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.