By Al Jones
This pipe was listed as a Sasieni and indeed it had the Sasieni “Made in England” football COM stamp. Because of the rustification style, I knew it was a 2nd line from Sasieni. Of course it also didn’t have a Sasieni two or four Dot stem logo. The brand name wasn’t shown and it appeared similar to a “Shashar” I restored a few months ago. The Sterling silver band was not factory and I didn’t know what damage it might be hiding. The Sasieni Ashford is shape 88 in their catalog and this one was stamped 688, typical for a Sasieni 2nd’s line. The Ashford shape evolved through the different era’s of Sasieni and this one had the sharper bend that is usually seen on Patent era pipes.
Below is the pipe as delivered.
I posted a few pictures of the pipe in the British section of the PipesMagazine.com forum. Not surprisingly, Dave Cuneo was the first to respond. Dave is a moderator on the Pipe Smokers Unlimited forum and a frequent contributor to all things British on the PipesMagazine forum. Over the years, Dave has sent me various ebay links for pipes that I’ve added to my collection and he has a keen interest and expertise in the history of these storied brands. Dave has a theory on the unique rustication technique used by Sasieni:
The most interesting thing about this pipe is the rustication. During most of the pre-war period, all of the “seconds” were smooth pipes, but at some point Sasieni began to experiment with rusticated finishes on some of their seconds, finally ending up in the post-war period with the rusticated finish on the Old England line. Having seen a few of these, I would date the pipe to somewhere between the late 1930’s ~ 1950. The stem also has that classic “chubby” pre-war look.
Upon receipt, and under magnification, I could see that the name started with a W. The letters IN and the word Sasieni are also legible. Not much else was legible and the silver band obscured the final letters. Curiously, the shank didn’t appear to have cracks and it didn’t appear to have been added for a repair. The stem was heavily oxidized but in pretty good shape. The bowl was in great shape and overall, I’d say the pipe didn’t see heavy use. Like most Ashfords, this one weighed 45 grams.
Update: A Pipesmagazine.com forum member sent me a picture of the nomenclature for a Windsor. After seeing this, I’m fairly certain that this is the brand.
The stem was soaked in a mild solution of Oxy-clean. While it was soaking, I reamed the bowl and soaked it with alcohol and sea salt. I removed the layer of oxidation first with 800 gri paper, then 1,000 and 2,000 grades. I then used 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh paper. AT this time, I discovered that the stem had a faint capital W stamp. Sasieni made no less than nine 2nd line pipes that started with a W. The best guess I can make is that it is a Wingate.
I hand waxed the bowl with Halycon wax and polished the silver band with some silver polish cream. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.
Below is the finished pipe. Dave expressed interest in the pipe and I was happy to make him the next owner.