Blog by Steve Laug
I am enjoying an evening free to work on a few pipes. The next pipe on the table came from an antique mall on 03/05/21 in Logan, Utah, USA. It is a uniquely shaped Italian made pipe that reminds me of a Lorenzo made pipe. The shape and style are much the same as those pipes. This large pipe has a smooth finish on an Italian take on a classic cup and saucer shape. On the underside of the shank it was stamped Trident [over] Styled in Italy [over] Walnut. That is followed by the shape number 910. The finish is filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. The bowl was lightly caked and there was some darkening and light lava on the top and edges of the rim. The shank was triangular and the tapered stem followed that shape. There was no stamping or logo on the stem surface. The stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of and on the surface of the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show its overall condition before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim top. There is dust and debris stuck to the walls of the bowl clearly visible in the photos. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is an interesting grain patterns under the grime and thick debris. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left and underside of the shank. It clearly reads as noted above. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick summary of the background of the Trident pipe. (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-t8.html). This is fascinating to me as the pipe I have is stamped with the same Trident stamp but is also stamped Styled in Italy. It also had the same matte finish. I vaguely remember a connection between Comoy’s and Lorenzo pipes in Italy. This pipe really has the look of a Lorenzo. Now to dig a bit more deeply.
I turned to Pipedia to see what else I could learn about the brand and found a brief but fascinating article on the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo). I quote a part of the article that gives the link to Comoy’s that I had remembered.
In 1983 Lorenzo Tagliabue came to bitter grief: his little daughter, the only child, died of cancer. He lost all interest in the business and retired still in 1983, leaving no heirs who wished to continue the business. Lorenzo Pipes was licensed for and continued for a shorter period by Comoy’s of London (Cadogan / Oppenheimer Group). Then Lorenzo Pipes almost disappeared and Lorenzo Tagliabue passed away in 1987.
But this wasn’t the end. In 1988 Riccardo Aliverti and his wife Gabriella purchased all rights to the Lorenzo trademark from the Tagliabue family and production of the renown Lorenzo Pipes resumed.
The Aliverti family is involved in pipemaking since Romolo Aliverti, the father of the current owners, joined the Lana Brothers in 1920. He later reached the rank of technical director. No wonder that his son Riccardo showed an interest in pipe making. Riccardo began learning the pipemaking trade in 1954 at the age of fourteen under his father’s watchful eyes and succeeded him as technical director upon his father’s retirement in 1973.
Today the third generation of the Aliverti family is working for the company. Massimo Aliverti, Riccardo’s son, has been with the company as sales director since 1991. He works closely with his father and knows all phases of production. Massimo has established a broad customer base for Lorenzo around the world.
I knew that I was working on a Lorenzo made pipe from the period of time (1983) when Comoy’s (Cadogan) managed the brand for them. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Jeff had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove remaining oxidation on the stem. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. Other than the burned area on the rim top and edge it really looked good and the bowl itself was in excellent condition. The rim top and the inner edge look very good. There is a large solid fill on the right side of the rim top near the back of the bowl. The stem had a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was clear and read as noted. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. I decided to start my work on this pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to remove the scratching and polishing the fills on the bowl sides and rim top.I stained the briar with a light brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain. I repeated the process until the coverage was acceptable.I wiped off the excess stain with alcohol on a cotton pad to even out the colour. When it was the way I wanted 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 and a horsehair shoe brush to get into the nooks and crannies of the rustication. The product works 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.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks on both sides with clear CA glue. Once the repair cured I reshaped the button and flattened the surface of the stem with a small file. I sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Trident Walnut 910 Italian Design Tea Cup with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. I put the 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 and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Trident Walnut Tea Cup fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 75grams/2.65oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!