Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I have chosen is a Peterson’s Black Dress pipe. This one is a 68 Bent Billiard that has a rich Black finish on the bowl sides and shank. It is also incredibly dirty. It came to us in an auction in Huntington Station, New York, USA. This bent billiard had a band with three rings – a black middle ring with silver (polished aluminum) on either side. The contrast of the black painted finish is in good condition on the sides and shank. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] of Dublin [over] Killarney. It was stamped on the right side with the shape number 68. It was in filthy when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty but it still was in good condition. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There was some damage to the inner edge of the rim at the back of the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had 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 heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a lava overflow. It was hard to know what the rim edge and top looked like under the lava. Once it was cleaned I would have a better idea. 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 the condition of the finish around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides 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 link to the 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 Killarney line. On page 306 it had the following information.
Killarney (1949-) Entry line with smooth finish and P-Lip mouthpiece. May have either K or P stamped on the mouthpiece; may have aluminum stinger (not to confused wit the tenon-extension tube found on straight System pipes). 1949-c.1957 examples made for the US market may have any of the following COM stamps: MADE IN IRELAND (forming a circle), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND or LONDON MADE over ENGLAND. Some early specimens stamped KILLARNEY over NATURAL (a higher grade) have MADE IN IRELAND (forming a circle). Examples c. 1986-1990 feature a nickel band, which was replaced in ’91 with a shank extension of nickel band with black acrylic inlay. Fishtail mouthpiece from ’86, although P-Lip is sometimes seen. For the current German market, the Killarney is stamped CONNEMARA.
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 had some looked quite good and the inner edge had some darkening and damage on the back. 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 photos of the stamping on the top and right sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads to remove the residual darkening on top of the finished rim top. Overall it looks much better. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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 to turn my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and marks on the surface of both side with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the stamped “P” on the left side of the stem with Liquid Paper White. I pressed it into the stamping with a tooth pick and buffed it off with a soft cloth. It looks much better that when I started. The stem was in excellent condition so 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 Killarney 68 Dress Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl 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 rich black paint. Added to that the polished aluminum and acrylic band and the black vulcanite stem give the pipe a sense of class. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Killarney Dress Billiard 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 62grams/2.19oz. 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.