Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts or auctions. It is a beautifully grained Peterson’s “Kildare” 87 Apple. The shape follows the grain around the bowl which is a combination of cross grain and birdseye. The finish was very dirty but the grain shone through the grime. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the inner edge of the rim top. There was darkening on the briar around the inner edge of the rim. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Kildare”. On the right side of the shank In the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 87. The stamping is clear and readable on both sides. The stem was dirty and oxidized. There were tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was the Peterson’s “P” on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the rim edge. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the nice grain that was on this bowl. It is a quite beautifully grained pipe. The stamping on the sides of the shank read as noted above. The photos show that they are very clear and readable. The P on the left side of the stem is in good condition. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. There was light tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem and on the button surface. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.
1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.
During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.
With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how clean it was. The rim top and edges look very good. The stem looks clean of oxidation other than a little around the P-lip. There is also light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. It is very clear and readable.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It also shows the aluminum tube in the tenon end. It extends into the bottom of the bowl.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. The bowl began to take on a shine. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar came alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. It was in great condition so I polished out the tooth chatter and remaining oxidation on the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson “Kildare” 87 Straight Apple is a beautiful pipe. The grain around the bowl sides and shank really stand out with the polishing. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the grain on the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it is really is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Straight Apple is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working 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. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Peterson’s “Kildare” will be added to the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.