Monthly Archives: March 2020

More stunning grain – Cleaning up a Second Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain


Blog by Steve Laug

In the last box of pipes Jeff sent me there were three pipes that I left to the end to give my attention too. These were all Comoy’s pipes. The first is the one on the table now – a Comoy’s Blue Riband Prince 228C with stunning grain. The second and third were both Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublins – the second was a 35 and the third was a little larger, a 36. All of these pipes were drop dead gorgeous.  I have them all on the desk top now looking them over and I am quite honestly stunned by their beauty.The final one of those stunning pipes I chose to work on is the pipe at the bottom of the two photos above. It is 36 Specimen Straight Grain. Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain pipes are really a special grade of pipe. This is another beautiful piece of pipe maker craftsmanship and in my mind have Comoy’s has never been surpassed. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain and on the right side it bears the 36 shape number near the bowl shank junction and the circular COM stamp that reads Made In London in a circle over England. The “In” is in the centre of the circle. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars on the inner edge of the beveled top. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dull but still very stunning. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above it shows the inset three part C inlaid on the side of the stem. The second shows the right side of the shank with the COM stamp and shape number. This pipe also has a slender stem but it is straight and has a great fishtail blade. Once again the surface of the top and underside of the stem is oxidized and dirty but it is quite free of tooth marks and only has a minimum of chatter. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of the Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site. The summary to the right of the photos is always succinct and quite pointed. In this case it quotes the Comoy’s 1965 catalogue in saying the Specimen Straight Grain grade: “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes.”I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the Comoy’s brand and focused on the Specimen Straight Grain. Here is the link to the article by the late Derek Green. It is worth a read. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_History_Of_Comoy%27s_and_A_Guide_Toward_Dating_the_Pipes). I quote from that article below:

Specimen Straight Grain. I am not sure when this grade was first produced, but it probably appeared just before the Second World War. This certainly was the top grade from its introduction. It is described in my 1965 catalogue as “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes. It is so unusual to find a completely perfect straight grain that shapes and quantities are strictly limited.” It was priced at $50 in 1943 and 1965. Jacques Cole recalls that, in the 1950s, there was a very large bent that was reckoned to be about the “perfect” Straight Grain. It was not for sale but used as an exhibition piece and valued then at £500.

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this delicate pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the inward beveled rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening, lava and tars and left behind a smooth rim top. Even the slight nick on the outside right edge of the rim top looked better. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. Like other Comoy’s I have worked on this stem had a metal tube in the tenon to strengthen it in what is often a weak point on a pipe.Since the pipe was also in such great condition at this point I started my polishing regimen. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Because the stem was in such great condition I moved direct to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a real stunning example of Comoy’s Dublin shape. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finish pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublin 36 pipe is the pipe of the amazing threesome I have been working on today. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be staying in my collection for now while I think about what to do with it. Thanks for your time.

More stunning grain – Cleaning up a Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain 35 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

In the last box of pipes Jeff sent me there were three pipes that I left to the end to give my attention too. These were all Comoy’s pipes. The first is the one on the table now – a Comoy’s Blue Riband Prince 228C with stunning grain. The second and third were both Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublins – the second was a 35 and the third was a little larger, a 36. All of these pipes were drop dead gorgeous.  I have them all on the desk top now looking them over and I am quite honestly stunned by their beauty.The next of those stunning pipe I chose to work on is the pipe in the center of the two photos above. It is 35 Specimen Straight Grain. Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain pipes are really a special grade of pipe. This is another beautiful piece of pipe maker craftsmanship and in my mind have Comoy’s has never been surpassed. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain and on the right side it bears the 35 shape number near the bowl shank junction and the circular COM stamp that reads Made In London in a circle over England. The “In” is in the centre of the circle. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars on the inner edge of the beveled top and a small nick in the outer rim on the right side toward the back. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dull but still very stunning. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above it shows the inset three part C inlaid on the side of the stem. The second shows the right side of the shank with the COM stamp and shape number.This pipe also has a slender stem but it is straight and has a great fishtail blade. Once again the surface of the top and underside of the stem is oxidized and dirty but it is quite free of tooth marks and only has a minimum of chatter. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of the Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site. The summary to the right of the photos is always succinct and quite pointed. In this case it quotes the Comoy’s 1965 catalogue in saying the Specimen Straight Grain grade: “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes.”I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the Comoy’s brand and focused on the Specimen Straight Grain. Here is the link to the article by the late Derek Green. It is worth a read. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_History_Of_Comoy%27s_and_A_Guide_Toward_Dating_the_Pipes). I quote from that article below:

Specimen Straight Grain. I am not sure when this grade was first produced, but it probably appeared just before the Second World War. This certainly was the top grade from its introduction. It is described in my 1965 catalogue as “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes. It is so unusual to find a completely perfect straight grain that shapes and quantities are strictly limited.” It was priced at $50 in 1943 and 1965. Jacques Cole recalls that, in the 1950s, there was a very large bent that was reckoned to be about the “perfect” Straight Grain. It was not for sale but used as an exhibition piece and valued then at £500.

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this delicate pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the inward beveled rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening, lava and tars and left behind a smooth rim top. Even the slight nick on the outside right edge of the rim top looked better. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. Like other Comoy’s I have worked on this stem had a metal tube in the tenon to strengthen it in what is often a weak point on a pipe.Since the pipe was also in such great condition at this point I started my polishing regimen. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Because the stem was in such great condition I moved direct to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a real stunning example of Comoy’s Dublin shape. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finish pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublin 35 pipe is another unique piece of pipe history. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be staying in my collection for now while I think about what to do with it. Thanks for your time.

Wow just look at that grain – Cleaning up a Comoy’s Blue Riband 228C Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

In the last box of pipes Jeff sent me there were three pipes that I left to the end to give my attention too. These were all Comoy’s pipes. The first is the one on the table now – a Comoy’s Blue Riband Prince 228C with stunning grain. The second and third were both Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublins – the second was a 35 and the third was a little larger, a 36. All of these pipes were drop dead gorgeous.  I have them all on the desk top now looking them over and I am quite honestly stunned by their beauty.Finally I made a decision and chose to work on the 228C Blue Riband Prince first. Comoy’s Blue Riband pipes are really beautiful piece of pipe maker craftsmanship and in my mind have never been surpassed. Neill Archer Roan did a great book of photos on the Comoy’s Blue Riband pipes in his large collection and since that time I am always on the lookout for nice specimens of the brand. I believe that this Prince is just such a pipe. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s over Blue Riband and on the right side it bears the 228C shape number near the bowl shank junction and the circular COM stamp that reads Made In London in a circle over England. The “In” is in the centre of the circle. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars on the inner edge of the beveled top and a light bit of lava higher up on the right front bevel. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dull but still very stunning. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above. The second shows the right side of the shank with the COM stamp and shape number. The final photo in this set shows the three part inlaid C on the left side of the taper stem.The slender stem sets a jaunty profile for the pipe with its slight bend. The surface of the top and underside of the stem is oxidized and dirty but it is quite free of tooth marks and only has a minimum of chatter.I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of the Comoy’s Blue Riband line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site. The summary to the right of the photos is always succinct and quite pointed. In this case also talking about the 3 part inlaid logo on the stem.I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the Comoy’s brand and a bit about the various lines of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s). I have included two catalogue pages from the site for easy reference on the Blue Riband line. The information given in both of them is quite interesting to note. I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.  I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the inward beveled rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the lava and tars and left behind a smooth rim top. The close up photos of the stem show that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. Like other Comoy’s I have worked on this stem had a metal tube in the tenon to strengthen it in what is often a weak point on a pipe.Since the pipe was in such great condition at this point I started my polishing regimen. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Because the stem was in such great condition I moved direct to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a real stunning example of Comoy’s mastery of the Prince shape. The grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finish pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Comoy’s Blue Riband pipe is a unique piece of pipe history. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be staying in my collection for now as I have nothing like it. Thanks for your time.

Restoring an Orlik H182 Hurricane Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have worked on a few Hurricane pipes in the past so I was familiar with the brand on the work table next. This one is stamped Orlik Hurricane over Made in England on the left side of the shank and the shape number H182 is stamped on the right side of the shank. The one I did most recently was a Hurricane Lovat (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/13/new-life-for-a-hurricane-standard-lovat/). This one was different in that it was a smooth finished pipe. I also was stamped Orlik. There was some great grain around the bowl but there were also some fills on the left of the bowl near the flip cap. The Hurricane pipes always remind me of these Salt and Pepper shaker pipes that were the bread and butter of most tourist spots in the US. In the recesses of my memory it seems like we had a set from Yellowstone National Park…but Jeff may correct my memory. Whatever the case this is what comes to my mind when I see the Hurricane pipes.Now to the pipe at hand. The rim top under the cap was very dirty with lava overflow and there was a thick cake in the bowl. The finish was dirty with sticky spots on the bowl sides and shank. The Bakelite cover on the bowl had some small chips along the edges. With the cap opened the sides of the bowl were also very dirty. The airholes in the top of the cap were also filled in with tars and oils. The stem was heavily oxidized and there were tooth marks on both sides near the button. It was a dirty pipe. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started to clean it. He took some photos of the rim top with the cover tip back and with it in place to show the general condition of the pipe. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim in the photos. He followed those with photos of the cap in place. You can see the fills on the left side of the bowl along the cap edge. The final photo of this set shows the heel of the bowl and the grain that is visible there. He also took some photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. They are clear and readable. There was also an H on the stem top that is faint but hopefully salvageable. The next series of photos give a clearer picture of the condition of the stem. The first photo below shows the full length and profile of the heavily oxidized and stained vulcanite stem. The second photos shows the calcification on the stem ahead of the button. The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the stem. You can see the light tooth marks and chatter both on the button surface and on the blade itself.

I am including the link to the last Hurricane pipe I worked on. Give the blog a read if you are interested (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/13/new-life-for-a-hurricane-standard-lovat/). I am quoting from the background information to the brand that I included in that blog. I also darkened a portion of the quote that pertains to the Orlik pipe I am working on now.

I looked up the Hurricane Standard pipe on the Pipephil Site to see what I could find out about the maker (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-h4.html). I quote in full the information included in the sidebar of the listing.

Hurricane is not exactly a brand but rather a pipe type characterized by an integrated swivel cover. An H on the stem denotes a pipe produced by Orlik. These pipes were often made in collaboration with Nutt Products Ltd or were sometimes stamped for Roy Tallent Ltd.

I include a screen capture of the listing from Pipephil as well. Note the various brands that made a Hurricane pipe with the same style or similar style wind cap. Note also that the one I have is made by Roy Tallent Ltd. of Old Bond Street. It bears the same H stamp on the top of the saddle stem as the pipes in the photo below.From that link I did a bit of search for the Fortnum brand. I found a listing for the brand on Pipedia. It said: Fortnum & Mason, the famed London department store in operation since 1707, has among countless other products sold its own line of pipes. One of the most notable was Fortnum’s Windward, a “Hurricane” type pipe with a built in swiveling windcap. The pipe was made following the design of Frederick Hudes, who received a patent for the pipe in the U.S. numbered 2135179 in 1938 (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Fortnum_%26_Mason). I have included the Patent drawings below. Armed with that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new other than a few deep tooth marks. The Bakelite rim cap looked very good. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top with the cap in place and with it tipped back. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the Bakelite was very clean. The close up photos of the stem show that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. There are some small deep tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button and one mark on the top side of the button itself. To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to smooth out the three fills on the left side of the bowl near the edge of the flip cap. They are shown in the first photo below as three blackened dots running vertically along the cap. There rough to the touch and bumpy feeling. I sanded them smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and blended them into the surface. They still stick out but at least they are smooth!I decided to polish the briar and the Bakelite flip cap with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl and cape down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl begins to shine with the transition to each new pad. After the final polishing pad it looks great. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I also rubbed it into the Bakelite cap. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks and built up the button with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.The H stamp on the stem was quite faint but I thought that I might be able to get a bit of it to show. I put some Liquid Paper in the faint marks on the top of the stem and let them dry. I scraped off the excess and you can see the faint H in the second photo. While it is not perfect it is at least visible.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. This is a Hurricane Billiard with the Orlik stamp on the shank is a real beauty with a tapered black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl, the Bakelite flip cap and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the 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. The rich combination of browns of the briar and dark brown of the Bakelite took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Hurricane pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Hurricane pipe is a unique piece of pipe history. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the English Pipe Making Companies section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Cleanup and restoration of an Art Deco Yello-Bole Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff picked this one up because of our mutual love of older late 19th– early 20th Century. Even in its sorry state when he found it there was a stunning quality about the pipe. The shape and design of the bling make me think it is an Art Deco period pipe 1920s and 1930s. The briar is quite nice and the rim cap is well sculpted. It has a cast head on each side of the cap. The helmeted head looks like a Samurai warrior like the picture to the left. The helmet flares to the left and right like feathers like that. Under the chin of the head is green “gem” or glass inset in a “gold” ring and inlaid in the bowl. There is a matching band around the shank. Those two decorative pieces on the pipe add a touch of unique style to the pipe.

The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and read: KBB in a cloverleaf followed by Yello-Bole. Under that it is stamped Cured with Real Honey and an R in a circle. Under that it is stamped Imperial in script. The bottom line of the stamping reads Imported Briar. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and a light lava coat on the edge of the rim cap. The bowl was lined with a thick cake and the metal edge of the bowl cap is thickly caked. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The finish looks good under the grime and dust. The stem is a tapered vulcanite stem with an orific button on the end. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem.Jeff took some close-up photos of the bowl sides and heel. You can see the cast Samurai head and the inset “gems”. It is dirty and tarnished with a lot of oily tars inserted in the twin rings around the bowl and around the inset gems. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable but hard to capture in the photos. You can also see the filigree on the band and the scratching on the stem.The first photo below shows the full length and profile of the vulcanite stem. The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the stem. You can see the light tooth marks and chatter both on the button surface and on the blade itself.I turned to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-y.html) and captured the following screen. In it the key point is that KBB (Kaufman Brothers & Bondy) expanded their lines by adding the Yello-Bole line in 1932. That helps to date this pipe a bit. From this I knew that the pipe was issued after 1932. It also shows the stamping Cured with Real Honey.I turned then to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Yello-Bole) to see if I could pin down the date with a little more clarity. I quote two pertinent parts of the article below:

In 1932 Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B), est. 1851, expanded their program consisting of KB&B pipes, Reiss-Premier and Kaywoodie as the mainstay brand by introducing the Yello-Bole line. Yello-Bole was designed as an outlet for lower grade briar not used in Kaywoodie production…

Tips for Dating Yello-Bole Pipes

  • KBB stamped in the clover leaf indicates it was made in 1955 or earlier as they stopped this stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
  • Pipes from 1933-1936 they were stamped “Honey Cured Briar”
  • Post 1936 pipes were stamped “Cured with Real Honey”
  • Pipe stems stamped with the propeller logo were made in the 1930’s or 1940’s – no propellers were used after the 1940’s.
  • Yello Bole used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 1930’s.
  • Pipes with the Yello-Bole circle stamped on the shank it were made in the 1930’s, this stopped after 1939.
  • Pipes stamped BRUYERE rather than BRIAR it was made in the 1930’s.

I have highlighted the two lines in the dating article that help narrow down the date for me. The first tells me that pipes stamped with the KBB in the cloverleaf indicate that the pipe was made prior to 1955. Now I had both a starting and ending date to work with 1932-1955. The second red highlighted text tells me that pipes stamped Cured with Real Honey came out after 1936. This took it a bit further for me. I knew that the pipe I have is made after 1936. The fact that it is an Art Deco piece sets the end date a bit closer. I now knew that the pipe was made between 1936-1939. I was definitely honing in on the date.

I did some more research online to establish the ending date of the Art Deco period and found this interesting site:

In 1937 came the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne. Its emphasis on science and technology decisively, if unintentionally, marked the end of the Art Deco period (https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/paris/articles/a-history-of-art-deco-in-1-minute/).

With the additional information I can with some certainty say that this pipe was made sometime in the period of 1936-1937.

Armed with that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new. The brass bling just shone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. The rim top was very clean. The stem looked amazingly good. The chatter on the stem surfaces was gone and the surface was clean.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It was in very good condition and was readable and clear.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to tap out the dings on the rim cap as much as possible without removing the cap. It appeared to me that the dings were on the surface of the cap. I used a ball peen hammer to gently tap the surface of the rim. It worked to smooth out the surface significantly.With that finished the work on the bowl was quite minimal. There were no fills to repair and no damage to deal with. I took two photos of side of the cap to show their condition. The bling was quite shiny and looked good. I did not need to clean it or polish it.I decided to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The briar bowl begins to shine with the transition to each new pad. After the final polishing pad it looks great. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The stem looked really good so I skipped the sanding and Denicare steps and went directly to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to protect and preserve the stem. This is a great piece of pipe history and one that I can at least give a reasonable date for it making. It is a fancy KBB Yello-Bole Cured with Real Honey Rhodesian with a unique rim cap and band on the shank. The figures on the sides of the cap could easily be a fanciful samurai or some other figure but that is my best guess. The stem is a polished hard rubber that really shines with the buffing. The briar is also quite nice with just a few well-hidden fills. The brass, the briar and the hard rubber all combine well for a unique looking pipe. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel carefully avoiding the brass. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the 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. The rich combination of brass, browns and black of the bowl and stem came alive with the buffing. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. This older American made Art Deco era pipe is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be joining my collection of older American made pipes. Thanks for your time.

Restoring a Lovely Cala Lily Shaped Erik Nording Signed Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up this interesting looking freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and remnants of plateau on the top of the rim and one spot on the left side end of the shank. There was something familiar about the shape of carving that reminded me of a flower that I have grown. It dawned on me this morning while I worked on it that it reminded me of a Cala Lily (pictured to the left). The flow of the shape of the bowl with the extended lip on the front and the grooves flowing up the side and back of the bowl look a lot like the shape of this lily. It is a beautiful pipe that is signed on the left side of the shank with Erik Nording’s signature.

The pipe has the signature as noted above but it was also stamped on the underside of the shank and read: Handmade by Erik Nording. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and a light lava coat on the edge of the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The finish looks good under the grime and dust. The bits of plateau should clean up well. The stem is a turned fancy turned vulcanite stem with the stylized N of the Nording logo on the top of the saddle. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. You can also see why I was reminded of the Cala Lily.He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the rim top and the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the carvings around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is floral looking. Unique! The shank end is smooth with one small piece of plateau on the left side of the shank toward the end. Jeff took a photo of Erik Nording’s signature on the left side of the shank. It appears to have been done with Black permanent marker. He also took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank which read Handmade by Erik Nording. The first photo below shows the full length and profile of the fancy turned vulcanite stem. The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the stem. You can see the light tooth marks and chatter both on the button surface and on the blade itself. Erik Nording is a living pipe carver from Denmark. He is still carving and the information on Pipedia and Pipephil is helpful to get a feel for the brand. Give those articles a look if you want a good summary of the information. I have included the links to both of those articles for easy access.

https://pipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rding

http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n2.html

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. The valleys of the plateau were finished in black but they were worn. The rim top was very clean. The stem looked amazingly good. The chatter on the stem surfaces was gone and the surface was clean.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and the signature on the left side. Both look to be in very good condition.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to use a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give depth to the surface of the rim top.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I touched up the N stamp on the top of the stem with some Paper Mate Liquid Paper. I applied it with a tooth pick on the surface of the stem. Once it had dried I scraped off the excess Liquid Paper off the stem with the tooth pick. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth.This is another beautiful Freehand pipe. It is an Erik Nording Handmade with a fancy, turned, black acrylic stem. To me it has the look of a Cala Lily with the flared top edges and carved valleys in the sides of the bowl. It looks a lot like the photo I posted at the top of this blog. Once again the shape fits well in my hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the 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. The rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Nording pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½  wide x 2 inches long, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Cosmetic Repairs and Restoration of a Jobey Dansk 3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up this interesting looking freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. There were rusticated spots on the right side of the bowl and shank as well as the heel of the bowl. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and lava on the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. There was a crack on the left side of the bowl that did not go through to the bowl. It was a cosmetic crack. In looking at the photos you can also see a small cosmetic crack on the back of the bowl on the right side. The stem is a turned fancy turned acrylic stem. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button and on the smooth parts of the button on both sides. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the rustication around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is craggy and rugged looking. Unique! The shank end is also a unique mix of plateau and smooth. You will also see the cosmetic cracks in the photos. I will highlight those and include closer looks at the two of them. I took some closer photos of the  the cracks in the bowl. The first shows the one on the left side of the bowl and the second is of the right rear side of the bowl. Neither were deep or went through to the inside of the rim or bowl.Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and read Jobey Dansk at the top followed by a large number 3.. Under that it read Handmade in Denmark.The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the acrylic stem. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the button surface and on the blade itself. The third photo shows flow of the stem as a whole. I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm some suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:
George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)
Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)
Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)
Hollco International, New York (1969).
Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)
The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

 Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.I took some photos of the cracks on the side and back of the bowl. I circled them in red so they are easily identifiable in the photos below. Keep in mind that neither of them are deep or go through into the bowl. They do not show up on the rim to either. This leads me to believe they are cosmetic.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to clean out some more of the grooves in the plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. Once I had it cleaned out sanded the high spots with 220 grit sandpaper to differentiate the plateau from the valleys. With that finished I decided to address the cracks in the bowl. I put a microdrill bit in my Dremel and drilled small holes at the end of each of the cracks to stop them from spreading. The photos below show the pin holes. I have circled them so they are visible.I cleaned out the smalls cracks with a dental pick and probed to see how deep they both were. Fortunately they were both very shallow. The one on the back of the bowl was a hairline crack. I dribbled clear super glue (CA) in the crack and in the pinholes I had drilled then pressed briar dust into the holes and the cracks.Once the repairs had hardened (it takes about 5 minutes) I used a needle file to flatten out the repaired areas on the briar. I followed up on the filed areas with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. With the polishing finished I used a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give the pipe a sense of dimensionality. I also stained the repaired areas with a Cherry stain pen to blend them into the surrounding briar. The colour was a good match to the rest of the bowl and really did a good job of blending the repairs. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks and built up the button with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black acrylic stem. It has a great look and feel. The repairs to the bowl came out really well. If you look you can see them but they blend in well with the grain around the bowl. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the 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. The rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished acrylic stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾  wide x 2 ¼ inches long, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Companies section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.