Daily Archives: December 10, 2021

Next on the table is an Edward’s Virgin Algerian Briar 721 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

Photo, Courtesy of Doug Valitchka

The next pipe on the work table is an Edward’s pipe that we bought in a group of pipes from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is a classic looking Canadian in terms of the flow of the stem and shank. The bowl had a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim. It was hard to estimate the condition of the rim top and the edges of the bowl with the cake and lava coat but I was hoping it had been protected from damage. The bowl was smooth and a natural finish. The finish was dusty and tired but had some nice grain under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. The pipe was stamped on the top of the shank and read Edwards [over] Virgin. On the underside it was stamped Algerian Briar [over] the shape number 721. On the underside near the shank end it is vertically stamped with the number 7. I am guessing this is a quality or grade stamp. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The stem was dirty, oxidized, calcified and had some tooth chatter and deep tooth marks near the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff captured the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. The cake is very thick and heavy. The rim looked like it might have some damage on the back inner edge of the bowl. The last two photos of the stem show the top and underside of the stem. It is oxidized and calcified an you can see the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of both sides. Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. You can see the fills in briar on the right side. It will be interesting to see what happens as the pipe is cleaned and restored. He captured the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. They are clear and readable as  noted above. I turned first to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e1.html). I did a screen capture of the information that was there.I also am including the sidebar information below.

Edward’s Pipes, headquartered in Tampa, FL, got its start importing pipes from France and continued to do so from 1958 to 1963 when it started producing pipes in Florida from prime Algerian Briar, a practice they continue to this day (2010). Randy Wiley, pipe carver in the USA, got his start at Edward’s.

The Edwards Canadian I am working on bears a stamp on the underside of the stem that reads FRANCE which makes sense with the information given above. It also helps to date the pipe to the time period of 1958-1963.

I the turned to Pipedia to have a look at a bit of history on the brand and gain more information on the pipe line (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward%27s). I quote the article in full below.

Edward’s pipes were originally produced in Saint-Claude, France when France actually was a world-class pipe maker with longstanding business & political connections to Colonial Algeria that allowed them to obtain the finest briar.

During the tumultuous 1960’s, Edward’s created a business model to offer the finest briar available in both Classic and Freehand shapes – all at a fair price. They bought the company & equipment and cornered the market on the finest, choice Algerian Briar just before the supply vanished in political turmoil of Algeria’s independence. Edward’s packed up both machinery and briar-treasure to America, safely caching the essentials to create a new pipe-making dynasty. This was a coup, for the 70’s and 80’s were grim years for pipe smokers as quality briar all but disappeared.

Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own. Today, they fashion pipes in several locations across the USA. All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I took it out of the box of pipe and looked it over. It was amazingly clean and looked like a different pipe. Jeff reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The bowl looked very good. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. When he took it out of the soak it came out looking far better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top is clean but there is damage to the inner edge on the front, back and right half of the bowl. The bowl itself looks very clean. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and the deep tooth marks are very visible. I took photos of the stampings on the shank because they had cleaned up very well. I missed a clear photo of the 7 on the shank near the stem. If you look closely you can see FRANCE on the stem in the second photo.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the bowl and to give a sense of the proportion of the pipe. It is a classic looking Canadian for sure.I decided to take care of the damage on the rim top and inner edge first. I lightly topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and cleaned up the existing bevel. Once I had finished the bowl looked very good. I polished the briar and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I was able to blend in the repairs into the side of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about twenty minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift most of them significantly. The few that remained I filled in with clear CA glue. Once it had hardened I flattened the repairs with a file. I sanded smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surrounding surface of the vulcanite. I then sanded it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to further blend it into the vulcanite. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This oil cured Edward’s Virgin Algerian Briar 721 Canadian was another fun pipe to work on and I really was looking forward to seeing it come back together again. With the grime and debris gone from the finish it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich natural finish on the bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite stem. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1  ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35grams/1.23oz. This is truly a great looking Edward’s. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the American Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Saddle from a Taper – A New Stem for an Isle of Man African Meerschaum Bulldog


Nice job on the stem Charles. Cutting a taper and making a saddle is tricky work and you made it look relatively simple. Well done. I want the folks on rebornpipes to see how you did that!

This Isle of Man Bulldog, made by Manxman Pipes Ltd, was purchased as an estate pipe by a DadsPipes reader and sent to me for some TLC. The restoration brief included a good cleaning and polishing along with a new stem that would allow the pipe’s new steward to avoid having to work around the tooth dents left by its previous caretaker.

As this series of pics illustrates, the pipe, made from Tanzanian meerschaum, was in pretty good condition overall, though a layer of carbon cake on the rusticated rim made it difficult to determine how much of the dark coloration at the top of the bowl was dirt and how much, if any, was a factory “fumee” finish. There was also a thin layer of cake inside the tobacco chamber, and the diamond saddle stem was oxidized and, as mentioned already, somewhat chewed up.

The only markings on the…

View original post 924 more words

What an interesting looking Larsen De Luxe Handmade Cherrywood


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from an online auction on 11/09/18 in Corning, New York, USA. The pipe is an interesting Danish looking take on a Cherrywood or Poker shaped pipe. The pipe is well shaped and has nice grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Larsen [over] Copenhagen. At the stem shank union it is stamped around the shank end and reads De Luxe on the top side. On the underside it reads Handmade [over] Made in Denmark. There was a lot of grime ground into the smooth and finish on the briar. The bowl was heavily caked with an overflow of lava on the top and inner edge of the rim. The inside edge looks quite good and the outer edge in good condition. The thin vulcanite taper stem was oxidized and dirty with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and debris as well as the lava on the rim top and inner edge of the rim. The photos also shows some scratching on the outer edge of the bowl. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the condition. The photos show the overall condition of the stem.Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. It truly has some nice grain – birdseye and cross grain around the bowl and shank. The stamping on the left side of the shank and the shank end is faint but readable and read as noted above. I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l2.html) to get a quick view of the brand once again. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below. From what I can figure out the pipe I am working on is a WO Larsen as it is stamped similarly to the ones in the photos though it does not have the WO in front of the Larsen. It also has the Copenhagen stamping on the shank and the Handmade stamp that is the same. Nothing definitive here but that is what I surmise.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/W.%C3%98._Larsen) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the shop and the brand and its influence on Danish pipe carving.

I wonder if it could also be a pipe from the Larsen and Stigart pipe shop in Copeonhagen though the stamping does not include the Stigart part (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Larsen_%26_Stigart). I quote below.

Larsen & Stigart was a Copenhagen pipe shop which at point sold pipes stamped with their shop name and made by Karl Erik Ottendahl, including the Champ of Denmark line. They also employed their own in house carvers, including Søren Eric Andersen, for approximately a decade. Among others they are said to have supplied Danish shapes to Dunhill.

What I learned from the research is that in all likelihood the pipe is a WO Larsen made pipe. I am uncertain as the stamping does not include the WO stamp. It is a beauty though.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. 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 a Before & After Deoxidizer bath and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work.    The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top, inner and outer edge of the bowl show some scratching but otherwise look good. The stem surface was oxidized but looked good with a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stamping on the left side of the shank and shank is faint but readable. It is stamped as noted above.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The thin taper stem is nice and the photo gives a sense of what the pipe looks like. I decided that I would begin the work on the pipe by polishing rim top, edges and sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth.      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 about 10 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the single fill on the front of the bowl blended into the briar well. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift out all of the tooth marks and chatter on the surface. The little that remained I sanded out with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    This Larsen De Luxe Handmade Pencil Shank Cherrywood is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The shape is elegant and flowing with a thin tapered vulcanite stem. 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 Larsen De Luxe Cherrywood 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: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32 grams/ 1.13 ounces. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly in the Danish Pipe Maker Section. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!