Restoring an Irish Made Peterson’s K&P Dublin 213 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

I am working on another pipe from Bob Kerr’s estate, another one of his Petersons. It is different than the others as it is stamped “A Petersons Product” Made in Ireland. I have restored two of his pipes that were uniquely made Peterson’s pipes made specifically for import into the Canadian market – one was a Kapruf 54 sandblast bent billiard (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-another-canadian-import-petersons-kapruf-a-54/) and the other was a Kapruf 9BC 56 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-linking-petersons-kapruf-9bc-with-the-56-shape-number/). These were interesting that they had a unique numbering system designed for Petersons pipes that were specifically brought to Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. of Montreal, Quebec. I have included the links on that company below. (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). I restored an English Made Peterson’s System ‘0’ 1307 bent billiard a  (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/17/an-english-made-petersons-system-0-1307-bent-billiard-from-bob-kerrs-estate/) and a Republic Era Peterson’s Flame Grain Bent billiard with a fishtail stem (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/16/a-petersons-flame-grain-x220s-bent-billiard-from-bob-kerrs-estate/).

I have been enjoying working on the Peterson’s in the estate. When I took it out of the box of the pipes that Jeff had cleaned up and sent back to me, I could see that it was stamped K&P over Dublin on the left side of the shank and “A Peterson’s Product” Made in Ireland followed by the shape number 213 on the right shank. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank under the thick grime. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow on the rim. The top and edges of the rim are damaged, beat up and very dirty. I think that there was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The band is stamped Sterling Silver with the K&P in chevrons above that. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end with some tooth chatter but surprisingly it did not have the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes but the button edges were worn. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the thick, hard cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the top of the rim and the edges of the bowl. The rim top had taken a beating and was chipped and worn down. It looked like Bob or someone had used if for a hammer. The inner and outer edges of the rim also sustained damage.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful mix of swirled, flame and birdseye grain underneath the dirt and debris of the years. The cross grain on the heel was beautiful.    Jeff took photos of the stamping on both sides of the bowl and shank. The stamping on the left side was readable as you can see from the photos. It read K&P Dublin. The stamp on the right side read A “Peterson’s Product” Made in Ireland followed by the shape number 213. You can see crack in the shank under the band on the right side. The third photo shows the crack clearly. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to reacquaint myself with the brand. Unfortunately there was no information to be found on this specific pipe. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

The Irish free state came into being in December 1922. The Free State Era was from 1922 through to 1937.  Peterson followed with a stamp of “Irish Free State” in either one or two lines, either parallel or perpendicular to the shanks axis and extremely close to the stem.

Ireland was a republic in all but name. Eventually the Irish people voted for a new constitution in 1937 and Ireland then formally became Eire (Ireland in Irish).

The Made in Eire era stamps were from 1938 through till 1941. Peterson now stamped their pipes with “Made in Eire” in a circle format with “Made” and “Eire” in a circle with the “in” located in the centre of the circle. This was used during the years of 1938 – 41. Later they stamped their pipes with “Made in Ireland” in a circle format 1945-1947 and still later with “Made in Ireland” in a block format 1947-1949. The “Made in Ireland” block format came in either one line or two lines. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a 1915-1949 Pre Republic Period pipe. With that dating it is one of Bob’s earlier pipes. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I am very glad for Jeff’s help cleaning them. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. I also wanted to show that the damage to the rim top was as extensive as I had originally thought. The rim top was burned and darkened with nicks and notches around the top and inner edge. There was some darkening on the back portion of the rim top and inner edge on the front. The rim top was a nightmare of issues. The outer edge of the bowl was also damaged. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the lack of tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface. You can also see the wear to the button.   One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very faint to start with so I was worried that it would disappear altogether with the cleanup. He was not only able to preserve it but it is clearer than shown in the earlier photos. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping in their cleaning process and often by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is almost destroyed. I would like to encourage all of us to be careful in our work to preserve this as it is a critical piece of pipe restoration!   Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now, on to the rest of the restoration of this beautifully grained “A Peterson Product” Made in Ireland 213 Billiard. It was great that I did not need to clean the pipe. I decided to start the process by addressing the damage to rim top and the inner edge. I removed the loose band from the shank before I started. From the extent of damage to the inner edge of the rim and the top of the bowl I decided to begin by filling in the damage in the deep chips on the rim top and edge with super glue. Once it cured I topped the bowl on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper to remove as much of the damage as possible. I took photos to show the slow process of repairing that damage. The photos show the topping process and the rim top after I had topped it to an acceptable point where the condition of the top and edges was good.  I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge and give it a light bevel to take care of the damage. I polished it with 400 grit sandpaper.With the top finished I moved on to address the crack in the shank. In my examination I could see that the crack been repaired somewhere along the way. The crack itself had been filled in with glue. I topped up the filling with clear Krazy Glue to insure that the repair did not shift.     I painted the surface of the shank with Weldbond all-purpose glue and made sure that the crack was covered. I pressed the silver band on the shank and aligned the stamping on the band with the stamping on the left side of the shank. I took photos of the rebanded shank. The repair looks really good. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads and I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. The bowl began to take on a finished shine. I stained the rim top and edges with a Cherry and Walnut Stain pen to match the colour of the stain on the bowl. Once it was polished with the Before & After Balm and buffed with a microfiber cloth the stain would blend perfectly.After the stain had cured, I rubbed the bowl and rim down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I really like watching the Balm do its magic and bring the briar alive.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a coat of a new product I am experimenting with from Briarville Pipe Repair. It is called “No Oxy Oil” and it is made to protect the stem from oxidizing. I set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl. This Peterson’s K&P Dublin 213 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. The repair to the rim top and edges came out well. The original Sterling Silver Band covers the shank repair well and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This beautiful pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection and carry on Bob’s legacy. If not, I have a lot more of Bob’s estate to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

A Unique Stanwell 33 Bulldog from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is another one from Bob Kerr’s estate and is part of his collection of Danish made pipes. It is their uniquely shaped Danish Bulldog. I have worked on the restoration of others in this collection which include a Stanwell Jubilee Shape 118 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-stanwell-jubilee-1942-1982-shape-118/); a Stanwell de Luxe Shape 812 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-changing-up-and-working-on-a-danish-made-stanwell-de-luxe-812-billiard-regd-no-969-48/); a WO Larsen (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/13/restoring-pipe-17-from-bob-kerrs-estate-a-w-o-larsen-super-15-bent-stack/); a Danish Sovereign Bulldog variation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-danish-sovereign-305-bulldog-variant/) and a Danmore Deluxe Volcano (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/20/restoring-a-petersons-dunmore-70-bent-apple-sitter-from-bob-kerrs-estate-2/).

To this list of Danish pipes I am adding the next – a unique Stanwell Bulldog shaped pipe. Like the others it is part of Bob’s estate that the family asked me to clean up and move out to others who will carry on the trust that began with Bob. In the collection there were BBBs, Peterson’s, Dunhills, Comoy’s and Barlings as well many others – a total of 125 pipes. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I created a spread sheet to track the pipes, restoration and sales. This job would take a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes and help the family.

The pipe on the table is a Stanwell Bulldog stained with a rich brown stain with a vulcanite shank extension and a fancy saddle stem. The grain pokes through the dirty finish on the pipe. It was stamped Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Handmade in Denmark shape 33 on the left underside of the diamond shank. The finish was dirty like the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was an overflow of lava on the rim. The top and edges of the rim were dirty. I could see a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized with tooth chatter on both sides. The Silver Crown S was on the topside of the saddle stem. Surprisingly it also had none of the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the grain on the sides of the bowl and the heel. There is a lot of dust and grime on the surface of the briar but the grain can be seen through the grime.    Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Stanwell over Regd. No. 969-48. To the left of that it had the shape number 33 and directly underneath it read Handmade in Denmark. The saddle portion of the stem had an inlaid silver Crown “S” on top behind the saddle. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the time period of the Regd. No. Stanwell pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I quickly found what I was looking for. The pipes stamped this way were made until the late 60s or early 70s then the stamping was discontinued. I have included a screen capture of that information below.I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Stanwell and read some more about the history of the brand. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). Once again there was no specific information about the pipe I have in hand. I did find however that the stamping with the Regd. No. 969-48 started after 1948 and continued until the late 60s and early 70s.

With that information in hand I had a sense of the history of this pipe. It had been made after 1948 and before the early 1970s. I could estimate that from the rest of Bob’s pipes this one was probably purchased between the 50s and late 60s and at the very latest the early 70s. I would guess that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate it was taking me forever to clean and restore them by myself. I enlisted Jeff’s help with the cleanup. He cleaned over half of the pipes for me. He cleaned up this pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. It was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show the great job Jeff did on the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks good though there is some damage on the front inner edge on the left side. The finish is dull, but still is in great condition. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface and the vulcanite shank extension.  One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very readable though there are spots that are faint. He preserved the stamping as you can see. I took a photo to show the clarity of the stamping.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this Regd. No. Stanwell Bulldog! I decided to begin the restoration of the bowl by cleaning up the rim damage on the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the roughness on the front left. The first photo shows the damaged area on the front inner edge of the bowl circled in red. The second and third photos show the cleaned up rim edge. The bowl looks better. I polished the briar and the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads to blend in the stain and to polish the briar and remove the scratches in the surface of the bowl, heel and shank. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth.     I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.    I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good. I carefully worked on the Crown S stamp. The Silver Crown is coming alive.     I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have a few tins of this laying around so I am trying to use them up. It does a pretty good job polishing the stem.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a coat of “No Oxy Oil” developed by Briarville. I am experimenting with this product on the pipes I am restoring.    I am excited to be finishing work on yet another one of Bob’s pipes. This is the part of the restoration part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The medium brown stained bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell Regd. No Danish Bulldog was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The brown stain really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½   inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Recommissioning a Mysterious Harvey London Paris New York Meerschaum Lined Rusticated Dublin


Blog by Dal Stanton

Where I acquired this Harvey rusticated Dublin is not a mystery.  The Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas, on the main walking street near the beach, I found the Dublin in the ‘wild’ along with 4 other pipes I acquired.  One of my favorite things to do is to go ‘pipe picking’ wherever in the world my path takes me.  My wife and I were on the Black Sea Coast for our annual summer R&R and one day, we peeled ourselves away from the beach and strolled the favorite center-city walking street where a second-hand shop of antiques became the venue of this pipe picking expedition.

The pipes were easily found waiting for me in a copper pot.  After it was all done, negotiations were favorable and along with the Harvey Dublin, I brought home with me an Oldo Bruyere Billiard, Butz Choquin Supermate 1596 Panel, Lincoln London Made Real Sandblasted Billiard and a Lindbergh Select 324 Poker.  The BC and Lindbergh Poker have both been recommissioned and have benefited our work here in Bulgaria with the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. The Oldo and Lincoln are still waiting in the online, ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” ONLY!’ collection for a steward to see them and commission them!Alex, a pipe man from Bulgaria’s neighbor to the north, Russia, saw and commissioned the Harvey along with a fancy French Butz Choquin Camargue 1683 Prince pictured below.On the worktable first is the Harvey.  Here are pictures giving a closer look. Located on the underside of the shank a smooth briar relief holds the nomenclature.  Stamped is, HARVEY [over] LONDON PARIS NEW YORK [over] GARANTIERT BRUYERE [over] MEERSCHAUM-MASSA.  The provenance of this pipe is a mystery.  The nomenclature’s use of language would clearly lean European CONTINENT of origin.  It’s an interesting mixture of languages with the German, GARANTIERT BRUYERE (Genuine Briar) which is not a precise help to mark its COM as Germany as this marking of pipes is used generally in several European countries that produce pipes.  Also interesting is the ‘MASSA’ connected with Meerschaum (German for ‘Sea Foam’), is rendered from Google Translate as ‘Pulp’ having a Swedish designation by Google.  None of these language ‘clues’ is a conclusive indicator of the COM, but what I believe can be concluded is a European origin – but where in Europe?My research showed some potential indicators, but again, nothing conclusive.  A quick look in my treasured copy of Herb Wilczak and Tom Colwell’s ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ had entries that skipped Harvey’s hoped for place of entry – Harvard…Harvic.  The normal first stops for research for me are Pipephil.eu (showing no listing for ‘Harvey’) and Pipedia.  Pipedia dangled clues but nothing gained traction.  First, John Harvey is listed as, “John Redman’s owner and manager, Philip Redman employed a pipe-maker named John Harvey. John was in charge of production at Whitecross Street up into the late 1980s. This could be a brand or line of pipes that he produced.”  John Redman is synonymous with John Redman Ltd. and British Empire Pipe Co. a London based pipe manufacturer with many lines: Other lines include Aristocrat, Buckingham, Buckingham Palace, Canberra, Captain Fortune, Dr John, Golden Square, Redonian, Richmond (not Sasieni), Twin Bore.  Could the possible line of pipes have been produced with John Harvey’s family name on it?  I go back to Pipephil.eu and repeat a search adding ‘John’ to Harvey and the result is the same – nothing.  Possible?  Perhaps.

Pipedia also unearthed an ‘Italian connection’ with the ‘Harvey’ name.  In the extensive article on the History of Italian Caminetto pipes, Harvey is mentioned two times in passing amidst the iterations of Guiseppe Ascorti, Carlo Scotti of Ascorti, started in 1959 and came apart in the 70s and 80s.  Harvey is mentioned as a resource in understanding the various lines of a series called ‘Prestige’.  In the same article, it is stated of the possibility that a ‘Harvey Greif’ stamped his own Caminetto’s as a property claim.  Nothing else is mentioned in this article about the Harvey connection or of a Harvey Greif.

The next clue came from rebornpipes.com and Steve’s work on a couple of Italian marked pipes with the name, ‘Harvey’.  Steve’s research ran down the same dry riverbed as mine.  His restoration of an Italian Harvey, New Life for an Italian Made Harvey Futura Billiard, produced this theory after nothing conclusive was found regarding the Harvey name.  Steve wrote:

I have a theory that the brand was made by Rossi because I knew that the factory made many pipes for various sellers around the world. I have no proof of it of course but it is a good possibility. I have no idea of the connection between Rossi and Harvey pipes, but I sense that there is one.

The Harvey pipes Steve worked on were clearly marked with the COM as Italy.  The Harvey I’m looking at is nebulous.  There could be an Italian connection but to me it is stretched because of the lack of specific marking as the Italian Harvey’s had consistently.

In my emailing Steve back and forth about the Harvey on my worktable, he made another interesting observation which I believe is probably pointing in the right direction. Steve wrote after my doubt of an Italian ‘Harvey’ connection:

Sure… the Italy was on the underside of the shank at the stem/shank union. I am wondering if there was a Harvey pipe shop or tobacco shop… then it would be a shop stamp… The above pipe looks a lot like a finish done by Sasieni.

Steve’s deep experience working with many pipes has definitely given him a ‘6th sense’ with the styles and characteristics of pipe families.  This ‘6th sense’ helped me to identify an elusive pipe, which was written up with the title: Ria_io Selection Italy Full Bent Billiard.  The pipe was an Italian Lorenzo Rialto – a very nice pipe!

The Sasieni source he theorizes is interesting and while ‘Harvey’ is not mentioned in the considerable list of Sasieni seconds (see: Pipedia’s article) I think it is plausible that the Harvey before me is a ‘shop pipe’ or from a larger retail store of years past when selling pipe smoking materials in a ‘regular’ store was still the norm in the men’s sections.  I discovered one such ‘treasure’ in the restoration of a Robinson (Restoring a Surprising Silver Treasure: a Robinson 8494 Quarter Bent Paneled Tomato).  The Robinson was available in Robinsons & Co, a British owned retail chain based in Malaysia.

When my research was running dry, I posted pictures of the Harvey and its nomenclature on several Facebook groups asking for help.  I secured a picture of another Harvey – London Paris New York, from Dom on the FB group, Tobacco Pipe Restorers.  He had received this pipe as a gift.  So, I knew there was at least a few more of these pipes out there along with a long-expired eBay listing I found.  The eBay listing is interesting in that it is the same shape, but a smooth briar.  Also, in sync is the Meer-lining.But the suggestion of origin that came from Trevor on ‘Pipe Lifestyle’ I think joins the plausible path suggested by Steve and my thoughts of it being a ‘store’ pipe.  Trevor wrote:

Just thinking out loud Dal, but could the Harvey be a reference to the Harvey-Nichols department store in London? I don’t know if they ever expanded to Paris or New York, but it may be a house branded pipe.

I did a quick search of the ‘Harvey-Nichols’ department store and found a Wikipedia link that opened up to information that seemed promising at first – familiar hallmarks to the Robinson story: Founded in London in 1831, and over the years opened in 16 different locations, mainly in UK, but with many stores in the Middle East as well.  My first thought was to email ‘Harvey-Nichols’ to find out if there might be some clues to this pipe, but my hopes were dashed when I read that the company had been purchased and acquired at least 5 times in the recent history recorded.  Finding historical information through that labyrinth was not something I wanted to be doing.  The other factor was that there were no locations of the Harvey Nichols stores mentioned being in either New York or Paris – again, possible but not likely.

I do believe the most plausible theory as to the origins of this pipe is that it is a ‘shop’ or ‘store’ pipe that was produced by a pipe manufacturer and stamped.  The English source of manufacturing is plausible with Steve’s Sasieni connection observation.  My guess is that the pipe is a commemorative of some sort with the ‘London Paris New York’ as the banner.  For what commemoration, will remain shrouded in mystery – at least for now.

Turning now to the pipe itself, the rusticated surface of this classic Dublin shape stands out – it is very tightly crafted and reminds one of a reptilian hide.  Very nicely done.  The stummel surface needs cleaning and the rim is scuffed up and needs attention. Most problematic is the chamber.  The pipe has a Meerschaum-lining – from the Massa or pulp, description, the Meer may not be block but the compound sort – not sure.  Either way, with a Meer-lining the opportunity for damage to the lining increases exponentially with the build up of carbon cake creating pressure.  Meerschaum needs nor wants a protective cake lining as do briars. So, the lesson that this pipe is teaching is, Meerschaum needs to be cleaned off!!  What I do after each use of either a Meer lined or Meerschaum block pipe is to use a bent over pipe cleaner to scrape off the chamber wall.  You want NO carbon build-up on Meerschaum.  I take another closeup below that tells the story. The cake is thick and appears hard, and the lava overflow is crusted over the top of the Meer-lining and on rim surface.The stem has moderate oxidation but almost no tooth chatter or damage at all.  That is welcomed.  For some reason, I only managed one picture of the stem.  The stem came mounted with a sword stinger which I removed and put aside until the end.  I’ll let the future steward decide if he wants to utilize the stinger.  I begin the restoration of the Harvey rusticated Dublin by adding its stem in a soak with other pipe’s in the queue.  I first clean the stem airway using pipe cleaners wetted in isopropyl 95%.  With the airway clean, I then place the stem in a soak of Before & after Deoxidizer.  I leave the stem in the soak for a few hours. After a few hours, I fish the stem out of the soak and wipe off the oxidation and excess fluid using a cotton pad. I also run another pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% through the airway to clean out the Deoxidizer.  Very little oxidation is raised and removed.To rejuvenate the vulcanite stem, I wipe on paraffin oil and then put the stem aside to absorb the oil.  Now, with my attention focused on the stummel, I gently and patiently remove the carbon cake buildup on the Meerschaum lining.  This process is like a dance because I’m not sure about the Meer lining’s integrity at this point and I don’t want to bring additional burden to the Meerschaum through the removal process.  I start with the Savinelli Fitsall tool to remove carbon by scraping the walls by hand with this custom tool.I take a picture of the upper chamber.  The texture of the partially excavated cake is not easily seen in the picture – but it’s pretty nasty.  But these pictures show the progress. After I’ve removed the thick cake and defined the Meer lining wall, I then, very gently, use the two smallest blade heads of the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  I apply almost no downward torque on the blade heads satisfied to allow the blades simply to scrape additional carbon with its own momentum.Next, I sand the chamber walls starting with a coarse 120 grade and then 240 grade sanding paper – both wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.I’m not concerned that the lower Meerschaum chamber remains darker.  It’s darker but it’s free of carbon.  After sanding, I wipe the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with isopropyl 95% to remove the carbon dust.  The picture does not show what I can feel with my finger as I probe.  The Meerschaum lining looks and feels great!  I move on.Turning now to the external surface, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a cotton pad to scrub the rusticated surface.  The rim is exceptionally entombed in a brick hard lava overflow crust.  I also deploy a bristled toothbrush to work on the rough surface and a brass wired brush to work on the rim. I take some ‘action’ shots pictures to show the cleaning process.I very gently employ the edge of my Winchester pocketknife to scrape the top of the Meerschaum lining.  I don’t believe the internal chamber or rim has ever been cleaned before this.  The rim lava is hard and does not give easily.I take the stummel to the sink and rinse the soap off thoroughly.  The cleaning goes well, but on the aft side of the Meerschaum rim, the lava caked on it will not give.  I’ve scraped it with the knife edge, and I’m concerned that I may damage the Meerschaum if I force the issue with scraping.  I don’t believe I’ve seen lava ‘welded’ on so firmly as this.It takes some delicate effort, but using the knife edge, Savinelli Fitsall tool and sanding with 240 grade paper, the hard gunk is removed.  The downside is that the intensive focus on this portion of the rim and Meerschaum resulted in a thinning area in the circumference of the Meer lining.  I’ll address this later.I haven’t forgotten that I have yet to clean the internals of the stummel.  Using cotton buds and pipe cleaners wetted in isopropyl 95%, I go to work.  The gunk seems to be relentless.  I also employ the use of a dental spoon to scrape the mortise wall excavating a good deal of tar and oils.  After a good bit of effort, the buds and pipe cleaners begin emerging lighter and I finally call the internals clean.  I move on. The arrows point out the top of the Meer lining where it thins because of the removal of the hardened lava.  The pictures also show the rough condition of the rim and the rim edge. I take a side picture to show this from another angle.  The second picture also shows the very expressive rusticated surface – nice!    To freshen the rim and to address the worn, rough rim edge, I take the stummel to the topping board.  By taking a little off the top, it will also help to mask and blend the thinning of the Meer rim.  One added benefit of freshening the rim is to create that classy contrast between the rusticated surface and a grained smooth surface.  After placing 240 paper on a chopping board, I give the inverted stummel a few rotations and check the progress.  I return to the board several times and check progress often.  The pictures show the progress of revealing the smooth briar grain beneath. When I come to a point where the topping is universal, I switch to 600 grade paper and give the stummel several more rotations.  In the picture below, the Meerschaum area at 2 o’clock is rough and thin.  The topping helped to bring some balance to the rim, but it will remain thinner in this area.  To smooth the Meerschaum lining around the rim, I again use 600 grade paper and sand.  The Meer sands nicely.  The area continues to have some discoloration, but the blending looks good.Looking now to the stummel surface, I take some pictures showing the thin areas of the finish.  The rusticated surface is a straightforward black finish.  Using a Black dye stick, I darken the entire surface paying special attention to applying dye to the rim edge to sharpen it.  I’m liking what I’m seeing! After putting the stummel aside to allow the dye to rest, I turn now to the stem.  The bit has almost no tooth chatter but there are a few indentations. I take a starting picture of the upper and lower bits.Using 240 sanding paper to address the minor imperfections, I use a plastic disc on the tenon side of the stem to guard against shouldering.I then wet sand with 600 grade paper followed by an application of 000 steel wool.On a roll with the stem, I now apply the full regimen of micromesh pads.  Starting with pads 1500 to 2400, I wet sand.  Following this, I dry sand using pads 3200 to 4000 and pads 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of three pads, I apply Obsidian Oil to the stem to continue the revitalization of the vulcanite.    The rim looks much better.  To darken the rim and to bring out the grain, I use the full regimen of micromesh pads to sand.  I ‘damp’ sand with pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 12000.  The pictures show the progress. I also use the later pads, 3200 to 12000 on the smooth briar underside of the stummel.Whether or not the next steward uses the stinger, it will join the chorus as well of getting a new restored look.  Using steel wool, I polish the stinger to bring out the shine.With the smooth briar surfaces on the rim and the underside of the stummel, I apply Before & After Restoration Balm to bring out the natural briar hues.  After applying, I set the stummel aside for a few minutes for the Balm to absorb (pictured below) then I use a micromesh cloth to wipe off the excess Balm and to buff.  As hoped, the honey colored rim surface is a beautiful contrast to the dark, rusticated surface.Now in the home stretch, I mount a cotton buffing wheel to the Dremel and after setting the speed to about 40% full power, I apply Blue Diamond compound only to the smooth briar surfaces and to the stem.  I do not apply compound to the dense, rusticated surface.  The compound would only cake up and I would have to clean it by hand!  Not what I want to be doing.  After applying the compound, using a felt cloth, I follow by buffing off the excess compound on the smooth briar and stem.  This cleans the surface in preparation for application of the wax.After application of Blue Diamond compound, I mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel dedicated to the application of carnauba wax. With the speed remaining at 40%, I apply a few coats to the smooth briar surfaces and to the stem.  I decide to test applying wax to the rustication.  I use almost a ‘dry’ buffing wheel – that is, I apply a very light bit of carnauba.  I increase the speed of the Dremel to about 60% full power.  I do this to increase the RPMs of the wheel, thus increasing the friction and the resulting heat which aids the wax in dissolving in the rougher terrain.  This is successful and I’m able to apply a light wax to the rusticated surface – nice!I complete the restoration by hand buffing the entire pipe with a microfiber cloth to remove excess wax and to raise the shine.

There is some mystery surrounding name and origins of this striking Harvey Rusticated Dublin. I do believe the most plausible theory as to the origins of this pipe is that it is a ‘shop’ or ‘store’ pipe – stamped for store distribution my a manufacturer.  The English source of manufacturing is plausible with a possible Sasieni connection.  My guess is that it is a commemorative production of some sort with the ‘London Paris New York’ as the banner.  For what commemoration, will remain shrouded in mystery.  Yet, not shrouded in mystery is the striking, tightly woven black rusticated finish.  The contrasting honey colored smooth briar of the rim, hugging the Meerschaum on the inside and blanketed by the black rusticated texturing on the outside is, well, I can’t take my eyes off this pipe!  Frosting on the cake is the contrast of the smooth underside panel holding the mysteries of the nomenclature – if pipes could only speak our language…!  The Dublin bowl adds a bit of attitude to the ensemble!  A very nice pipe that Alex has commissioned.  As the ‘pipe commissioner’, he will have the first opportunity to acquire the Harvey from The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

Working on a GBD Standard 323 Smooth Apple from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

I am continuing to work through Bob Kerr’s estate. The next pipe on the table is a GBD Standard Apple, smooth bowl and shank a beveled rim top. It is an Standard with a black vulcanite stem. I am continuing to cleanup Bob’s estate for his family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting.

I have been collecting and restoring GBD pipes for as long as I have worked on pipes. This one also has a beautiful mix of grain under the grime on the finish. It is quite beautiful! The pipe is stamped GBD in an oval over Standard on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped London, England and the shape number 323. It had a rich brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a lava overflow on the rim. The inner edge of the rim and top are dirty and had a thick lava coat. The edges appear to have a bit of burn damage on the front inner edge and the front outer edge has a bit of wear damage. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly did not have the tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. There appears to be a little damage on the left front inner and outer edges of the bowl. Otherwise it looks pretty good.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful grain through the debris – both birdseye and cross grain. The finish was very dirty. There is a small putty fill on the lower right side of the bowl.     Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. On the left side it read GBD in an oval over Standard. On the right is reads London, England over the shape number 323. On the left side of the saddle stem was an inlaid brass GBD rondel. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. The edges of the button looked very good with slight wear on the edges.  I already cleaned up and restore another Standard from Bob’s estate and did the research on the brand while working on that one (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-working-on-a-gbd-standard-9136-bent-billiard/). In that blog I referenced an article on Pipedia. The article gives a lot in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD). I quote the section where I found the reference to the Standard.

I also turned to the reference page on the site for GBD shapes and numbers and could not find any information on that shape number (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). There was nothing there with the 323 number though there were other apple shaped pipes in the 335-345 numbers. So once again there is a mystery on this one.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from the section quoted that the Standard originally came out in the 20s. In the late 1930s the New Standard was introduced after the war. So this is another one of Bob’s older pipes – late 1920s to early 30s. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I am really appreciating Jeff’s help cleaning them up. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked good. The stem still sported some deep oxidation but otherwise it was clean. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. The rim top looks pretty good. There is some darkening on the top edge and a burn marks on the inner and outer edge. There is also some damage on the outer rim on the rim. The photos show a few small dents on the surface of the stem and the nick out of the top of the button on the topside. You can also see the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.      I am going to keep posting the next paragraph because of the importance of protecting the stamping/nomenclature.

One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very faint to start with so I was worried that it would disappear altogether with the cleanup. He was not only able to preserve it but it is clearer than shown in the earlier photos. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping in their cleaning process and often by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is almost destroyed. I would like to encourage all of us to be careful in our work to preserve this as it is a critical piece of pipe restoration! Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now, on to the rest of the restoration on this GBD Standard 323 Tapered stem Billiard. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was going to be a very easy job for me. There was some darkening and damage on the rim top, the inner and outer edges of the rim that needed to be addressed. I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove and minimize the damage to the top and the edges. I continued by starting to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the rim edge down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust on the briar. The first photo below shows the rim top when I started and the second one below shows it after the work. The finished rim top looked much better than when I started. I was able to minimize the damage on the front inner edge of the rim. It is still damaged but it looks considerably better. Once I clean it and stain it the rim edge will look better. I polished the rim top and sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl and rim down with damp cloth after each sanding pad. The more I polished the rim top the more the rim blended in with the rest of the finish. I would not need to stain it.    I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good.    I have one more tin of Denicare Mouthpiece Polish left from a few that I have picked up over the years. It is a coarse red pasted that serves to help remove oxidation. I polished the stem with that to further smooth out the surface of the vulcanite (and to be honest – to use it up).  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.    I can’t tell you how great it feels to be moving through these 125 pipes – about 39 done so far! It is an overwhelming task that can only be achieved one pipe at a time. So each time I finish one of the pipes from Bob Kerr’s Estate I look forward to what it will look like when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich medium brown smooth finish really popped with buffing showing the grain on the pipe. The polished thin black vulcanite taper stem went really well with the colours of the bowl. This old GBD Standard 323 Apple was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has the classic GBD Apple shape that is very recognizable. The medium brown stain really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Working on a GBD Original 91327 Smooth Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

I am continuing to work through Bob Kerr’s estate. The next pipe on the table is a GBD Original Billiard, smooth bowl and shank a beveled rim top. It is an Original with a black vulcanite stem. I am continuing to cleanup Bob’s estate for his family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting.

I have been collecting and restoring GBD pipes for as long as I have worked on pipes. This one also has a beautiful mix of grain under the grime on the finish. It is quite beautiful! The pipe is stamped GBD in an oval over Original on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped London, England and the shape number 91327. It had a rich brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a lava overflow on the rim. The inner edge of the rim and top are dirty and had a thick lava coat. The edges appear to have a bit of burn damage on the front inner edge and the front outer edge has a bit of wear damage. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. There seemed to be a chip or nick in the middle of the button on the top edge. Again, surprisingly did not have the tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. There appears to be a little damage on the left front inner and outer edges of the bowl. Otherwise it looks pretty good.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful grain through the debris – both birdseye and cross grain. The finish was very dirty. There is a large putty fill on the right side of the shank near the bowl. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. On the left side it read GBD in an oval over Original.  On the right side it was stamped London, England over the shape number 91327. On the left side of the saddle stem was an inlaid brass GBD rondel.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. There is a deep nick in the topside of the button.I turned to Pipedia’s article on GBD to see if I could find any information on the Historic line. I have heard of Original pipes but I have never seen one stamped with the five digit shape number like this 91327. The Pipedia article identifies the line as a French made pipe however, this one is stamped London, England thus contradicting the article that specifically says that the pipes were not made in England (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Model_Information).

I also turned to the reference page on the site for GBD shapes and numbers and could not find any information on that shape number (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). There was nothing there with a five digit number so I checked the listing of the last 3 digits, 327 and did not find one. So once again there is a mystery on this one.

All of my research did not really help pin anything down. The shape number was a dead end and the line description was also a contradiction. I was dealing with a bit of anomaly – a French made saddle Billiard stamped London, England with a saddle stem. In terms of dating the pipe I can only guess that it fits in with the late 50s to late 60s of Bob’s other pipes but I cannot know for sure. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I am really appreciating Jeff’s help cleaning them up. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked good. The stem still sported some deep oxidation but otherwise it was clean. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks pretty good. There is some darkening on the top edge and a burn marks on the inner and outer edge. There is also some damage on the outer rim on the rim. The photos show a few small dents on the surface of the stem and the nick out of the top of the button on the topside. You can also see the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.     I am going to keep posting the next paragraph because of the importance of protecting the stamping/nomenclature.

One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very faint to start with so I was worried that it would disappear altogether with the cleanup. He was not only able to preserve it but it is clearer than shown in the earlier photos. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping in their cleaning process and often by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is almost destroyed. I would like to encourage all of us to be careful in our work to preserve this as it is a critical piece of pipe restoration! Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now, on to the rest of the restoration on this GBD Original 91327 Saddle Stem Billiard. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was going to be a very easy job for me. There was some darkening and damage on the rim top, the inner and outer edges of the rim that needed to be addressed. I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove and minimize the damage to the top and the edges. I continued by starting to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the rim edge down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust on the briar. The first photo below shows the rim top when I started and the second one below shows it after the work. The finished rim top looked much better than when I started. I was able to minimize the damage on the front inner edge of the rim. It is still damaged but it looks considerably better. Once I clean it and stain it the rim edge will look better.  Some how the fill that was obvious in the first photos that Jeff took seem to have expanded and filled in and with the polishing and sanding it disappeared. I can see it but it was not worth repairing or replacing. I polished the rim top and sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl and rim down with damp cloth after each sanding pad. The more I polished the rim top the more the rim blended in with the rest of the finish. I would not need to stain it.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the divot on the top of the button on the top side and built up the edge on the underside with clear Krazy Glue.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good.    I have one more tin of Denicare Mouthpiece Polish left from a few that I have picked up over the years. It is a coarse red pasted that serves to help remove oxidation. I polished the stem with that to further smooth out the surface of the vulcanite (and to be honest – to use it up).    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I rubbed it down with “No Oxy Oil”, a product I am trying out from Briarville Pipe Repair. So far it is an impressive product that is very similar to Obsidian Oil. I will continue to experiment with it.  I can’t begin to tell you how great it feels to be moving through these 125 pipes – about 38 done so far! It is an overwhelming task that can only be achieved one pipe at a time. So each time I finish one of the pipes from Bob Kerr’s Estate I look forward to what it will look like when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rich medium brown smooth finish really popped with buffing showing the grain on the pipe. The polished thin black vulcanite saddle stem went really well with the colours of the bowl. This old GBD Original 91327 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has the classic GBD Billiard shape that is very recognizable. The medium brown stain really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a Stanwell Made in Denmark Black Diamond 29 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is another one from Bob Kerr’s estate and is part of his collection of Danish made pipes. I have worked on the restoration of others in this collection which include a Stanwell Jubilee Shape 118 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-stanwell-jubilee-1942-1982-shape-118/); a Stanwell de Luxe Shape 812 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-changing-up-and-working-on-a-danish-made-stanwell-de-luxe-812-billiard-regd-no-969-48/); a WO Larsen (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/13/restoring-pipe-17-from-bob-kerrs-estate-a-w-o-larsen-super-15-bent-stack/); a Danish Sovereign Bulldog variation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-danish-sovereign-305-bulldog-variant/) and a Danmore Deluxe Volcano (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/20/restoring-a-petersons-dunmore-70-bent-apple-sitter-from-bob-kerrs-estate-2/).

To this list of Danish pipes I am adding the next – a Stanwell Black Diamond 29 BIlliard shaped pipe. Like the others it is part of Bob’s estate that the family asked me to clean up and move out to others who will carry on the trust that began with Bob. In the collection there were BBBs, Peterson’s, Dunhills, Comoy’s and Barlings as well many others – a total of 125 pipes. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I created a spread sheet to track the pipes, restoration and sales. This job would take a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes and help the family.

The next pipe on the table is a Stanwell Black Diamond 29 Billiard – stained with a semi-transparent black stain and has a tapered stem and a Sterling Silver band on the shank. The semi-transparent stain allows the grain to poke through the colour and be visible. It was stamped Stanwell on the left side of the shank. It is stamped Made in Denmark on the underside of the shank. There was a shape number 26 stamped on the right side of the shank. The Sterling Silver band is stamped .925 on the right side. The finish was dirty like the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was an overflow of lava on the rim. The top and edges of the rim were dirty. I could see a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized with tooth chatter on both sides. There was a Crown S on the left side of the taper stem. Surprisingly it had none of the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the grain on the sides of the bowl and the heel. There is a lot of dust and grime on the surface of the briar but the grain can be seen through the semi-transparent black stain.   Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Stanwell on the left side. On the underside it reads Made in Denmark. There is a shape number 29 on the right side of the shank. The silver band had a .925 stamp on the right side and the tapered stem had a Crown S on the left side. The white paint in the crown was missing but the stamping was clear.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.     I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the Svendborg brand and the carver who made the pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). There was nothing specific to the Black Stanwell pipes.

I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Stanwell and read some more about the history of the brand. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). Once again there was no specific information about the Black Stanwell line.

With that information in hand I had no clearer idea of the age and line of the Black Stanwell. The opaque stain made it very interesting and I wanted to find out more but there was nothing more I could find on the brand. I could estimate that from the rest of Bob’s pipes this one was probably purchased between the 50s and late 60s early 70s. I would guess that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate it was taking me forever to clean and restore them by myself. I enlisted Jeff’s help with the cleanup. He cleaned over half of the pipes for me. He cleaned up this pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. It was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks very good. The finish is dull, but still is in great condition. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks, chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.   One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very readable. He preserved the stamping as you can see. I took photos to show the clarity of the stamping. You can also see the condition of the Crown S on the left side of the tapered stem.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this interesting Black Diamond 29 Billiard! I decided to begin the restoration of the bowl by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads to blend in the stain and to polish the briar and remove the scratches in the surface of the bowl, heel and shank. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth.    I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame from a Bic lighter to lift the dents and tooth marks on both side. I was able to lift them all so that I could do the rest of the stem work with sandpaper.  I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good. I carefully worked my way around the Crown S stamp.    I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have a few tins of this laying around so I am trying to use them up. It does a pretty good job polishing the stem.     I used some Papermate Liquid Paper to touch up the Crown S stamping on the left side of the stem. Once the product had dried I scraped off the excess leaving the stamping looking white and refreshed.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a coat of “No Oxy Oil” developed by Briarville. I am experimenting with this product on the pipes I am restoring.    Once again I am excited to be working on another one of Bob’s pipes. This is the part of the restoration part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The straight and flame grain under the semi-transparent black stain look really good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell Black Diamond 29 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The combination of stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a Svendborg Danish Handmade Bark 19 Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is another one from Bob Kerr’s estate and is part of his collection of Danish made pipes. I have worked on the restoration of others in this collection which include a Stanwell Jubilee Shape 118 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-stanwell-jubilee-1942-1982-shape-118/); a Stanwell de Luxe Shape 812 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-changing-up-and-working-on-a-danish-made-stanwell-de-luxe-812-billiard-regd-no-969-48/); a WO Larsen (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/13/restoring-pipe-17-from-bob-kerrs-estate-a-w-o-larsen-super-15-bent-stack/); a Danish Sovereign Bulldog variation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-danish-sovereign-305-bulldog-variant/) and a Danmore Deluxe Volcano (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/20/restoring-a-petersons-dunmore-70-bent-apple-sitter-from-bob-kerrs-estate-2/).

To this list of Danish pipes I am adding the next – a Svendborg Danish Handmade Bark Brandy shaped pipe. Like the others it is part of Bob’s estate that the family asked me to clean up and move out to others who will carry on the trust that began with Bob. In the collection there were BBBs, Peterson’s, Dunhills, Comoy’s and Barlings as well many others – a total of 125 pipes. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I created a spread sheet to track the pipes, restoration and sales. This job would take a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes and help the family.

When I took Svendborg Brandy shaped pipe out of the box of cleaned up pipes that Jeff sent back I could see that it was a beauty. It was stamped Svendborg over Danish Handmade on the underside of the shank next to the stem. On the topside of the shank it was stamped Bark at the stem/shank junction. On the right side near the junction it was stamped with the shape number 19. It has swirls of straight, flame grain around the sides of the bowl and shank with birdseye on the heel and the top of the bowl. The finish was very dirty like the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was an overflow of lava on the rim. The top and edges of the rim were dirty. I could see a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized with tooth chatter on both sides. There was an squat S shaped swirl on the left side of the taper stem. Surprisingly it had none of the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful straight and flame grain on the side of the bowl and the swirls of the birdseye on the heel. There is a lot of dust and grime on the surface of the briar.   Jeff took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Svendborg Danish Handmade. On the topside it reads Bark. There is a shape number 19 on the right side of the shank but I do not have a photo of it at this time.    Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.   I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the Svendborg brand and the carver who made the pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s14.html). I quote what I found there.

The brand was founded in 1970s by Henrik Jørgensen, Poul Ilsted and Tao Nielsen. They bought an old factory (Nordisc Pibefabriker) in Svendborg on Funen Island. Poul and Tao gradually bow out from machine manufactured pipes (1982) and Henrik Jørgensen manages the brand until its take over by Design Berlin (D) in the late 90ies. Kaj C. Rasmussen jointed the firm for several years. 17 employees worked for this brand under Henrik Jørgensen direction.

I did a screen capture of the section on pipephil’s site for ease of reference.I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Svendborg and read some more about the history of the brand and the carvers noted on pipephils site. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Svendborg).

Jens Tao Nielsen and Poul Ilsted Bech met each other when working together for Erik Nørding and soon became close friends. Both felt a bit tired to make nothing but bizarre fancy shapes and agreed they wanted to produce pipes of more style and more classicism. They decided to establish their own brand “Tao & Ilsted” – But how to do it?

 A good fortune brought them in contact with Henrik Jørgensen, a passionate pipe lover and a wealthy Copenhagen banker who was willing to retire from bank business and change his career to become a pipemaker. The trio joined in 1969 and decided to start a new pipe brand together. Nielsen and Ilsted started to search for a suitable workshop while Jørgensen took care of the finances. In early 1970 the partners found an old, closed down pipe factory in Svendborg on Funen, and bought it shortly after for a mere 16.500 Danish Kroner. It was the earlier Nordic Pipe Factory – Nordisc Pibefabriker – maybe the oldest Danish pipe factory. And now it became the home of Svendborg Piber.

Included in the article was a catalogue courtesy of Doug Valitchka. I did a screen capture of the the pertinent part of the catalogue that showed the Bark line that this pipe belonged to. The top shape – the straight brandy is the same shaped bowl as the bent brandy that I am working on. The smooth finish on the Bark line in a rich reddish brown colour is a contrast to rusticated or sandblast finishes done on Bark pipes made by others. The beautiful stain combination makes a rich looking pipe.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the rough age of this pipe. I knew from the information from Pipephil and Pipedia that the pipe was most like made in the 70s or 80s. Most of Bob’s pipes were purchased between the 50s and late 60s early 70s so my guess is that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate it was taking me forever to clean and restore them by myself. I enlisted Jeff’s help with the cleanup. He cleaned over half of the pipes for me. He cleaned up this pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. It was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks very good. The finish is dull, but still is in great condition. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks, chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface. One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was faint to start with so I was worried that it would worsen with the cleanup. He was not only able to preserve it but it seems to be clearer than shown in the earlier photos. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. You can also see the condition of the squashed S on the left side of the tapered stem.  I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping during their cleaning process and by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is damaged or lost. I encourage all of us to be careful to preserve this critical piece of pipe restoration! Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this beautiful Svendborg Brandy 19! I decided to begin the restoration of the bowl by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads to blend in the stain and to polish the briar and remove the scratches in the surface of the bowl, heel and shank. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame from a Bic lighter to lift the dents and tooth marks on both side. I was able to lift them all so that I could do the rest of the stem work with sandpaper.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good. I carefully worked my way around the squashed S stamp. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have a few tins of this laying around so I am trying to use them up. It does a pretty good job polishing the stem.    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a coat of “No Oxy Oil” developed by Briarville. I am experimenting with this product on the pipes I am restoring. Once again I am excited to be working on another one of Bob’s pipes. This is the part of the restoration part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The straight and flame grain around the smooth finish look really good with the polished black vulcanite. This Svendborg Danish Handmade 19 Bark Brand was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The combination of various brown stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.