Daily Archives: May 1, 2019

Shamrock 9BC Restoration

By Al Jones

The Peterson 9BC shape might just be my favorite pipe shape. It fits the hand wonderfully and it is completely unique in a world full of bent billiards. This one is a lowly Shamrock, but the briar is surprisingly nice with no visible signs of any fills. This one spots the round COM of “Made in Ireland” which was used around 1945-1947 (end of the Pre-Republic era). However, Mark Irwin has noted that he finds no evidence of the 9BC before the early 1950’s and then, only in Rogers catalogs. So, this pipe would have to be an early Republic era piece. The 9BC shape later became the XL90 in the 1980’s and that shape continues to be offered today.

There is a ding right on the 9BC stamp, but you can just see the “C”. Shamrock pipes sport the nickel band with the three “faux hallmarks” of:

A Shamrock for the many shamrocks found in Ireland
A Prone Fox representing the famous fox hunts in Ireland’s history, and
A Stone Tower for the many hundreds of stone towers spotted throughout Ireland

Again these are not genuine silver hallmarks.

The Shamrock pipe box had one one side “Lucky Is The Man Who Smokes a Shamrock”, which always makes me smile (sadly, no box with this one).

(Faux-Hallmark info and picture courtesy of Pipepedia}

The pipe look a little rough from the sellers pictures, but showed a lot of potential. The stem was heavily oxidized, but didn’t appear to have been abused. There was heavy build-up on the bowl top. The bowl had a very thick cake, which is usually a good thing.

I reamed the bowl with my Pipenet kit, and finished it with some 320 grit paper. The bowl was then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution. I cleaned the nickel band with Mothers metal polish, it has a few dings, which adds to the character. I removed the bowl top build-up with a worn piece of scotch brite and found it did indeed protect the bowl top. There was some very minor rim darkening on the 12 o’clock position.

The oxidation was removed with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit wet paper. There was no teeth marks at all on the stem! Next up was 8000 and 12000 micromesh, followed by a machine buff with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, which I’m enjoying as I type up this blog entry.