Daily Archives: December 22, 2020

Rebirthing a Peterson’s Republic Era “Premier” 15 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth Peterson’s Billiard. 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 Billiard did not have any band or ferrule – it was just a smooth fit of a vulcanite stem to the shank. The grime on the finish was ground into the finish on the bowl sides. The contrast of the brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] “Premier”. The right side stamping read Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines. To the right of that stamping, next to the bowl the shape number 15 was stamped. There was a thick cake in the bowl but there was no overflow of lava on the rim top. The bowl was slightly out of round on the inner edge. 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. Though we don’t have pictures of the stem before cleanup it was 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 grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.   He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable and reads 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 far better 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 and edges look good though was some damage on the back side of the inner edge. 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 photos of the stamping on the sides 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 an interesting mix of grain around the bowl. I started my work on the pipe by cleaning up the damage on the back of the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage. I gave the rim edge a slight bevel to take care of the damage and blend it into the rest of the rim edge.I polished the briar bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad.   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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks against the button edge on both sides with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil.   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 “Premier” 15 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 rugged rustication all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This Classic looking Peterson’s Premier Billiard 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.