Daily Archives: December 21, 2020

Breathing Life a Peterson’s African Block Meerschaum Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is a multi-faceted finish Peterson’s African Block Meerschaum pipe. This one is an apple shaped pipe that has facets around the bowl and shank. The rim top is flumed as was the style of the 60s and 70s. It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. It came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell.

This faceted apple bowl and shank adds a touch of depth to the pipe. The pipe was dusty in the meerschaum ridges and flat spots on the bowl and shank. The contrast of the colouration/patina developing on the high spots and shank with the flumed top looks very good. The bowl had a moderate cake and there was lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth 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 pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is moderately caked and the rim top and edges have lava overflowing on to them. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.  Jeff took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the faceted finish around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. He took a photo of the left side of the vulcanite saddle stem to show the Peterson’s “P” stamp on the stem. I am pretty sure the pipe was made by the Laxey Pipe Ltd. on the Isle of Man for either another export company or for Peterson’s in Ireland (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Laxey_Pipes_Ltd). I quote from the Pipedia article in full:

Laxey Pipe Ltd. resided in a historical 19th century four-storey Man stone building at The Quay, Old Laxey, Isle of Man, which thankfully has been preserved. The company specialised in the production of Meerschaum Pipes using the Meerschaum mined by the Tanganyika Meerschaum Corporation in the Amboseli basin in Tanganyika (since 1964 part of the United Republic of Tanzania). Please note: you may often find names like “Manx Pipes Ltd.”, “Man Pipe Co.” and others more, but there is no indication of another Isle of Man pipe producer other than Laxey Pipe Ltd. at any time!

Laxey Pipe Ltd. marketed own brands like “Manxpipe”, “Manxman”, “Manxland” e.c. Names like “John Bull”, “White Knight” (unwaxed), “Domino” (black, or lined) indicated some shapes / colours of Laxey’s own series. The stems either showed the astronomical sign for “male” or “man” (circle + arrow), or the crest of the Isle of Man, the 3-legged X in a circle. Manxpipes and Laxey’s other brands were available through pipe retailers in general, but also were sold (mainly) to tourists through their own shop in Laxey.

Furthermore Laxey Pipe Ltd. manufactured the meer bowls for Peterson, Barling, Nørding and others from the later 1960’s until 2001. Man Pipe e.g. was a brand distributed by Comoy’s. The bowls usually showed no nomenclature indicating the orderer. “Genuine Block Meerschaum” was engraved frequently. Often, just the stems were different, while bowls were the same.

Supply of meer from East Africa run out (Kenya / Tanzania exhausted, Somalia inaccessible), and thus the last Laxey meers were supplied to trade in May, 2001. Laxey Pipe Ltd. tried to survive continuing with briar pipes – mainly in the Danish style -, but to no success. It closed down business in July, 2002.

I looked for the pipe on Pipephil and online and was not able to find any verification for who made the pipe for Peterson’s. I suppose that I will never know for sure but it appears that the pipe was made on the Isle of Man for export for another European pipe company. I am guessing that this one came from the time period of the late 60s or early 70s. That was as much as I could figure out.

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 meerschaum. 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 very good when it arrived.  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 looked good but there was some fading on the blackening. 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 left side of the stem. 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 an interesting style of rustication around the bowl.I polished the meerschaum bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad.   I touched up the rim top and edges with a Black Stain pen to match the colour of the top and the flume down the sides of the bowl. Once it was polished with the Before & After Balm and buffed with a microfiber cloth the stain would blend perfectly. I rubbed the meerschaum down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the meerschaum with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I touched up the “P” stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with Liquid Paper. I daubed it on the stem and worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once it had dried I scraped it off and buffed it with a cotton pad. It looks better even though the stamp is faint in spots.   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.    As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the meerschaum and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The meerschaum has a rich glow with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the rich developing patina of the bowl. This Peterson’s meerschaum is probably made by the Manx Pipe factory on the Isle of Mann. The faceted finish on this pipe made it another fun pipe to work. It really is a quite stunning pipe whose shape and finish make it stand out. The thick/chubby shank makes it a very comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ 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 37grams/1.31oz. 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.

 

Breathing Life another Peterson’s Republic Era “Donegal” Rocky 406 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another rusticated Peterson’s “Donegal” Rocky pipe. This one is another 406 Prince that has a darker coloured finish than the previous earlier 406 Prince. It was also incredibly dirty. It came to us from the same estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell.

This Prince had a silver band on the shank that was badly oxidized. The grime on the finish was ground into the rustication on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the bowl a sense of depth. It was stamped on the underside of the shank. The stamping was readable. It read on the heel of the bowl Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines. Under that it was stamped with the shape number 406. To the right of that it was stamped Peterson’s [over] “Donegal” Rocky. The last part of the Rocky stamp is lost in the rustication. The tarnished band is stamped with K&P in shields [over] Sterling Silver. That was followed by three hallmarks – the seated woman, the harp and the italic letter “h”. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the briar sides and rim. There was a thin 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 and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.     Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the rugged rustication that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.   He took photos of the underside of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is a bit of a mess with overstamping but it still 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 a lower case letter “h”. 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 1975.I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950 and the present. The hallmarks date the pipe to 1975. 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 when it arrived. It has been sitting here for 2 years so the silver tarnished once again and would need to be polished.   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. 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. There is also some remaining oxidation on the top of the stem.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank and the band. 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 a rugged rustication around the bowl. 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.   I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation on the stem surface. I worked it over the surface of the stem with cotton pads and removed the deep oxidation on the top side of the stem.  There was one tooth mark against the edge of the button on the underside of the stem. I filled in the tooth mark with clear CA glue. Once the repair cured I used a file to smooth out the repair. I followed that by sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil.   I used Paper Mate Liquid Paper to touch up the “P” stamp on the left side of the stem. It came out looking very good.  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 406 Prince. I put the pipe back together and buffed it 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. 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 rugged rustication all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This rusticated Classic Peterson’s Prince 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37grams/1.25oz. 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.

Breathing Life a Peterson’s Republic Era Emerald 264 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Emerald pipe. This one is a 264 Canadian that has a great rustication on the bowl sides and shank. It also has a triple band on the shank – 2 thinner brass bands separated by and emerald green acrylic band. It came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This Canadian had a triple brass and emerald band on the shank that adds a touch of colour to the rusticated pipe. The pipe was dusty in the rustication on the bowl and shank. The contrast of the brown and black stains gives depth to the rustication. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Emerald. That is followed by the stamp that reads Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines and the shape number 264. The bowl had been lightly smoked if at all and was dusty but otherwise good condition. The stem was lightly oxidized and had light tooth 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 pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is lightly caked if at all and the rim top and edges have some dust in the grooves. The stem is lightly oxidized and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.     Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the rustication 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. 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 knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950 and the present. 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 very good when it arrived.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks on the surface near the button.    I took photos 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 a rugged rustication around the bowl and shank. 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.   I touched up the “P” stamp on the top of the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick and wiped off the excess. The stamp was originally gold as far as I can see from what remained in the stamp before the touch up. It looks much better.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 Emerald 264 Canadian. I put the pipe back together and buffed it 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the rugged rustication all around it. Added to that the polished triple brass and emerald acrylic band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Canadian 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: 5 ¾ 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 31grams/1.09oz. 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.