Blog by Steve Laug
My brother found an older, unsmoked, NOS (New Old Stock) bent billiard with a chunky shank and an interesting rustication on the bowl and shank. It is stamped WILD HONEY on smooth band on the left side of the shank and has WH stamped in yellow on the left side of the saddle stem. It is stamped Made in England on the right side of the shank. This pipe is new and unsmoked – New Old Stock. The finish is in good condition and has a honey comb pattern on the bowl and shank. The rustication is stained with a dark brown stain and highlighted with gold sparkles… quite unique. The rest of the smooth bands around the bowl are light brown or tan stain. The saddle stem is in excellent condition with no oxidation and just needs a quick polish. There is an interesting stinger in the tenon that is removable and only fits the shank when aligned properly. I took some photos of the pipe before I did a quick refresh of the bowl and stem. I took some close up photos of the rim top, bowl and stem to show the new condition of the pipe. I also took some photos of the rustication pattern around the bowl and shank as well as the carved ’76 on the front of the bowl. Like noted in the title of this blog this would make a nice birth year pipe for one of you reading this blog. I took the stem off of the pipe and took a photo of the stem with the stinger in place. It is a push fit stinger and is easily removed should the new owner of this birth year pipe want to do so.The Wild Honey brand was not one that I had heard of before so I did a bit of digging on the web to see if I could find any information. I found on the Pipephil site that the brand was made by the Wild Honey Tobacco Co. in England. Here is the link and screen capture of the listing on the site http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-w3.html.I also found a post card from So. Orange, New Jersey that had a picture of a cased set of the pipes as well as some of the tobacco made by the company. Here is a photo of the postcard that is from the WILD HONEY TOBACCO CO and it is Advertising Pipes. The card is from 1960s. https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/323344448220281038In the images search on Google, I found two photos of tins of the Wild Honey Tobacco. I include them for the help in setting the tone of the blog. Since it was an unsmoked pipe it did not need a lot of cleanup. I rubbed down the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication around the bowl as well as into the smooth briar on the bowl and shank. The Balm works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and the help of a horsehair shoe brush. I let the balm sit for a little wall and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I took the following photos to give a picture of the pipe at this point in the process. Since the stem was unblemished and unused I did not need to do anything more than polish it. I put it back on the shank and polished the bowl and stem on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond polish to raise the shine. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax by hand and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. This not a bad looking pipe in terms of shape and finish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the refreshing work on this one. If you are looking for an inexpensive birth year pipe and you were born in 1976, or an anniversary pipe same thing then this might be the pipe for you. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly so if you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.