Restoring a Petite “The Litewate” London Made 86 Rusticated Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

I have finished restoring all of the Barclay-Rex pipes in the collection of pipes that we purchased from the older gentleman. He sent me the photos and I was amazed at what I saw. You have seen many of the pipes that he had. These included Dunhill, BBB, Orlik, Barclay Rex, a cased Ben Wade, an H. Simmons All Briar, Hardcastles and some Meerschaums. There were also some assorted others that I will get to in the days ahead. It was a great collection.

Now it was time to work on some of the single pipes that he had. The next one of these is a beautiful little Rhodesian that is stamped 86 [over] The Litewate [over] London Made [over] Made in England in a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. It is a nice little rusticated Rhodesian that has a finish that reminded me of Sasieni and made me wonder about the connection to that brand. I have drawn a red box around the pipe in the above photos to identify it for you.

Jeff took some photos of “The Litewate” London Made 86 Rhodesian before he worked his magic in cleaning up the pipe. It is a an interesting pipe with a lot of potential and what appears to be some great grain under the grime and debris of the years.Jeff took photos of the bowl, rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the thick lava on the rim top. The rim top and both inner and outer edges looked good. He took photos of the top and underside of the vulcanite stem showing the oxidation, calcification and wear on the stem and button. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the briar. You can see the beautiful shape and the interesting and complex Sasieni style rustication on the bowl even through the dirt and debris of many years. Jeff took a photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and the logo on the stem to capture the readable stamping.As is my habit I turned to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html) on The Litewate which is a second from Sasieni. I have included a screen capture of the information that is shown there. I quote from the sidebar on the site below as it gives a good summary of information.

Brand from Sasieni soley destined for the US Market.

I turned to Pipedia as well to check (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni#Sasieni_Seconds). The Litewate line is listed as a pipe made by Sasieni. There was a photo of the shank stamping that matches what is on the pipe that I am working on that was there from Doug Valitchka. I have included that below giving credit to Doug. I am thankful for Doug’s work in preserving and collecting the details on may brands. I have also included a page from a catalogue that showed the Litewate shape numbers.

Sasieni Litewate photo, courtesy Doug Valitchka

The catalogue page has the following introduction at the top of the page that contains the most helpful information I was able to find. I quote below. It also has the shape of the pipe I have in what is noted as 86A with a slightly bent stem where the one I have is only 86 with a straight stem.

Litewates – Sasieni has selected a handful of favourite shapes and reduced them to “half pint” size and the result – a beautifully finished little pipe for that short smoke. Available in either smooth plum or rustic.With the information from Pipedia I knew that I was working on a pipe from Sasieni that was made for the US market in the family era of Sasieni. The old gentleman that we bought the pipes from intimated that he purchased it at the Manhattan Barclay-Rex store. I was unable to pin down any information regarding the date this pipe was made. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and then cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank, stem and shank extension with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights the dimensions of the rusticated briar. The rim top looked good with some darkening on the top and damage to the back outer edge of the bowl. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and scrubbed it with Soft Scrub to remove the remnants of oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed it looked so good. Here are some photos of what I saw. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The top and inner and outer edge of the rim look very good. There did not appear to be any damage to the edges of the bowl. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. The stem was quite pristine looking after Jeff’s cleanup and would only need to be polished.I took a picture of the stamping on the left side of the shank and it was faint but readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and edges of the bowl – inner and outer. I worked over the rim top and edges with 220 grit sandpaper until the darkening was minimized. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the bowl and shank 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 and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry 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 gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. With the bowl and the stem finished I put the beautiful Sasieni Made “The Litewate” London Made 86 Petite Rhodesian back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It really is a great looking sandblast. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 inch, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is .56 ounces /16 grams. This “The Litewate” London Made 86 Rhodesian is another great find in this collection. I try to use the same prop with the pipes I photograph to give a sense of size and proportion of the pipe. You can see from the dimensions given above this is a petite pipe that makes this small shell seem quite large. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. If you would like to add it to your collection let me know. This is another pipe that has the possibility of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

 

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