Author Archives: upshallfan

Comoy’s Shape 303 Sandblast/Sterling Prince Restoration


By Al Jones

A silver ferrule Comoy’s sandblast Prince shape has been on my wish list, and I’ve always managed to lose the few that have come up on auction.  I thought this was the Comoy’s 337 Prince shape more commonly seen, but was surprised to see it is was a shape 303.  I managed to win the auction for a pipe that looked to be in really good condition.  I was a little surprised to discover no other examples of the 303 shape and it is not on any of my vintage Comoy’s catalogs.  Too bad the silver cap is not hallmarked.

Below is the pipe as it was received.

Thanks to PipesMagazine.com forum member “snagstang”, a fellow British pipe enthusiast – who found this 1964 Comoy’s catalog page showing the Shape 303.  I suspect this pipe was from the “Deluxe” line, an Army mount series.  They were available in Walnut and Sandblast finishes, with a silver cap.  I’d love to find out why these were not hallmark dated.

Catalog_shape_303

This one was in great shape with only some bowl top build up and a heavily oxidized stem to clean.  The silver cap was oxidized, but appeared to be undamaged.  The bowl had very little cake and was quickly cleaned up and not surprisingly, it was in very good condition.  I soaked the three piece “C” logo stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean solution.  I used a piece of worn Scotch brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  The bowl still had most of the trademark Comoys beveled rim.

I used a jewelers cloth to remove the tarnish on the silver cap.  After the stem soak, I pondered how to clean the oxidation from the stem.  The stem didn’t have any teeth marks and the button was mint.  Same for the drilled C stem logo, which I never tire of admiring.  I decided to hold it free hand versus mounting on the bowl.  With the military stem mount, I didn’t need to worry about rounding off the stem profile.  I used 800 grit paper to remove the heavy coating of oxidation, stopping about 1/8″ short of the end of the tenon, which would be inserted into the shank and not visible.  This was followed by 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.

The stem was buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish.  I hand buffed the briar with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.  I don’t add too many pipes to my collection these days, but this one definitely goes in my cabinet.

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GBD Prehistoric Collector Bent Billiard Restoration


By Al Jones

I can’t resist a GBD Prehistoric finish pipe – the combination of the rugged sandblast and the beveled, polish bowl top really works.  The 9623 is the first of that shape on my work bench.  It has a tall, bent billiard style bowl with a bulldog like diamond shank.  The brass rondell indicates it was made before the merger in 1981 (along with the “London,England” COM stamp).  The Collector stamp means it was one of three over-sized pipe designations used by GBD.  The pipe had a lightly oxidized stem with a few tooth indention’s.  it looked like an easy restoration.

I forgot to take before pictures, but the seller photos below were very accurate.

There was very little cake in the bowl, so I used a piece of 320 grit paper wrapped around a reamer bit to clean up the bowl interior.  The polished bowl top was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.  I filled the bowl with sea salt and alcohol for a soak.  The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution.  Following the soak, I used heat to lift out several small tooth indention’s.  One under the button could not be removed, but it wasn’t deep enough to fill it.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,500, 2,000 wet sandpaper followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets.  The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.  I hand polished the bowl with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

A Passion for the Ashford (Royal Stuart Shape 88 Restoration)


By Al Jones

The Sasieni Ashford Author is a classic shape for that brand, with the shape chart number 88.  The shape was used by first line Four Dot pipes as well as a myriad of second-line brands.  This second line pipe is stamped a “Royal Stuart”.

I found this one on Ebay and I had been following this seller, since she had a number of shape 88 pipes listed.  The listing said that the pipes were from her fathers collection.   I missed on several similar shapes and was pleased to win the auction for this one.  I messaged the seller and asked if she could tell me more about the pipes or her father.  We exchanged a number of messages and the seller agreed that I could share her personal recollections.    The pipes sold belonged to her father and perhaps her grandfather and she describes them below.  They lived in Dayton, Ohio.

My father was Victor Waltz and he and his father smoked pipes. My father died about 23 years ago and in my house I found a box of pipes labeled pipes box #2. I have no idea what happened to box #1? It is possible that the 32 pipes in the box about the size of a shoebox may have included some that were my grandfather’s, also Victor Waltz. I just remember the pipe tobacco as smelling sweet and mellow and being kept either in a round green humidor of a leather zipper pouch. The smoke shop in Dayton may be been Bob White’s. In the box there were three pipes with this name on them and a cranky old man told me that was the name of a smoke shop in Dayton at one time.

Question is why would one or two men even three need so many pipes- lol. Guess if you forgot your pipe may be easier to walk to the shop than drive home?

She also included a picture of her father below.  You can see a Dutch Masters cigar box on the table!  She does have his silver-hallmarked smoking stand to remember him.

This question made me chuckle a bit and I explained to her that collecting was the nature of pipe smokers – but her father/grandfather certainly had a passion for Sasieni second lines and more specifically the Shape 88/Ashford.  In her auctions, I counted 19 Shape 88 or similar shape pipes!  As a collector who definitely has a shape focus, I understand the focus on this group.  I wish that it was possible to speak to her father about his fondness for this shape and the Sasieni brand.

I reached out to pipe historian, Jon Guss, to see if he had any information about Bob White’s shop in Dayton.  Sure enough, Jon delivered quite a bit about Bob Whites.  From the details below, and what Victors daughter shared, I believe the pipes were acquired during the Carlson era of the shop, which ended in 1991.

Robert D. White (1911-1966) established Bob White’s Cigar Stand in the lobby of the Winters Bank building, located at 42 Main in downtown Dayton Ohio, about 1937.  He continued to operate it until his death almost thirty years later.  The business was taken over by Carl M. Carlson (1926-2005) and operated with the help of his wife, Helen.  Within a couple of years it had been renamed the Bob White Cigar and Pipe shop.  The original location in downtown Dayton was closed by the Carlsons in early 1971, and moved to 2415 Far Hills Avenue in nearby Oakwood where it remained until the business was closed for good in early 1991.

Since its earliest days Bob White had been advertising the availability of Sasieni and Peterson pipes.

 

Thanks to Rob Schlef, on the Pipes & Tobacco Facebook page who read the blog entry and was familiar with the Bob White shop.  He posted this business card for the shop, which mentions Sasieni and Peterson pipes.

Bob_White_Pipe_Shop

The pipes were all well-loved by Victor with all typical bumps and bruises found on a 50 to 60 year old pipe, that had been stored in a shoe box.  The bowl top was a little rough, and there were some blemishes and one fill.  The stem was tight fitting with a few shallow teeth indentions.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

 

The first order of business was to clean up the bowl top. Once the build-up on the top was removed, it showed a number of very shallow chips and marks.  I decided that a slight topping was in order and I thought that I could match the finish.  I used 400 paper wet, flat on my work bench to get the bowl top back to an original condition.

I applied a coat of Fieblings Dark Brown stain, then sanded it smooth with 800, 1,000 an 1,500 wet paper, than another coating of stain, set with a flame  The Dark Brown matched very nicely.  I used an electric iron on High and a wet cloth to steam out several dings.  A few remain, but the patina seems to fit and a part its past and use by Victor.  I reamed the cake and found the bowl in very good condition.  I then did the alcohol and sea salt soak.    The shank was cleaned thoroughly and the briar was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.  I was careful around the shallow nomenclature stamping.

Following the soak, I turned my attention to the stem. Mounted back on the pipe, I used a flame to lift the shallow teeth indentions.  The mild oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper.  I used a Magic Eraser pad around the shallow RS stem stamp.  This was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.  I find Sasieni seconds line stems to be first rate and this one is a great example

The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba Wax.    Below is the finished pipe.  A raised pipe to Victor Waltz for such great taste in pipes!

GBD “Sieur” Finish (Bulldog) Restoration


By Al Jones

I’ve restored over 200 pipes in the past few years, many of which were GBD’s, a marque that continues to be a favorite.  I thought that I had seen every finish they’ve made, so I was surprised to find this “Sieur” finish listed on Ebay.  I had to check out the Pipedia site to make sure this was a pre-Cadogan era finish.  GBD and Comoy’s both added a number of new lines after the merger, bu the Sieur was definitely a pre-Cadogan era pipe, with the brass rondell and “London,England” COM.  The 519 shape, a straight bulldog was also new to me.

Pipepedia didn’t have much on the Sieur finish and the 519 shape was not listed on the old Jerry Hannah site.  Over the years, I’ve shared a few emails with Jerry and he even sent me a 1970’s era GBD catalog.  Jerry’s old GBD website information was moved with permission to Pipedia a few years ago.  I’ve tried emailing him, but the address is no longer valid.  I always wonder what happened to him.   Jerry did have the Sieur finish listed on his site and it is described below.  From this pipe, we do now know it was also made in England in addition to the French production.

 

  • Sieur — France, unknown if also made in England: dark brown blast w/wide ring groove -BJ

The pipe arrived with a typically oxidized stem, with few dents and some build-up on the polished and beveled bowl top.

I put a dab of grease on the rondel and soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-clean solution.  I reamed the mild cake from the bowl and soaked it with alcohol and Kosher sea salt.  A worn piece of scotchbrite was used to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  There were a few dents on the bowl top, but most steamed out nicely with an electric iron and a wet cloth.  The bowl top was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.  I hand waxed the sandblasted briar section with Halycon wax.

The stem was mounted on the bowl and to remove the oxidation.  I used a flame to raise the bents on the bottom of the stem, leaving only one tiny tooth mark.  I used 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper to remove the oxidation, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

 

 

Sasieni Four Dot Regent Patent Era Restoration


By Al Jones

I was genuinely thrilled to open the package on this Sasieni. The Sasieni “Regent” is one of my favorite shapes from that maker, and it will compliment the “Ruff Root” Regent already in my collection.  The “Regent” is a smaller Sasieni shape, and at 45 grams, is perfect for my taste.

The Ebay seller only included a few poor photographs, but it was priced right and the pipe showed promise.  When I opened the package and saw the Patent number stamping, that put a big smile on my face.

The pipe had some build-up on the bowl top and the stem looked to be in great shape, with no tooth dents and a decent fit.  The Four Dots stem logo had faded with time, but were of the smaller style, so I knew that the stem was original.

Because the pipe has these details, it could have been made as early as 1935 but before 1946.

Four Dot & Town Name – town names started in 1935

Patent Number – used before WWII

Football style COM with no finish name (finishe names, Walnut, etc started after 1946)

Smaller Dot style pattern

The pipe as received:

A piece of worn scotch brite was used to remove the build-up on the bowl top, which revealed an almost perfectly preserved top.  There was a slight cake and once removed, I found that the interior was also in excellent shape.  The briar was lightly buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.  I was careful around the already faded nomenclature.

The stem fitment was slightly loose, but once the tenon was warmed with a heat gun, it expanded back to it’s original size, for a perfect fit.  I removed the oxidation with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh.    The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.  The stem really gleamed and it has a very nice feel.  I’m looking forward to smoking this one.

My photography skills and equipment don’t capture the depth of the grain finish on this one.  Below is the finished pipe.

Stanwell Selected Briar Restoration


By Al Jones

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a pipe on my work bench that wasn’t made in Britain, but this Stanwell caught my eye. It looked pretty well loved, but the details below made me give it a second glance, and make a modest offer to the seller. I know next to nothing about Stanwell pipes, but only that a Reg number meant an older pipe. The “Hand Made” stamp on the briar and “Hand Cut” stamps also drew my attention. Registration number pipes were apparently made in the late 60’s to the early 70’s when it was discontinued. The previous owner thought enough of the pipe to scratch in his name, thankfully lightly, and on the bottom of the shank.

The shape 36 was a little bit of a puzzler, but I later learned thru a friend and Pipedia that this was a Sixten Iversson shape. Stanwell made the shape 36 in two versions, an earlier one by Ivarsson, like this one and in the 1970’s by Anne Julie. From Pipepedia:

36. Two versions of this shape number

a) Freehand, slightly bent, oval stem and mouthpiece, saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.
b) Freehand, bent, oval stem and mouthpiece, by Anne Julie – 1975.

I did find this catalog page showing the Ivarsson shape 36.

I didn’t find any other information the combination of Selected Briar, Hand Cut and Handmade nomenclature.

Below is the pipe as it was received. The bowl top had been abused, it had some dents and dings and the heaviest oxidation coating I’ve seen in a long time. Getting that off and preserving the stem stamps was going to be a challenge.

I used a piece of worn scotch-brite the get the build-up from the bowl top, than a piece of 2,000 wet paper to remove some of the darkening. A wet cloth and an electric iron were used to lift out some of the dings. The cake was removed with my reamer set and a piece of 320 sandpaper wrapped around one bit to finish it. There was one section of the bowl that was slightly irregular and the 320 paper smoothed that out a bit. The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coasts of carnuba wax. Getting the oxidation from the stem was challenging, particuarly working around the stamping. There were several tooth marks, most of which were raised with heat. I avoided those areas and used a piece of Magic Eraser to diminish the oxidation around the stamps. I started with 800, than 1500 and 2000 grit wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish. A few teeth pin pricks remained, but didn’t seem necessary to fill. Below is the finished pipe.

GBD 9456 New Era Restoration


By Al Jones

I’ve restored a number of GBD shape 9456 bent billiards before, but this is the first “New Era” finish that I’ve had in that shape. I’ve learned that New Era pipes are definitely a step up the GBD quality scale, regarding the briar. This one is no exception and has a nice mix of grain and birdseye. The brass rondell and “London, England” stamp show the pipe was made before the merger with Cadogan in 1981.

New Era finish was describe in a catalog from the 1970’s as:

New Era: “The beauty of this pipe’s perfect briar is accentuated by the richness of the ‘take-off’ dual finish.”

Some New Era pipes had the “Hand Cut” stamp on the stem, but according to Pipedia, not all Hand Cut stems were stamped as such. This stem does have the bullet-style tenon that I always see on stems withe the Hand Cut stamp.

The pipe had some build-upon the bowl top, the finish was faded and the stem heavily oxidized. The bowl had some small handling marks and a mild cake. The stem, while in great condition, was quite loose. Below are pictures of the pipe as it was received.

I use a piece of worn scotchbrite to remove the bowl top build-up, which revealed a nicely beveled bowl top. The cake was reamed with my Pipenet set and finished with a piece of 320 grit paper wrapped around one of the reamer bits. The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, the stem was fitted to the pipe. I use a heat gun to warm and expand the tenon and was fortunate that it expanded back to it’s original size, with a proper fit, but not too snug.

I removed the oxidation with 400, 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, followed with 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The handling marks on the bowl steamed out nicely with a wet cloth and an electric iron. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond rouge, followed with several coats of Carnuba wax. This revived the faded finish nicely and no re-stain was required.

Below is the finished pipe.

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