Monthly Archives: April 2021

Breathing Life into a Badly Damaged Hardcastle Cased Meerschaum Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

I have finished restoring all two pipes from 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.

The next pipe I have chosen is a worn and damaged cased Hardscastle’s Meerschaum Egg. It had a flume around the top and down the outer edges of the bowl. It is the bottom pipe of the three meerschaum pipes in the photo above. There was a thick cake in the bowl and the rim top and edges were buried under a thick coat of lava. It was filthy both inside and out. The edges of the bowl on the top and down the sides was chipped and damaged leaving large gouges out of the sides of the bowl. The shape probably caught my eye because it is quite lovely even under the grime and wear. I think that the Hardcastle’s name made me want to try to redeem this old pipe. I have never worked on a meer like this one with this kind of damage. The stem is vulcanite and was in far better shape than the bowl. It had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. This was another well loved pipe that obviously been a good smoker!

Jeff took some photos of the Hardcastle’s Case and Meerschaum egg with the lovely patina  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. The first three photos show the case, the pipe in the case and the stamp/logo decal on the inside of the lid that read Hardcastle’s Made In London.         Jeff took the pipe out of the case and took photos of it to show the damage to the bowl sides.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 inner edge are thickly covered with lava and there are large chips in the meerschaum on the rim top and on the outer edges and sides of the bowl. It really is a mess and it will be a challenge. He took photos of the top and underside of the vulcanite military bit stem showing the tooth marks and chatter on both sides. Jeff also took some photos of the Sterling Silver ferrule on the shank end to show the oxidation and condition.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the bowl and damages around the top edges. You can see the beautiful shape of the bowl and some interesting patterns in the meerschaum even through the damage, dirt and debris of many years. This Cased Hardcastle Meerschaum Egg is an interesting looking pipe. Because the old gentleman that we bought the pipes from intimated that he purchased his pipes at the Manhattan Barclay-Rex store I would imagine that he may have purchased this one from them as well. I was unable to pin down any information regarding the date this pipe so it was time to move on and work on the pipe.

Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe so as not to damage it further. 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 carefully scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the exterior of the bowl and rim top and lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights the patina in the meerschaum. The damaged edges and rim top looked rough and will need some special attention. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and after a soak of several hours rinsed it off. He scrubbed the vulcanite military bit with Soft Scrub to remove the residual oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver I was amazed that 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 showed some darkening/heavy tars and damage. The stem had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took some photos of the cleaned damaged areas around the rim top and sides to show how they looked when I received it. I would need to figure out a way to address this in my restoration. I needed time to think through the options. I set the pipe aside for a few days to ruminate on the process I would use.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. After thinking through my options I decided to try to fill in the chipped and damaged areas with a mixture of Plaster of  Paris. It dries hard so once it was applied I set it aside to let the repairs harden and cure. I was not sure if it would work but I thought it was worth a try. I mixed the mud and filled in the chipped areas with a dental spatula. I apologize for the mess I made in the mixing process but it really was a pain to manage it. I let it sit for 48 hours to cure. Once the repairs cured I sanded it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and blend it in. While I worked on it chunks of plaster fell out. The repair had not bonded to the meerschaum so I had to come up with a different plan. I topped the bowl and collected the sanding dust. I filled in the chipped areas with clear CA glue and sanding dust from the topping. Once it cured I sanded the repairs smooth and blended them in around the top edges of the bowl all around the top.Once I have the edges smoothed out and the rim top also smoothed out I decided to stain the rim top and the flumed area around the top outer edges of the bowl with a combination of Black and Walnut stains. It did a great job masking the repaired areas. I still needed to sand the flume to make it less uniform. I polished the smooth rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. 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 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. It looks significantly better and is smooth but the repairs show! With the bowl and the stem finished I put the beautiful Hardcastle’s Straight Egg with a military bit back together and buffed it lightly on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel. I buffed the pipe with a horsehair shoe brush to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The smooth and rusticated finish is a great looking. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inch, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 1.09 ounces /31 grams. This Hardcastle’s Straight Egg is another great find from this collection. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection it will make a fine smoking addition. 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.

Breathing Life into a Peterson’s Republic Era “Wicklow” 24S Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s Saddle Stem Billiard. This Billiard has a medium brown finish around the bowl sides and shank. The pipe has great grain on the bowl and shank but was dirty. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] “Wicklow”. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland in three lines. Next to the bowl it was stamped with the shape number 24S.  There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was lightly oxidized and had light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. The “P” stamp on the left side of the saddle stem is clear but had lost colour. 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 thick lava overflow. The stem is lightly oxidized and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.  It obviously had a Softee Bit on the stem during its lifetime as it left a mark on the stem surface. Jeff took some photos 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 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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Wicklow Pipe. On page 315 it had the following information on the Wicklow pipe.

Wicklow (1969-) First appearance of this line exclusive to Iwan Ries, handmade black sandblast finish with twin bore mouthpiece. In 1987 offered with a matte-brown finish, nickel band and P-lip mouthpiece; in 2011 as a custom line from Smokingpipes.com in a deep-red sandblast finish with a nickel band. In 2014 released for Italy in brown with a sterling band, vulcanite mouthpiece in fishtail or P-lip, hot-foil P.

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1969 and the present. It is bit of anomaly in that it does not match any of the descriptions above. The one I have has a matte-brown finish but does not have a band. It does have a P-lip mouthpiece. It is also a smooth finished pipe and not sandblast. 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 Briarville’s Pipe Stem 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. There was some darkening on the front of the rim top and on the back as well. 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 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 some great grain around the bowl. I cleaned up the darkening on the rim top and the damage to the inside edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. It looked much better.   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 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 wiped the stem down with a cotton pad and alcohol and filled in the tooth marks on both sides with clear CA glue. Once the glue dried I sanded the repair with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the vulcanite and then started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the stamping on the “P” with PaperMate Liquid Paper. I pressed it into the stamping with a tooth pick and buffed it off with a soft cotton pad. The product works very well to give new life to the original white stamp. I polished out the light tooth marks on 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 “Wicklow” 24S Saddle Stem 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 buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I also hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping all around it. Added to that the polished  black vulcanite saddle stem was beautiful. This shapely Classic Peterson’s 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 21grams/.74oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that I soon put on the rebornpipes store I you are interested in carrying on the pipeman’s legacy. 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 Military Mount Rusticated Barrel


Blog by Steve Laug

I have a chosen few more Peterson’s pipes to work on next. The pipe I have chosen is a Republic Era Peterson’s Rusticated Barrel pipe with a military mount stem. This Barrel has a mix of black and brown coloured stains on a very rustic finish around the bowl sides and short shank. It is also incredibly dirty. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The Barrel had a nickel ferrule on the shank that was in great condition. The finish on the bowl sides was dirty. It was stamped on the heel of the bowl and read Peterson’s [over]Barrel [over] Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). The ferrule is stamped Peterson [over] Dublin. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and light spattering of lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was lightly oxidized 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 lightly caked and the rim top and edges have some light lava overflow. The stem is lightly oxidized and has light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the amazing grain that was 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 reads as noted above. He also took a photo of the stamping on the ferrule.    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 Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Barrel Pipe. On page 313 it had the following information what they called the Specialty Briars. I have summarized the various pipes that were part of the Specialty Briars below and have also included the description of the Barrel itself.

The Barrel pipe was part of a line of Specialty Briars (1945-) which was a term used to describe the following lines: Lightweight, Junior, Churchwarden, Barrel, Tankard, Calabash, Belgique  and Giant.

Barrel (1945-) P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, smooth or rustic finish, sandblast offered in 1970

I knew that I was dealing with a pipe from the Specialty Line of Briars made between 1945 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 Brairville’s Pipe Stem 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 looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface of the underside near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl. 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 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 “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks on the underside of the stem. I filled in the remaining marks with clear CA glue. Once the glue cured I sanded the stem smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished out the light tooth marks on 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 Special Series Rusticated Barrel with a Military Bit Stem. 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. I also 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 nickel ferrule and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This rugged Classic Peterson’s Rusticated Barrel 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 21grams/ .74oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that I am going to hold on to in memory of my good friend and smoke in his memory. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. This is another beautiful pipe that will be put on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know.

Breathing Life into a 1950 Dunhill Shell Briar R Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is the second one that came to me from a friend up the British Columbia Coast. It is the second of two Dunhill pipes that he found in a shop along the coast. It is a Shell Briar Pot that is worn and has a lot of damage to the rim top. It is the pipe in the front of the photo below. You can see the damage to the rim top and how the rim top is damaged at the back and the front of the rim top and the outer edge of the bowl. The photo was sent to me by Chris. When the pipe arrived I took photos of what it looked like. Chris had done some preliminary cleaning of the pipe before he sent it to me and it look quite clean. It is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped with the shape number R followed by Dunhill [over] Shell Briar followed by Made in England with a superscript underlined 0. That is followed by 4 in a circle followed by S for Shell. Interpreting that stamp follows: The R is the shape for a straight stem Pot. The Dunhill Shell Briar is the finish which is corroborated the S in the circle. The underlined 0 following the D of England dates the pipe. The stamping is clear and readable. The age of the pipe and the oils in the sandblast finish has given the pipe a rich medium brown finish. There is also some interesting grain shows through the blast finish. There was still a thin cake in the bowl and a light overflow of lava on the rim top. The rim top had a lot of damage and wear on the top and outer edges.  The top was no longer flat. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button. I took photos of the pipe to show what it looked like before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake and the damages. The rim top and edges are a mess with lots of damage caused by beating it against a hard surface. The photos of the stem show the light oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on the surface on both sides. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photo below. It looks very good and readable. It reads as noted and explained above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe parts to show what I was working with. It has potential to be a great looking pipe.  I turned to Pipedia’s section on Dunhill Shell Briar Pipes to get a bit of background on the Dunhill finishes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Root_Briar). I quote:

Shell

A deep craggy sandblast with a black stain finish (usually made using Algerian briar) – the color of the stain used has varied over the years. Although there is some doubt as to them being the first to sandblast pipes, Dunhill’s Shell pipes, and the sandblasting techniques developed to create them are considered one of Dunhill’s greatest and most lasting contributions to the art of pipe making.

The documented history of Dunhill’s inception of the Shell is largely limited to patent applications — there are no catalog pages or advertisements promoting blasted pipes at the time. The preliminary work on the English patent (No. 1484/17) was submitted on October 13, 1917. The patent submission was completed half a year later, on April 12, 1918, followed by the granting of the English patent on October 14, 1918. This was less than a month before the end of The Great War on November 11th.

In 1986 Dunhill released a line of premium Shell finish pipes – “RING GRAIN”. These are high-quality straight grain pipes which are sandblasted. Initially only Ring Grain, but now in two different finishes. In 1995 the “Shilling” was introduced with Cumberland finish – it is an extremely rare series. These pipes exhibit a deeper blast characteristic of that of the 1930’s – mid-1960’s (and the limited ‘deep blast’ pipes of the early 1980s) and show a fine graining pattern. These are considered the best new Dunhills by many enthusiasts today and are very rare. The finish is sometimes described as tasting like vanilla at first, with the taste becoming more normal or good as the pipe breaks in.

I have also included a chart from the site from Dunhill spelling out the Standard Pipe Finishes and giving short information and a timeline.

I turned to Pipephil to establish a date for a Dunhill with the stamping that was on this pipe. The date stamp 0  (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/dunhill/cledat-en1b.html) I have marked the box below with a red box around the part of the date key that is applicable. The pipe dates to 1950.I decided to start the restoration on this one by working on the damaged rim top. I started the process by topping the bowl on a topping board and a piece of 240 grit sandpaper. My main concern was to flatten the top and remove some of the gouges and damages. I then built up the damaged areas on the front and back outer edges of the bowl with briar dust and CA glue. I wanted to raise the profile of the edge in those areas. I would rusticate them so I was not overly concerned with what it looked like at this point. I used various burrs on the Dremel to approximated the sandblast finish on the rim top and bring it back to reflect the sandblast and nooks and crannies on the sides of the bowl and shank. I stained the newly shaped rim top with an Oak and a Maple stain pen to match the colour of the bowl. I was pretty happy with the newly stained rim. It look a lot better than when I started and worked with the finish.I figured I should clean up the bowl after that work. I reamed it with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and took back the remaining cake to briar so I could check out the condition of the bowl walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the inner tube at the same time. With the repair completed I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to work it into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I cleaned out the tooth marks with alcohol and filled them in with black super glue. I set the stem aside to allow the glue to cure. Once it cured I recut the edge of the button with a file and then sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth them out and blend them into the rest of the stem surface. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Dunhill Shell Briar R Pot is a beautiful sandblast that came out looking very good. The Shell Briar finish has a great rugged sandblast that Dunhill specialized in making. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. The oils off the smoker’s hands and the tan stain on the bowl works well to highlight the grain. The polished black vulcanite taper stem adds to the mix. With the dust gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Shell Briar R Pot is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36grams/1.27oz. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Breathing Life into a Dunhill Tanshell 253 Group 4 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to me from a friend up the British Columbia Coast. It is the first of two Dunhill pipes that he found in a shop along the coast. It is a Tanshell Briar Billiard that is worn and has a lot of damage to the rim top. It is the pipe at the back of the photo below. The second one is a Dunhill Shell Briar. The photo was sent to me by Chris. The second photo shows the damage to the rim top and edges. It was worn and damaged. The sandblast finish was destroyed and a chewed up top and edge was left behind.When the pipe arrived I took photos of what it looked like. Chris had done some preliminary cleaning of the pipe before he sent it to me and it look quite good. It is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped with the shape number 253 followed by Dunhill [over] Tanshell followed by Made in England. That is followed by 4 in a circle followed by T for Tanshell. Interpreting that stamp follows: The 253 is the shape for a straight stem Billiard. The Dunhill Tanshell is the finish which is corroborated the T at the end of the stamping. There is no date stamp following the D of England to date the pipe. The stamping is clear and readable. The age of the pipe and the oils in the sandblast finish has given the pipe a rich medium brown finish. There is also some interesting grain shows through the blast finish. There was still a thin cake in the bowl and a light overflow of lava on the rim top. The rim top had a lot of damage and wear on the top, the inner and outer edges. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter ahead of the button.  I took photos of the pipe to show what it looked like before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake and the lava overflow. The rim top and edges are a mess with lots of damage caused by beating it against a hard surface. The photos of the stem show the light oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on the surface on both sides. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photo below. It looks very good and readable. It reads as noted and explained above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe parts to show what I was working with. It is a nice looking pipe.  I turned to Pipedia’s section on Dunhill Tanshell Pipes to get a bit of background on the Dunhill finishes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Root_Briar). I quote:

Tanshell

The first lot was distributed in 1952 (usually made using Sardinian briar). The prototype was called “Root Shell “, produced in 1951. The Tanshell is a light tan sandblast. Sardinian briar was used for this sandblast. There is a distinct contrast in the sandblasts using Sardinian as opposed to Algerian briar. The Sardinian is much denser and much harder. The resulting pattern, when blasted, is far more even and regular both in terms of the surface texture and the finish.

The Tanshell was Dunhill’s fourth finish and its first major post-war line addition. Introduced in 1951/1952 the Tanshell was a naturally stained sandblasted pipe made exclusively from Sardinian briar through the 1960s. The Tanshell apparently was not simply a light stained Shell but rather was also the product of “certain processes [unrevealed] not previously employed.” Initially, it appears that the pipe was to be named the Root Shell and a stamp to that effect was ordered and received by Dunhill in May 1951. Ultimately, however, the name Tanshell was settled upon but the stamp for the Tanshell name was not received by Dunhill until the beginning of December. Thus while the Tanshell was in production in 1951 it appears that most if not all Tanshells made in that year did not enter into retail distribution until 1952 and were given a 1952 date code. Loring, J. C., The Dunhill Briar Pipe, The Patent Years and After (self-published, Chicago, 1998).

I have also included a chart from the site from Dunhill spelling out the Standard Pipe Finishes and giving short information and a timeline.I decided to start the restoration on this one by working on the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the rim a slight bevel to bring it back into round.  While the finished rim edge is not perfect it is far better. To deal with the damaged rim top I gently topped it on a topping board and a piece of 240 grit sandpaper. My main concern was to flatten the top and remove some of the gouges and damages.I used various burrs on the Dremel to approximate the sandblast finish on the rim top and bring it back to reflect the sandblast and nooks and crannies on the sides of the bowl and shank. I stained the newly shaped rim top with an Oak and a Maple stain pen to match the colour of the bowl. I was pretty happy with the newly stained rim. It look a lot better than when I started and worked with the finish.I figured I should clean up the bowl after that work. I reamed it with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and took back the remaining cake to briar so I could check out the condition of the bowl walls. I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I also cleaned out the inner tube at the same time. With the repair completed I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to work it into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This Dunhill Tanshell 253 Billiard is a beautiful sandblast that came out looking very good. The Tanshell finish has a great rugged sandblast that Dunhill specialized in making. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. The oils off the smoker’s hands and the tan stain on the bowl works well to highlight the grain. The polished black vulcanite taper stem adds to the mix. With the dust gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and is eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished 253 Tanshell Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe 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 36grams/1.27oz. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Restoring a Parker’s Bruyere Lovat made about 1923


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from the old gentleman who had purchased much of his wonderful collection from Barclay-Rex in New York City. He said he used to go there from his workplace to purchase tobacco and pipes. This is the last of his briar’s that I am working on. I have marked it in the photo to the left with a red rectangle around the pipe in the group of pipes above.

It is a nice looking Parker’s Bruyere Lovat with a Sterling Silver band and a saddle stem. The bowl has a rich reddish brown colour combination that highlights grain. The pipe has some grime ground into the surface of the briar. This pipe is stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left it reads 3 followed by Parker’s [over] Bruyere. On the right it read Made in London England. The saddle stem has a Parker “P” in a Diamond logo on the top side. There is an oxidized band on the shank that needed attention. There is a thick cake in the bowl and some overflow of lava on the edges of the rim top. The rim top looks good but it is hard to know for sure as the lava is quite thick. There were some tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the vulcanite stem near the button. The pipe looks to be in good condition under the grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup.He took photos of the rim top to show the cake and the lava coat. The inner edge of the bowl looks good. The top and outer edge also look okay. It is an incredibly dirty pipe but obviously one that was a great smoker. He also captured the condition of the stem. It is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem near the button. There is a chip out of the top right side of the button. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the beautiful grain around the bowl and the condition of the pipe. You can see the grime ground into the surface of the briar. He took photos of the stamping on the side of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. The photos show the left side of the shank. He did not take photos of the right side. He also included a photo of the Diamond P stamp.I turned first to Pipephil’s site to look at the Parker write up there and see if I could learn anything about the line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-parker.html). There were no pipes matching the stamping on this one – Parker’s Bruyere.

I looked up the Parker brand on Pipedia to see if I could find the Parker’s Bruyere there or at least the possessive Parker’s stamping (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Parker).

Dating

Prior to Word War II, the possessive PARKER’S stamp was used. However, at least some pipes were stamped with the non-possessive as early as 1936.

Like Dunhill, Parker pipes are date stamped, but differently than Dunhill. The Parker date code always followed the MADE IN LONDON over ENGLAND stamping. The first year’s pipes (1923) had no date code; from 1924 on it ran consecutively from 1 to 19.

There is no indication of a date code for the war years. Parker was not a government approved pipe manufacturer, while Dunhill and Hardcastle were. During the war years Parker manufactured the “Wunup” pipe made of Bakelite and clay.

The pipe that I was working on was stamped with the possessive PARKER’S stamp which identified it as being mad prior to WWII.  There was not any date code on the right side of the shank which may have linked it to a pipe made in 1923 but definitely before 1939. The 3 on the shank side seems to have been a shape number. This is another old timer.

It was time to work on the pipe. As usual Jeff had done a thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He also polished the band which appears to be silver. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. The pipe looked very good when it arrived. I took a photo of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top looked very good. The inner edge of the bowl a few small nicks around the front and left side. The vulcanite taper stem had light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button edges.  The top right side of the button had a chip missing.The stamping on the sides of the shank is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem and the extension from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a nice Straight Grain Billiard that should clean up very well.I reshaped the bowl edges with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged areas from the inner edge of the bowl. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped down the bowl after each sanding pad. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I filled the tooth marks on the stem and button with clear super glue and let it cure.   I used PaperMate Liquid Paper to fill in the Diamond P stamp on the top side of the taper stem. I let it dry the scraped off the excess with my fingernail.   I sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further the stem. The photo below shows the polished stem. This nicely grained Parker’s Bruyere 3 Lovat with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The briar around the bowl is clean and really came alive. The rich brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Parker’s Lovat is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 4 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 1.31 ounces /37 grams. This Parker’s Bruyere Lovat is another great find our hunts. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I am not sure where this one will end up so I will hold onto it for a short time. 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.

 

 

Comoy’s London Pride Prince Restored


By Al Jones

The 337C by Comoys is a classic Prince shape. This one is a “London Pride” finish. The nomenclature and metal reinforcement let me date the pipe to the early 1950’s.

A previous Reborn Pipes blog entry by Steve, refreshed my memory on the London Pride grade. I had forgotten it was just below the Blue Riband.

https://rebornpipes.com/tag/comoys-london-pride-pipes/

Comoy’s had introduced the London Pride as the second grade to the Blue Riband around the same time to meet the American demand for a lighter finish. It was priced in 1943 at $25 and in 1965 at $25, then in 1979 at $95. It was described as having a natural amber coloring and tending to be Birdseye/Cross-Grained pattern pipes. At the time this pipe was made it was the next-to-top-of-the-line.

The pipe was in reasonably good condition, with a good fitting, solid stem and button. The nomenclature was very crisp. The bowl had a somewhat heavy cake that spilled out over the bowl top. The stem was oxidized, with a few shallow dents. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a piece of worn scotch-brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top, then micromesh to finish it. I was pleased to find the beveled bowl top still intact. The cake was reamed and the bowl soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

Following the soak the shank was thoroughly cleaned and the stem was mounted. I was able to lift the dents near the button with heat. The oxidation was removed with wet sandpaper: 600-800-1000-1500-2000 and then 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

The bowl was carefully polished with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, which is now in a friends collection in Las Vegas.

Refurbishing A Danish Quaint # 648 From The Mumbai Bonanza Lot


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I was fortunate enough to have heeded the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Steve, and struck a deal with a junk collector from Mumbai for a pile of pipes that he had acquired. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what quality and condition of pipes I was buying from him as we reside in different cities!! The argument that Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot. This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brands and some mediocre brands. Overall, with seven Dunhill pipes, a Preben Holm #1 FH, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, a couple of  Charatan’s Make “Belvedere”, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had struck a decent haul!! This is indeed my “Mumbai Bonanza”.

The 22nd pipe that I decided to work on from this find is a beautiful decent sized Acorn shaped DANISH QUAINT # 648 and is indicated by a green pointer.This is a beautiful Acorn shaped pipe that is partially shallow sandblasted on either sides of the stummel and shank with smooth surface on the front, and back of the bowl and on the lower and top surface of the shank that bears the stamping seen on this pipe. It is stamped on the left smooth surface of the shank as “DANISH QUAINT” over “MADE IN DENMARK”, all in block capital letters. The bottom smooth shank surface bears the shape code “648”. The vulcanite saddle stem bears the trademark logo “DQ” with the upper part of Q intertwined with the letter D. All the stampings are crisp and easily readable. The stampings, shape profile, stem styling and my reading of the Stanwell brand when I had worked on a few from my inheritance; I knew that DANISH QUAINT was a sub-brand of STANWELL. I also recollected that there was no other information available on this sub brand from Stanwell.

However, just to be sure, I visited pipedia.org and looked up their seconds/ sub-brands which I have reproduced below along with the link

Stanwell – Pipedia

Sub-brands / Seconds

  • Bijou(discontinued)
  • Danish Natural?
  • Danish Quaint
  • Danish Sovereign
  • Danske Club
  • Henley(discontinued)
  • Kong Christian(discontinued)
  • Majestic
  • Reddish(discontinued)
  • Royal Danish
  • Royal Guard
  • Royal Sovereign
  • Sailor(discontinued)
  • Scandia
  • Sorn(discontinued)
  • Svendson

Just out of curiosity, I checked out the Stanwell shape number chart and Designers. There is indeed shape number 48 designed by Sixten Ivarsson that matches the pipe on the work table with the only difference being this pipe is stamped as 648 and not 48. Here is the link and description of shape 48.

Stanwell Shape Numbers and Designers – Pipedia

  • Freehand, egg-shaped bowl with rounded rim, long saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.

Initial Visual Inspection
The pipe that is currently on my work table is a freehand with an Acorn/ Egg shaped bowl. The stummel has shallow sandblasted patches on either sides of the bowl and on the shank and is covered in dirt and grime through which beautiful cross grains can be seen over smooth surface. There is a thick layer of cake in the chamber. The rim top is covered in lava overflow in the 6 o’clock direction. The vulcanite saddle stem is heavily oxidized with no damage to the bite zone on either surface. The buttons on both surfaces are in pristine condition. The following pictures will give the Readers an idea of the overall condition of the pipe as it sits on my work table. Detailed Visual Inspection
The pipe appears to have been a favorite of the previous piper and has been well smoked. There is a thick carbon layer over the walls of the chamber. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be ascertained once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The round smooth rim top surface is relatively clean with maximum lava overflow in 6 o’clock direction. In spite of the thick cake, the chamber odor is not strong and should be addressed once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar and the shank internals have been thoroughly cleaned.Being a sub-brand, it was expected that the stummel would have certain flaws, this one is no different and how! There are numerous tiny fills that are filled with putty (indicated with yellow arrows and circles) and many of these fills have loosened up and would require being refreshed. The stummel surface is covered in dirt and grime giving the stummel a lifeless, dull and dirty appearance. The stummel has specks of white paint spots all over the surface and in the nooks and crannies of the shallow sandblast. The mortise shows accumulation of old oils and tars which would need to be cleaned. The vulcanite saddle stem is heavily oxidized, but otherwise in a decent condition. The bite zone and the button edge on both surfaces show calcification and some minor tooth indentations. The horizontal slot and tenon opening shows accumulation of dried oils and tars. All in all, the stem presents no major damage and should be an easy clean up.Initial Cleaning By Abha…
The initial cleaning on this pipe was done by Abha, my wife (she has cleaned up around 40-50 pipes for my further restoration and I am gradually inching towards completing these pipes). She reamed out the complete cake and further smoothed out the chamber walls with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. She further cleaned out the internals of the shank with pipe cleaners and alcohol and cotton buds. She followed the internal cleaning of the shank with external cleaning of the stummel using Murphy’s Oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it with paper napkins and cotton cloth.Next she cleaned out the internals of the stem air way and immersed it in “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution along with the stem of other pipes in line for restoration (the pipe currently on my work table is indicated in red). Once the stem had soaked overnight, she cleaned the stem under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. She further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stem with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stem.Once The Pipe Is On My Work Table…
The cleaned up pipes presents a very clear picture of what needs to be done to restore this pipe to a pristine and smokable condition. I really cannot thank Abha, my wife, enough for all the help and support that she extends me in my pursuance of this hobby. A clean pipe also helps in clearly identifying the work that would be required to restore a pipe. The following pictures shows the condition of the pipe when it reached me after being cleaned. The stamping is crisp and readable as mentioned above. The shape code is just marginally below the putty fill. Whether or not to refresh this fill will be decided later. The chamber is odorless and the walls are solid without any signs of damage. The smooth round rim top surface has few dents/ dings and very minute fills. The inner and outer rim edges are in perfect condition, save for the minor fills. The stummel has cleaned up nicely and all the numerous tiny dots and few slightly larger fills are easily identifiable. I intend to address only the larger fills that have come loose. The stummel needs cleaning again as it has attracted a lot of dust and dirt since it was last washed. The mortise and shank internals will benefit from further cleaning.The stem has cleaned up really well. The stem airway, horizontal slot and tenon end are clean and air flow is open and full. There are no bite marks/ tooth chatter in the bite zone on either surfaces. The seating of the stem tenon in to the mortise is snug and sits flush with the shank face.The Process
I started the restoration with the external cleaning of the stummel. I cleaned the external surface of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a hard bristled toothbrush. Once the stummel surface was cleaned, I rinsed the stummel under warm water. The rim top surface is now clean and without any damage. The shank and chamber cleaned up nicely and there are no traces of ghost smells. A polish with micromesh pads should highlight the cross grains on the smooth stummel surface. The large fills that have come loose will need to be refreshed. Next, I cleaned out the internals of the shank and mortise. Using my dental tool, I scraped out the dried oils, tars and gunk from the mortise. I continued further cleaning of the mortise and the shank with shank brushes and dish washing soap. I finished the cleaning by running a few pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol through the mortise.Once I had wiped the stummel dry with paper towels and soft cotton cloth, the fills were very apparent. With a pointed dental pick, very carefully and painstakingly, I completely removed the old fills from the stummel surface. I cleaned the fills of all the debris with isopropyl in preparation of fresh fill.I filled up the gouged out spots with a drop of clear CA superglue. The larger fill at the shank end was filled with a mix of superglue and briar dust. I set the stummel aside for the fills to cure overnight. With the stummel set aside for the fills to cure, I turned to refurbishing the stem. I lightly used a flat head needle file to re-define the button edge on either surface. I followed it up by further dry sanding the stem with 320, 400, 600, 800 and wet sanding with 1000 grit sand papers to completely rid the surface of the oxidation and bring out the shine in the vulcanite. I rubbed a small quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem surface and set it aside to be absorbed in to the vulcanite. The stem at this point in restoration is shown below.By next day, the stummel fills were nice, hard and well set. With flat head needle file, I sand each of the fill to achieve a rough match with the rest of the surface. With a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I worked on each fill till I had achieved a nice blend with the rest of the stummel surface. It turned out much better than I had anticipated. I further sand the entire smooth portion of the stummel surface with the same grit sand paper to address the minor scratches and further smooth the stummel surface in preparation for a polish by micromesh pads. The rounded rim top surface looks much better at this point in restoration. Using micromesh pads, I completed the polishing of the stem by wet sanding the surface with 1500 to 12000 girt pads. I gave a final rub with “Before and After Extra Fine” stem polish compound from Mark Hoover to remove fine scratches from the stem surface. I rub a little quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem surface and set it aside to be absorbed by the vulcanite. The stem polished up nicely and appears as good as when new.   Next, I subjected the smooth surfaces of the stummel to a complete cycle of micromesh polish, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I paid greater attention to polish the rim top surface. I wiped the stummel with a moist cloth after every grit pad to remove the sanding dust left behind by the pads. I am happy with the progress being made till now. Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and worked it deep in to the surface and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful cross grain patterns on full display. The contrast of the dark browns of the grain with the light reddish brown hues of the rest of the stummel adds an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush to further deepen the shine. To refresh the stem logo, I coat the stem logo with white correction ink and let it dry out completely while I polished the pipe with Blue Diamond. Once the ink had dried out, with a toothpick, I gently removed the excess ink from the surrounding surface. The logo is very crisp and looks good.To put the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and polished the stummel and stem with Blue Diamond compound. This compound helps to remove the minor scratch marks that remain from the sanding. Next, I mount another cotton buffing wheel that I have earmarked for carnauba wax and applied several coats of the wax. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and give the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe with a deep brown shine to the briar looks amazingly beautiful and is now ready for its long second inning with a new piper. I would like to express my gratitude to all the readers of rebornpipes who have taken the efforts to walk through this journey with me.  Your comments and suggestions are of utmost importance as this helps me gain experience and grow in this hobby about which I am very passionate.

This is a very beautiful pipe with a medium sized bowl but very light in weight. It has the same design features of a well-made Stanwell pipe, but at half the cost being a sub-brand. If any reader is interested in adding this pipe to his/ her pipe rotation, feel free to contact me at deshpandeparesh@yahoo.co.in .

Praying for the health and safety of all the readers and their loved ones in these troubled times…

Breathing Life into a Rusticated KBB Yello-Bole Imperial 68C House Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

I have only a couple more of the pipes from the old fellow’s collection left to do and they have some challenges that I need to think through before I tackle them. For a bit of a break I am doing some others that we have here in the queue. The next pipe I chose to work on came to us from an online auction back in 2018 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. This pipe is also the size of a Peterson’s House Pipe  – same size and shape. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads 68C followed by KBB in a Cloverleaf. That is followed by Yello-Bole [over] Reg. US. Pat. Off. [over] Imperial [over] Cured with Real Honey. The stamping is clear and readable. There is also stamping on the underside of the ferrule that reads Nickel Plated and has the KBB cloverleaf logo.

The rim top and edges both look to be in good condition. There is a thick cake in the bowl and the rusticated finish is dirty and lifeless. The shank has an end cap or ferrule that is loose on the end of the shank. The shank is drilled like a Peterson’s system pipe with a sump and the entrance to the airway at the top of the mortise. The long vulcanite saddle stem very much like a KB&B Wellington style P-Lip. The airway comes out on the end of the button like those stems rather than the top like a Peterson’s stem. The stem does not have any stamping and is heavily oxidized but has light tooth chatter but no tooth marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the Yello-Bole Imperial House Pipe 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 and the unique rustication on the surface of the rim and edges. There is some light lava on the inner edge but nothing too thick. He took photos of the top and underside of the vulcanite stem showing the oxidation, calcification, tooth marks, chatter and wear on the stem and button. Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the briar. You can see the beautiful shape of the bowl and the cut glass like rustication even through the dirt and debris of many years. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the Yello-Bole circular yellow logo on the top of the stem. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see what I could find out about the brand and the timeline of the pipe (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-y.html). I found a photo of a pipe with the same stamping as the one that I am working on though it does not have the inlaid O on the briar shank. It is stamped exactly the way that the one I have – Yello-Bole, Reg US Pat Off, Imperial, Cured with Real Honey. I have included a screen capture below.I also have included a quote from the side bar on the site below.

In 1932 Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B) expanded their program consisting of KB&B pipes, Reiss-Premier and Kaywoodie as the mainstay brands by introducing the Yello-Bole line.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Yello-Bole) to check out the history of the brand a bit to refresh my memory. I am including a section from the site on dating the pipes.

Tips for Dating Yello-Bole Pipes

  • KBB stamped in the clover leaf indicates it was made in 1955 or earlier as they stopped this stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
  • Pipes from 1933-1936 they were stamped “Honey Cured Briar”
  • Post 1936 pipes were stamped “Cured with Real Honey”
  • Pipe stems stamped with the propeller logo were made in the 1930’s or 1940’s – no propellers were used after the 1940’s.
  • Yello Bole used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 1930’s.
  • Pipes with the Yello-Bole circle stamped on the shank it were made in the 1930’s, this stopped after 1939.
  • Pipes stamped BRUYERE rather than BRIAR it was made in the 1930’s.

This information that I found. The KBB stamped in a clover leaf indicated the pipe was made in 1955 or earlier. Further work identifies the pipe stamping “Cured with Real Honey” dates the pipe as made after 1936. The lack of a propeller logo on the stem and the lack of a yellow circle on the shank side moves it to post 1939-1940.  So I knew that the pipe was made between 1940 and 1955. 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 grain. The chip on the back of the rim top was clear and looked like a relatively easy repair. The edges looked good otherwise. 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 that 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 to be in good condition. The bowl is a bit oval in shape rather than round but appears to have been made that way. The stem was clean of tooth marks and had light chatter on the button surface. There was some residual oxidation on the saddle area of the stem that would need to be dealt with. I took a photo of the stamping on the side of the shank. It is readable and clear. The yellow circle on the top of the stem is inlaid and is in excellent condition.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 regluing the nickel band on the shank end. I dabbed the shank end with white all purpose glue and pressed the ferrule back in place and aligned it to the shank.I used a worn brass bristle brush to clean up the surface of the briar. I worked over the finish around the bowl and shank to remove any of the debris and the varnish coat on the briar. 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 scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub, a Scotch Brite scrubbing pad and cotton pads to remove the remaining oxidation on the stem. I coated the stem with the Soft Scrub and scoured it with the Scotch Brite scrubbing pad. I wiped it down with some more Soft Scrub and a cotton pads to remove the loosened oxidation.  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 and unusual KBB Rusticated Yello-Bole Imperial House Pipe back together and lightly 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. The rustication on this pipe really is a great looking and reminds me of cut glass. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 9 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 3.14 ounces /89 grams. This KBB Yello-Bole Imperial House Pipe is another great find our hunts. 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.

Breathing Life into a strange German Made Trogesa French Briar House Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

I have only a couple more of the pipes from the old fellow’s collection left to do and they have some challenges that I need to think through before I tackle them. For a bit of a break I am doing some others that we have here in the queue. The next pipe I chose to work on came to us from an online auction back in 2018 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. This pipe is the size of a Peterson’s House Pipe  – same size and shape. It is an interesting system pipe that is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads TROGESA [over] French Briar [over] GERMANY. The stamping is clear and readable.

The rim top looks to be in good condition with some nicks on the outer edge. There is a thick cake in the bowl and the finish is dirty and lifeless. The shank has an end cap that is part of an inset mortise in the shank that is cylindrical with a tube at the top that enters the bowl at the bottom of the chamber. That mortise cylinder is also quite dirty. The long vulcanite saddle stem is similar in design to the KB&B Wellington or Yello-Bole style P-Lip. The airway comes out on the end of the button like those stems rather than the top like a Peterson’s stem. The stem does not have any stamping and is heavily oxidized but has light tooth chatter but no tooth marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the Trogesa Pipe 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 light scratches on the surface of the rim and edges. There is some light lava on the inner edge but nothing too thick. He took photos of the top and underside of the vulcanite stem showing the oxidation, calcification, tooth marks, chatter and wear on the stem and button. Jeff took photos of the end of the stem and the internals of the metal insert in the shank end. It is definitely and interesting pipe. I will try to get a few more detailed pictures of the shank end once I have it in hand.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the briar. You can see the beautiful shape of the bowl and some great grain even through the dirt and debris of many years. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the look of the shank cap on the end. It is definitely a different looking cap and fit.I wrote to Dutch Pipe Maker Martin Romjin to see if he could give me any information. In the past he has been a great resource for Dutch and German pipes. I figure it was worth a shot to see if he could help me out. Here is his reply (thanks Martin).

Hello Steve, sorry for it took me so long to answer. I have no idea…..never heard about TrogesaI will contact a friend, maybe he knows

He answered, “it seems like stamped TROBE SA….Trobe is a major supplier of smoking supplies in Germany. Had these made in France. Bimalt in the Netherlands has also had this done. Inspired by the Peterson pipes. Peterson’s system pipes were a great success and they wanted to get a piece of it.”

This information was all that I could find on the brand but the description fit very well. It is stamped both French Briar and Germany so that matches. It is also a pipe obviously inspired by Peterson’s Pipes so that also fits well. The last sentence stating that since Peterson’s System pipes were a great success both Trobesa/Trogesa and Bimalt wanted a piece of the action. Now I have a better idea of the brand. Made for a supplier of smoking supplies in Germany it is a beauty. 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 grain. The chip on the back of the rim top was clear and looked like a relatively easy repair. The edges looked good otherwise. 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 that 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 to be in good condition. The bowl is a bit oval in shape rather than round but appears to have been made that way. The stem was clean of tooth marks and had light chatter on the button surface. There was some residual oxidation on the underside of the saddle area that would need to be dealt with. I took a photo of the stamping on the side of the shank. It is readable and clear. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe. I took some photos of the mortise area and shank. It is a metal (aluminum?) insert with a tube at the top that angles to the bottom of the bowl. It is an unusual reverse Calabash system that I have not seen before.I started my work on the pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding dust. 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 sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the remaining oxidation on the saddle area and smooth out the tooth chatter on the button area. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.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 and unusual German made Trogesa French Briar House Pipe back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl 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. The grain on this pipe really is a great looking. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 9 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inch, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 2.36 ounces /67 grams. This Trogesa French Briar German House Pipe is another great find from this collection. 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.