By Al Jones
A silver ferrule Comoy’s sandblast Prince shape has been on my wish list, and I’ve always managed to lose the few that have come up on auction. I thought this was the Comoy’s 337 Prince shape more commonly seen, but was surprised to see it is was a shape 303. I managed to win the auction for a pipe that looked to be in really good condition. I was a little surprised to discover no other examples of the 303 shape and it is not on any of my vintage Comoy’s catalogs. Too bad the silver cap is not hallmarked.
Below is the pipe as it was received.
Thanks to PipesMagazine.com forum member “snagstang”, a fellow British pipe enthusiast – who found this 1964 Comoy’s catalog page showing the Shape 303. I suspect this pipe was from the “Deluxe” line, an Army mount series. They were available in Walnut and Sandblast finishes, with a silver cap. I’d love to find out why these were not hallmark dated.
This one was in great shape with only some bowl top build up and a heavily oxidized stem to clean. The silver cap was oxidized, but appeared to be undamaged. The bowl had very little cake and was quickly cleaned up and not surprisingly, it was in very good condition. I soaked the three piece “C” logo stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean solution. I used a piece of worn Scotch brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top. The bowl still had most of the trademark Comoys beveled rim.
I used a jewelers cloth to remove the tarnish on the silver cap. After the stem soak, I pondered how to clean the oxidation from the stem. The stem didn’t have any teeth marks and the button was mint. Same for the drilled C stem logo, which I never tire of admiring. I decided to hold it free hand versus mounting on the bowl. With the military stem mount, I didn’t need to worry about rounding off the stem profile. I used 800 grit paper to remove the heavy coating of oxidation, stopping about 1/8″ short of the end of the tenon, which would be inserted into the shank and not visible. This was followed by 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.
The stem was buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish. I hand buffed the briar with Halycon wax.
Below is the finished pipe. I don’t add too many pipes to my collection these days, but this one definitely goes in my cabinet.