Daily Archives: January 23, 2022

Breathing Life into a 1921 Peterson’s Dublin Prince

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe came to me for work from a friend of mine. It is a nice looking Peterson’s Prince that was quite a mess. The finish was worn and tired with fading on the left side of the bowl and shank. The rim top was damaged and darkened with a lava build up. The inner edges of the rim were damaged and worn. The silver ferrule was tarnished but the stamping was readable. The stamping on the shank sides was readable with a lens. It is stamped diagonally on the left side and reads Peterson’s [over] Dublin. On the right side it is also stamped diagonally and reads Made In [over] Ireland. The silver ferrule is stamped K&P [over] three hallmarks -1. Hibernia seated on a throne (represents Ireland) 2. Crowned harp (signifying the quality of the silver) 3. The letter “f” (giving the year of manufacture). All are in scalloped square shaped cartouches. Under these it is stamped Peterson [over] Dublin. I will need to confirm the date stamps and the stamping to confirm the dating of the pipe. I have included the pictures of the pipe that my friend sent to me early on in our conversation.It took nearly a month for the pipes to arrive in Canada for me to work on. I took photos of them to have an idea of what I was dealing with. You can see from the photos what I saw. The finish is really worn and faded on the left side mid bowl back to the ferrule on the shank. The older finish was dark on the rest of the bowl. Rim top showed darkening as noted above and there were cuts or marks on the top of the rim. The inner edge had some damage and nicks at the front side of the bowl. There was a build up of lava on the rim top and a light build up of cake in the bowl. The silver ferrule was tarnished but readable. I took some photos of the rim top and bowl to capture the condition of the pipe. You can see the cake in the bowl. There is heavier lava on the top left and back of the rim than on the rest. There was damage all around the inner edge of the bowl that included reaming and burn damage. The military stick bit style stem was heavily oxidized and there was some calcification on the top and underside of the stem near the button. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides and the silver ferrule to try and capture them as best as I could. They were weak but they are readable with a lens. They read as noted above.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of it to show its appearance. The tenon end of the stem has some calcification (or possibly some dried silver polish) where it sat against the silver.Before I started the restoration process on the pipe I wanted to confirm the date that my friend had sent to me for this pipe. I turned to Peterson’s Hallmark Chart that I have on rebornpipes to pin down the date (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have include a copy of that chart below. I drew a red box around the date stamp that matches the one on the pipe. It is indeed a 1921 Peterson. I expanded the chart above and captured the section that included the section from 1907-1961 below. It confirms that the date is indeed 1921.Now I knew that I was working on a Peterson Prince made in 1921 and the Dublin stamp tells me it was made in Dublin.

I turned to Peterson’s Dublin in the book, The Peterson Pipe by Mark Irwin & Gary Malmberg. I quote from that section below:

 Dublin (1906-2003) Although DUBLIN appears under PETERSON’S on many pipes over the decades, it has served mostly as part of the brand name. The word first appeared on pipes hallmarked 1906-11, stamped PETERSON’S over PATENT OVER DUBLIN. The simpler PETERSON’S over DUBLIN first appeared on pipes hallmarked 1912 after the expiration of the patent. Illustrations of pipes in the ’37 catalogue show a random dispersion of the stamp PETERSON’S over OF DUBLIN together with the ordinary PETERSON’S over DUBLIN on every model offered. Specimen of the former will bear either an Irish COM or LONDON MADE over ENGLAND COM and almost certainly date from 1945-62. It was first mentioned in print as part of a model name in the ’68 price list, as K&P DUBLIN, in ’92 for a Danish market line…

Armed with this information I started working on the pipe. I put the stem in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to deal with the thick oxidation on the surface. I would let it sit for about 6 hours and then remove it and work on it in the mean time I decided to work on the bowl. I lightly topped it with  220 grit sandpaper on a topping board to remove the damage on the rim top and the thick lava coat.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to remove the cake from the bowl. I cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fistall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to smooth out the inside of the bowl. The walls looked very good with no checking or heat damage. After reaming the bowl I turned my attention back to the rim edge and top of the bowl. I worked over the edge of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the burned edge and the rim top. I wrapped a small wood ball in sandpaper and used it to sand the top and inner edge and give it a light bevel to minimize the inner edge. I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the thick oils and grime ground into the surface of the briar. I scrubbed it on undiluted and rinsed it off with warm water to remove the soap and the grime. The bowl looked much better and the grain really began to stand out clearly. I cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and 99% alcohol to remove the oils from the walls. It was filthy and when I was finished it smelled clean and fresh.I polished the briar (carefully avoiding the areas where the pipe is stamped on the shank sides) with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my finger tips. The product is amazing and works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit on the briar for 10 or more minutes and then buff it off with a soft cloth. It really makes the grain sing. I polished the silver ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove the remaining tarnish/oxidation and protect it against further tarnishing. There are a few dings in the silver but I chose to leave them as part of the story of the pipe. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out of the Briarville Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and cleaned off the outside and the inside of the stem. I rubbed the stem down with a paper towel to clean off the remaining oxidation. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners.I “painted” the tooth marks in the vulcanite with the flame of a Bic lighter and was able to life the tooth marks to the surface. The surface looked really good.I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads. I used 1500-12000 grit pads to polish the vulcanite. I wiped down the stem with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I have an oil impregnated piece of cloth that I use after each pad. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish both Fine and Extra Fine polishes. I gave it a further coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.I put the pipe back together – the bowl with its new stem. This smooth finished 1921 Peterson’s Dublin Prince is a real beauty with great grain around the bowl. The thin P-lip style vulcanite stem works very well with silver ferrule and the medium brown briar. This Irish made Prince is a very collectible part of Peterson’s history. The grain on the bowl is quite beautiful and came alive with the buffing. I used Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel on both the bowl and stem. I gave both multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The Peterson’s Prince feels great in the hand. It is lightweight and the contrast in the browns of the briar, the sterling silver ferrule and the polished vulcanite stem is quite amazing. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.20 ounces/34 grams. It really is a beauty. I have three other pipes to work on from my friends collection and then I will send them all back to him. Thanks for walking through the restemming and the restoration with me. Cheers.

Oh, Donna, I Wish I Read the Instructions First

Blog by Robert M. Boughton


I remembered glancing at a blog Steve wrote about various methods for cleaning Perspex stems, but if I ever got to the most important lesson his years of work with the less forgiving form of acrylic taught him, I forgot it: “that you are never to use alcohol on Perspex!”  I’m not going to flagellate myself for waiting to revisit the blog until it was too late for my La Rocca Donna, but cripes, I wish I had not!  There are kinder, gentler ways to clean up the type of impenetrable brown mess that only long accretion of tobacco, nicotine and saliva can wreak on the airway of a stem that was once uncorrupted in its clarity, other than the standard approach I took.  Oh, well.  Lesson learned.  At least I seem to have avoided the tiny cracks in the stem that can result from contact with alcohol, but I suspect that some of the discoloration may have been fixed into the Perspex.

RESTORATION This time, I’ll begin with the stem, to be done with the bad part – not that it didn’t turn out okay. The first thing I did was pour some Everclear – not just Isopropyl – into a dish, the quicker to soak cleaners and run them through.  In the words of a former co-worker who always kept me laughing, “In the name of all that’s sacred, what was I thinking?”  And I was so pleased by the great progress I made!I must turn to the stummel now in order to show the natural progression of my folly, although it all went fine for the briar.I reamed and scraped the chamber, then sanded with 60-grit paper and scrubbed it and the shank with more Everclear.Using 400-grit paper on the rim made it clear that, once again, my roommate’s propensity for inflicting violence on helpless, loyal pipes had ruined it, short of an ad lib sandblast effect. I did that once on a pipe that had nothing to lose and even surprised my old mentor. He had the audacity to look as if he doubted me! At any rate I liberated Donna here for someone more loving. Deciding on a smooth finish for the rim, I went down to 60-grit followed by a 120/180 pad, 220, 320, 400, 600 and 1000. Now, to add injury to insult to the stem, I boiled more Everclear through the pipe in a retort.Afterward, I found Steve’s blog and cringed as I read it.  I micro meshed the rim, stained it with Fiebing’s British Tan leather dye and buffed off the char with 3600 and 4000 micro mesh. I applied Decatur Pipe Shield.I found a close equivalent to soft scrub for the stem with some generic gloopy stain remover. It did no harm and even helped a tiny bit, and it did a remarkable job of making the outside of the Perspex sparkle with no other effort. In the end, this La Rocca turned out nicely.  But now my Donna will surely leave me. SOURCE