Author Archives: upshallfan

GBD Granitan Bent Billiard Restoration


By Al Jones

Here’s another GBD from that collector in Ohio, who owned the Century finish pipes I posted recently. This one is a Granitan finish in the Shape 508. This one also came with a carefully preserved box and bag. Below is the pipe as it was received. The stem was in great shape, with some heavy build-up on the bowl top. Like the others, the GBD rondell was a bit oxidized as well.

I don’t see too many Granitan finishes, which is a sandblasted briar, then polished. The finish description on the Pipepedia page says this about the finish. The reference to Virgin finish seems a bit of a stretch and perhaps some creative marketing from GBD. When did the Granitan first appear or when did it end? This information is seemingly lost to time.

Granitan — England, unknown if also made in France: sandblasted, then partially sanded smooth, resulting in a pebbley texture, stained light yellowish brown. -TH: “An acceptable concept in a finish which combines the light weight of a sandblasted pipe, the beauty of a Virgin finish and the attractiveness of two-tone brown coloring.” -catalog ( 1976 )

Like the others, this one also came with a carefully preserved box and bag.

I reamed the bowl, then used a piece of worn scotchbrite to remove the build-up. This lightened the bowl top stain a bit, but some carnuba wax restored the original color. The briar was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. The Scotch-brite piece also successfully removed the oxidation from the rondell, without damaging the fragile coating. After the soak the stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. It was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The briar was buffed lightly with White Diamond to bring back the finish, than hand rubbed with several coats of Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

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GBD Century Restlite Bullcap Restoration


By Al Jones

This GBD came from via a seller who was selling her fathers pipes. He passed away at 101 years of age, and was apparently a big fan of GBD pipes, particularly the Century line. The seller remembers her father purchasing these pipes at a downtown Cleveland, Ohio shop between 1957 and 1958, when her Aunt owned a nearby candy shop. Her father would drop them off at the candy store, disappear for an hour, then come back with a new GBD and feeling very pleased for himself. When she would ask to go along, she was told “This is not a place for you”. Too bad, as I would have loved to learn the name of that shop. The pipes from this collection also came with the original box and bag, which were in mint condition. I wish that I knew more about this pipe smoker, as he really seemed to value his GBD pipes.

As I wrote on my previous Century related blog entry, the origin of that finish is a bit mysterious. Mike Hagley tells me that he has catalogs with the Century finish, but I’ve never personally seen one featured in any of the scanned catalogs that I have. Pipepedia says it was made to celebrate the 100th year of GBD, so a 1950’s purchase makes sense. Even more of a mystery is the “Restlite” stamp on this pipe The few Restlite stamps that I found were also in this shape 11, which is pretty rare by my experience. It is nearly identical to the Peterson 411 shape, which was known as the Bullcap. I found absolutely nothing about the Restlite option (as it appears to be). Mike remembers it being advertised as smaller and lighter and indeed, this pipe only weighs 29 grams.

The pipe was definitely enjoyed, but care was shown on the button/stem with no teeth marks. There was some build-up on the pipe bowl top and a slight scorch mark. Another pipe I bought from the same estate showed the same marks, so I guess that was his habit. Here is the pipe as received.

I reamed the slight cake from the bowl, and used a worn piece of Scotch-brite to remove the bowl top build-up. I diminished the scorch marks with some 2000 grit wet paper, taking care not to alter the bowl top shape. A few light marks remained, a fitting testament to the original owner. The bowl was then buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

The GBD rondell on the stem has some oxidation (rust?) that I removed also with the Scotch-brite pad. The oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets (while mounted on the bowl). It was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

Three Centuries of GBD


By Al Jones

Well, what we have are is not three centuries of GBD, since the brand has only been around since 1850 (per Pipedia), but rather three, “Century” finish GBD’s – in the shapes of 9456, 9438 and 529. I’m a huge fan of the 9438 and already own a Century finish in that shape. The 9456 is pretty common but the 529 – that was a shape I had not seen or handled before. It’s a beautiful little bent Apple with a tapered stem. It reminds of the Sasieni Regent shape.

According to Pipepedia and the old Jerry Hannah GBD page, the Century finish was introduced in 1950, to celebrate the first 100 years of the brand. I have a 1950’s GBD catalog scan but it doesn’t show this finish. So, its unknown as to the actual introduction date, or how long it was the Century finish offered. If anyone has a catalog page featuring this finish, I’d love a copy. The finish also came in “Century Matte”, and I’ve featured a Century Matt pipe on this blog previously. I don’t find much difference between the two finish. Both have appear to have a matte or satin finish and a very light tan stain. Fortunately, no stain touch was required on any of this group, which would have been a bit tricky to match.

All three of these pipes were in great shape, with the typical bowl top build-up and oxidation on the stem. I worked on them as a group and none presented any particular challenge. The tapered stem 529 was the easiest to complete. All three had excellent nomenclature stamping.

I reamed the slight cake out of each bowl and used some 320 sandpaper to get the bowl back close to the original wood. All three were in excellent condition. A worn piece of Scotchbrite was used to remove the bowl-top buildup, which didn’t damage the finish. The pipes were then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. After the bowl soak, the stems was mounted and I used 800, 1500, and 2000 grade wet paper to remove the very light oxidation. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stems were then polished by machine with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowls were buffed lightly with White Diamond and Carnuba wax.

Below are the before and after pictures of each pipe.

9456 – Bent Billard with Saddle stem

Before

After

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529 – Bent Apple with Tapered Stem

Before

After

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9438 – Rhodesian with Saddle Stem

Before

After

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Comoy’s Shape 5 Old Bruyere Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This Shape 5 bulldog was finished at the same time as the Shape 4 recently posted. This one, also an Old Bruyere, is in Sandblast finish. The pipe had a mild cake build-up and some build-up on the bowl top. The stem sported the drilled “C” stem logo and was in very good condition. Curiously, the bowl had no bead lines. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I reamed the slight cake out of the bowl, and which was in excellent condition. A worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the bowl-top buildup. I used some Fieblings Medium Brown stain to darken the bowl top and match to the bowl. The pipe was then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. After the bowl soak, the stem was mounted and I used 800, 1500, and 2000 grade wet paper to remove the very light oxidation. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then polished by machine with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, a relatively easy restoration.

Comoy’s Old Bruyere Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This Shape 4 straight bulldog in Old Bruyere finish was on my work bench at the same time as a Shape 5, which also was stamped Old Bruyere. This one had the smooth finish , which I thought was typical for that grade. The pipe has the drilled “C” stem logo. The pipe was really in excellent overall finish, and the stem in particular looked very lightly used. It had a very dark, almost purple stain. The Shape 4 is slightly smaller than the Shape 5. There was a slight build-up on the bowl top. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I reamed the slight cake out of the bowl, and which was in excellent condition. I used some worn Scotchbrite to remove the bowl-top buildup. The bowl still had the beveled edge and the beadlines were perfect. The pipe was soaked in sea salt and alcohol. After the bowl soak, the stem was mounted and I used 800, 1500, and 2000 grade wet paper to bring back the shine. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then polished by machine with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

Shamrock 9BC Restoration


By Al Jones

The Peterson 9BC shape might just be my favorite pipe shape. It fits the hand wonderfully and it is completely unique in a world full of bent billiards. This one is a lowly Shamrock, but the briar is surprisingly nice with no visible signs of any fills. This one spots the round COM of “Made in Ireland” which was used around 1945-1947 (end of the Pre-Republic era). There is a ding right on the 9BC stamp, but you can just see the “C”. 9BC shapes were only made in the Pre-Republic era, and became the XL90 in later eras. Shamrock pipes sport the nickel band with the three “faux hallmarks” of:

A Shamrock for the many shamrocks found in Ireland
A Prone Fox representing the famous fox hunts in Ireland’s history, and
A Stone Tower for the many hundreds of stone towers spotted throughout Ireland

Again these are not genuine silver hallmarks.

The Shamrock pipe box had one one side “Lucky Is The Man Who Smokes a Shamrock”, which always makes me smile (sadly, no box with this one).

(Faux-Hallmark info and picture courtesy of Pipepedia}

The pipe look a little rough from the sellers pictures, but showed a lot of potential. The stem was heavily oxidized, but didn’t appear to have been abused. There was heavy build-up on the bowl top. The bowl had a very thick cake, which is usually a good thing.

I reamed the bowl with my Pipenet kit, and finished it with some 320 grit paper. The bowl was then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution. I cleaned the nickel band with Mothers metal polish, it has a few dings, which adds to the character. I removed the bowl top build-up with a worn piece of scotch brite and found it did indeed protect the bowl top. There was some very minor rim darkening on the 12 o’clock position.

The oxidation was removed with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit wet paper. There was no teeth marks at all on the stem! Next up was 8000 and 12000 micromesh, followed by a machine buff with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, which I’m enjoying as I type up this blog entry.

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JW No 1 Broad Street Sasieni Bowler Restoration.


By Al Jones

This one was sold as a Comoy’s, but I knew from the shape, finish and nomenclature panel, that it was made by Sasieni. Below is the pipe as it was received.

“JW” pipes are named for J.W. Wanamker, founder of the Wanamaker’s Department store that originated in Philadelphia. Like many department stores of that era, they had their own tobacco sales area and had pipes made for them by Comoys, Sasieni and possibly others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanamaker%27s

Wanamakers had the NO.1 BROAD STREET symbol trademarked as tobacco products.
https://trademark.trademarkia.com/no-1-broad-street-71336921.html

The Sasieni Shape 38 is more commonly known as “The Bowler” a wonderfully light Prince shape.

The pipe had an oxidized, but otherwise, unmarked stem. The bowl had a mild cake and some residue on the bowl top. After removing the cake, the bowl was soaked with sea salt and alcohol.

I used a piece of worn Scotch-Brite to remove the buildup on the bowl top, which revealed a beautiful polished inner rim. The bowl was in excellent shape. I wiped on some Fieblings Dark Brown stain to the bowl top and briar to freshen it up.

The oxidation was removed with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit wet paper, followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. I used a Magic Eraser pad around the very shallowly stamped “JW” mark. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

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