Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from an online auction from Columbus, Mississippi, USA. The pipe is an interesting looking piece – a mixed finish Poker shaped pipe with some nice grain around the bowl. The finish is rusticated in vertical stripes separated by smooth stripes. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Drummond in script [over] Imported Briar. There was a lot of grime ground into the smooth and rusticated portions of the finish on the briar. The bowl was heavily caked with an overflowing lava coat on the top of the rim. The inside edges looked to be in good condition. There was a large nick in the briar on the left side top outer edge of the rim. The metal shank end is a threaded system for the threaded tenon that is screwed into the shank. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There were not markings or a logo on the taper stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the lava filling in the rustication on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. There is some nice grain on the smooth stripes and the rustication is unique around the sides. The stamping on the left side of the shank is clear and readable and read as noted above. I could find nothing listed on either Pipedia or Pipephil’s site on the Drummond Brand. I did a quick search of the name and came across quite a few photos of tins of tobacco and pouches of tobacco made by Liggett & Myers. It is labeled as Antique Pipe Chewing Tobacco Tin that is called The Genuine Drummond Natural Leaf Thick. Have a look at the photos I have included below (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/antique-pipe-chewing-tobacco-tin-253303793).
Antique Pipe Chewing Tobacco Tin Genuine Drummond Natural Leaf Liggett & MyersI am pretty certain that the pipe was a Tobacco Company Coupon pipe possibly that was earned by tobacco coupons. I cannot prove that but that appears to be what is happening with this mystery brand. Now on to working on the pipe.
Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl show some damage. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stamping on left side of the shank is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is tapered and narrow. Now it was time to do my work on the pipe. I filled in a large chip on the top left edge of the bowl. I used super glue and briar dust to build up the chipped area. Once it cured I smoothed it out with 220 grit sandpaper until it was even with the surrounding briar.I polished the repaired area and the rest of the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the fills while visible look better than when I began. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I “painted” the surface on both sides of the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift them completely on the top side of the stem. One deeper tooth mark remained on the underside. I filled in the one remaining tooth mark on the underside of the stem. Once the repair cured I sanded them smooth to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Drummond Imported Briar Poker is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The mix of rusticated and smooth finishes around the bowl is quite beautiful and highlights the grain and works well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. The repaired chip on the left topside of the bowl looks much better and is smooth to touch. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Drummond Poker fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!