The next pipe is a really neat looking tall Comoy’s Made Stack with a vulcanite taper stem. The classic Bulldog bowl with twin rings and the diamond shank was made to hold in your hand. The flat bottom on the bowl and shank make it a sitter as well. It is quite light weight for its size and the saddle stem is thin and looks comfortable. We picked up this The Guildhall London Pipe from the same antique dealer in 2018 from Naples, Florida, USA as The Everyman London Pipe that I restored earlier (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/10/a-truly-stunning-comoys-made-the-everyman-london-pipe-188-stack/). Like that one we have also had this one a long time. Jeff cleaned the pipe in 2019 and now I am working on it in 2021. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads The [over] Guildhall [over] London Pipe. On the right side it is stamped with the Comoy’s circular COM Stamp – Made in London[over] England, followed by the shape number 9. The exterior of the bowl looked surprisingly clean and shiny. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and an eruption of thick lava on the rim top and beveled inner edge of the bowl. It was hard to know the condition of the rim top and rim edges because of the grime and thickness of the cake and lava. The cleaning would make it very clear! The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides but nothing like what I was expecting from the condition of the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to give a clear picture of what we were up against with this pipe. He captured the cake in the bowl and the thick eruption of lava on the rim top and edges exceptionally well in the next photos. It was very clear that it was an exceptional smoker! The stem is oxidized, calcified and shows the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.Jeff captured some of the beauty of the shape and the grain in the next photos. The mix of grains and the way in which the stain highlights them is quite stunning.He took a photo of the stamping on the top left side of the diamond shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. You can also see the three silver bars on the top left side of the stem. There is not a photo of the right side of the shank but it reads Made In London in a circle over England (Comoy’s COM stamp) followed by the shape number 9. I turned to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-g6.html) to confirm what I knew about the brand being made by Comoy’s. It did but did not give a whole lot of other information.I turned then to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/images/d/d7/Shape_Chart_1975_1.jpg). I found a shape chart that had the shape 9 listed. I have drawn a box around it on the picture below. It is identified as a Flat Bottom Bulldog with a saddle stem.There was also a catalogue that had a page including The Guildhall London Pipe and describing it (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Comoy%27s_Sunrise.jpg). I quote from the page: “Many smokers say the Guildhall is amongst the most beautiful pipes in the world. Guildhall pipes are especially selected for distinctive grains.”Now it was time to work on the pipe. It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great 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 bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. 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 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 Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and beveled edge looked amazing. The stem was vulcanite and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The stamping on the left and right sides of the shank are clear and readable. It reads as noted above. The three silver coloured inset bars on the left side of the taper stem are also visible.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.I started my work on pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down between pads with a damp cloth to remove the debris.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 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining marks with clear CA glue. Once it cured I sanded out the repairs with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and then started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.This Comoy’s Made The Guildhall London Pipe 9 Straight Bulldog with a vulcanite saddle stem is a beautifully grained pipe with a flowing shape that looks great . The rich browns and blacks of the contrasting stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. 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 The Guildhall London Pipe Bulldog really is a beauty and fits nicely 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 ¼ 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 1.27oz./36 grams. This pipe will soon be on the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store 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. There are many more to come!
The next pipe on the work table is the second of a pair of pipes that I picked up when my daughters and I went to the Vancouver Flea Market not too long ago when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted some here. We walked through all the stalls in the market and talked to vendors. We were chatting with an English chap about pipes and he took a bag out from under the table and in it were two pipes. The first pipe was petite Bent Bob’s sandblast pipe that I restored and wrote a blog about earlier. The second pipe was worn and had varnish peeling off. It was stamped Polo [over] Sport on the left side of the shank and Bruyere on the right side. On the underside near the stem/shank junction it is stamped with the shape number 21. The rim top had some darkening and some lava build up and there was a light cake in the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had some deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. button. It was another good find and I was able to negotiate a good price for the pair of pipes that I picked up. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a sense of what I saw. There was a thin cake in the bowl and there was lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and the deep tooth marks and chatter next to the button on both sides. I took a photo of the stamping on the left, right and underside of the shank. It captured the stamping well in the photos and you can see that they are clear and readable as noted above.I turned to Pipephil’s and to Pipedia to see what I could find out about the brand. I also googled the brand name of the pipe. It appears that quite a few companies in several countries made pipes that were stamped Polo. Savinelli in Italy, Vauen in Germany, Imperial Tobacco Company and Cadogan in England. I have eliminated the Savinelli connection as well as the Vauen connection by the stamping on those pipe versus this one. It may well be an Imperial or a Cadogan after the merger. I am not sure I will ever know for certain.
It was now time to work on the pipe. I had a decision to make. Should I scrub it with Murphy’s or skip that step and scrub it with acetone to remove the peeling varnish coat? I opted to go with the acetone scrub. I scrubbed the rim top and sides of the bowl with acetone on cotton pads to remove the grime and the peeling varnish. I was very happy with the outcome. The bowl had some interesting grain around the top and sides.I cleaned up the inside of the bowl and removed the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar and cleaned it up so that I could examine the bowl walls carefully. They were clean and undamaged.I heated the stinger with a lighter to loosen the tars that held it firmly in the tenon. I find that these really restrict the airflow and it did in this case significantly.I scrubbed out the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I worked until both the shank and stem were clean.I filled in the damaged areas on the rim top and the lower left side of the bowl/shank with clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I wetsanded those areas of the bowl and rim with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I sanded the entirety of the bowl with micromesh pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the sanding debris. The bowl began to take on a deep sheen.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. The product works to revitalize, protect and polish the briar. I let it sit on the bowl for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining marks with clear CA glue. Once it cured I used a small file to recut the edge of the button and to flatten out the repairs. I sanded out the repairs with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and then started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down between pads with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing using Before & After Stem polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed the stem down a final time with Obsidian Oil.This is the first of this brand that I have worked on and one that I can find no detailed information. I believe it is an English Made pipe perhaps Imperial or Cadogan. The Polo Sport Bruyere 21 Bent Billiard is a beautiful pipe underneath that thick and peeling varnish coat. The grain is very nice and the colour of the briar goes amazingly well with the polished black vulcanite taper stem. The delicate curves of the bowl and stem work together to create a pipe that is a pleasure to look at and is comfortable in the hand. With the stinger apparatus removed the pipe has a great draught (I put it back to let the new owner keep or remove it). The dimensions of the petite pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Bowl diameter: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.13 ounces/35 grams. It is a great looking pipe that feels great in the hand and is light weight in the mouth. The light weight of the pipe, the bend in the stem and shank should make it another perfect clencher. I will be adding it to the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me a message on Facebook or an email. Thanks for walking through the process with me. Cheers.