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 smooth finished Peterson’s DeLuxe 595 Bulldog. The smooth finish is quite nice with at that classic Peterson’s look. The brown stains on the bowl really highlight the grain on the bowl. The pipe was very dirty, with grime and dust deep in the twin rings around the rim cap. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and surprisingly and some lava on the rim top. There was darkening on the rim top and on the inner bevel of the rim. The pipe is stamped on a left side of the diamond shank and reads Peterson’s DeLuxe. On the right side is stamped Made in the Ireland over the shape number that looks like 595. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. The stem was in otherwise good shape. There were no tooth marks or chatter on the surface. It was in good condition under the grime. The stem showed one of pet peeves – someone had rounded the sharp edges on the stem/shank junction in their work cleaning it. That look really bothers me. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava on the beveled edge and spots of it on the rim top. There were also dents and marks in the rim top toward the front of the bowl like the pipe had been dropped. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain around the bowl sides. It is a quite beautifully crafted pipe. The finish is quite dirty. The stamping on the sides of the shank read as noted above. The photo shows that they are very clear and readable. You can also see the rounded corners at the stem/shank joint.The stem 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 was confused by several things about the stamping. The first was the shape designation. No matter where I looked I could not find a 595 shape at all and all the Bulldog shapes that were like it were stamped 80S. I was also confused by the MADE IN IRELAND stamp on the shank. From what I read it seemed like a Pre-Republic stamp but the shape number did not fit in that period. With those two issues at hand I turned to my friend Mark Irwin. I wrote him several emails with my questions and pictures of the stamping on the pipe seeking his help and some clarification. I have included his email responses without my questions are in themselves the are great information.
Hey Steve, this is from the 500 shape group, although I’ve not documented the 595 before. It’s an upsized-version of the 80s. Peterson would call this shape a Rhodesian, incidentally, saving bulldog for their round shanks. You can see more 500s at https://petersonpipenotes.org/2016/10/24/the-peterson-500-shapes-and-new-old-stock/ . The POY 2019 for Peterson was taken from this group as well. I make the argument in that blog post that these shapes were made in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they owned their own US distributor, Allied, and were going after the US market. c. 1980-85, so Late Republic Era, 1969-1990.
So I wrote back and thanked him and asked again about the Made in Ireland stamp. I told him that everything I read pointed to that stamp being Pre-Republic. His response was a clear NO. Here is what he wrote:
No it’s not (a Pre-Republic). It has documented use in every decade from 1930 to 2010. My hunch is that it is an indication that the pipe is a high grade. It’s found on several of the special collections Tom Palmer released in the 1990s and 2000s. Pre-1949 stamps are found in the Peterson book at the very beginning pages of each of the “pipe” chapters—IFS, Eire, Early Republic, Late Republic.
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 part of the 500 series of shapes made during the Late Republic Period and the stamping dates it as being made between 1980-1985. I also learned that the Made In Ireland stamp could well be an indication of a high grade pipe The pipe that I call a Bulldog Peterson’s calls a Rhodesian – go figure. 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 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 good. There were some nicks on the front rim top as noted above and the inner beveled edge had some darkening. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the only issue was the rounded edges at the shank/stem junction.I took photos of the stamping to show what they looked like after the cleanup. They are very readable with faint spots in the middle of each stamp. They read as noted above. You can also see the rounded edges at the stem/shank junction in the photos.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 is a great looking pipe.I sanded the beveled inner edge of the rim and the damaged areas on the rim top at the front of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I carefully worked on it and was able to remove the damage and majority of the darkening.I polished the rim top and bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the debris. By the end of the cycle the bowl took on a rich glow. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the twin rings around the rim cap. 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. I sanded the saddle junction between the stem and shank with 220 grit sandpaper to flatten out the rounded edges and rounded corners. Once I had it looking better I began the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!I polished the stem 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 Late Republic Peterson DeLuxe 595 1/4 Bent Bulldog is part of the 500 series of pipes released between 1980 and 1985. It is a great looking pipe. The brown stain on the mixed grain is beautiful around the bowl sides and shank and they really stand out with the polishing. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the finish of the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip saddle 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. 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 Bent Bulldog 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 5/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This nice 595 DeLuxe Bulldog will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. Keep an eye on the Irish Pipe Makers section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.