the city as Birmingham, England; the lion passant is the symbol for 925 Sterling Silver and the “l” giving the date of the pipe. The silver shone brightly and distinctively on the shank end.gbdspeciale12 gbdspeciale13I looked on-line for the hallmarks and found a great chart. It showed the hallmarks for silver work made from 1883-1949. The date hallmark “l” on the pipe I had matched the one in the chart below for 1910. I have circled it in red. I now knew that the pipe I had was made in 1910.gbdspeciale14After the glue dried on the new tenon on the stem I pushed it in place in the shank and took the following photos. I liked the look of the pipe. The only thing that would have made it better would be to have an amber stem to use. This will do while I keep an eye out for an amber one that fits well.gbdspeciale15 gbdspeciale16I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol until it was clean. The pipe cleaners and alcohol cleaned out a lot of the black darkening in the airway in the stem.gbdspeciale17I sanded the stem repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to further define the button and try to blend the repairs. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.gbdspeciale18 gbdspeciale19 gbdspeciale20 gbdspeciale21I used a black Sharpie pen to touch up the scuff marks on the surface of the case. The clasp on the side of the case is a brass GBD logo that when pressed allows access to the inside of the case.gbdspeciale22I cleaned out the inside of the case with a damp cloth and was able to remove all of the debris from the inside of the case. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel taking care to not overheat the Bakelite stem as that would cause it to melt and be disfigured. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is one that will stay with me while I look for an amber stem that fits the pipe. Thanks for looking.gbdspeciale23 gbdspeciale24 gbdspeciale25 gbdspeciale26 gbdspeciale27 gbdspeciale28 gbdspeciale29 gbdspeciale30 gbdspeciale31 gbdspeciale32 gbdspeciale33 gbdspeciale34



Peterson XL999 Kildare Restoration

By Al Jones

As a fan of the wonderfully chubby Peterson 999 shape, the XL999 has always intrigued me. To this point, I’ve only seen them on the web and never handled one in person. This one showed up on Ebay, with an attractive “Buy It Now” price and offer. I struck a deal and it was delivered a few days ago.

We’ve already learned from Mark Irwins blog, the Peterson Pipe Notes that the XL999 model straddled the change from the chunkier pre-Republic 999 to the slimmer model offered from the late 1990’s until the present. Mark tells us that the XL999 was introduced to the Peterson catalog in 1977 and morphed into the 998 shape by 1992. You can read Mark’s blog entry here below and I include a catalog photo from Mark.

Peterson Chubbies, Part 1 “The 999 John Bull”


The Kildare finish is a lower grade and the grain on this one is unremarkable. The pipe was delivered in very good condition, with some heavy oxidation on the stem. There was some tar build-up on the bowl top but the stem was bite free, with only some light chatter. Most importantly, this one had the P-lip stem that completes the look.






The bowl was reamed and then I removed the bowl-top build up with a cloth and water. I finished the bowl top with 2000 grade wet paper and 8000 grade micromesh. The bowl was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, there was a lot build-up in the shank, which I removed with screwed-in paper towels and then a series of brushes.

The bowl was buffed with White Diamond but still seemed a little dull. I wiped on a nearly clear (heavily diluted) Medium brown stain and then buffed it again, which woke up the finish a bit. The bowl was finished with several coats of Carnuba wax.

While the bowl was soaking, I also soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-clean solution, with a dab of grease on the P logo. The stem was then mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1000 and 2000 grade wet paper. This was followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond, followed by Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I mulled over re-painting the white of the P-stem logo, but I often don’t care for that result. So for now, it remains as received.

Below is the finished pipe.














Below is a group shot of the pipe with my other 999’s, both of which are pre-Republic era pipes. It’s interesting to see the slight shape variations and size. This one is very near in shape and weight to my Deluxe 999 (with Gold P logo), and it weighs 51 grams.