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).
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.