Blog by Kenneth Lieblich
How fine it is to come across a pipe as comely as this. I found this republic-era Peterson bent bulldog at a local antique fair and I was charmed by it right away. There is a feeling of satisfaction in just looking at it and a feeling of comfort with it in hand. Despite its rather shabby appearance when I found it, the pipe held great promise – and I was sure that I could tease out its beauty with a little TLC. Let’s have a closer look. This Peterson pipe has the classic bulldog shape: diamond shank and tapered stem. In this case, it also had a very nice bend and the traditional Peterson P-lip stem. The markings on the left side of the shank are Peterson’s [over] “Kildare”. The right side of the shank showed Made in the [over] Republic [over] of Ireland. Further along the right side of the shank was the shape number: 80S. Naturally, the Peterson logo “P” was engraved on the stem. I know something about Peterson pipes, but little about the Kildare line, so I went over to Pipedia to have a look. Obviously, there is a long and very good article about Peterson – here is the link. Here is a brief quotation about the republic-era pipes:
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.
No mention was made of the Kildare line there, but Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg’s book, The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson, did make mention of it:
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.So? Does this mean I have a First Issue Kildare or a Third Issue Kildare (it’s clearly not Second or Fourth). Truth be told: I don’t know for sure. But the First Issue is the only one that specifically mentions the Classic Shapes, of which the 80S is one. So I have no reason to think that this isn’t from the earliest (1965-79) range. I am more than happy to be corrected by someone who knows more than I do!
Let’s have a closer look at this pipe. Someone had clearly attempted to clean the pipe in the past. Their cleaning job was mediocre, but better than nothing. The near side of the rim of the bowl had a clear burn mark. Mercifully, the burn looks quite superficial. The stummel has a couple of small nicks, which are not a big deal. The two grooves which wrap around the bowl were fairly grungy and would need to be cleaned. Fortunately, the stem was in good shape – just some oxidation to address. There was an inner tube in this pipe and it needed to be cleaned. I threw it in some lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol and let it soak for a while. I took it out, cleaned with some SoftScrub, gave it a rinse, and gave it a polish. Much better.Stem next. As usual, I cleaned the insides with lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol and some pipe cleaners. Fortunately, it wasn’t too dirty inside. Then I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton rounds – that removed some exterior dirt. Then, of course, I stuck it in the deoxidizing solution overnight. The next day, I scrubbed it down with some SoftScrub on cotton rounds. Before moving on to sanding, I wanted to restore the stylized “P” logo on the stem. I could see that the impression was shallower at the bottom than at the top. I painted that “P” in white and let it dry. 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 on). Setting aside the stem, I grabbed the stummel and started on that. Fortunately, this pipe didn’t need to be reamed, but other cleaning still needed to be done. Just like the stem, I cleaned the insides with lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol and some pipe cleaners and Q-tips. One has to keep cleaning until the pipe cleaners no longer show any interior filth.Since I wasn’t sure what was done in the previous owner’s cleaning job, I decided that a de-ghosting session would be sensible. 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 the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. I then took some 400-grit sandpaper and gently sanded down the inside edge of the bowl. I wanted to remove any remaining detritus. Following that, I grabbed a dental tool and dug out the muck that filled the two grooves on the bowl. I was actually surprised how much stuff was in there. Once done, I thoroughly cleaned the outside with Murphy’s on cotton rounds. I gently “topped” the pipe in order to safely remove the burn on the rim. The burn was very slight, so it didn’t take much. The pipe was really beginning to look beautiful. I followed that up by cleaning the insides of the stummel with some dish soap and tube brushes.Almost forgot the little dents on the underside of the bowl! Those were easily repaired with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. After this, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to sand the stummel smooth. I then applied some Before & After Restoration Balm which I massaged into the wood and let sit for 20 minutes or so. After that, I rubbed it with a microfiber cloth. The balm brings out the best in the beautiful wood. It makes things shine and really shows the lustre. Finally, I took it to the buffer and used some White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax.This Peterson Kildare really came out well. I am proud of the work and I’m sure the new owner will love it! I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Irish’ pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5⅜ in. (136 mm); height 1¾ in. (45 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ in. (41 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1¼ oz. (39 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.