Blog by Steve Laug
This older Savinelli Made pipe has been in my restoration queue since we picked it up from an antique store on 04/08/17 in Stevensville, Montana, USA. It is a beautifully grained pot shaped pipe with a triangular shank. It was stamped on the left side and read Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right side it was stamped with a Savinelli Shield S and next to that is the shape number 123 [over] Italy. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Savinelli [over] Products. The grain was quite nice peeking through the ground in grime on the briar. The bowl had a thick cake and there was some lava on the beveled inner rim of the top. The rim top was quite clean but there was a large putty fill on the right side toward the back of the bowl. The vulcanite stem was dirty and had some sticky substance from a gum label near the shooting star logo on the left side of the taper stem. There was some light tooth chatter near the button and some light oxidation. Jeff took photo of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. I have included them below. He took some photos of the rim top to show the condition. You can see the light lava coat on the back side of the bowl top and on the beveled inner edge of the bowl. You can also see the putty fill on the rim top on the lower right side of the photos below. He also took photos of both sides of the stem to show the condition of both. He also took photos of the heel of the bowl and underside of the shank to show the birdseye grain that is clustered on the bowl. It is quite a stunning pipe. You can also see the small fill on the lower front of the bowl.Jeff took photos of the stamping around the shank sides. It is clear and readable as noted above. You can also see the shooting star Oscar logo on the left side of the stem. I turned to Pipephil’s site to learn about the Oscar (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). I did a screen capture of the section and also included the note from the side bar on the site. I quote from the side bar: Pipes from the Oscar line are not free from fillings. See also (same star logo): Savinelli Antique Shell, Savinelli Garda, Savinelli Sila.
From Pipephil I knew that the line had notable fills. The pipe I was working on had fills on the top and the front of the bowl.
I turned to Pipedia to the link on the shape chart for Savinelli pipes looking to find the 123 shape number (https://pipedia.org/images/4/41/Sav_Shape_Chart_2017.jpg). I have included the shape chart below. I have drawn a red box around the 123 Shape. The article on Pipedia is a great history of the brand and the Oscar is listed in the various lines.Jeff had reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants 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 Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I got around to working on it. The rim top looked very good. There were some nicks in the outer left backside of the rim. The beveled rim top was in excellent condition. There was a large putty fill on the rear right top side of the rim that I have circled in the photo below. The stem surface had some light chatter on both sides near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The stamping is clear and readable as can be seen from the photos. You can also see the shooting star on the left side of the stem. I removed the stem and took a photo to give a sense of the grain and a look of the whole. The photos also show the aluminum inner tube in the end of the tenon. It is anchored and made to stay in place in the stem.I started my work on the pipe by cleaning up the fill on the rim top. I was able to even out the fill with a spot of super glue. I filled in the fill on the front of the bowl with clear super glue at the same time. Once it cured I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it in. I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it 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 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. Since it was in good condition I did not have to sand out tooth marks. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding 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 let it dry. This Savinelli Product Oscar Aged Briar 123 Triangle Shank Pot with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. 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 Oscar Aged Briar 123 Pot is another one that is comfortable in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of this pipe is 40 grams/1.41 ounces. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the American Pipemakers section. 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!