By Al Jones
The Sasieni Ashford, aka Shape 88 is one of my favorite shapes, and I can’t resist the 2nd line offerings when they pop up on Ebay. The wide variations of the thru their first and 2nd line offerings is pretty amazing. Four Dot pipes were either stamped with the shape number 88 or Ashford during the town name era. This Mayfair grade is stamped 688SN. I assume the SN is to denote the saddle stem.
Update: My PipesMagazine buddy Dave, aka Hallmark expert tells me,SN denotes:
S (Saddle) N (Natural Finish)
Sasieni second line pipes typically have very good stem work and are a step ahead of many of the other British second lines for Comoy’s, GBD, etc.
During the restoration process, I discovered that the tenon has threads inside, so when new, it had a screwed in stinger, similar to the Patent era pipes. So, I suspect this pipe is from early in the Family era.
The pipe was delivered in an envelope with a thin piece of bubble wrap, stem mounted. I’m always amazed at how this type of packaging survives the USPS handling. The pipe had a heavily oxidized stem and some bowl top build-up. There was mild cake in the bowl. Below is the pipe as delivered.
I removed the build-up on the bowl top with a worn piece of scotchbrite, followed by some micromesh (8000). The top was in very good shape under that buildup. The bowl was reamed and the interior of the bowl was also in fantastic shape. The bowl was then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. While that was soaking, the stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution.
Following the soak the shank was cleaned with some bristle brushes and scrunched up paper towels. The stem was mounted and oxidation removed first with 400 and then 800 grit wet paper. I used a Magic Eraser pad around the lightly stamped “M” stem logo. Next up was 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grade wet papers, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. During the final steps, I discovered an issue with the otherwise mint stem – there was a small hairline crack on top of the button. Using a needle file, I was able to get some black superglue into the crack, and then sprayed on the accelerator speed the process. I sanded that smooth with 800 again, and then up thru the progression of paper grades. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish. I was very pleased with the stem repair, which should be as sturdy as new and is nearly invisible.
The briar was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.
Below is the finished pipe, which will be sold shortly via the PipesMagazine.com forum.