Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is a Comoy’s pipe from Alex’s collection. It is a pot shaped pipe with a saddle stem. It is a Cadogan period Comoy’s and has a single inlaid C on the left side of the saddle rather than the three circle version. It is a pretty pipe with a nice looking shape. The condition is another of those pipes that is shiny and polished on the outside and very dirty on the inside. It had been reamed but the shank and mortise were filthy with tars and oils. The pipe is stamped on both sides of the shank and reads Comoy’s over Tradition on the left side and on the right it has the Made in London England COM stamp circle followed by the shape number 496 near the bowl. The vulcanite saddle stem looks good at first glance but has tooth marks on both sides at the button. It has a stamped C on the left side of the saddle. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on the pipe. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges and stem. The bowl looks clean and the rim top and beveled inner edge look very good. I was hopeful that the pipe was actually as clean as it was shiny! The next photos show the condition of the stem. It is also clean and has no remaining oxidation. There are tooth marks and chatter under the shine on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable on the left side and a little more blurry on the right side. There is also the inset C on the saddle stem – a new one piece inlaid C rather than the earlier version with the circles.I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the pipe.The “C” stem logo on Comoy’s pipes was the “three-piece C” insert until the Cadogan era in the 1980s. That helped me with a potential date on this pipe – 1980s or later. Knowing that this was a newer Comoy’s pipe from the Cadogan time period did not deter me as the shape on this one fascinated me. I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. The pipe was externally quite clean and I wanted to make sure that the internals were also clean. I scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The shank was very dirty and appeared to not have been cleaned. The stem was much better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. 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 really comes alive with the balm. I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Tradition 496 Pot turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Tradition fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going back into the box of finished pipes that I have done for Alex so he can pick them up when COVID-19 allows. Looking forward to hearing what Alex thinks of this one. Thanks for your time.