Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the worktable is another interesting piece of pipe history that comes from the bag of old pipes that I have been working on intermittently. This one is an interesting clay bowl sans stem. The bowl was in pretty clean shape with little damage. The bowl had been lightly smoked but was in good condition. There was a nickel ferrule on the shank that was marked C.P.F. in an oval (The Colossus Pipe Factory) logo. Under that it was stamped Germany. The bowl was a mix of dark, rich brown/red on the bottom (heel of the bow) working up to a rich golden colour with a dark ring cut around the top of the bowl and rim top. There was no stem with the pipe so I would have to go through my collection to find one. I took some photos of the pipe before I started on it. The bowl has a cast pastoral scene around the bowl sides. It a well executed water buffalo in the grass under a tree spreading across the back and the top of the bowl.I took photos of the stamping on the left side of the nickel ferrule on the shank end. It is clear and readable as noted above.A short description would be that it is a lightly smoked ceramic bowl with a nickel ferrule and vulcanite screw in stem. It is stamped on the left side of the ferrule and reads C.P.F. in an oval [over] Germany. I have a collection of C.P.F. pipes here that I have worked to build up over the years in all different sizes and shapes as well as a variety of materials. This old ceramic pipe will fit well into that collection. I wrote a blog a few years ago on the brand that gives a clear history and defines the meaning of the C.P.F. stamp. Here is the link to the blog and a pertinent quote that I am including below.
From my research I believe that we can definitively assert that the C.P.F. logo stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. The brand was purchased by KB & B sometime between 1884 and 1898 and that it continued until 1915. That time frame gives help in dating some of the older CPF pipes you or I might find. It can be said that prior to the dual stamping it is fairly certain that the pipe is pre-1884 to 1898. After the dual stamping it can be placed post 1898 until the closure of the brand line in 1915. CPF made beautiful pipes. I believe Sam Goldberger was correct in his assertion of the potential carvers that made the pipes being of European training and the classic shapes and well aged briar. That coincides with all the CPF pipes that I have come across.
I went through my stems and found an older vulcanite stem that may well have been the one that came with the pipe. The tenon had been threaded and it screwed into the shank and ferrule perfectly. It turned into place and was a perfect fit. I took a picture of the stem with the bowl to give a sense of what the pipe would look like with the stem. I liked what I was seeing.I touched up the rim top where the finish had worn off using a Walnut Stain Pen. The match was perfect.I set the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I scrubbed it with Soft Scrub to break down the oxidation that was deep in the vulcanite. I was able to remove a large portion of it that way. I then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove more. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished out the scratches and more of the oxidation in the surface of the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I really enjoyed refurbishing this old C.P.F. Germany Glazed Clay Bent Billiard because it is so unique looking. I put the bowl and stem back together to have a look at the whole with all it of it polished. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the silver plated band and the polished black vulcanite stem. This richly finished C.P.F. Germany Glazed Petite Bent Billiard is light weight and it is clean and ready load up with my favourite. Have a look at it in the photos below. As noted above, Its measurements are Length: 4 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch x 1 ¼ inch, Diameter of the chamber: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.55 oz. This is one will be joining other C.P.F. pipes in my personal collection of the brand as it is a unique addition. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.