Blog by Steve Laug
With the flood in our office/basement/workshop we moved my pipe work upstairs with my day job work to occupy the dining room table. I went through the boxes of pipes I have to work on sorting things to work on from those I will likely put in grab bags and came across this nice looking Lovat with a shiny band and a P-lip style saddle stem. It turns out that it is stamped on the left side of the shank and read SHAMROCK. It was also stamped on the right side and reads “A PETERSON’S [over] PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (3 lines) with the shape number 53 next to the bowl. The silver coloured (nickel I think) band was stamped with a Shamrock[over] three symbols in cartouches – a shamrock, a crouching lion and a standing figure. The band had rotated so these were on the underside of the shank rather than on the left. The vulcanite stem lightly oxidized and had some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The bowl had been reamed and cleaned as obviously Jeff had done his magic on it before I got it. He had scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He had rinsed it with warm water. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub and left the stem looking quite good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and the bowl to show the condition. The rim top was smooth and clean. There was some burn damage on the inner edge of the rim at the back of the bowl. I also took photos of both sides of the stem to show the light oxidation and tooth chatter. Over all the pipe was in good condition. I took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above.I took the stem off the pipe and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of proportion.I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).
I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Shamrock Pipe. On page 312 it had the following information.
Shamrock (c1941-2009) Originally stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name, an inexpensive line first described in George Yale (New York) mail order booklet in 1941, imported by Rogers Import. The line was actively promoted beginning in ’45, aggressively promoted in US by Rogers from early ‘50s when they registered the Shamrock logo with US Patent Office, claiming propriety since ’38. Over the years offered with P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece, with or without nickel band, with or without shamrock logo on the band, with or without S stamped in white or later in gold on mouthpiece. Appearing in 2008 as unstained smooth and rustic, fishtail mouthpiece with gold impressed P on the stem. COMS of MADE IN over IRELAND (C1945-1965), MADE IN IRELAND forming a circle (c1945-1965), “A PETERSON’S PRODUCT” over MADE IN IRELAND (c1945-1965), MADE IN THE over REPUBLIC over OF IRELAND9c1948-1998). Model is always difficult or impossible to date.
Judging from the description above, the pipe I am working on is stamped with the stamp noted in red above. It reads “A Peterson’s Product” over Made in Ireland which narrows the date to between approximately 1945-1965. It is just stamped SHAMROCK with no brand name and no stem.
I decided to start my work on the pipe by loosening and adjusting the fit on the shank. It had twisted to the underside of the shank and it needed to be turned a quarter turn so that the stamping aligned with the stamping on the left side of the shank. I heated some water in the microwave until it was boiling, removed the stem and stood the shank end in the water until the glue softened. I turned the band and aligned it with the left side of the shank. I set it aside and let the glue set.
I then turned to address the darkening and damage on the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out and clean up the edge. It looked much better! I decided to leave the sandpits on the bowl side and filling them seemed unnecessary to me. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. (Note the sandpit on the left side of the shank near the bowl.) I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I sanded the diameter of the stem at the shank end with 220 grit sandpaper to take down the left side so that it matched the side of the band on the shank. I worked it over until the flow between the nickel band and the stem was smooth. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I set the bowl aside and polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I am excited to finish this Nickel Banded Older “Peterson’s Product” Shamrock 53 Lovat. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. The polished nickel band is losing some of the plating but it still looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Classic Shamrock 53 Lovat is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37 grams/1.16 oz. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. I will be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for your time and as Paresh says each time – Stay Safe.