Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Sandblast Bent apple pipe. This one is a 03 Bent Apple that has a medium coloured finish with a great sandblast around the bowl sides and shank. It is another of those pipes that neither Jeff nor I remember where we picked it up. It is a bit of a mystery pipe. This apple has a silver band on the shank that was badly oxidized. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] of Dublin [over] Dublin Castle followed by the shape number 03. The tarnished band is stamped with Peterson’s [over] of Dublin. That was followed by three hallmarks – the seated woman, .925 and the upper case italic letter B. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual which generally means it came to me in a box of cleaned pipes. 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 good when it arrived. I took the following photos. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is very clean and the rim top and edges look to be in excellent condition. The stem is clean with some light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. The P stamp on the stem is washed out but it is visible. 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 a rugged rustication around the bowl. I polished the Sterling Silver band on the shank with a jeweler’s silver polish to remove the tarnish so that I could read the hallmarks that were present. Before I start working on the pipe I wanted to gather some information on the brand and on the silver hallmarks. I am also 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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Dublin Castle line. On page 298 it had the following information.
Dublin Castle (2012- ) Walnut-contrast line, sandblast with a sterling band, hot-foil P on the mouthpiece.
I turned to the hallmarking chart on one of the blogs on rebornpipes to lock down the date for the pipe ( Petersons Hallmarking Chart). 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 fineness mark denoting the high quality of silver that was used. In October of 1992 the stamp was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand. The third stamp is the italic letter B. 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 1987.I knew that I was dealing with a Peterson’s Dublin Castle pipe made in 1987 as noted by the hallmarks on the silver. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
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 on the stem next to the button with 220 grit sandpaper until they were smooth. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the “P” stamp on the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I worked it into the stamp with a toothpick. I let it sit for a few minutes then buffed it off with a cotton pad. 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 Peterson’s of Dublin, Dublin Castle 03 Bent Apple. 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 it on the wheel with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with colours of the sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem made it beautiful. This sandblast Classic Peterson’s Apple 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 48grams/1.69oz. 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.