Restoring a Antique Show Find – a Savinelli Made King’s Cross Featherweight 402A Cutty

Blog by Steve Laug

This morning two of my daughters and I met Kenneth and went on a hunt for pipes at an Antique and Collectible sale not far from here. We arrived when they opened the doors and the girls went off on their own hunt. Kenneth and I wandered row by row through the sale. We saw a lot of pipes for sale on the tables and the majority of them were worth far less than the seller was expecting. There were Kaywoodies, Grabows, Lorenzos and other odds and ends all priced between $50-70 dollars. It was discouraging to say the least. We finally came to one table where the seller was far more reasonable. Kenneth picked up two old timers – a Boer War trench art pipe and a Custombilt bent. I picked up a Kings Cross Cutty. We met my daughters and they had found a nice Brigham they took me to see. It had a shape number for a Billiard but it was preceded by the letter “P”. It also had an oval shank but all those made me want to add it to my list. With a bit of negotiation I picked up that Brigham as well. That closed out our hunt and we came home with our finds.

The sandblast bowl looked good on the outside and was clean. The sandblast finish was not deep but it was very tactile. The rim top and edges were in very good condition and showed no damage. The bowl was stamped on the underside of the shank and had the shape number and brand information clear and readable. It reads 402A (shape number) followed by Kings Cross [over] Featherweight [over] Italy. The stem had a sticky taped on price tage that left a lot of debris and “goop” on the stem surface. There were 2 white bars on the left side of the stem. There was light tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. I took photos of the pipe when I brought it home. I took some closeup photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition. The rim top and edges are in good condition. They are dirty but still look good. There is a light bevel to the inner edge of the bowl and looks good. The stem had a lot sticky goop on it from the sales label that was on the stem. There was no oxidation and minimal tooth chatter or marks on the surface ahead of the button. It looked quite good underneath the goop. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank and the white bars on the left side of the stem. The stamping is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the side view. It is a great looking pipe from this vantage point. The canted bowl and pencil shank and taper stem look good. It has been awhile but I believe I have worked on one of these in the past. It is a lighweight that I am pretty certain was made by Savinelli. I decided to turn to Pipephil’s site and see what was listed there under Savinelli ( Sure enough there was a listing for Kings Cross Featherweight. I have included a screen capture of the section below.I then turned to Pipedia to find more ( I found the listing under the section entitled Savinelli made sub-brands, seconds & order productions. I have included a section of the list of brands below. It says that the Kings Cross was Distributed in the US.There was also an advertisement for the Kings Cross Featherweights that has a great description of the brand. It reads:

Time out for that Coffee Break. Not too large and not too small. Just right for that short enjoyable smoke.

Fitted with comfortable mouthpiece. Ideal for the Young in Heart or the Old Timer having troubles with his dentures.I reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer using the smallest cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and removed the remaining spots of cake. I sanded the bowl walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of briar. The bowl interior looked very good and the walls showed no damage. I cleaned out the interior of the shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I worked over the interior until the cleaners came out clean. The pipe smelled and looked clean.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my finger tips. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth.   I wiped the stem down with isopropyl alcohol to remove the sticky label substance on the stem surface.I touched up the two white bars on the left side of the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. Once the acrylic dried I scraped off the excess and polished it with a 1500 micromesh pad. I polished out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  This is another pipe that I am really happy about the look of the finished restoration. This reborn Savinelli Made Kings Cross Featherweight 402A Cutty turned out really well. I think that it is a great looking pipe with a great sandblast. The polished black of the stem works well with the rich dark stains of the finish. Buffing makes the finish come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Kings Cross Featherweight Cutty really feels great in the hand and it looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 25 grams/.88 ounces. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the Italian Pipe Makers Section if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!

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