Monthly Archives: December 2022

New Life for a Made in Canada Trypis 3 Billiard with a slight bend in the stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.The next pipe that grabbed my attention was a semi-rusticated billiard with a slightly bent stem. This is what I saw. The bottom half of the bowl and the shank are rusticated with a heavy rustication. The top half of the bowl and the rim top are smooth. The rustication is very reminiscent of the rustication on Brigham. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Made [over] in Canada. That is followed by Trypis in script [over] 3. The finish had some grime ground into the valleys of the rustication and on the smooth part of the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was thickly caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The taper stem had some light tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the back rim top and inner edge. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the smooth and rusticated briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime.  I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this Billiard and the slightly bent stem.I turned to Pipephil to confirm what I remembered about Trypis. I wanted to read a bit of the history (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-t8.html). I have included a screen capture of information on the site below. I have also included information from the sidebar below the screen capture.Artisan: Phillip Trypis first worked for Brigham as production manager. He continued to supply the Canadian brand when he was established on his own with his own Trypis label. Phillip Trypis had a pipe shop in Toronto.

I turned to the section on Pipedia about Trypis Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Trypis_Pipes). I quote below.

Quoting Stefan Seles: “Phillip Trypis has been a pipe maker in Canada for well over 40 years. Originally from Greece, his experience ranges from cutting burls in a briar mill to making literally thousands of pipes out of his home in the hamlet of Oakwood, Ontario. Brigham pipes benefited from Phillip’s skills where he worked for a number of years. There he directed the pipe production of the company when it was producing over 50,000 a year. Even though he left to start his own pipe shop, he still imported briar and turned tens of thousands of bowls for Brigham not to mention produce a large number of his own branded pipes.

Just over a year ago, Phillip had a serious fall and although he is back making pipes, he is unable to travel around to sell them as he once did. He has asked me to help him in that effort.

The pipes listed below are some of his best work made from decades old MF and R ebuchauns as well as some recently purchased Italian plateau. The prices are excellent, especially given the age and quality of the briar used. In fact, I would venture to say that these pipes have no peers, especially below the $100.00 price. You must be the judge.

Many of the styles are traditional in form although Phillip has a number of freehand styles that are both familiar and off the beaten path. The vast majority of the higher priced pipes are very large pieces to be sure.”

I have worked on quite a few of Phillip’s pipes through the years and it is always a pleasure as they are well engineered and made.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl of the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second cutting heads to remove all of the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl walls smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition.  I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong latakia smell very different from the three Petersons and the Mountbatten I completed. It had a heavy smoky smell that needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. By the end of the last set of three the bowl took on a rich shine. 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. The quality of the vulcanite was very high and did not show oxidation. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished the stem with Before and After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some more Obsidian Oil. It was great to finish this Semi Rusticated Trypis Billiard 3. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the rusticated portion of the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the smooth portions and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black, vulcanite, fishtail stem was beautiful. This Trypis Billiard 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 31 grams/ 1.06 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the Canadian Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection 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.

New Life for a Charatan Made Mountbatten 852 Dublin Made in England


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.There was something about the forward canted bowl on this slightly-bent-Dublin, the bottom pipe in the left column that grabbed my attention and made me want to work on it next. This is what I saw. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Mountbatten [over] of Made In England. On the right side of the shank is the shape number 852. The finish had some grime ground into the finish on the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was thickly caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the beveled inner edge of the rim. The taper stem had some light tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the back rim top and beveled inner edge. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks. I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime.  I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the band. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this Canted Dublin 852.I turned to Pipephil to confirm the connection I remembered to Charatan. I wanted to read a bit of the history (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-m7.html#mountbatten). Sure enough the connection is there. Pipephil said that Mountbatten was a Charatan second. I have included a screen capture of information on the site below.I did some further digging and found a link on Pipes Magazine’s forum where the brand was discussed: http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/mountbatten-pipe. There was a discussion on that thread regarding the brand. Quite a few of the respondents originally said that the brand was a Charatan second. There was one dissenting voice that led to more responses similar in tone. The fellow said that the pipe was not a second. There was a quote from another site.

I googled the information and found that the quote came from a thread on pipes.org. Here is the link: http://pipes.org/forums/messages/23/45025.html?1169997817 I quote the original dissenter on the Pipes Magazine site in full because of the information that it gives. The original poster was Bill Ramsey. Here is Bill’s reply:

“Friends, after 40 years of nosing around pipes, what I have gleaned is this: Charatan sold its seconds under private labels and later acquired the English rights for Ben Wade for just this purpose. Mountbatten, on the other hand was not a “second”(in that there was some physical deformity in the pipe) but rather a first line production from Charatan’s apprentice program. Each Charatan carver might have four or six apprentices at any one time of various skill levels. As they improved and started cutting pipes themselves, these pipes had to move… thus the Mountbatten. These were made on Charatan tooling with Charatan materials and teaching. Bear in mind that there was a high attrition rate and , perhaps, one apprentice in nine or ten made it to cutting their own bowls much less a Charatan carver. This is why you see more Charatans than Mountbattens on the market. You’re never going to put your kid through college by selling one but you’ve got a day to day workhorse of the first order. Good luck and happy puffing.”

That was just the kind of information I had been looking for. I close this section on the history of the brand with a quote that pretty well sums up the details that I had learned. It is taken from the same conversation that is traced in the last link above. “Yup now I know Mountbatten pipes were the fruit of an apprentice’s labor made under the supervision of a Master Pipe Maker at Charatan, most likely in the pre-Lane era; not a second, but a “sub-brand” (even though many experts still classify them as seconds anyway).”

Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made by an apprentice pipe carver at Charatan. It really is a beautiful pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second cutting heads to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition.  I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong aromatic smell just like the three Petersons I just completed. It smelled like a mix of fruit and vanilla so it needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I ran some pipe cleaners through the shank and dried out the bowl edges. I stained the bevel with and oak stain pen to match the rest of the bowl and shank. It looked very good at this point in the process.I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. By the end of the last set of three the bowl took on a rich shine. 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I scrubbed down the surface of the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the oxidation on the top side of the stem. Once finished it looked much better.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished the stem with Before and After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some more Obsidian Oil. It was great to finish this Charatan Made Mountbatten 852 Canted Dublin. 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 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black, vulcanite, fishtail stem was beautiful. This Mountbatten Made in England 852 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: 6 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 36 grams/ 1.27 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the British Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection 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.

Bringing Back a Ropp Cherrywood


Bog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a Ropp Cherrywood Churchwarden, commissioned by a friend. As you may know, Ropp is possibly best known for their cherrywood pipes, this is one of the more attractive cherrywoods I’ve seen in a while. The key here is that they’ve kept the design simple: a solid, handsome stummel and an elegant, lithe stem. They nailed this one. I’m glad that my friend picked this one out; he made a good choice! Of course, this pipe was made by the venerable French pipe company, Ropp. The markings on this pipe were on the underside of the bowl and read Ropp (encircled in an oval) [over] De Luxe [over] Made in France [over] 919. This number is the shape number, and it was somewhat. From Pipedia, here is a very brief history of the Ropp company:

Eugène-Léon Ropp (1830–1907) acquired a patent for the cherrywood pipe in 1869. In 1870, he established a workshop to manufacture such pipes in Bussang, in the Vosges mountains. Around 1893, his business moved into the former mill of Sicard (part of the community of Baume-les-Dames in Upper Burgundy. The pipes were a big success in export as well. Shortly before 1914, Ropp designated A. Frankau & Co. (BBB) to be the exclusive distributor in the UK and its colonies. Probably in 1917, a workshop in Saint-Claude in the rue du Plan du Moulin was acquired to start the fabrication of briar pipes. In 1923, another small building in Saint-Claude, serving as a workshop for polishing, was added. Cherrywood pipes were the mainstay of Ropp until the company finally closed down in September 1991. The company was taken over by Cuty-Fort Entreprises in 1994. The pipe was in very nice condition. The stummel had been lightly smoked add the bowl and shank were a bit dirty, but nothing extraordinary. There was a sticky substance on the underside, possibly the remnants of a price sticker. Similarly, the stem was relatively clean – not much oxidation to speak of, and only a few tooth marks on the bit. Time to get cracking. The stem was first on my list. I wiped the outside down with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I cleaned out the insides with lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol and some long pipe cleaners.I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame to lift the few bite marks and dents. This was quite successful in raising the damage. This technique doesn’t always work, but it did here.Fortunately, the stem was in good enough shape that it didn’t need a soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. I simply scrubbed and scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads.  I built up the remaining marks on the stem with black cyanoacrylate adhesive and then cured it with the aid of some CA glue accelerator. I then carefully sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing (from 3,600 onward).Now for the stummel. It was in nice condition, with very few nicks or scratches, which was a relief!  However, I decided to ream out the bowl. I used the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. There was a bit of filth inside this stummel and it took a fair amount of cotton to get it clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I used cotton rounds and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel. Next, I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Following that, I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around it, and sanded the inner side of the chamber. The circular shape and motion of the sphere gradually returned the edge to a perfect circle. This takes time and patience, but it is quite effective. As you can see, the outside of the bowl still has the original cherrywood bark and I definitely didn’t want to risk damaging it. Although I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the top and bottom, I used only 4,000 through 12,000 on the sides. I performed a similar operation on the shank. Finally, I applied some Before & After Restoration Balm and buffed it with a microfiber cloth. Again, to preserve the bark, I didn’t use the bench buffer on the sides of the bowl and shank, though I did apply Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish. However, I did buff the top and bottom with White Diamond and carnauba wax on the bench buffer. All shiny and lovely, I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 11 in. (280 mm); height 1⅞ in. (48 mm); bowl diameter 1½ in. (38 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2 oz. (58 g). If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

New Life for a Peterson’s of Dublin Silver Mounted 1994 Sherlock Holmes Mycroft


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.There was something about the circular shanked, slightly-bent-Dublin, the bottom pipe in the right column that grabbed my attention and made me want to work on it next. It arrived in its original box and sock. I knew that the pipe had been restemmed by Charles Lemon with fishtail stem rather than the original p-lip stem it had come with when new. I brought it to the worktable and examined it before starting my work. I took photos of the original box that the pipe arrived in and what I saw when I opened the box. This is what I saw. It had a round shank, a stamped silver band and a vulcanite taper fishtail stem. The pipe is stamped on the right side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [arched over] SHERLOCK HOLMES in two lines. On the right side of the shank is stamped MYCROFT. On the fancy silver band on the shank end it is stamped on the left and has a profile of Sherlock Holmes with a pipe in his mouth and his deerstalker hat on his head. Arched over it is stamped PETERSON’S and under it is stamped STERLING SILVER. On the left side it is stamped Peterson over three hallmarks – a seated woman (Hibernia), an oval with 925 centered in it (quality of the silver used) and the italic letter I (the date letter). The finish had some grime ground into the finish on the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was moderately caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The taper stem hand made by Charles Lemon had some light tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. There was a silver “P” logo on the left side of the taper stem. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks. I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the band. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this round shank Dublin.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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s The Return of Sherlock Holmes Line. On page 184 it had the following information.

Even before O’Neill had settled in Peterson launched The Return of Sherlock Holmes, the second set of seven original shapes. These include the Rathbone…Hudson… Mycroft… Lestrade… Milverton…Strand…Hansom.

The chapter goes on to describe the Mycroft smooth as follows:

A circular shanked, slightly-bent-Dublin and the second design by Ian Harry Seiffert, the Mycroft (XL22) is named after Holmes’s brother, who appears in four stories, “The Greek Interpreter,” “The Final Problem,” “The Empty House” and “The Bruce-Partington Plans.”

I then turned to Pipedia and found a link to the Peterson’s Sherlock Holmes series of pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_Peterson_Sherlock_Holmes_series_of_pipes). I quote the following information on the series as a whole then the section on the Return of Sherlock Holmes series

The subject for this pipe focus is the Sherlock Holmes issue of briar pipes, let us look more closely at the individual pipes in more detail.

Probably the most successful series of pipes ever introduced by Peterson in terms of numbers. They were first issued in 1987 to honour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous fictitious detective character, Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes is perhaps the most famous pipe smoking character in fiction. He is reputed to have kept a selection of favourite pipes – from plain black clay pipes to richly grained briar pipes – to which he frequently resorted to for inspiration, while unravelling a mystery, or solving a knotty problem. For solace, after bringing a difficult case to successful conclusion, and always for pleasure. A man who kept his tobacco in a Persian slipper has to be something of a character, and a colourful one to boot, as indeed was Mr. Holmes of 221B Baker Street, London.

The pipes, crafted in Ireland from selected Mediterranean sourced briar, are made to honour the novels original characters, places and items encountered by Sherlock Holmes in his various adventures.

I quote that portion of the article below. I have highlighted the portion on the Mycroft in red.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes Series

The second issue was called “The Return of” – and was based on the success of “the Original”, with seven additional new shapes and dedicated wooden rack being created. All similar to the first issue, with XL bowl sizes and similar sterling silver bands with the SH stamp.

  1. The first pipe in the “Return” series was “The Rathbone”‘ – a large elegant bent, with a large stack bowl. In honour of the actor who played Holmes in the old black and white pictures of the nineteen thirties and forties. This is shape XL20. A great comfortable bent shape with a good draw. Scoring a solid 8.
  2. Next pipe is “The Hudson” – a large quarter bent bulldog. A great classic bulldog shape that smokes as well as it looks. This is shape XL21. I would score this one 7.5.
  3. Third is “The Mycroft” – named after Holmes’s brother. A classy elegant horn shape that is an excellent smoker. This is Peterson shape XL22. Scoring a good 8 on the scale.
  4. The fourth pipe in the series “The Lestrade” – is my personal favourite of all of the Sherlock Holmes series. This is the instantly recognisable, full-bent apple shape XL23. It is the quintessential dangler/clench-er pipe. It is equally tactile in the hand when not dangling, in this form I prefer it with a tapered fishtail stem to maximise the draw and smoking pleasure. Being a wee bit biased in regard to this one, I have to give it a very worthy 9 score.
  5. Next is “The Milverton” – a large full bent with an angular stem. Peterson shape XL24. I have to admit, it is not one of my favourites. I just do not like the angular stem. In terms of smoking it is average by me. I would rate it a 7 on the scale.
  6. Number six is “The Strand” – a quarter bent apple, it is Peterson shape XL25. To my mind a very pleasing elegant flowing shape. Very tactile for a straighter stemmed pipe and an excellent smoker. I would score this one a credible 8.5 on the scale.
  7. Finally, the last of the seven is “The Hansom” – a shape I just cannot warm to. I find it seriously wanting in regard to it’s aesthetic appeal. A bent Rhodesian, Peterson shape XL26. I only have one to complete the collection. I find it neither pleasing to hold, or to look at. Others may feel differently, I can only award it a 7.

The information given I knew I was dealing with a pipe from the Return of Sherlock Holmes Line. The Mycroft smooth was one named after Sherlock’s brother. It also has a silver band on the shank that is stamped on the left side of the band with a profile of Sherlock Holmes with the words Peterson’s [arched over the profile] and Sterling Silver [arched under the profile]. On the right side of the band it is stamped Peterson [over] the three hallmarks as noted above.

I wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

“Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.

The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.

The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

I turned to a blog I wrote on rebornpipes that had a Peterson’s catalogue and a hallmarking chart (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have included it below. On the chart I looked for an upper case italic F in a hexagonal cartouche. I also included a enlargement of the chart and drawn a box around the “I” in green in the second photo below showing a close up of the dates. From that I am able to date the  pipe to 1994. Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made in 1994. It really is a beautiful pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second and third cutting heads to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition.  I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong aromatic smell just like the other two Petersons I just completed. It smelled like a mix of fruit and vanilla so it needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. By the end of the last set of three the bowl took on a rich shine. 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I wiped down the surface of the stem near the shank with Soft Scrub to remove the light oxidation that was present for the first inch up the stem from the shank end.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished the stem with Before and After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some more Obsidian Oil. It was great to finish this 1994 Peterson’s of Dublin Sherlock Holmes Mycroft. 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 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black, vulcanite, fishtail stem was beautiful. This Silver Banded Return of Sherlock Holmes Series Mycroft 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: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 61 grams/2.15 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection 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.

New Life for a Petersons of Dublin Silver Mounted Kildare 268 Zulu with a Fishtail Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.There was something about the classic Zulu, the top pipe in the right column that grabbed my attention and made me want to work on it next. It arrived in its original box and sock. I brought it to the worktable and examined it before starting my work. It had an oval shank, a stamped silver band and a vulcanite taper fishtail stem. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] of Dublin [over] Kildare. On the right side of the shank is stamped the shape number 268. On the fancy silver band on the shank end it is stamped on the top and reads Peterson [over] Dublin. On the underside it is stamped Peterson over three hallmarks – a seated woman (Hibernia), an oval with 925 centered in it (quality of the silver used) and the letter D (the date letter). The finish had some grime ground into the finish on the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was thickly caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The stem had some calcification and tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. There was a “P” logo on the top of the stem. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.    I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime.  I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the band. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this oval shank Zulu.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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s Kildare 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.

The information given above has an element of confusion for me. It seems that the pipe in question is from the second issue C.1979 as this one is probably made after than date. It says that the pipes were issued as Kildare Patch with rusticated patches. However this one does not have the patches it is smooth around the bowl sides. It also has a silver band on the shank rather than a nickel one.

I wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

“Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.

The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.

The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

I turned to a blog I wrote on rebornpipes that had a Peterson’s catalogue and a hallmarking chart (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have included it below. On the chart I looked for an upper case italic F in a hexagonal cartouche. I also included a enlargement of the chart and drawn a box around the “F” in blue in the second photo below showing a close up of the dates. From that I am able to date the  pipe to 1991. Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made in 1991. It really is a beautiful pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second and third cutting heads to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong aromatic smell just like the Peterson’s Lovat I just did. It smelled like a mix of fruit and vanilla so it needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it 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 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 out the tooth marks on the stem with 220 grit sand paper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished the stem with Before and After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some more Obsidian Oil. I touched up the P stamp on the stem with White Acrylic Fingernail polish. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once the acrylic hardened I scraped off the excess and buffed the stem with  3000-6000 grit micromesh pads. I wiped the stem down with some Obsidian Oil.It was great to finish this 1991 Peterson’s of Dublin Kildare 268 Zulu. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This Silver Banded Petersons of Dublin Kildare 268 Zulu 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 40 grams/1.41 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection 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.

New Life for a Republic Era Irish Second, Silver Banded Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me in a group of six pipes I bought from a fellow in Eastern Canada. It included two Canadian made pipes – a Blatter of Montreal and a Trypis. In the mix was an English made Charatan second stamped Mountbatten and two Peterson’s and an Irish Second. The pipes were well used and all had been smoked. The seller sent me a photo of the pipes so that I could see what he was selling. We discussed some options together and arrived at an agreement and the pipes were on their way to me in Vancouver.There was something about the chunky Lovat, the second one down in the right column that grabbed my attention and made me want to start with it. I brought it to the worktable and examined it before starting my work. It had a thick shank, a stamped silver band and a vulcanite saddle, fishtail stem. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads IRISH SECONDS [over] 2. On the fancy silver band on the shank end it is stamped Peterson [over] Dublin. To the right of that there are three hallmarks – a seated woman (Hibernia), an oval with 925 centered in it (quality of the silver used) and the letter F (the date letter). There are a few fills in the bowl so it is clearly a Peterson’s second, but it is odd that the band is Sterling Silver. The finish had some grime ground into the finish on the bowl but still looked to be in good condition. The bowl was thickly caked with some light lava on the top at the back and some darkening on the top and the beveled inner edge of the rim. The stem had some calcification and tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. There were not markings or a logo on the stem. It had promise but it was dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.    I took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime.  I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and on the band. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportion of this thick shank Lovat.I turned to Pipedia to read the article on Irish Seconds (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Seconds). I quote it below in full.

Irish Second pipes begin life alongside Peterson pipes in Dublin, but at some point a flaw appears making future life as one of those celebrated pipes impossible. At this point the pipes were roughly finished, given a standard vulcanite stem instead of a P-Lip, and stamped only with “Irish Second” and “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. These pipes were sold at a far more affordable rate than Peterson pipes, but are believed to no longer be sold new.

I also wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

“Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.

The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.

The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

I turned to a blog I wrote on rebornpipes that had a Peterson’s catalogue and a hallmarking chart (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have included it below. On the chart I looked for an upper case italic F in a hexagonal cartouche. I also included a enlargement of the chart and drawn a box around the “F” in blue in the second photo below showing a close up of the dates. From that I am able to date the  pipe to 1991.Now I knew I was dealing with a pipe made in 1991. I am not sure how it became an Irish Second rather than one of the first grade lines. Perhaps it is the small fills in the bowl and shank but I have seen others that are full grade that have more fills than this one. It really is a beautiful pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer using the first and second and third cutting heads to remove the cake. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake on the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the bowl smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The inner edge of the rim was in good condition. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove almost all of the darkening with the sandpaper. I cleaned out the inside of the mortise, shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe had a strong aromatic smell like a mix of fruit and vanilla so it needed to be deghosted. I filled the bowl with cotton boles and twisted a plug into the shank end. I used and ear syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol. The alcohol will eventually evaporate from the bowl wicking out the oils and tars in the briar into the cotton. I let it sit over night and in the morning pulled it out and took photos of the cotton at that point. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it 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 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 used a folded piece of  220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repair and then started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I 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. It was great to finish this Peterson’s Made Irish Seconds 1991 Lovat. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This Silver Banded Irish Seconds 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: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 39 grams/1.41 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the store. If you want to add it to your collection 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.

Yet another one of my own – an Ehrlich Hexagonal Opera Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another pipe that I have taken out of my personal collection as I do not use enough to warrant keeping it. This pipe was one that I kept from a group of pipes Jeff and I purchased a few years ago. It was not used very often and I believe it is one that I actually found in a lightly smoked condition when I picked it up. I cleaned the pipe but never smoked it after the clean up work. The airway in the shank and the mortise were quite clean. The smooth finish and rim top were in good condition. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the bowl around the bowl. The stamping on the pipe is very simple and on the left side of the shank it is stamped EHRLICH. On the underside of the stem it is stamped FRANCE. The finish is a natural brown with a shiny coat of varnish that gave it a rich look. The rich brown finish goes well with the black, taper vulcanite stem which is in excellent condition with no tooth marks or chatter on either side. I took photos of the pipe before I did my clean up work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to verify the description above. I also took photos of the stem surface showing the light chatter and tooth marks on both side. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the underside of the stem. It is clear and readable as noted above. I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of proportion of the pipe. You can also see the grain around the side of bowl and the shank and it is a beauty. Now it was time to work on the pipe. I worked on the inner edge of the bowl 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel and clean up the damage that was present there. I used a ball and a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. The rim came out looking quite good.I wiped the bowl down with a cotton pad and acetone to remove the varnish coat on the briar. I find that once the varnish is removed the grain really stands out and can be appreciated. That was certainly true with this one. I polished the rim top and the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris. The rim top polished out and matched the oil cured look of the bowl and shank. I cleaned the mortise and airways in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to remove the debris and tars from my smoking. You can see that it was not too bad as I tend to keep my pipes clean. The bowl was in such good condition that decided to give the bowl and shank a coating of Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down between pads with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Stem Polish. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil and buffed it off. It is a beautiful stem. It is good to put the final touches on another of my own pipes that I am selling – Ehrlich Hexagonal Bowl Straight Opera Pipe. I put the pipe back together and buffed the stem 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 the beautiful grain and the polished vulcanite saddle stem. This smooth Ehrlich Opera Pipe 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 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch x 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch x 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 22 grams/.78 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Moving yet another one of my own – a Savinelli Oscar Lucite 313 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another pipe that I have taken out of my personal collection as I just do not use enough to warrant keeping it. This pipe was one that I kept from a group of pipes Jeff and I purchased a few years ago. It was not used very often and I believe it is one that I actually found unsmoked or lightly smoked when I picked it up. It smells of faint Virginia tobaccos so there is no real ghost in the pipe. The airway in the shank and the mortise were quite clean. The smooth finish and rim top were in good condition. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the bowl on the backside. The stamping on the pipe is very simple on the left side of the shank it is stamped Oscar [over] LUCITE. On the right side it is stamped Savinelli S shield logo followed by the shape number 313 [over] Italy. On the underside it is stamped Savinelli [over] Product. There was a gold shooting star on the left side of the stem. The finish is a natural brown with just time and some light polishing adding colour. The rich brown finish goes well with the Lucite/acrylic stem which is in good condition with some light tooth chatter and some tooth marks ahead of the button on both sides. I took photos of the pipe before I did my clean up work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to verify the description above. I also took photos of the stem surface showing the light chatter and tooth marks on both side. I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.  I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of proportion of the pipe. You can also see the around the side of bowl and the shank and it is a beauty. Now it was time to work on the pipe. I worked on the inner edge of the bowl 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel and clean up the damage that was present there. I used a ball and a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. The rim came out looking quite good. I polished the rim top and the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris. The rim top polished out and matched the oil cured look of the bowl and shank. I cleaned the mortise and airways in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to remove the debris and tars from my smoking. You can see that it was not too bad as I tend to keep my pipes clean. The bowl was in such good condition that decided to give the bowl and shank a coating of Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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 set the bowl aside and sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface and button with 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to smooth out the marks on the surface of both sides.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down between pads with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Stem Polish. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil and buffed it off. It is a beautiful stem. It is good to put the final touches on another of my own pipes that I am selling – Savinelli Made Oscar Lucite Prince 313. I put the pipe back together and buffed the stem 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 the beautiful grain and the polished vulcanite saddle stem. This smooth Oscar Lucite 313 Prince 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 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38 grams/1.34 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Generation 1.5 Kirsten – Made in U.S.A. K


Blog by Steve Laug

This past week I received an email from a fellow named George. He was hunting for a specific Kirsten Pipe that he wanted as a gift for his son. I am including his first correspondence with me about the pipe.

Hi Steve

I am inquiring about the Kristen Companion K Straight Pipe. I read the posting on this pipe and am wondering if there is any place where I can purchase this style pipe. My father had and used this style pipe. It was his favorite of all the pipes he had. He had purchased it because the bowl was replaceable. He was very poor growing up, coming out of the Depression and WWII times and every penny counted. Having a pipe that he could replace just the bowl and not have the expense of purchasing the entire pipe appealed to him. My son is looking for this pipe to remind him of his grandfather and I want to find one for my son. Any leads you could provide me would be deeply appreciated. Thank you.

I wrote him back and sent him a picture of an anodized Kirsten Companion K and polished aluminum Kirsten K both of which I had here in my clean up queue. I asked him to have a look and get back to me on whether one or both would fit his needs.He wrote me back and gave me a bit of the back story on the pipe he was seeking. I have included a portion of that email below.

Hi Steve,

Thank you so very much for getting back to me. As with any pipe, there is always a back story, but I will only relate the Reader’s Digest version.  I have a son who remembers his grandfather’s (my dad’s) pipe of this style and regrets that he was only 14 and too young to speak up and get one of my dad’s pipes when he passed in 1982.  I am trying to surprise my son with this replica of my dad’s favorite pipe.  I am thrilled you have two of this style and are willing to sell one or both… I do like the bowl on the lower one better since my dad had only very plain bowls…

George

I corresponded with George and answered his questions regarding the difference on the two pipes and he wrote back with his choice. I quote from that email as follows.

Steve,

Thank you for your reply and your clear explanation of the difference in the pipes.  I would be interested in the smooth finished as that is the type pipe my dad had.  The less ornate, smooth finished, brown bowl would be the one I would like. Please keep my informed, but there is no rush on getting the pipe to me as I want to send it to my son on my father’s birthday which was on 18 February… Thanks for your help in doing this for my son and my dad’s memory.

George

With his choice made I knew what pipe I was working on next – a Kirsten metal pipe with a smooth briar Dublin bowl with carvings around the smooth finish. It is stamped on the left side of the shank, Kirsten in a cursive script. On the underside it is stamped Made in U.S.A. – K.

Here is some background information on the brand. These pipes were made for a long period of time in the Seattle, Washington area of the US. They came in four generations or iterations – Generation 1, 1.5, 2 and 3. The stamping on this one, the absence of a metal cap to hold the bowl, and the presence of the rubber O rings on the metal valve and on the stem insert, point to it being a Generation 1.5 pipe or a transitional one.

I am thankful to Dave Whitney for the information he provided for an earlier blog on Kirstens to help date this pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2012/11/03/kirsten-generation-1-1-5-2-3/). The blog gives following information on the Generation 1.5 – transitional period – mid to late 50’s.

This was an experimental stage. Kirsten realized that the bit and insert were prone to seizure as the condensate dried. This model always has O-rings on the metal insert, and later models can have O-rings on both. Same markings, as I remember it. There is no metal cup spacer under the bowl. This generation has O rings either on the valve or mouthpiece but no O rings on the other end. This transitional period is stamped “Pat. Pending” and “Pats. & Pats. Pending” some with “Made in U.S.A. It seems like the company was using surplus parts to combine into this series of pipes. This particular pipe is stamped K after the U.S.A. thus making it a Companion.

With that I knew that the Kirsten K I was working on was a Companion (what George had asked for). It was made from the mid to late 1950s during the transitional period of Kirsten manufacture. It will be a great, smokable piece of both Kirsten history and George’s family history once it is finish. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

Somewhere along the journey of this pipe Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior and the aluminum barrel with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the aluminum barrel and the vulcanite stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and beveled edge looked amazing. The stem was vulcanite and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the aluminum barrel. They are clear and readable as noted above.   I removed the stem from the barrel and the flow adjuster valve from the front of the barrel. I removed the bowl from the top of the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the components of the pipe.I set the parts aside and worked on the bowl. I removed the screw from the bottom of the bowl so that I could clean up the bowl. I sanded the inside of the bowl and topped the rim top to remove the burning and darkening. I worked on the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the darkened and damaged inner edge of the bowl. In the photo below there is a mark at the 5 o’clock section of the rim top below. The mark is actually a fill in the rim top. It is solid and undamaged. Once finished, the top and inner edge looked better.I used a Maple stain pen to restain the rim top to match the sides of the bowl. Once it was finished and polished it would look a lot better.I polished the bowl sides and top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the grime. The finish began to look much better. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm and worked it into the grooves as well as the smooth surface of the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The bowl took on a rich glow and the grain shown through the finish. I polished the aluminum valve on the from of the barrel with 4000-12000 grit micromesh pads to polish off the oxidization that was on it when I first took it out of the box. It shined up very well. I coated the rubber gasket on the valve with some Restoration Balm as it worked to bring the rubber back to life. Once it had sat for awhile I wiped it off and put the valve back in the barrel of the pipe and the bowl. The valve was easily adjustable and would act like a flue on a wood stove when the pipe was smoked. I set the bowl and barrel aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the vulcanite stem surface with the flame to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift them considerably. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside for the repairs to cure. I used a small file to flatten the repairs and start the process of blending them into the surface of the stem. I then sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite stem. I used micromesh sanding pads to polish the stem and bring back the shine. I dry sanded the stem with 1500 – 12,000 grit pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Polish and then gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. This Kirsten Gen. 1.5 Made in U.S.A. – K straight pipe with a vulcanite saddle stem has a smooth reddish finish. The rich reds and blacks of the contrasting stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I buffed the barrel lightly with the Blue Diamond and also buffed the bowl. I gave the bowl and barrel several coats of carnauba wax and then lightly buffed it with a clean flannel buffing pad to raise the shine. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar 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. This older Kirsten Companion K is a great looking pipe and the Dublin bowl gives it a distinctive look. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ 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 1.66 oz./46 grams. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is ready for George to give to his son in memory of his grandfather. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!