Blog by Steve Laug.
Over the years I have had many Edwards pipes cross my work table. I have kept a few and sold many. I have also repaired many of them. The available shapes that the pipes came out it spoke of a very fluid design philosophy. Pipedia says that “Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own.” Across the board they were all Algerian Briar and all were unstained waxed or oiled briar. I remember reading that actually oil curing was a feature of their pipes. I did a quick look on Pipedia https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward’s and found that I was correct. I quote: “All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.”
The pipe is stamped Edwards on the left side of the shank and Algerian Briar over shape number 771 on the right side of the shank. The pipe is a large group 5 sized bowl. The stem was lightly oxidized but does not have any tooth or chatter marks. Push in tenon fits tight. The dimensions are: length 6 inches, height 2 1/4 inches, chamber width 13/16, chamber depth 2 inches. The following photos were taken by my brother before he cleaned the pipe. It is obvious it is in pretty decent shape. The rim has a little tar and darkening on the rounded back edge but the rest is pretty clean. The finish is quite nice and has some rubbed in grime that will come off with scrubbing. The photos tell the story on this pipe.My brother took some close up photos of the rim, the bottom of the bowl and the stampng on the sides of the shank. You can see from the photos that the pipe is in great shape except for the slight buildup on the back edge of the rim. There is a light cake in the bowl and the bottom third of the bowl appears to be raw briar that has not been darkened by smoking. I would call the pipe lightly smoked. My brother scrubbed the pipe with his usual mix of a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. He rinsed it with water. The scrubbing removed all of the grime and oils on the bowl and removed the build up on the rim as well. The stem was lightly oxidized and there were some scratches around the circumference of the saddle portion of the stem. My brother also cleaned the interior of the airways in the stem and shank and the mortise area. I took some photos of the pipe when it arrived here. I took a close up photo of the rim to show how well it cleaned up after Jeff had scrubbed it. There is a shine to the rim that is unblemished by scratches or dents. I also took some photos of the stem to show the light oxidation and the absence of tooth marks or chatter. The stem is stamped on the underside horizontally across the saddle with the word France. I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. After the final micromesh pad I gave it a last coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil to bring the grain to the surface. It also brought life to the briar. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful piece of briar, lightweight and well grained.