Blog by Steve Laug
This afternoon I decided to work on the another one of the Peterson’s Pipes that I have still to work on from a variety of places. This pipe was purchased as part of an estate on 03/30/2022 from Plano, Texas, USA. It is a larger bent pipe that is stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left side it read Peterson’s [over] Supreme. On the right side it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) followed by the shape number XL339. The pipe was a well used pipe when Jeff received it. There was dust and grime ground into the finish. The mixture of brown stains highlights some beautiful grain under the dirt. The bowl was heavily caked and there was an overflow of lava on the rim top. It is hard to know what the edges looked like at this point but time would tell. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and dirty with tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There is a gold (brass) “P” set in the vulcanite on the left side of the taper P-lip stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show what they looked like before his clean up. He also took some of the stem to show the condition of both sides. The photos of the sides and heel of the bowl show the amazing grain around the bowl and shank. The mixture of brown stains adds depth finish on the pipe. Even under the grime it is a real beauty. The stamping on the underside of the shank are shown in the photos below. The are clear and readable as noted above. Jeff captured the detail in the photo below. 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 then turned to The Peterson Pipe – The Story of Kapp & Peterson to look up information on the Supreme line. There on page 314 I found this information:
Supreme (1953-) Peterson’s highest grade, introduced by Rogers Imports. Polished natural stain finish and aluminum P, in many shapes, P-lip and fishtail mouthpiece. Later models are sterling or gold mounted. Until c. 1980, stamped Made in over Ireland. Later gold and sterling banded models hallmarked and stamped Made in the over Republic over of Ireland.
With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and the present day. The Supreme came out originally in 1953. This one does not have a gold or silver band but does have a gold inset P on the stem. Personally I think this is probably a 60s era pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
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. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in 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 and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the stem. You can see how clean the bowl and rim top and edges are. There is some slight damage on the inner edge and scratches on the rim top. The stem is in good condition with just a few tooth marks and some chatter.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. All are clear and readable as noted above. I included the gold P inlay on the left side of the stem in the first photo below.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. The chunky shank and stem together make for a classic Peterson’s Pipe.I decided to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl first. I started the work with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the rim top and the inner edge of the rim. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the stem with the flame of a Bic Lighter to lift them. I was able to lift them all to some degree. I filled in those that remained with clear CA glue. I used a small file to flatten the repairs. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s Supreme XL339 Bent Billiard and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful finish really highlights the grain and 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 Peterson’s Supreme XL339 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 65 grams/2.29 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing 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.