Author Archives: upshallfan

Comoy’s Billiard Sandblast Restoration

By Al Jones

This Sandblast Comoy’s, a shape 28, from the pre-Cadogan era was in too good condition to pass up. The stem was only mildly oxidized and the rim bowl top showed some of the factory beveled edge was still visible. On delivery, all of this was confirmed. There was heavy cake, but the owner had never overfilled the pipe.

I reamed the cake with my Castleford set and finished with a piece of 320 grit paper around a slightly smaller bit. The interior of the bowl was in excellent condition. The bowl was soaked several hours with alcohol and sea salt. I used a wet rag to remove some of the bowl top buildup and a worn piece of scotchbrite on the polished beveled edge, followed by a piece of 8,000 grit micromesh. The bowl was then polished with Halycon wax, worked into the sandblast with an old toothbrush.

The stem was soaked for a few hours in a mild Oxy-Clean solution. Mounted to the briar, I used 800, 1000 and 2000 grade wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and teeth abrasions. Fortunately, the marks were only minor. The stem was then buffed with white diamond rouge and then Meguiars plastic polish.

Below is the finished pipe, which has been sold to a member of the forum. I’ve sold a number of these straight billiards over the years, many of where were Comoy’s. If I ever discover that I enjoy smoking a straight billiard shape, I’ll have many regrets, including this fine specimen.


Comoy’s “Royal Guard” 1453 Restoration

By Al Jones

This Comoy’s “Royal Guard” caught my eye but I was not familiar with this line or shape number (1453). The pipe looked like an easy restoration, with the typical heavy cake and very minor stem issues.

Below is the pipe as received. The stem was in great condition and fit snugly. The stem adornment was a bit of a puzzler to me. I assumed it was made of metal, like “The Guidall” pipes. However the during the restoration, and looking at the few few Royal Guards on the internet, I believe it is a thin sliver of wood, perhaps briar?

The pipe was reamed and I used a cloth dipped in water to remove the heavy deposit on the bowl top. After the heavy layer was removed by cloth, an 8000 micromesh sheet was used to diminish the rim darkening. I use a piece of 320 grit sandpaper wrapped around a Pipenet reamer bit to finish the inside of the bowl. The bowl was then filled with sea salt and soaked with alcohol.

I was afraid to soak the stem in Oxy-clean, as is my normal practice because I thought the adornment was made of metal and it appeared to be rusted. Instead, I used 800 grit paper which revealed what I believe is a a piece of wood. The Oxy-Clean solution would not have been kind to the wood, so I’m glad that I didn’t use that method. The rest of the stem only had very minor oxidation and it was easily removed with the 800 grit paper, followed by 1,000 and 2,000 grades. 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh was used to finish the hand steps. The stem was then mounted and buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

I buffed the bowl with White Diamond and then several coats of Carnuba wax, being careful to stay away from the nomenclature, which is faded but legible.

I find very little about the “Royal Guard” pipes, if anyone has insights to offer, please comment. Below is the finished pipe.

GBD 9242 P – NY Pipe Show Find

By Al Jones

The iconic GBD 9242 is a highly sought after shape and one that rarely turns up on Ebay. I typically see one 9242 about every two years on Ebay and competition for it is fierce. A friend and I made the trek to the 2017 NY Pipe show, hosted by Rich Esserman. I like to get to pipe shows early, and make a quick sweep of the room. This pipe was on the table of Paige Simms, a collector from Baltimore and a member of the Chesapeake Pipe club. We struck a deal and the prize was mine. Paige wasn’t sure how long he had owned the pipe, but he thought it was fro the 1930’s and that it was a fine smoker. It is always a pleasure to chat with these long time collectors. I spent a long day on the road, getting to and from the show, but this find is a great reason why collectors should attend pipe shows.  To say that I was thrilled to find this one is an understatement.

The pipe was in terrific shape, with some oxidation on the stem and one small tooth dent. The blasted finish was worn, and I’m not sure if that was from wear or just the way it was blasted.

The pipe has the “London,England” country of manufacture mark that denotes a GBD made before 1981, but the orific (ovalized) stem and smaller GBD rondell make me think that the pipe is from the 1930’s, as Paige suggested. I have a silver hallmarked GBD that dates to 1937. I have noticed that in the older GBD’s that the rondell is slightly smaller. These measure 6 mm in width, while the rondells on other GBD’s in my collection measure 7.5 mm. This one has a very fat, bullet style tenon. I’ve seen this style tenon but only on stems stamped “Hand Cut”. (this one lacks that stamp)




Another curiousity about this pipe is the “P stamp beside the 9242 shape number. Most sand blasted GBD’s would be stamped in the Prehistoric finish. I cannot find anywhere when as to when GBD started using this finish name.


The pipe had a very slight cake and Paige said he smoked straight Virginias in the pipe. It was clean, but I did the bowl soak with alcohol and sea salt. There was one small tooth indention on the top of the stem. I was able to use heat from a lighter flame to light it out almost completely. While the bowl was soaking, the stem was soaked in a very mild Oxy-Clean solution, with a dab of grease on the rondell.

I removed the outer layer of oxidation with 800 grit wet paper, than 1,000 and 2,000 grades. Next up was 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was them buffed lightly with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe and a comparison with my New Standard 9242. As you can see, the Sandblast pipe is a more compact stubbier shape.

GBD_9242-P_Finish (3)


Peterson 999 Meerschaum (Sterling) Restoration

By Al Jones

This unusual Peterson came via Ebay. It wasn’t listed as a meerschaum pipe, but from the appearance, I thought it was from made from that material. The stem was mildly oxidized. Other than that, it appeared to have been only used lightly. To this point, I’ve not seen a Peterson 999 in this shape and meerschaum finish.

As always, Peterson authority Mark Irwin had some helpful comments about this piece. Mark told me that the pipe was African block meerschaum, made by Manxman on the Isle of Man, for Peterson. Peterson eventually bought out Manxman and moved production to Dublin. The hallmarked Sterling band (italicized, lower case h for 1975) denotes a quality piece, made during the Isle of Mann era. I found this on the Peterson Pipedia page:

The Peterson Manx (Laxey) Isle of Man factory partnership ceased operation about 1981 and the production of all African Meerschaum pipes was moved to Dublin and continued there until 1986.

Here’s the pipe as received.



I put a dab of grease on the stamped P stem logo and soaked it in a mild Oxy-Clean solution. I used the cleaning tutorial by Fred Bass, which is available on this blog entry:

Fred Bass’ Tutorial – Cleaning Estate Meerschaum Pipes

The oxidation on the stem was removed with 800, 1,000 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 Micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The Sterling band was brightened with a silver polish cream and a cotton cloth.

Following Fred’s instructions, I rubbed on some beeswax and melted it into the meerschaum with a heat gun.

Below is the finished pipe. I’m not a meerschaum pipe fan, so this one is available at the Buy/Sell/Trade section.









Windsor Ashford Restoration ( Sasieni 2nd)

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 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 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.













Peterson Shape 69 – A Tale of Two Pete’s

By Al Jones

I recently acquired two Peterson shape 69 pipes. One was a 1974 hallmarked “Sterling” pipe and the other, a pre-Republic Deluxe pipe with the X69 stamp.

I was curious about the “X” designation and checked with Peterson authority and soon-to-be published author on the brand, Mark Irwin. Mark shared this with me about the X stamp.

I can only give you my educated guess regarding the “X” factor. In all the Petes I’ve compared, the “X” denotes the same chamber diameter, but a larger outside width and height of bowl. That is certainly the case with the 69 vs. the X69 shape in those I have measured.

The first appearance of the 69 number in the ephemera is in the 1937 catalog, which was not a complete shape chart. But the X69 doesn’t seem to ever appear in the catalogs, unlike some other X shapes, which appear with some regularity—X155, X221, XL339, etc. My belief is that on occasion the factory ordered the shape, and when it arrived, several were enough larger than the standard to justify placing the X in front of the shape.

In contrast, the two pipes are certainly different in size. The Sterling 69 weighs 43 grams and the X69 significantly larger at 61 grams. The bowl sizes are indeed identical.

Here is a shot of both pipes in profile


Neither pipe needed much work, just a mild tune-up to the stem with some higher grade paper and micromesh. Both stems were then polished with White Diamond and then Meguiars Plastic polish. Both bowls were cleaned with an alcohol and sea salt soak.

The pre-Republic Deluxe is a bit too large for my taste, so it will be resold.

Here are both pipes.

Deluxe X69 Pre-Republic

This has the block style “Made In Ireland” stamp that was used from 1947 to 1949, at the end of that era.











Sterling 69 (1974)

The italicized “g” hallmark denotes the year 1974.












I was fortunate that this pipe still retains the “chimney” that screws into the tenon. The chimney is an important part of the system style pipe.


Comoy’s 185 Sandblast “Goldenbark” Restoration

By Al Jones

I’ve worked on a number of Comoy’s Sandblast pipes, but this is the first one that I’ve encountered with the “Goldenbark” stamp. A member of PipesMagazine posted one last year, but I found no online information about this finish. I assume it might have been Comoy’s answer to the Dunhill Tanshell finish? This one has the 3-part C stem logo indicating a pre-merger pipe and made before 1981.

The pipe was in very good shape. The stem was heavily oxidized but it had very little teeth damage. The bowl top had some darkening.





The bowl had a heavy cake, which was reamed. I soaked the bowl with alcohol and sea salt. While it was soaking, I put a dab of grease on the C stem logo and soaked it in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean. The shank scrubbed with a brush dipped in alcohol, but I found it surprisingly clean. The bowl interior was also in excellent shape, having been protected by the cake. I used a rag dipped in water to remove the build up on the bowl top, which came off quite nicely. The stem had some very slight teeth marks, which lifted out nicely with heat from a lighter. One tiny tooth prick on the underside was all that remained.

I mounted the stem and removed the oxidation starting with 800, then 1,000 and finally 2,000 grit paper. Next up was the 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with white diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish. I waxed the bowl by hand with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.