Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on my table is a Barontini Oom Paul. It is a beautifully grained piece of briar. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Barontini over Diamante. On the right side it has the shape number 302. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Italy. It is a dirty pipe but has some great grain that the carver built the shape around. The finis is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened but appears to be undamaged. There is a medium cake in the bowl – thicker toward the bottom half of the bowl. The stem is oxidized and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is no lava coat on the top and the rim edges look very good. The grain around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite stunning. It is a combination of cross grain and birdseye grain. The stamping on both sides of the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next two photos.The stem shows some calcification and oxidation on the surface as well as light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile and the bend is perfect for the Oom Paul shape. I have worked on a few Barontini pipes in the past and have always found that they are well made and quite stunning. I turned to a previous blog I wrote on a Barontini DeLuxe Brandy. I had done a bit of research on the brand and will include that information here as well (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/09/08/70642/).
I looked up some information on the brand on the Pipephil website to get a quick overview of the history (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b2.html). I did a screen capture of the listing for the brand. The fascinating thing that I learned in this quick overview was the connection to the entire Barontini family and to other companies like Aldo Velani. It is interesting to see the breadth of the brand in the following screen capture…Pipedia gives further history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Barontini,_Ilio) under the listing for Ilio Barontini. I quote that article in full as it has the connection to the De Luxe pipe that I am working on.
Cesare Barontini, who was in charge of the Barontini Company since 1955, helped his cousin Ilio Barontini to establish a pipe production of his own.
Ilio started to produce machine-made series pipes of the lower to the middle price categories. Fatly 80% of the pipes went to foreign countries, the bulk being produced for various private label brands. Some of the own lines like “de Luxe”, “Etna” or “Vesuvio” gained a certain popularity. Citation: “Next to excellent craftsmanship Ilio Barontini pipes offer a wood quality, that is almost unrivalled in this price category!”.
The pipes being around still there were some unconfirmed utterances that Ilio Barontini brand has been absorbed by Cesare Barontini or even Savinelli. Who knows?
Fueled by that information it was time to get working 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 to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. The stem actually looked much better than I expected and the tooth chatter seemed to have disappeared. There were some light tooth marks just next to the button edge on both sides.I am including photos of the stamping to show how Jeff preserved it during the cleanup and it did not fade or show damage.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and the remnants of oxidation especially in the saddle area. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a gritty red paste (similar in grit to red Tripoli) that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work. 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 Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. Once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This one came out really well. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished it with multiple coats of carnauba wax on both the bowl and stem. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The grain really popped when I buffed it and waxed it. The cross grain and birdseye grain are quite stunning. The polished black vulcanite saddle stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is really a beautiful pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The pipe is comfortable handful and feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.