Blog by Steve Laug
Having finished early 1900s KB&B Horn Stemmed Italian Billiard and posted the blog about the work on it (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/08/29/reviving-another-older-horn-stemmed-pipe-my-next-choice/) it was time to choose another pipe. I decided to keep working on the bag of older NOS/unsmoked pipes. I chose another horn stemmed pipe from the lot and this time picked one from a French Maker. It is kind of underneath the pile in the photo below but it is there nonetheless.In the photo of the poured out bag on my desk top I have circled the pipe that is next on the table. This was one of the unsmoked pipes that I had separated out before. I sat at my desk went over the pipe I had chosen. It is an unsmoked, new old stock (NOS) Dublin that is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Racine De Bruyere arched over JSN in a diamond with Garantie arched under the diamond. There was narrow nickel band on the end of the shank that is decorative. The finish is dark and dirty but in relatively good condition. It was tired looking but under the dark oxblood finish and dust of time it was quite stunning. The stem is horn and it has a push tenon. The slot in the end of the stem is quite unique and goes from edge to edge of the button almost like the head of a screw. It is a beauty that I want to refresh and probably add to my own collection. Here are a few photos of the pipe before I did anything to it. I took photos of the bowl and stem. You can see the unused condition of the bowl and the clean rim top and edges. The drilling is centered in the bottom of the bowl. It is a good sized bowl. The interior walls of the pipe are smooth and do not have drilling marks or checks or chips. The horn stem is in excellent condition and has a very odd and unique button. It is slotted differently than I expected with the slot extending through the right and left edges (see the photos below). I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It reads as noted above. The stamping is filled in with gold and is very readable.I removed the stem from the shank. You can see the new integral push tenon in the photo below. The proportions of this pipe are well done. The grain around the bowl is very nice. I turned to both Pipephil and Pipedia for a review of the history of the brand and to try and pin down a date for this pipe. I was unable to find anything on either site on the JSN brand. It appears it is a bit of a mystery. The least I could do was translate the French.
Racine = Root
Bruyere = Briar
Garantie = Guarantee/Genuine
So I knew that the pipe was a JSN from France and was Genuine or Guaranteed Root Briar pipe. That was all there was available at this point in the process. The style and stem all spoke to it being an older pipe probably of the same era as the KB&B billiard that I just finished. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
I polished the briar and smoothed out the repairs with the higher grit micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 3200 -12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. It began to really come alive. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the finish with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect briar finished. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The grain on the bowl really came alive with the buffing. It is really a beautiful pipe. I did a quick polish on the horn stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to protect and enliven the horn. It came out looking very good. This interesting Early 1900s JSN Racine Bruyere Garantie Horn stem Dublin turned out really well and it is a great looking pipe with a great shape to it. The fact that it is New Old Stock (NOS)/unsmoked is an additional bonus. The grain on the briar and the sheen on the horn stem really popped when the pipe was buffed with blue diamond on the buffing wheel. The nickel band also took on a sheen. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The petite JSN Horn Stem Dublin is comfortable to hold and is quite distinguished looking. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 4 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 17 grams/.60 ounces. This is a beautiful pipe that I am still thinking through what I am going to do with it. Should I sell it or add it to the collection? Not sure yet. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. Keep an eye out on the blog as I have several other older horn stemmed pipes that will be coming up soon.