By Al Jones
This Comoy’s “Royal Guard” caught my eye but I was not familiar with this line or shape number (1453). The pipe looked like an easy restoration, with the typical heavy cake and very minor stem issues.
Below is the pipe as received. The stem was in great condition and fit snugly. The stem adornment was a bit of a puzzler to me. I assumed it was made of metal, like “The Guidall” pipes. However the during the restoration, and looking at the few few Royal Guards on the internet, I believe it is a thin sliver of wood, perhaps briar?
The pipe was reamed and I used a cloth dipped in water to remove the heavy deposit on the bowl top. After the heavy layer was removed by cloth, an 8000 micromesh sheet was used to diminish the rim darkening. I use a piece of 320 grit sandpaper wrapped around a Pipenet reamer bit to finish the inside of the bowl. The bowl was then filled with sea salt and soaked with alcohol.
I was afraid to soak the stem in Oxy-clean, as is my normal practice because I thought the adornment was made of metal and it appeared to be rusted. Instead, I used 800 grit paper which revealed what I believe is a a piece of wood. The Oxy-Clean solution would not have been kind to the wood, so I’m glad that I didn’t use that method. The rest of the stem only had very minor oxidation and it was easily removed with the 800 grit paper, followed by 1,000 and 2,000 grades. 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh was used to finish the hand steps. The stem was then mounted and buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.
I buffed the bowl with White Diamond and then several coats of Carnuba wax, being careful to stay away from the nomenclature, which is faded but legible.
I find very little about the “Royal Guard” pipes, if anyone has insights to offer, please comment. Below is the finished pipe.