Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is a well smoked Old England London Made Bulldog arrived here almost a year ago now. The previous pipeman had enjoyed smoking this pipe and it was obviously a favourite. It is a nice looking rusticated squat Bulldog with a saddle stem. It is stamped England in an arc at the left side of the smooth panel. That is followed Old England 95 over London Made. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco remnants from the last bowl smoked. There was some darkening and lava around the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The rustication around the bowl has a lot of grime and debris ground into it but should clean up nicely. The finish looks good under the grime. The saddle vulcanite stem is in good shape with some small tooth marks and chatter on both sides. It has a crossed shield on the left top side of the saddle. It is lightly oxidized and calcified as well. Jeff took some great photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow all over the rim top. It is quite thick toward the back of the bowl. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like until we remove the cake and the lava.He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish rustication all over the bowl sides. He took photos of the stamping on the left underside of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable as noted above. The stamp on the stem is mostly on the surface of the stem rather than deeply embossed. The next two photos show the condition of the stem. You can see that it is oxidized and calcified. It has some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. There is also some wear on the button surfaces on both sides.I turned to Pipephil on the Old England pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-o1.html) and actually found a very similar rustication on one of the pipes there to the one that I am working on. According to the listing there I found that the pipe was made by Sasieni. I did a screen capture of the section and the stamping on the shank side. I have included it below.There was also a series of photos of a bent Bulldog pipe that had a similar rustication as the one that I am working on now. There are similarities in the stamping as well as some differences. The Made in England stamp on the photo below is only half there on the pipe I am working on. Both are stamped Old England London Made. The shape number stamps are also similar. The logo on the stem side is different.I turned next to Pipedia to gather a more detailed history of the brand and see if I could find any information on this particular pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni). The link there took me directly to the page on Sasieni pipes. There was a chart listing the various lines of seconds made by Sasieni. I have included that below. I have drawn a red box around the column labeled Old England.Working through the two sites above I learned that the Old English Line is a line of seconds made by Sasieni in both dark and natural finishes. The shape 95 is a straight squat Bulldog with the dark finish and a classic Sasieni rusticated pattern. Armed with the above brand information, I turned to work on the pipe. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cake from the walls of the bowl. He cleaned up any remnants of cake 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 was not able to remove the bowl from the base so a thorough cleaning of the base was not possible. He worked on the rim edge 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 washed it off with warm water to remove the cleanser. 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 as well as the stem to show how clean they were. The inner edge looks very good as well. The bowl and rim looks much better without the thick lava and cake. The stem looked better. There was tooth chatter and marks were very visible on both sides of the stem near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The stamping is faint but very readable and it reads as noted above. The shield logo on the left side of the saddle stem is faint but visible.I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean off the remaining debris in the rustication of the rim top and edges. I worked it over until it was clean.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the even that material. The balm is absorbed by the briar and gives it real life. I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a tooth pick to rub some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold into the stem logo. I let it sit for a little while then buffed it off with a cotton pad. You can see that the stamping was not very deep and the logo repair did not cover too well.I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished 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. With both parts of the pipe finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The Sasieni Made Old English London Made Bulldog polished up pretty nicely. The rich dark finish and the rustication came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, well-made squat Bulldog. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Old English London Made 95 Squat Bulldog made by Sasieni will be going on the rebornpipes store in the British Pipemakers section shortly. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this British Made pipe.