New Life for a Peterson’s Republic Era “Donegal” Rocky 6 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a smooth Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 6 Billiard that was incredibly dirty. It had a silver band on the shank that was badly oxidized. The grime on the finish ground into the rustication on the bowl sides. The contrast of the dark stains gave the bowl a sense of depth. Jeff and I picked it up from a fellow in St. Leonard, Maryland, USA. It was stamped on the underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. It read Peterson’[over] “Donegal” Rocky. On top of that is stamped the number 6 which is the shape number for a billiard. That is followed by Made in the Republic of Ireland. The band is stamped with K&P in shields [over] Sterling Silver. Under that are three hallmarks – the seated woman, the harp and the letter E. It was in filthy when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the briar sides and rim. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe.   Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is moderately caked with a lava overflow on the rim top. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.  He took a photo of the underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. He also took a photo of the band. 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 to the hallmarking chart on one of the blogs on rebornpipes to lock down the date for the pipe (https://rebornpipes.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/peterson-cataloguecomp_page_27.jpg). The chart defines the meaning of each hallmark. The first one of the seated woman with a harp is known as the Hibernia stamp and identifies the pipe as made in Ireland. The second stamp is a crowned harp which is a fineness mark denoting the high quality of silver that was used. The third stamp is the letter E. I have included a larger screen capture of the chart in the lower left of the photo below.I have drawn a square around the date letter below. It identifies the date of this Peterson’s pipe to 1972.I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the silver band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964.  The hallmarks date the pipe to 1972. Now it was time 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 cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls 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 worked on the rim top 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 then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top and edges look quite good. There is a small chip on the back outer edge of the bowl. It should clean up really well. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks on the surface near the button.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great grain around the bowl and shank.I polished the Sterling Silver band on the shank with a jeweler’s cloth to remove the tarnish and polish it.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine.  I am excited to finish this Republic Era Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky 6 Straight Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl mulitiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the bowls sides and rim top. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This rusticated Peterson’s Sitter is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35grams/1.23oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Irish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

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