Author Archives: upshallfan

GBD Bulldog (9282)Restoration


The 9282 1/8th bent bulldog is one of GBD’s more elegant shapes. This one is in the sandblast, “Prehistoric” finish. The stamping and brass rondell mark it as being from the pre-Cadogan era and made prior to the 1981 merger with Comoy’s that forever changed those two marque’s.

The pipe had an heavily oxidized stem, but fitment was good and other then a few teeth dents, was in good condition. There was some scorching on the polished beveled bowl top, but those usually clean up nicely. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used 1500 and an 8,000 grit micromesh sheet to restore the bowl top, which was then polished White Diamond rouge and several coats of Carnuba wax.

I reamed the cake from the bowl and let it soak with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, the shank was cleaned with a bristle brush dipped in alcohol. The stem was mounted to remove the oxidation. First I heated the stem near the button to lift the small teeth indentions. I first used 600 grit wet paper, wrapped around a flat file to maintain the beveled stem edges. That was followed by 800,1500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, and 8,000and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I hand polished the sandblasted bowl with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s 284 Tradition Restoration & Addition


By Al Jones

This Comoy’s, a Tradition finish shape 284 is one of my favorite of the British Rhodesians. It was sold in a group of pipes on Ebay and the listing didn’t detail the shape number. I forgot to take “before” pictures, so below are the cropped photos from the Ebay listing.

The briar was in great shape, but the nomeclature was a bit worn, so I’d have to be careful in that area. The stem was worn, but had no issues. The multi-piece, drilled C stem logo and COM stamp date this one have been made from 1946 to the merger in 1981. I’ve had a number of 284’s in the past, but this one has a thicker shank than the others, almost like a mini shape 499.

I reamed the slight cake and soaked the bowl with sea salt and alcohol. Following the bowl soak, the shank was cleaned with a brush dipped in alcohol, until it came out clean.

The stem was mounted to remove the minor oxidation. I used some 800 grit wet paper, wrapped around a flat needle file to add a bit more shape to the button. The stem was then sanded with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 12,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was lightly buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. My intent was to resell the pipe, but unless I get a strong offer, this one is staying in my collection.

Below is the finished pipe.

GBD 9438 New Era Restoration & Addition


By Al Jones

Most of the pipes I buy these days are purely for the enjoyment of restoring them and for resale. I rarely add a pipe to my collection, unless it is something special. GBD 9438’s always catch my attention and this one happened to be a New Era grade, which was currently missing from my collection of 9438’s.

I’ve owned and restored over 20 different 9438’s in the past ten years. The 9438 is the famous “chubby rhodesian” shape by GBD and a favorite of mine. A few years ago, GBD collector MIke Hagley told me that GBD’s with the full-width stem were Cadogan era pipes, even if they had the brass rondell and “London, England” stamp. I prefer the “wasp-waist” tapered width stems like on this one and eventually, sold all of my full-width stemmed GBD’s.

The “New Era” finish came in two different finishes, “Rich Ruby Finish” or a “Warm Brown, two-tone finish”. This particular New Era has the ruby finish that I prefer and it appears to also have the two-tone finish. Below is a catalog page showing the grade and that finish. Also of interest is the description of the “hand cut stem”. This pipes tenon is the “bullet style” that is on all stems that are stamped “Hand Cut”. This stem does not have that stamp, but the button finish looked hand cut to me. So it appears that not all hand-cut stems were stamped that way.

The pipe was in very good shape as delivered. It has some darkening on the bowl top and the top of the bowl appeared to have some fading from the sun. The stem was in great shape – with just minor teeth abrasions. There were some scuffs and dings on the briar, but I thought they would steam out. The stem fitment was excellent as was the nomenclature. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I removed the mild cake and used some worn micromesh to clean the bowl top. I used a wet cloth and an electric iron to steam out some of the dings. I mixed up some Fieblings Medium Brown and Oxblood stain to smooth out the stain color on the bowl top, which worked perfectly. The briar was later buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. The bowl was soaked with sea salt and alchohol and the shank thoroughly cleaned with a bristle brush.

With the stem mounted, I used 800, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and teeth abrasions. One tiny tooth mark remains near the button. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe, I’m very happy to add this one to my collection.

Peterson 999 “K&P Irish Made” Restoration


By Al Jones

I’ve restored a number of Peterson 999 shapes, which is one of the most iconic shapes in the history of the brand, and a personal favorite. But this is the first “K&P Irish Made” that I’ve encountered which also has a fishtale stem vs my preferred P-Lip.

Mark Irwin’s blog, Peterson Pipe Notes, tells me that this K&P Irish Made is a line that has been in and out of the Peterson catalog for decades, but had a resurgence in the 1970’s. This one has a nickel band and a Republic COM, which make it challenging to establish a date of manufacture. Consulting with Mark, and referencing his blog entry on “A Visual History of the Petersons Shape 999” yields some clues. We believe, because of the bowl shape, that this pipe was made prior to 1985. If you would like further information on the 999 shape, Marks blog entry should be reviewed:

https://petersonpipenotes.org/2018/11/13/114-a-visual-history-of-petersons-shape-999/

The pipe was shipped in a large envelope. Fortunately the two pieces were separated and wrapped in enough bubble wrap to protect it. It’s incredible how poorly some eBay sellers wrap packages.

The pipe was in great condition, with some build-up on the bowl top, a mild cake and only a mildly oxidized stem. The nickel cap was slightly oxidized.

I used 2,000 grit sandpaper to remove the build-up on the bowl top. I discovered that here were some handling dings on the bowl, which I steamed out with an electric iron and a wet cloth. The bowl was reamed and the slight cake removed. The bowl interior was in great shape, with no damage. I soaked the bowl with alcohol and sea salt. I buffed the bowl lightly with white diamond rouge and several coats of carnuba wax.

I used 600, 800, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation, than 8,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The nickel cap was shined with Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s London Pride Prince Restored


By Al Jones

The 337C by Comoys is a classic Prince shape. This one is a “London Pride” finish. The nomenclature and metal reinforcement let me date the pipe to the early 1950’s.

A previous Reborn Pipes blog entry by Steve, refreshed my memory on the London Pride grade. I had forgotten it was just below the Blue Riband.

https://rebornpipes.com/tag/comoys-london-pride-pipes/

Comoy’s had introduced the London Pride as the second grade to the Blue Riband around the same time to meet the American demand for a lighter finish. It was priced in 1943 at $25 and in 1965 at $25, then in 1979 at $95. It was described as having a natural amber coloring and tending to be Birdseye/Cross-Grained pattern pipes. At the time this pipe was made it was the next-to-top-of-the-line.

The pipe was in reasonably good condition, with a good fitting, solid stem and button. The nomenclature was very crisp. The bowl had a somewhat heavy cake that spilled out over the bowl top. The stem was oxidized, with a few shallow dents. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a piece of worn scotch-brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top, then micromesh to finish it. I was pleased to find the beveled bowl top still intact. The cake was reamed and the bowl soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

Following the soak the shank was thoroughly cleaned and the stem was mounted. I was able to lift the dents near the button with heat. The oxidation was removed with wet sandpaper: 600-800-1000-1500-2000 and then 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

The bowl was carefully polished with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, which is now in a friends collection in Las Vegas.

A Rare Peterson 504 Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This unique Peterson caught my eye for several reasons.  I’m definitely a fan of the rustication style used by Peterson for the “Donegal” Rocky line in the mid 1970’s thru the early 1980’s and find it more appealing than the other eras.  I love bulldog pipes, and thought I knew the Peterson offerings of that shape.  However the 504 shape was definitely not one that was familiar to me.    The pipe looked in solid condition, but Sterling Silver band appeared to be oriented incorrectly. 

The “Donegal” Rocky series was introduced by Peterson in 1945 and continues to this day.  Mark Irwin has a blog entry in his Peterson Pipes Notes blog, which details the history “Donegal” line and the evolution of the rustic style.

148. The “Rocky” History of the Donegal Line

I was also pleased to find that Mark also had a blog entry on the Peterson 500 series, which explains why I was not familiar with this shape!  The 500 shapes are a bit of a Peterson mystery and Marks blog tells us that they are not documented in any Peterson ephemera.  From pictures on Mark’s blog, I was sure that the band on this pipe needed to be re-oriented.

49. Peterson’s “500” Shapes and New / Old Stock

On delivery, I my observations on the ad pictures were confirmed, the pipe was very solid.  The stem was mildy oxidized, with no teeth marks.  The bowl had a mild cake and some build-up but it also was in very good condition. 

Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used some mild silver polish to remove the tarnish from the band.  Now, I had to match the year symbol from the Peterson hallmark chart. It appeared to be an O.

Whenever I have a Peterson question, I reach out to Mark Irwin, the author of award winning book, “The Peterson Pipe. The Story of Kapp & Peterson” and the Peterson Pipe Notes blog.  If you are a fan of Peterson pipes, you definitely want to purchase this book and subscribe to the blog!  I asked Mark and Steve Laug to verify that the O date symbol was for the year 1980.  They both agreed that it was a 1980 symbol. 

The band did appear to have been removed, and reinstalled on the wrong side of the stem.  Typically the silver stamping is on the left side of the stem.  (but Mark said you can’t rule out any outcome!)  The edges of the band didn’t appear to line up correctly with the shank profile. I used a hobby heat gun to carefully heat the silver band, which eventually loosened the glue and the band slipped off.  I removed the glue residue from the shank and carefully stored the fragile silver band.  It would later be re=glued in the proper orientation.

I used a piece of worn scotchbrite to remove the slight build-up on the bowl top.  The pipe was then reamed to remove the mild cake. I filled the bowl and shank with sea salt, and added alcohol to soak overnight. Following the soak, the salt and alcohol was removed and shank cleaned.  The shank was very clean.  “Donegal” Rocky pipes typically came with a removable steel tube “stinger”.  When used with the stinger, I find the shanks of those pipes to be very clean (a dirty shank definitely contributes to causing a pipe to be “ghosted”). 

The stem was mounted and the oxidation removed with 800, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh. I stayed away from the light P stem stamp.  I’ve been using acrylic nail polish to fill in stem stamps and find the material to be pretty durable.  I let the paint dry and removed the excess with micromesh.  I covered the stamp with a tiny piece of masking tape and buffed the stem with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. 

I hand waxed the bowl using Halycon II wax.  Below is the finished pipe.

 

 

GBD 5841S Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

It has been a while since I’ve had a GBD on my work bench.  Here’s yet another oddball GBD shape, one I’ve not yet encountered.  The typical GBD bent bulldog shape is the 549.  I’ve seen and restored a 584S, but this one is oddly stamped 5841S.    I have not seen this shape in any of my saved GBD catalogs. This one has the brass rondell and “London, England” stamping used on pre-Cadogan era pipes (made before 1981).

The pipe had an oxidized stem and a heavy cake in the bowl, including some tobacco left from the last time it was smoked.   The beveled bowl top also has some build up on the rim. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a worn piece of scotchbrite on the bowl top followed by 8,000 grit micromesh sheet. I reamed the cake and found the bowl interior to be in great shape. The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

Following the soak, the stem was mounted and the oxidation removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish. The bowl was buffed with White Diamond rouge, followed by several coasts of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s Regent Prince Restoration


By Al Jones

The 337 is one of several Prince shapes in the Comoy’s catalog.  I was unable to determine when the shape was first seen.   This pipe is a “Regent” and the first I’ve seen on my bench fro that line.  This one didn’t require much work, there was mild oxidation on the stem, a few light teeth indentions, a mild cake and some build-up on the bowl top.  Below is the shape from a 1970’s Comoy’s catalog, and the pipe as it was received.

I used a lighter to lift the two light teeth indentions. The build-up on the bowl top was removed with 2,000 grade wet paper and a 8,000 grade micromesh sheet. I reamed the slight cake and the bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, the stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper. This was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed 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.

Comoy’s Sandblast Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This Comoy’s Sandblast, Shape 5, immediately caught my eye, despite not having the original stem.  I’ve handled many Comoy’s Sandblast pipes, and this one, without a doubt, has the most rugged blast I’ve ever seen on a Comoy’s.  I made a modest offer to the seller and it was heading my way.  I was surprised to find the replacement stem to be of a very high quality, which was only heavily oxidized.  The bowl top has a lot of build-up and a mild cake.

Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the bowl top buildup, and my reamer kit to remove the cake. The bowl was in excellent condition. 

The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  The stem was then mounted and oxidation removed with 600/800/1000/1500 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper. Next up was 8000 and 12000 micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I gave the bowl a “wash” using a heavily diluted Fieblings Medium Brown stain.  The bowl was then waxed by hand with Halycon wax. 

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s Surprise (168 Apple Restoration)


By Al Jones

Al_Pipes_@SMALL

This wonderful Comoy’s Old Bruyere belongs to a West Coast friend I know from the PIpesMagazine.com forum.  We have similar tastes in British pipes, with the exception that he prefers straight pipes.  When I received this one, and opened the package, I was a little disappointed.   At first glance, I thought that the stem could not be original and it didn’t appear to match up to the nomenclature.  In fact, I emailed him and hoped he didn’t over pay for the pipe.  However, on closer examination and a little research, I started to second guess my early conclusion.  

The stem had several visual cues that I thought made it authentic.  First, the tenon detail was strictly Comoy’s.  The slightly “orific” button didn’t seem to match, what I thought was later nomenclature.  A quick check on the Pipepedia site showed that i was way off the mark on my early assumption.   Derek Green writes in his “A History Of Comoy’s and A Guide Toward Dating the Pipes:

1921 Old Bruyere with hallmarked gold band. “Comoy’s” arched with “in” below and “Bruyere” arched the other way. On the other side, “Made” arched, “in” below, and “London” arched the other way. These stamps are an oval rugby-ball shape rather than a round football. There is no C on the mouthpiece

Regarding the Old Bruyere finish, he adds:

1921 Old Bruyere with hallmarked gold band. “Comoy’s” arched with “in” below and “Bruyere” arched the other way. On the other side, “Made” arched, “in” below, and “London” arched the other way. These stamps are an oval rugby-ball shape rather than a round football. There is no C on the mouthpiece

See the nomenclature below.  This one only lacks the hallmarked band.  I believe that this pipe was made in the 1920’s and it is nearly a century old!  Another identifying feature is that I cannot find the 168 shape number in any of my Comoy’s catalog pages.   I believe this would be the Apple shape, similar to the Shape 150, but perhaps a tad more stout.   As you can see, the nomenclature was in excellent condition, a real bonus. 

Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (11)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (12)

The pipe was definitely well loved.  There was some scorching on the bowl top, a very heavy cake and the stem was heavily oxidized.  The stem was also very loose.  I was pleased to find that the stem had virtually no teeth marks.  The briar also had several handling dings that would need to be addressed.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_Before (1)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_Before (2)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_Before (3)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_Before (4)

I used a worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the bowl top build-up, finished with micromesh.  The bowl was reamed and I found the interior to be in excellent condition. The draft hole was nearly completely plugged, but the bit on my Senor reamer cleared that obstruction.   I decided against my usual practice of soaking the briar with alcohol and sea salt, as to not make the stem any looser. I did clean the shank with a brush dipped in alcohol, until the brush was clean. 

The oxidation on the stem was removed with 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper.  This was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets (wet).  I used a wet cloth and an electric iron to stem out most of the handling marks.  A few remain, but they were well earned after nearly 100 years.

The stem was mounted and after a day of drying, a bit more snug (from the wet sanding).  I’m confident it will snug nicely after a few careful initial uses.  I buffed the stem with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was lightly buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.  I sure wish we could know the story on this pipes journey – who owned it, where was it purchased?  Where has it rested after the last smoke?  All that lost to time, but it’s ready for another century of use. 

Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (1)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (2)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (3)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (4)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (5)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (6)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (7)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (8)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (10)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (11)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (12)Comoys_168_Old_Bruyere_FIN (9)