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 nicely grained and I would say beautiful Peterson’s “Kildare” 69 Bent Billiard. The finish is quite nice with at that classic Peterson’s look. The pipe was dirty, with grime and dust ground into the finish. The bowl had a thick cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the inner edge of the rim and spilling onto the rim top in some spots. The pipe is stamped on both sides of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Kildare” on the left side of the shank. It is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 69 on the right side of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe. 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 a faint partial 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 cake in the bowl and the relatively clean rim top and beveled edge. The photos show the rim top and bowl from various angles.He took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the interesting grain that was on this bowl. It is a dirty but quite beautifully crafted pipe. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. The photo shows that they are very clear and readable. The P on the left side of the stem faint and part of it not stamped into the surface of the stem. 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 were tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. 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. Pipedia then qualifies the dating as follows: From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. 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 cleaned the oxidized silver with Soft Scrub and buffed it off with a soft pad. 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. There is some darkening around the inner edge and the rim top is roughened. The stem looks clean of oxidation and there are some tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem.The stamping on both sides of the shank was very clear and readable as noted above.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.There was a cluster of sandpits on the mid left side of the bowl. They were in a tight pattern and were quite deep. I usually fill these in with a drop of clear super glue then sand the repairs smooth. This afternoon the glue came out in a large clump on the area in question. I wiped off some of the excess but the majority of it hardened very quickly. I now officially had a mess of my own making on the side of the bowl that needed to be cleaned up. I sanded the area smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper until it had blended into the surrounding area. I sanded the rim top with a 1500 grit micromesh pad to smooth out the roughened rim top. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each pad. 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 deep briar. 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 grain came alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem to try to lift the tooth marks in the vulcanite. I was able to lift them quite a bit.There were still some marks on both sides of the stem near the button. Once the repair I flattened them with a needle file to start the process of blending them into the surrounding material. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the button surface and stem with 220 grit sandpaper and began the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the P stamp on the left side of the stem with Paper Mate Liquid Paper and once it dried I scraped off the excess. The P stamp is far from perfect but it definitely looks better.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 Republic Era Peterson “Kildare” 69 Smooth Bent Billiard is a nice looking pipe. The combination of brown stain really highlights the grain around the bowl sides and shank. They begin to 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 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. 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. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bent Billiard 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: 2 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” Bent Billiard 69 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.