By Al Jones
This 1959, silver hallmarked GBD 9242 was advertised on Ebay, with the title “Vintage Smoking Pipe” and the ad included on picture as below.
Because of the listing, it didn’t pop up on any of my Ebay brand searches. It looked like a GBD 9242, so a day before the auction ended, I contacted the seller and asked for additional information and pictures. Sure enough, it was a GBD 9242 with a hallmarked silver band. While heavily worn, it looked solid and the seller said he would take a return, should there be issues. I made an offer to buy the pipe, which the seller accepted and a few days later it was delivered.
The pipe had an incredibly thick cake, which spilled over the bowl top. The stem was heavily oxidized, but in decent shape, with only a few minor teeth indentions. The stem fitment was snug. Below is the pipe as it was received.
The nomenclature was all weak, but legible. I used a jewelers cloth to remove the tarnish on the silver and was delighted to find a P that corresponds with the date code for 1950, so the pipe is 68 years old!
I used a piece of Scotch bright to remove the build-up on the bowl top, followed by 8000 grade micromesh. The stain on the bowl was sun-damaged, so I wiped on a very mild solution of Medium Brown stain. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. There was heavy build-up in the bowl rings, I used a small pick to clear the rings, which were in perfect condition.
To ream the cake, it took several bits from my Pipenet set. The great news was, as in many cases, the thick cake seemed to protect the bowl and the interior was in excellent condition. The bowl was then soaked in alcohol and sea salt. While it was soaking, I put a dab of grease on the brass rondell and soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-clean solution. Following the bowl soak, the shank was cleaned and stem inserted.
The oxidation was removed with 400, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades wet paper. I used a lighter to raise several dents near the button. The stem was then finished with 8,000 and 12,000 grades micromesh, followed by a machine buff with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.
There were some dings on the bowl top, I raised some of those with an iron and a wet cloth. There was still some damage around the rim, I used a piece of 2000 grit paper to smooth that out.
The finished pipe is below.