Daily Archives: July 4, 2019

GBD Century Restlite Bullcap Restoration

By Al Jones

This GBD came from via a seller who was selling her fathers pipes. He passed away at 101 years of age, and was apparently a big fan of GBD pipes, particularly the Century line. The seller remembers her father purchasing these pipes at a downtown Cleveland, Ohio shop between 1957 and 1958, when her Aunt owned a nearby candy shop. Her father would drop them off at the candy store, disappear for an hour, then come back with a new GBD and feeling very pleased for himself. When she would ask to go along, she was told “This is not a place for you”. Too bad, as I would have loved to learn the name of that shop. The pipes from this collection also came with the original box and bag, which were in mint condition. I wish that I knew more about this pipe smoker, as he really seemed to value his GBD pipes.

As I wrote on my previous Century related blog entry, the origin of that finish is a bit mysterious. Mike Hagley tells me that he has catalogs with the Century finish, but I’ve never personally seen one featured in any of the scanned catalogs that I have. Pipepedia says it was made to celebrate the 100th year of GBD, so a 1950’s purchase makes sense. Even more of a mystery is the “Restlite” stamp on this pipe The few Restlite stamps that I found were also in this shape 11, which is pretty rare by my experience. It is nearly identical to the Peterson 411 shape, which was known as the Bullcap. I found absolutely nothing about the Restlite option (as it appears to be). Mike remembers it being advertised as smaller and lighter and indeed, this pipe only weighs 29 grams.

The pipe was definitely enjoyed, but care was shown on the button/stem with no teeth marks. There was some build-up on the pipe bowl top and a slight scorch mark. Another pipe I bought from the same estate showed the same marks, so I guess that was his habit. Here is the pipe as received.

I reamed the slight cake from the bowl, and used a worn piece of Scotch-brite to remove the bowl top build-up. I diminished the scorch marks with some 2000 grit wet paper, taking care not to alter the bowl top shape. A few light marks remained, a fitting testament to the original owner. The bowl was then buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

The GBD rondell on the stem has some oxidation (rust?) that I removed also with the Scotch-brite pad. The oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets (while mounted on the bowl). It was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.