The next pipe on the work table came to me from one of our estate purchases. Between us we pick up quite a few pipes for restoration. I try to work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This next one is a beautifully grained, paneled apple shaped pipe with a gold band and a tapered vulcanite stem. It has been here since the summer of 2017. The pipe is stamped on the left side and read DEVON. On the right side it reads IMPORTED BRIAR. The finish had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was actually quite clean of cake though there was a light overflowing lava coat on the top of the rim. There were some scratches in the rim top but the edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty, oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There were not markings or a logo on the taper stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. Otherwise the stem is quite clean. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and band. They read as noted above and are clear and readable. I looked on Pipedia and on Pipephil’s site for information on the brand and found nothing listed. I also checked out Who Made that Pipe but it attributed the brand to several English Pipe Making Companies but this one is obviously and American Made pipe with the Imported Briar stamp on the shank. The maker shall remain a mystery to me. It is now time to get working on the pipe.
Since Jeff follows the same pattern of work in his cleanup we do not include photos but rather just a simple summary. Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the light lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. The rim top and the edges of the bowl were in good condition. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I forgot to take photos of the pipe before I started my work. What I have included is after the initial work on the stem. It gives a clear picture of the pipe at this point in the process.The rim top cleaned up really well with the light lava coat removed. The inner and outer edge of the rim looked good. The stem surface looked very good with a few light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides – even though my photos are a little fuzzy the stamping is clear and readable. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. There is a stinger in the tenon that is very clean. It is removable.Now it was time to do my work on the pipe. I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I sanded out the remaining oxidation and the light tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem 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 US Made Devon Imported Briar Paneled Apple with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. 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 the 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 Devon Paneled Apple fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!
The next pipe on the table came to us from one of our pipe hunts or a trade I just cannot remember. It is a rusticated Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 338 Bent Billiard. The finish is quite nice with at that classic Peterson’s rustication pattern. The pipe pretty clean with the exterior polished and dust free. The bowl had been reamed somewhere along the way and the bowl was pretty clean. There was darkening on the rim top but otherwise it looked really good. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and reads Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky with the shape number 338 ahead of that. It is also stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland. On the oxidized Sterling Silver band it is stamped K&P in shields over Sterling Silver there are three hallmarks below and to the left of that. The hallmarks are: 1. a seated woman (Hibernia) – the city stamp for Dublin, 2. Harp – the mark for the quality of the silver, 3. a slanted lower case “n” – the date identification of the pipe. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe and band. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. There were light 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. I took photos of the pipe before I worked on it.I took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the relatively clean rim top and edge. The stem was also in decent condition other than light tooth chatter and marks.The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. The photo shows that they are faint but clear and readable. The stamping on the silver is also readable. The P on the left side of the stem is faint but in good condition.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 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.
I turned then to deal with the Hallmarks. I turned to Pipephil’s site for his quick reference charts on the Peterson’s Hallmarks (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/hallmark-dublin.html). I have included the pertinent charts below. The first chart defines the first two hallmarks on the Sterling Silver Band. The Hibernia/Lady is the Dublin Town Mark. The Harp identifies the fineness of the metal.The second chart pins down the date that this particular pipe was made. The lower case “n” mark identifies the pipe as being made in 1979. I have drawn a purple box around the “n” on the chart below.
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”. The “n” hallmark sets the date at 1979 in the center of the time period. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Since the pipe was in very good shape I started my work on it by cleaning out the inside of the shank. The sump was quite clean and the airway had some debris. The pipe had an aroma of English tobacco that was quite nice. I cleaned it out with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. Once the shank and airway were clean it smelled good. I cleaned out the airway in the stem at the same time with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The bowl was clean the briar looked very good so 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 crevices of the rustication. 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 rustication came alive with the balm.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.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 definitely looks better at this point. This Republic Era 1979 Peterson “Donegal” Rocky 338 Bent Billiard is a nice looking pipe. The rustication and mixed stain 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 give some contrast to the rusticated finish of the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem adds to the mix. The pipe is really quite 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 and using a light touch on the rusticated portions. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax by hand 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 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 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 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.