Tag Archives: CPF Bulldog

Breathing life into an 1890’s era CPF French Briar Horn Stem Bulldog

Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to work on another one of the older 1890s CPF (Colossus Pipe Factory) pipes that my brother and I found on our virtual pipe hunt in Montana. That antique mall had just received a large estate of older CPF and WDC pipes. We picked up 30 pipes and one pipe case. There were 11 unique CPF brand pipes. Included were the following pipes (the three pipes that I have already restored are listed as hyperlinks below and you can click on any of them to read about the restoration. The rest will be finished in the near future). I chose to work on the French Briar Bulldog for this blog.

CPF military mount Oom Paul
CPF The Remington, French Briar, (military mount)
CPF French Briar with Hallmarked band and horn stem. Filigree carving around bowl
CPF Pullman with Horn Stem
CPF Siamese with twin horizontal stems
CPF Cromwell with twin vertical stems
CPF Olivewood Bowl Sitting on Petals- Horn Stem
CPF French Briar Bulldog with Horn Stem (the pipe in this blog)
CPF French Briar with tarnished metal band and a Horn Stem (looks like mini-Wellington)
CPF French Briar Horn Shaped Pipe with metal band and Horn Stem
CPF Colon French Briar with Black Meer Bowl and Amber stem

It is a beautifully grained, long shank Bulldog with a horn stem. It is stamped with the C.P.F. in an oval logo. Arched above and below the logo it is stamped French Briar. There is a small flaw in the briar at the end of the Briar stamping. The finish was worn but the pipe was in otherwise good shape. There was a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim top appeared to have some damage but otherwise it was in good shape. The double ring around the bowl under the cap was undamaged and the center ring was unbroken. The horn stem was worn at the button and had been well chewed on both the top and bottom sides. The stem appeared to be underclocked in the pictures that follow but once my brother cleaned it up I would have a better idea with regard to that.

My brother took the following photos of the pipe before he started cleaning it. They give an overall picture and also close up pictures of the pipe from a variety of angles. He included a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It was originally stamped with gold filigree in the letters but that had pretty much worn out. You can see the flaw or gouge going through the AR on the word Briar.The next four photos show the grain on the bowl from a variety of angles. The finish is very worn and dirty but the grain is quite nice and there are no fills in the briar. The close up photo of the rim top shows the scratches and lava on the top and the slight damage to the inner edge of the bowl. A fairly thick cake lines the walls of the bowl and is peeling on the front edge.The next two photos show the underclocked horn stem and what appears to be red thread that had been used to align the stem. It had obviously not worked.The next four photos show the condition of the horn stem. It is dried, chewed and delaminating at the button on both sides of the stem. The button itself also has some tooth damage to the top and underside. There appears to be a lot of colouration to the striations of the horn and it should clean up and be beautiful once polished. My brother did an amazing job on the cleanup of this old timer. His work keeps getting better and better and does not damage the old briar or horn. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer and cleaned it up with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the airway through the tenon and into the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean. He scrubbed the externals with Murphy’s Oil Soap and was careful around the remaining gold filigree in the stamping on the left side of the shank. He was able to remove the tar and lava build up on the rim top and showed that inner edge was just lightly damaged. And low and behold once he had removed the thread on the metal tenon the stem lined up perfectly. I took the next four photos of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl to show how thoroughly Jeff had cleaned it. It would take very little work with a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the remaining damage to the inner edge of the bowl.He had been able to clean out the debris from inside the stem and also smooth out the exterior of the stem. The delamination of the horn would need to be stabilized and the deep tooth wear would need to be rebuilt to restore the taper of the stem.I decided to change my normal routine a bit and used amber coloured super glue from Stewart MacDonald to stabilize the horn around the button and up the surface of the stem for about an inch. This would bind together the strands of the horn and build up the tooth damaged areas on the surface. Once it dried I would be able to smooth out the repaired surface and blend it into the rest of the stem. I had an idea that the amber super glue would blend in better with the colours of the horn in this particular stem.I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the horn. I wanted a smooth transition between the repair and the rest of the horn. I also wanted to see if I had covered the damaged area of the stem surface well enough. I was pleased by what I saw once I had smoothed the repairs out. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and rubbing the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I dry sanded the stem with 3200-4000 grit pads to further polish it and gave it more oil after each pad. The oil serves to give life to the dried horn. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel before finishing polishing it with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each of the micromesh sanding pads and let it dry after the final pad.With the stem finished I worked on the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage on the bowl edge. It did not take too much work to make it smooth once again. I sanded the top of the rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads (I forgot to take photos of the work on the rim top with the 3200-12000 grit pads).I used some European Gold Rub’n Buff to rework the stamping on the shank side. I applied it to the stamping with a cotton swab and then wiped off the excess. The photo below shows the stamping with the gold applied.I put the stem back on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully worked over the shank so as to not damage the stamping. I gave the entire pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect the briar and the horn. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a classic piece of pipe history. The shape and the finish of the pipe are exceptionally well done and show European craftsmanship that Colossus Pipe Factory was famous for. This is one of those pipes that will have a place in my own collection. It is just too beautiful to part with!

CPF Best Make Bulldog with a Silver Rim Cap and Ferrule

Blog by Steve Laug

This is yet another great old pipe that my brother picked up on eBay. It is a classic CPF Best Make Bulldog with what I believed to be a Bakelite stem. It is stamped C.P.F. in an oval over Best Make in an unfurled banner on the left side of the shank in gold filigree. The silver rim cap and ferrule on the shank are ornate, both cast with birds and branches which seem to be doves and olive branches. The band and cap were tarnished and dirty. The top of the rim cap was dented, tarnished and had a buildup of tars and oils. The bowl had some great grain under the grime on the briar. The stem was had been broken off at some time in its long life and been repaired with a clear glue – epoxy maybe. The glue had hardened and was really a mess with it “globbed” all over all four sides of the diamond shaped stem. The button on the stem was missing a large chunk on the top side leaving the top of the airway exposed. There were also some chips missing on the stem at the joint of the shank and the stem. The tenon was a bone threaded tenon and screwed into the shank. The alignment was very good. My brother took the next set of photos to show the state of the pipe when it arrived in Idaho before he did the cleanup work on it.cpf1 cpf2My brother Jeff took a close up photo of the rim and the bowl. The photo shows the damage to the silver rim top as well as the cake that is in the bowl. The second photo shows the bowl of the bowl. The diamond shank carries through to the bottom of the bowl in classic bulldog fashion.cpf3 cpf4The next series of three photos show the cast birds and branches on the rim cap and the ferrule. You can see the look of the birds that I think are doves and the branches that I think are olive branches making this a bit of a “peace pipe”. The third photo shows the stamping on the left shank of the pipe.cpf5 cpf6The next series of photos show the repair to the stem and the damage to the button on the top side. It was a solid repair despite the ugliness of the finished look. The first two photos show the damage to the button top and the airway into the stem. You can also see the repair line where the stem was glued in the second photo. The third and fourth photos show the top and the underside of the stem and the repair can be clearly seen in both photos.cpf7 cpf8I have written about the CPF brand in previous blogs including a blog on the historical background of the brand. You can read the whole article at the link that follows. https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/14/some-reflection-on-the-historical-background-on-cpf-pipes/. I have also included a short portion of the blog to give a brief summary of the brand.

CPF stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. There is not much known about the Colossus Pipe Factory. I learned that by the mid 1890’s CPF was owned by Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B). They operated the factory at 129 Grand Street, in New York City, New York. I had a faint memory of some connection between CPF and Kaufmann Brothers & Bondy. But was unsure where I had heard or read that. In the process of reading information I came across this post by Bill Feuerbach on the Kaywoodie Forum: “About 10 years ago I picked up two original invoices from KB&B. One is dated February 5, 1884 and the other December 9, 1898. Both have the address as 129-131 Grand Street, which is in Soho, adjacent to the Bowery in New York City. The 1898 invoice has in the upper left hand corner the initials CPF and Trademark. So by 1898 KB&B was making it known to the trade that they owned the CPF trademark. The 1884 invoice does not have CPF on it. Therefore I think we can assume KB&B acquired or started the CPF line sometime between 1884 and 1898.”

I have also included a link to the blog that shows and old CPF catalogue that links KB&B to CPF – or Kaufmann Brothers and Bondy with Colossus Pipe Factory. https://rebornpipes.com/2014/03/05/an-old-kaufman-brothers-bondy-cpf-catalogue/

My brother did his usual thorough clean up on the pipe. He scrubbed the silver with a tooth brush and some dish soap and was able to remove the tarnish in the deep grooves of the castings. He scrubbed the rim cap and removed the tars and oils in the dents on the surface of the cap. He cleaned the briar with soap and a brush and rinsed it off. He reamed the bowl and cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem. He cleaned up the threaded tenon and the threads in the shank. When it arrived in Vancouver I took photos of the pipe before I started to restore it.cpf9 cpf10I took close up photos of the rim cap, bowl and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when it arrived at my work table. The rim cap is dented but clean. The stem repair is visible and you can see the buildup of glue on the stem surface and the damage to the button and airway on the stem.cpf11 cpf12I sanded the stem repairs and stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the buildup of glue all around the stem. It took quite a bit of sanding to remove all of the thick dabs of glue. I worked on the chipped areas of the stem as well on the tenon end of the stem.cpf13I built up the chipped area on the top of the button with clear super glue until it was even with the rest of the button. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the excess and shape it. I used the topping board to flatten the end of the stem and a needle file to smooth out and shape the slot in the button.cpf14I filled in the small pits and crevices in the stem surface and the chips at the tenon end with clear super glue. I sanded the repaired areas on the surface of the stem to smooth it out blend it in with the rest of the stem. I shaped the button and rounded the edges of the button to slope it toward the slot on the stem end.cpf15I stained the briar with a dark brown aniline stain mixed 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol using a folded pipe cleaner to apply it around the rim cap and shank ferrule. I flamed the stain with a lighter and set it aside to dry.cpf16I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and then lightly with carnauba and a clean buffing pad to raise the shine.cpf17 cpf18I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. I gave it a final coat of oil after the last set of three pads. I set the stem aside to dry.cpf19 cpf20 cpf21I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the rim cap and the ferrule on the shank. I buffed the stem with the Blue Diamond to shine the finish on the stem. I gave the stem and bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine on the pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The old pipe has been given new life. The repaired stem has been smoothed out and though it still shows it is a solid repair and smooth to the touch. I really enjoy the look and the feel of these older CPF pipes and this one is no exception. Thanks for journeying with me in the process.cpf22 cpf23 cpf24 cpf25 cpf26 cpf27 cpf28 cpf29

Correcting an Overturned Stem on an Unsmoked CPF Bent Bulldog

Blog by Steve Laug

Early in December I received an email from a friend in the Vancouver Pipe Club about a fellow who was trying to get a hold of me about some very old 1850’s American made pipes he had picked up. We connected and he sent me the following email:

Hi Steve! Really liked your posts and just wanted to reach out. Thanks for the note back. I purchased the 3 CPF pipes already for $120 for the set over the weekend.

• The straight has never been smoked and is in excellent shape. I did not know it was unsmoked, that was a pleasant surprise.
• The bent is in good to VG shape. Lightly used. The threads are off a little from wear. Does not line up perfectly when fully threaded in, off by about 15 degrees.
• The Meer is trashed. End has been chewed down to having holes top and bottom, and the bowl is super used. That was disappointing

I am guessing after I have looked at them that they are around 1907? It’s the Oval CPF logo with French over the logo and Briar under. I am not going to smoke the straight, it’s been clean for 100 years, I don’t want to be the guy that dirties it up. LOL. I have not tested to see if the stems are amber or not.

Any thoughts on dating or value? Should I be happy or sad for $120? Any tidbits of the history beyond what you have written is appreciated.

Thanks man, really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

All the best,


He sent the following photo of the threesome. They were beautiful to me. With the photo he had not only my attention but he had me hooked. I love the old CPF pipes and I had previously restemmed an old bent bulldog like the one in the photo sans bling. This set was amazing and I would love to see it in person.CPF1 I replied to his email and he responded offering to send me the pipe with the overturned stem for a repair and to send me the Meerschaum to “take a swing at refinishing it” as he worded it. When the pipes arrived yesterday I opened the box to have a look at the pair that he sent. I took the pair out and examined them carefully. The Meerschaum I put in my own repair box for later. The stem on it was definitely a mess. There was crazing throughout the length of the stem where someone had tried to clean the stem with alcohol. It was Bakelite and really was a wreck. The stem on the bent bulldog was much better. If that pipe has been smoked it is very lightly smoked. There is very little darkening in the bowl and none in the stem. I carefully unscrewed the stem and had a look at the bone tenon and at the threaded mortise in the shank. Both were not darkened by smoke so I am thinking that this one is also unsmoked.

I looked at the threads in the mortise and on the tenon and could see that they were worn. The stem had been screwed and unscrewed many times over its long life and the worn threads accounted for the overturn. The stem was clean but dull from not being polished. The bowl ornamentation was oxidized but had a patina that worked with its age. There would be little clean up on this old pipe. The internals were spotless other than dust. A quick clean up with a water dampened pipe cleaner took care of that. The stem would need some work with micromesh pads to bring back the shine. I would leave the patina on the brass as I liked the way it looked. The only issue that needed to be addressed was the overclocked stem and the worn threads.CPF2 I cleaned up the tenon with a cotton swab and warm water being careful to not get the bone tenon too wet. With a tenon this old it is very easy to snap it when working on it. I used a tooth brush to work on the threads and clean off any dust of debris on them. I carefully applied a few drops of clear super glue to the threads – it would build up the worn threads and also stabilize the old bone tenon. When it dried I tried it in the shank and found it took care of about half of the overturn. I took it apart and added a few more drops of the glue and let it dry.CPF3 I wiped off the brass with a jeweler’s cloth to protect and clean it slightly. I did not want to remove the patina, just give it a quick rub down with the cloth.CPF4 I sanded the Bakelite stem with micromesh sanding pads until the butterscotch colour just glowed. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads.CPF5


CPF7 I wiped down the bowl with some Briar Wipe – a no longer made pipe polish and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax by hand and hand buffed it as well. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. After Christmas I will send it off to Michael to enjoy. Thanks Michael for the Meerschaum to fiddle with and thank you for the opportunity to see and do the repair on this beautiful old piece of CPF history. I can only hope to find a set like yours one day! Enjoy this piece of history that has come into your hands. It is in your trust and certainly with care will continue its usefulness for more generations of pipe men to come. Cheers.CPF8