Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is one that has been here for almost 5 years. It is nice looking flat bottom poker. We picked it up from an online auction in Wilder, Idaho, USA back in November of 2017.. The pips is stamped on the left side of the shank and read Gigant Super [over] Natural Extra. On the right side it reads Made in France with the shape number 27 stamped next to the stem shank union. The briar is quite nice though there are fills around the bowl sides – well blended in but present. The bowl was a bit strange – with light cake in spots while other spots were not even darkened by smoking. My guess is that it had not been smoked very much. The outer edges and rim top good with some burn damage and darkening on the front inner edge. Other than being dirty the finish is in good condition. The stem has an “H” stamp on the left side. It is lightly oxidized and has tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe. You can see the cake in the bowl on some spots and raw briar on others. There was some burn damage on the front inner edge of the rim top. The stem photos show the light oxidation and tooth chatter on the top and underside ahead of the button. He took photo of the bowl sides and the heel to capture a sense of the grain around the bowl. It is a really nice piece of briar. He took photos of the stamping on sides of the shank as well as the logo stamp on the left side of the taper stem. All are clear and readable as noted above. I did some digging on the web looking for the brand and shape number in a variety of sites including Pipephil’s site and also Pipedia. I did find a pipe with the same stem logo on the stem on Pipephil (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s4.html#scotlandyard). It is called a Scotland Yard that was made by Comoy’s. The one I am working on is a Gigant Super with the same H logo so I wonder if there is also a Comoy’s connection to the French part of the company – hence the Made in France stamp. I am including a screen shot of the section on the site and also a larger picture of the photo below. Given the lack of information, I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He 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. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the rim and top that would need to be dealt with. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked it in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it with warm water. The vulcanite stem was clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was an “H” logo stamped on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. It was great looking pipe. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top and edges looked very good, other than the burn damage on the front inner edge. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button were very light.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are readable as noted above. I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I started my work on the bowl by addressing the burn damage to the front inner edge of the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a light bevel and smooth out the damage. It looked significantly better and would improve more with polishing. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain just popped and the inner edge really looked better. I worked some Before and After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips. It works to preserve, clean and renew the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The bowl really looked good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the “H” logo stamp on the left side with some white Acrylic Fingernail Polish. I applied it to the stamp and worked it in with a tooth pick. I buffed it off and the stamping looks good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiping it down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. This Gigant Super Natural Extra 27 French Made Poker with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain on the briar shines through the polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 Gigant Super Natural Extra Poker fits nicely in the hand or sits on the table or desktop. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 48 grams/1.69 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe 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!