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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!