Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is a brand I have not worked on before – a Proctus Deluxe bent egg or Brandy (not sure what I would call it). The pipe was purchased back in February of 2020 from an antique mall in Northern Utah, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads PROCTUS [over] De Luxe. On the right side it is stamped Made in Denmark [over] the shape number 71. On the underside of the shank it reads Old Briar. It is a beautifully shaped briar with great looking straight and flame grain around the bowl sides. The finish is dirty with grime ground into the briar. There are some dents on both sides of the bowl toward the heel. The rim top has a thick coat of lava that has overflowed from the bowl onto the top. There is a thick uneven cake in the bowl that overflows on to the top. There is tobacco debris all around the inside of the bowl. It is hard to know the condition of the inner edges of the bowl because of the cake and the lava. More will be clear once it has been cleaned and removed. The stem is oxidized and the end is calcified and has tooth chatter or marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he worked his magic on it in the cleaning. Jeff took close up photos of the rim top to show the thick lava and the uneven thick cake in the bowl. The outer edges of the bowl look very good. The condition of the inner edge is hard to assess due to the thickness of the cake and lava. He took photos of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and marks on the stem surface.He took photos of the sides of the bowl and heel to show the beauty of the grain around the bowl sides. It really a beautiful pipe. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see what I could learn about he Proctus brand and the Danish pipe maker (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-p5.html). The screen capture below shows a brief description of the stamping on the pipe and the side bar says that “the maker of the Proctus brand is probably Bari (to be confirmed)”. The information was very limited and not overly helpful.It was time to see what Pipedia had on the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Proctus). That site was a little more definitive and link the pipes to Danish carver Viggo Nielsen (of Bari). The Bari connection was present but it was not an obvious sub group of Bari. I quote in full the article there:
Proctus pipes are out of Denmark, and thought to be made by Danish carver Viggo Nielsen (of Bari) in the 1960’s. Some have vertical hand rustication and some smooth, model names are known to be DE LUXE and OLD BRIAR.
I have to say I was really looking forward to seeing what Jeff had done to this Danish Made Proctus pipe when I took it out of the box. It had shown such beauty through the grime so I was quite sure it would be stunning. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned the remnants of cake back with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and oils. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the tars and oils there. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. He rinsed off the deoxidizer with warm water and wiped the bowl and stem down with a light coat of olive oil to rehydrate both. The pipe really was quite stunning. You can see the nicks on the bowl sides near the heel on both sides but they do not lessen the beauty of the pipe. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top had some darkening around the inner edge and some rough spots that needed to be smoothed out. The stem looked better but the tooth marks and chatter were still present. I would need to remove those to bring the stem back.I took photos of the cleaned up stamping on the shank sides. It is very clear and readable.I removed the stem from the shank and took photos to show the overall look of this beautiful pipe.I started my work on the pipe by addressing the rough inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and give it a very slight bevel to minimize the damage.I filled in the deep nicks on the heel of the bowl with clear CA glue. Once it cured I blended them into the surrounding briar. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad. The grain began to really come alive through the polishing.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips. The product is incredible and the way it brings the grain to the fore is unique. It works to clean, protect and invigorate the wood. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” it with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks and even out the surface of the stem. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and once the glue cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad to protect it and preserve it. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I finished the polishing with a final coat of Obsidian Oil.This nice looking Proctus De Luxe Old Briar 71 Bent Egg with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The briar is clean and the grain really came alive. The rich brown and black 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 Proctus De Luxe Old Briar 71 Bent Egg really 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: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 52 grams/1.83 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makes if you would like to add it to your collection.Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!