Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to me from the large estate purchase of Bertrams and assorted other pipes that included several Piccadilly pipes. It has been around for a while waiting to be worked on. Jeff did the original photographs of the pipe in March 2019. It is a beautifully grained large Liverpool that is really quite nice. The pipe has cross grain on the sides and shank and birdseye grain on the front and back of the bowl. The stamping is the readable. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads the PICCADILLY. On the right side it reads Made in London England. The smooth finish had a lot of grime ground into the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was heavily caked and had a light overflow of lava on the top of the rim. Overall it appeared that the rim top and inner edge of the bowl looked to be in good shape under the grime. The vulcanite taper stem was lightly oxidized and had light tooth chatter on the top and underside. The pipe had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took 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 oxidation and light chatter on the surface. 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 interesting grain under the grime. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. They read as noted above. To learn about the brand I turned to Pipephil’s website (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-p3.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site and it appears that the pipe was made either in the US by Weber or in England by Baron & Co. This is going to take some more work.I turned to Pipedia and there were no listings on the brand name. I also checked under Baron and Company and found nothing listed there either. This is a bit of a mystery brand. Some of the pipes that we picked up bore the Piccadilly stamp as well as the Peretti stamp from the historic Boston Tobacconist. I wonder if there is a link between the Pipe Shop and the brand. Furthermore the Circle P stamp on the stem is the same stamp on Peretti pipes! To me this adds to the connection.
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 lava build up on the rim top and you could see the damages to the top and edges of the rim. I think this pipe may well been before we worked with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Deoxidizer so he cleaned the internals and externals. The stem was clean but lightly oxidized. I took photos of what the pipe looked like when I brought to my worktable. The rim top and shank end cleaned up really well. The lava coat was removed and some darkening left behind on the back side of the rim top. The edges were in good condition. The stem surface looked very good with some light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. The stamping was clear and readable. The left side of the taper stem had a Circle P logo with gold stamping.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the well shaped Liverpool. 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 carefully avoided the stamping on the sides of the shank so as not to damage the stamping. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides, plateau top and shank end with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. It was in very good condition so I did not have to do any repairs or preliminary sanding. I began by working with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem 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 used Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to touch up the gold circle P on the left side o f the stem. I rubbed it on and rubbed off the excess to leave behind a clear stamp.This well made, classic Piccadilly Liverpool with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich brown finish that was used came alive with the polishing and waxing. 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 Liverpool is a beauty with combination of great grain and rich stain. It 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: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ 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!