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.
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.