Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an antique auction mid-2019 from Huntington Station, New York, USA. It is a Bulldog shaped pipe with the mixed smooth and rusticated finish that I have come to associate with Jobey Asti pipes. The pipe has a saddle vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the left underside of the shank and reads Jobey [over] Asti. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number 200. On the left side of the saddle stem was the inset Jobey brass oval logo. The finish had a lot of grime ground into both the smooth and rusticated portions and it was very dirty. The bowl was heavily caked and there was a thick lava coat on the flat rim top and the inner edge of the rim. It was hard to tell what condition of the inner edge was because of the lava coat. Only cleaning would make that clear. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. 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 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 briar around the pipe looked like. He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the logo on the left side of the saddle stem. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j3.html). I quote a section of the post on the Jobey brand: These pipes are made in St Claude (France) by Butz-Choquin (Berrod-Regad group) since 1987. Before this date some were manufactured in England and Denmark (Jobey Dansk).
I turned then to Pipedia to gather further information regarding the brand and quote the first part of the article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey).
English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant… Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:
George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)
Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)
Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)
Hollco International, New York (1969).
Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)
The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).
Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […] Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!
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 bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with 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 good with a bit of damage on the inner edge and on the rim surface on the front right. There was some burn damage on the front and right that made the bowl slightly out of round. The stem surface looked very good with some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It also had some residual oxidation. I took photos 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 has a patented Jobey Link Tenon. I started my work on the pipe by working over the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl to clean up the damage. Once finished the rim top and edge looked much better. I polished the smooth briar on the rim top and cap of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrubb All Purpose cleaner to remove the residual oxidation. It works very well to remove deep oxidation. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of lighter to lift the bite marks on the vulcanite. Heat lift the marks to the surface of stem. I was able to lift the majority of them but there were a few left on each side. I filled them in with clear super glue and set it aside to let them cure. When the repairs cured I sanded them smooth 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 Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Jobey Asti 200 Bulldog with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished smooth part of the finish and the dark rustication on the lower part of the bowl is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 grain just popped with the wax and the buffing. It is a beauty! The finished Jobey Asti 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: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35gr/1.23oz. 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!