Blog by Steve Laug
I was scanning through Facebook Marketplace and came across a collection of four pipes that were being sold near where I live in Vancouver. I messaged the individual and it turned out it was an animal rescue/hospital thrift shop. They were selling the four pipes and the rack with all proceeds going to their charity. My second daughter and I made the drive over to visit and have a look at the pipes. I have included the photo from the advertisement to show the pipes and their condition. The label on the sale was inaccurate but I could see what at least three of the pipes were and I was interested.When I parked in front of the shop and went in the clerk brought out the pipes and rack so I could have a look. In the order they are in the rack from left to right the pipes were as follows: A GBD Tapestry 1970 Shape (Banker), a Brigham 228 two dot sitter in a shape I had not seen before, a Chacom Meridien 811 Dublin with a diamond shank, and a Kriswill Saga 140. The Brigham and the Chacom both had cracks. The Brigham had a hairline crack in the bowl and Chacom a cracked shank. I paid the price we agreed on for the pipes and headed home.
I wrote Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes who is the go to guy for all things Brigham and asked him about the pipe. He said it was a shape he did not have and did not have on his shape chart. I thought about it overnight and sent it off to him on Monday morning. I look forward to his blog on this pipe as it is a really Danish looking Brigham.
That left me with three pipes to work on. I addressed the cracked shank in the Chacom Meridien first and have written about the work (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/23/repairing-and-adding-a-touch-of-antiquity-to-a-chacom-meridien-diamond-shank-811-dublin/). The second pipe of the three I chose to work on was a Kriswill Saga Scoop. The pipe was a great looking shape but it was also a bit of a mess. The bowl had not only a moderate cake in it but also about a ½ bowl of old tobacco that was unsmoked. The cake in the bowl had erupted onto the crowned rim top and left a light lava coat toward the back side. The edges looked quite good with some nicks on the front outer edge. The briar was filthy with ground in grit and grime. The stamping on the pipe was minimal. On the underside it read Kriswill [over] Saga followed by the shape number 140. The stem had the Kriswill star logo on the topside of the taper. There was a lot of oxidation, calcification and tooth marks on chatter on both side. It was tired but showed a lot of promise. I took photos of the pipe as it was when I brought it home. I took some close up shots of the bowl and rim top along with the stem to show the condition of both. You can see the half smoked bowl of tobacco and the cake in the bowl. The rim top shows the lava on the left side at the back and toward the front on the right side. The photos of the stem show its condition. You can see the oxidation, calcification and tooth marking in the photos below.I took photos of the stamping on underside of the shank and the logo on the stem and have included them below. They read as noted above.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to give a sense of the beauty of the shape. It is a nice looking pipe.I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick overview of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html). I have included a screen capture of the brand below. From that I knew that the pipe I was working on was post 1970 because of the stamping and the star on the stem.There was also a side bar that gave further information on the brand. It established an end date for the pipe I was working on. It was made before the late 1970s when the company went bankrupt. I knew that it was made between 1970-1978/79. I quote below
Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955. Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn. When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line.
Pipedia has a great history write up on the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kriswill). It gives a great summary of the history. There were several shape charts there and there was not a shape 140 but there was a 40 that was identical. With that out of the way it was time to work on the pipe.
I began my work on the pipe by reaming out the cake. I started the process with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove the unsmoked tobacco and the moderate cake in the conical bowl. I took it back to bare briar then sanded the bowl with piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was finished the bowl was clean.With cake removed I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime ground into the briar and to remove the buildup of lava on the rim top and edges. It really was a nice looking piece of briar. I cleaned out the mortise, the airway into the bowl with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It was very dirty with tars and oils and took a lot of swabs and pipe cleaners. I had already put the stem in the deoxidizer so cleaning the airway would have to wait.I dropped the stem into a soak of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and set it aside for several hours while I worked on the bowl.While the stem soaked I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the debris. The bowl began to take on a deep shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The product brought the briar to life and gave some depth to the finish. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out of the Briarville Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rubbed it down with a coarse cloth. I was pretty happy with how good it looked. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.I touched up the star logo on the top of the stem with white acrylic nail polish. I applied it and when it dried scraped it off with a tooth pick and then polished it with a worn 1500 grit micromesh pad. I am happy with the finished look of the logo.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Stem Polishes. I wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This Kriswill Saga 140 Scoop/Egg from the 1970s is a real beauty with some nice grain. I put the stem on the shank and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it to deepen the shine. The grain on the briar came alive with the buffing and the gold of the band was a great contrast between the briar and the polished vulcanite stem. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.45 ounces/41 grams. It is really a great looking pipe. The oval shank and tapered stem looks excellent. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Makers section shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me. Cheers.