Blog by Steve Laug
This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had been cleaned somewhere along the way so I am guessing that Jeff had cleaned it. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The shank and internals had all been cleaned and there was no residual stench to the pipe. The smooth rim top had some damage and darkening. The inner edge had some damages by burning and the bowl was slightly out of round. The smooth finish was quite clean other than the dust of sitting in my box. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The top side is stamped Peterson’s [over] “Kildare”. On the underside it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). On the right of shank near the bowl it is stamped with the shape number 254. The stem was lightly oxidized and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening on the rim top and the front edge. The stem surface was clean but there are light tooth marks and chatter on both sides on and ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the top, underside and right side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking. I am including the information from 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 have included a bit of the pertinent history here.
1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.
During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson Company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.
I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s System Line. On page 314 it had the following information.
Kildare (1965-) First issue of line with matte-finish in Classic Range shapes, P-Lip and fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue C.1979 as Kildare Patch, with rusticated patches on pipe surface. Third issue 2010, matte-brown, P-Lip or fishtail mouthpiece, no band. Fourth issue 2011-, burgundy sandblast finish, nickel army mount, fishtail mouthpiece, exclusive to smokingpipes.com.
Judging from the description above I believe that I am working on a First Issue of the line in the time period of 1965-1979. It is a late Republic Era Classic Shaped pipe with a matte-finish and a P-Lip stem. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
I decided to address the damage to the front rim top and inner edge of the bowl first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel on the inner edge to remove burned areas and blend them into the surrounding briar. 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. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. It works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem and button surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. It worked amazingly well and I was able to lift them completely or significantly. I sanded what remained with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem by wet sanding it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry. I am excited to finish this Republic Era Peterson’s “Kildare” 254 Canadian. 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 flame grain all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This smooth Classic Peterson’s “Kildare” 254 Canadian 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32 grams/1.13 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and I will soon be putting it on the rebornpipes store in Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding it to your collections let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.