Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from a group of pipes that we purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is a beautiful rusticated Peterson’s Bulldog pipe with a tapered vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the left underside of the shank and reads Peterson [arched over] of Dublin [over] Kinsale. That is followed by the shape number XL13. This is a nice piece of briar with interesting grain showing through the rustication all the way around the bowl. The finish had a lot of grime ground into it. The bowl was moderately caked and there was a lava coat on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The edges looked okay but we would know more after the cleanup. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There was a gold stylized Peterson “P” on the top left side of the diamond shaped taper stem. The pipe showed 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 condition of the rim top and beveled inner edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the rusticated briar around the pipe looked like. He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the stem. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. 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 some information on Kinsale pipes. Kinsale pipes are based on the Sherlock Holmes Collection, a quality larger briar. All shapes are available in either a smooth burnt orange or rustic finish. They have either a Peterson Lip or a Fishtail mouthpiece. I found the following Kinsale Shape Chart on the site (https://pipedia.org/images/e/e3/Kinsale.jpg). I have boxed the XL13 with red.I turned to the Peterson Pipe book by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg and could find nothing in the index. I wrote Mark for help locating the brand in the book and he wrote back that what I needed was on Page 306, toward the bottom of the middle column. Sure enough it was there. Essentially it confirmed what I have already included above with the addition of the details about the brass band and nickel inlay. It also stated that the pipe originally came out in 1997. Mark mentioned that as far as he knew it was more or less discontinued and he had not seen a new one since 2015. Thanks Mark. That gave me some parameters for the age of the pipe – made between 1997-2015. I was closer to a date and probably as close as I was going to get with this one.
Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good with a bit of damage on the inner bevel of the rim surface. The stem surface looked very good with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is a fancy saddle version. The pipe was in such good condition that started by rubbing it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product works 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 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 Peterson of Dublin Kinsale Straight XL13 Bulldog with a diamond shaped vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The brass shank adornment with the inlaid silver piece in the center looks very good. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad which real brings the shine out with the wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson of Dublin XL13 Bulldog 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: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54gr/1.90oz. 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!