Blog by Steve Laug
Wikus mentioned in his comment on the post I did on the latest Stanwell Copenhagen Calabash (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/17/a-gold-banded-stanwell-copenhagen-calabash/comment-page-1/#comment-19995) that my brother was the MVP of pipe finders. I have to tell you that you all don’t know the half of it. In all the years I have been pipe hunting and sorting and digging through old pipes I have never had the kind of luck or fortune or whatever you want to call it as he does. He has found a total of three Dunhill pipes, a Castello, some great Barlings, a batch of astonishingly beautiful Stanwells and a lot of other amazing pipes in his hunts. The pipe I am working on now at the work table is one he picked up at a St Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in Boise, Idaho on a recent trip to visit an estate sale that had some promising pipes. The amazing thing is he picked up this paint speckled Dunhill for only $9.99. Now that is some great hunting fortune. I can hardly believe the photos that he sends me sometimes.
The next group of photos show the pipe as it was when he picked up. There was a lot of debris and grim in the deep blast grooves and on top of that quite a bit of white house paint on the left side of the bowl and spattered around the shank and a bit on the right side of the bowl. It makes me wonder who paints their house smoking a Dunhill pipe. The first three photos show the overall look and condition of the pipe. Jeff also took some closer photos of the right side of the bowl and the rim. These were done to give a clear picture of the great sandblast finish that was on the pipe. It really has some deep and craggy looking grooves and ridges. The second photo shows the cake in the bowl and the overall clean look of the rim. The pipe had not been smoked that often and it certainly had not been oversmoked.The stamping on the bowl is readable and clear. It reads Dunhill Shell over Made in England with a superscript underlined 24 following the D of England. To the left of the paint spot on the underside of the shank is the four digit shape number 5113. On the Pipephil Logos and Stamping website there is a helpful key to interpreting the shape stamps on Dunhill. Here is the link: http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/dunhill/shapes.html. He writes:
Dunhill pipes are stamped with a four digit code. Digit 1: (from 1 to 6) denotes the size of the pipe (the group). Digit 2: denotes the style of the mouthpiece (0, 1=tapered, 2=saddle). Digit 3 and 4: denote the generic pipe shape. Thus 5113 can be interpreted this way: (5 = size | 1 = tapered stem | 13 = Bent Apple. The dating on these four digit pipes can be determined by starting with the base date of 1960 and adding the superscript underlined number after the D of England. Thus 1960+24 makes this a 1984 pipe. The next two photos show the stamping from a lightly different angle accentuating the year stamp in the second photo.The stem was in absolutely perfect shape though there were a few paint flecks on the surface. Underneath those the stem was flawless. There were no tooth marks or chatter at all and no oxidizing either. Along with the condition of the bowl (unsmoked briar at the bottom half of the bowl and a clear briar mortise with no darkening) this stem points to a pipe that was hardly used.The next two closeup photos show the rim top with some of the tars and paint flecks in the grooves of the blast and the paint flecks on the bowl side on the left of the second photo of the underside view.My brother did a miracle job cleaning up the paint that was all over this beautiful Dunhill. He was able to get it out of all of the deep crevices and crags of the sandblast without damaging the Shell finish. The rim grime and build up also came off and the flecks of paint on the stem came off without oxidizing the stem. He reamed the bowl and cleaned out the internals in the stem and the mortise and shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe smelled clean and was clean. It came to me and looked like the four photos below. I took a photo of the rim top to show how clean it was when I received it.The stem looks to be in great shape. The surface was very smooth and clean. The internals were also clean. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway in the stem and the shank as well as the mortise. They were spotless.I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It was an easy clean up in terms of many of the pipes that cross my table but the finished pipe is quite stunning. This certainly was quite an amazing find and an incredible purchase for a little under $10. My brother certainly has luck and a good eye for pipes. Thanks for looking.