Tag Archives: Horn stems

The French Collection

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

No, not the French Connection – but French Collection! I have long had an interest in French pipes and pipemaking. In recent decades, French pipes have received a fair amount of derision – and deservedly so. However, early French pipes are very often beautiful, well-made, and – best of all – good smokers. In my own small way, I am aiming to resurrect the reputation of early French pipes. There are superb pipes to be had from France. This blog post is about the restoration of the first pipe that is going into my “French Collection”.

The pipe in question has no markings whatsoever. So how do I know it’s French? Well, I don’t have absolute proof, but I’ve got good circumstantial evidence: the pipe has a very French look to it, it smells like old French tobacco, it came in a lot of exclusively French pipes from France, and – most definitively – Steve thinks it’s French too.  As the photos show, this is a cutty-shaped pipe, albeit without the spur. However, it shows the distinctive, canted bowl of the cutty. It is a handsome pipe with a jaunty look to it, and I liked the pipe straight away. As I mentioned, this pipe has no marks of any kind. This obviously makes identification trickier. I know that Georges Vincent-Genod company used to make pipes similar to this once upon a time, but I cannot, in good conscience, definitely ascribe this pipe to the GVG company. Having said that, the following pipe from Genod certainly has its similarities…The age of this pipe is quite interesting. As you can see, the stem of the pipe is made of horn and has an orific button at the end. For more information on the orifice button, take the time to read Steve’s interesting article on the subject. This type of button is a feature that apparently disappeared by the 1930s, so the pipe must be around a hundred years old, right? Not so fast. The stummel has a threaded tenon made of metal – not bone (as one might expect from a century ago). Steve, my walking encyclopedia, informed me that the fact the tenon is in metal (instead of bone) suggests a date closer to World War II. He figures that the stem itself could be significantly older, but that it was left over in the factory and married to a ”newer” stummel. Therefore, we can surmise that the pipe is about 80 years old.

Let’s have a closer look at the condition of the pipe. The stem was dirty and worn, with plenty of evidence of tooth marks and dents. The insides were dirty too, but nothing too unusual. Meanwhile, the stummel was incredibly dirty.The bowl was so full of cake and the rim so overwhelmed with lava, that I couldn’t really tell what the condition of the wood inside was. Certainly, there was some lovely patina on the old wood on the outside of the bowl.I wanted to work on the stem first, but needed some help to unscrew it! I brought out the heat gun and gave a quick blast to loosen the goo holding the pipe together. That loosened the stem sufficiently to unscrew it. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. There was some filth there and I needed to remove it. I attacked the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs, and isopropyl alcohol. It required a good amount of cotton to come clean. Now work on repairing the tooth marks, etc. on the outside of the stem. I built up the bite marks on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let it fully cure. There were a couple of small worm holes (or something similar) on the stem and I filled them the same way. Upon closer inspection, the button on the stem was a bit mangled. Simply doing the normal sanding wouldn’t do. I opted to use a small file and rework the horn to ensure a proper shape.Following that, I sanded the adhesive down with 220- and 400-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the beautiful designs in the horn, with some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. Now for the stummel. The brass ferrule came off very easily. I set it aside for now and would return to clean it later. First, I decided to ream out the bowl. I used the KleenReem and the PipNet to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper taped to a dowel to eliminate as much as I could. Wow, there was a lot of debris! I took the chamber down to bare briar to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the wall. Fortunately (and surprisingly), there were none.Following this, I cleaned the insides with the requisite pipe cleaners, Q-tips and isopropyl alcohol. As the stack of cleaning materials show, it was a mess!I also took this opportunity to wash the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and remove as much grime as I could. The pipe’s rim was so caked with filth that I opted to soak it in a jar-lid of Murphy’s to soften it. Then I used a brush to work out all the gunk on the rim. As the pictures show, the rim was badly worn. There were gouges and burn marks. Additional work would need to be done. Before that, however, I decided the pipe needed some additional TLC and I chose to de-ghost it. I thrust cotton balls in the bowl (and plugged up the shank) and saturated it with isopropyl alcohol. I left it overnight and let all the evil spirits in the pipe leech into the cotton. Once complete, the pipe looked great and smelled even better.I was, at first, very reluctant to “top” the pipe – that is to say, gently and evenly sanding down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. I was reluctant because I loved the height of the bowl and didn’t want to change it. However, I did decide to do it – it just didn’t look right without it. I was especially careful this time, so as to remove the bare minimum from the rim.As I mentioned earlier, there were some burns on the inside of the rim that also needed to be addressed. I took some oxalic acid on a cotton swab and rubbed and rubbed. The burn improved but not sufficiently, in my opinion. So, I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped sandpaper around it, and sanded until such time as the burns were removed. I proceeded very carefully, as I had to ensure that I was not removing too much. I think I got it just right and the rim looked much improved. After this, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to sand the stummel smooth.I then applied some Before & After Restoration Balm which I massaged into the wood and let sit for 15-20 minutes. After that, I rubbed it with a microfiber cloth. The balm brings out the best in the beautiful wood. It makes things shine and really shows the lustre. I came back to the brass ferrule. It was pretty dirty too. I used some SoftScrub on a cotton pad and scrubbed it clean. Then I buffed it with a microfibre cloth and made it shine. I reattached it to the stummel with some glue and let it set.Finally, it was off for a trip to the buffer. The more I look at this pipe, the more I really like the elegant lines and the old-time feel of the wood. At the buffer, a dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed to shine properly. All finished! This is a wonderfully crafted pipe and has a very sporty feel to it. It took some work, but I am proud of it and the final product suits me to a T. It retains some wounds from battle, but, as Steve would say, they are part of this pipe’s story. This is one pipe that I am keeping for myself and adding to my newly-founded French Collection. I am sure that I will be enjoying this one for many years to come. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 6½ in. (165 mm); height 2 in. (51 mm); bowl diameter 1¼ in. (30 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is ⅞ oz. (25 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

The CPF Arcadia: A Pipe Out of Time

Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Copyright © Reborn Pipes and the Author except as cited
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors

Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
— Anonymous, quoted in “The Monkey’s Paw,” W.W. Jacobs, from The Lady of the Barge, 1902

Whatever inspiration led Cliff Edwards to write the lyrics to the song that became Disney’s theme, “When You Wish upon a Star” – in which one’s heart need only be in the dream for no request to be too extreme, and fate will be kind – must have been, to be gentle to all of the Mouseketeers out there, in an alternate reality to mine.  I’ve long had two rules: be careful what you ask for, lest you get it, and above all, never ask for what you deserve, because everyone has done things that should have had stiffer consequences.  I’m not being cynical.  From my experience, it’s just the way whatever Higher Power we call by various names helps us humans avoid being selfish and greedy, at least those who ask for guidance now and then if not more.

Of course, I’m not perfect, in fact, far from it.  I found myself during the past two months or so becoming more and more fixated on acquiring not just any new pipe, but one made by the Colossus Pipe Factory.  Then I began my hunt in earnest, with eBay searches and general Googling, but to no avail.  At last I got a hit with a pair of pipes titled, in a somewhat jumbled way, “Vintage Smoking Pipe Tobacco Lot of 2 Arcadia CPF London England Briar.”  From that description alone I thought maybe I was going to see something made by an Arcadia brand and a rare English CPF.  There were enough photos, however, and they were good, to determine without doubt that a big, smooth poker stamped on the right MADE IN/LONDON ENGLAND was one mixed-up part of the seller’s heading, and CPF Arcadia was the other.  The disarray of the title and the low price I paid – about $45 – told me the seller didn’t know what he had and the other bidders were not sure enough that the CPF was real to risk going higher.

Before bidding anything and after studying the pics of the alleged CPF – and I mean I really poured over every detail of them – I was certain it had to be a fake, except for the band on the shank.

From the photos that I snapped when it arrived in the mail with the poker I believe is a Ben Wade reject, the only authentic-looking parts of a CPF are the band, bone tenon and stem.  Otherwise, honestly, I could see where the basic chunk of wood could have been fashioned into a stummel long ago before some Flower Child got ahold of it and turned the bowl into a psychedelic pin cushion, but I could not imagine anyone alive more than a century ago, especially the Old World masters employed by CPF, fashioning such a monstrosity, as I saw the pipe before its comic beauty grew on me.  I even used the “m” word in an email I sent to Steve, with a link to the eBay sale, in which I more or less implored him to tell me it wasn’t real, meaning a genuine CPF.

Needless to say, I was shocked when Steve not only replied that the Arcadia was real and “very old,” an age distinction he had never before made to me, but that he had worked on a meerschaum like it a couple of years ago.  Here are some before and after shots of Steve’s meerschaum, which indeed bear a scary resemblance to my old briar.

A.F. & Co./BBB Spotted Meerschaum photos courtesy Steve Laug.

The severe chicken pox-like similarities are undeniable, and I scrutinized every word and photo of Steve’s blog in hopes of connecting the dots (I’m so sorry, that just popped out) of the definitely funky tobacco pipe specimens.  Struck by a gung-ho fit to research the abbreviation “AF&C0” in Steve’s third photo above, I interrupted my reading to find the answer before continuing and learning Steve already had done so: Adolph Frankau & Co. of England.  Steve’s work restoring the meerschaum that he also dated to 1905, thanks to great detective work tracing the unique hallmarks on the sterling silver band, was phenomenal, in particular the addition of a Bakelite stem that he not only fitted to the shank but made look as old as the original stummel.

Now, in case anyone thinks my choice of details a mere glut of disconnected trivia, I’ll make my point.  Steve took one look at the weird pipe for sale on eBay, flashed on the A.F. & Co./BBB meerschaum he gave new life and instinctively sensed a connection.  I have to say, I had doubts despite the almost genetic resemblance.  After all, there was no indication my CPF Arcadia was a Frankau import.  By the time Steve and I connected on the phone to discuss the two pipes and other matters, I had restored the Arcadia and warmed to its charms.  Although lacking any proof of the pipe’s date of manufacture such as Steve dug up for the meerschaum, certain minute observations and research led me to conclude it was created in the latter part of the 19th century.  Steve concurred.

In particular, I finally figured out that the stem was not Vulcanite but black horn, and the metal band boasted that it was “Nickel Plated.”  What kind of pipe brags about having a nickel plated band?  Nowadays, that’s the bottom of the barrel.  So I looked up nickel plating history online and learned that in 1837 the first crude electrochemical nickel plating of platinum was accomplished.  Really?  Someone thought to cover up the most precious metal with nickel?  You bet he did, and in 1869 a better process that became the industry standard for 70 years was discovered.  The purpose of nickel plating certain other metals, of course, remains nickel’s resistance to tarnishing and corrosion.  The only logical explanation for the proud “NICKEL PLATED” stamp on the band of my CPF, therefore, is that the process was still relatively new.  Given that point and the use of black horn stems being much less common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when amber and Bakelite predominated, I am satisfied the pipe was created in the waning years of the Victorian Era.

Returning to Steve and his inspired flash that the “knobby meer,” as he called it, and the CPF Arcadia are related, Steve told me he now questions whether the meerschaum is a real BBB, owing to certain unstated problems with the band.  Steve is the expert, but this time I have to disagree and urge him to stick with his instincts.  The notion of the meerschaum, knobs and all, being a bona fide BBB is no wilder than my briar, with its gaudy plastic bulbs and brass studs, being a genuine CPF, and I do not mean to suggest in a roundabout way that neither is the truth.  Granted the extremity of different materials used to make the pipes, and the necessity of alternate methods for achieving the knobby looks, and still further suspending disbelief because of the admitted implausibility of the idea, I nevertheless can’t help thinking that the connection is the actual crafter of the two pipes.  To be blunt, I think the same person made both of them.  Of course, I will never be able to prove the theory.  Well, isn’t that convenient, as the Church Lady used to say.

With a little more research, I was pleased to settle with much more certainty a question that nagged Steve in his blog of the unusual meerschaum: was there a connection between it and BBB?  As several of the sources below show, the link is clear.  Frankau, who started business in 1847, died in 1856.  At that time, his widow was persuaded to continue operation of A.F. & Co. under the control of Frankau’s very young assistant, Louis Blumfeld, who was then only 18.  Blumfeld started BBB (for Blumfeld’s Best Briar, later Britain’s Best Briar), the famous triangular symbol for which he trademarked in 1905 – again, the year Steve’s meerschaum was made – under the A.F. & Co. banner.  BBB seems to be the first pipe maker with a trademark.  And so the connection, if I haven’t made it obvious, is that A.F. & Co. owned BBB.

Arcadia, part of the modern-day Peloponnese, a peninsular region of southern Greece (capital, Tripoli), is also a reference to Greek mythology.  The mythological Arcadia was named for Arcas, a hunter who became king of the utopic wilderness and is best remembered for teaching the skills of baking bread and weaving.  In Arcadian myth, Pan, the god of shepherds, hunters and the wilds, is said to have roamed the region with dryads, nymphs and other spirits.  The name, therefore, is an odd one for this pipe, unless it’s a reference to the Calydonian Boar killed by the king’s daughter, Atlanta.

CPF had an ephemeral but brilliant run from 1851 to c. 1915, producing with the unparalleled skill of its Old World craftsmen some of the most astounding pipes, meerschaum and briar, ever created.  That’s all I need tell of CPF’s history, as Steve’s account in the sources below is the definitive authority.  Another link to a few of the CPF beauties in Steve’s Wonderland collection shows examples that are far closer to what I had in mind when I was wishing for a pipe of that great brand to find its way to me.

But that’s what can happen to someone who wishes for something.

A few close-ups show the peculiarities and problems I found.  The first, featuring the front of the bowl, makes the little, round, plastic bulbs – which I did not yet know the means of connection to the bowl – appear red instead of their actual light brown.  Scratches all over the uneven surface that is spotted with the bulbs and brass studs presented awkwardness to remove.  The second shot, of the rim and chamber, has the correct color of the bulbs and at a glance seems the hardest part of the pipe’s repair but in fact was the easiest. The third pic made me happy the band was already spinning on the shank so I could leave it out of an early alcohol soak.  The grime and stains would come off, but I knew I could not fill in the missing patches of nickel.  Then there was the stem, top and bottom, with moderate tooth damage that would typically be no hassle to eliminate if it were Vulcanite.Before I continue, take a close look at the bowl and count the bulbs and brass studs.  There are seven bulbs and four studs, and the arrangement may seem random.  But look again, and you’ll see a very odd order: on the left side, the bulbs start on the top left to right and then down to the bottom right; the studs move diagonally from the lower left to the middle.  On the right side, the opposite is true: the bulbs go from top left down to bottom left and then bottom right, and the studs are diagonal from top right to middle.  On the front, three bulbs form a diagonal, tic-tac-toe line from top right to bottom left, or vice versa if you prefer.  Finally, the back shows all four corners with bulbs.   The person who crafted this pipe had a very playful sense of order.

Thinking the Arcadia stem was Vulcanite but knowing it would do no harm anyway, I tossed it and the one from the Ben Wade reject candidate in an OxiClean bath.  The usual old dirt and tobacco residue came off both.  The first pictures after the bath show the stem not yet fully dried, and the next three dry. This was when I snapped that perhaps the stem material was not Vulcanite and Googled black horn, although if I had ever heard of such a variety of that organic material, it was dredged up from my subconscious.  I emailed Steve somewhat stupidly without photos.  He replied that horn has striations that are visible under a magnifier, so I shot him back the above photos and asked if the last showed the kind of marks he meant.  His brief response was, “Definitely horn.”  In the meantime, I had followed up with 220-grit sanding and wet and dry micro meshing from 1500-12000.While the stem had been taking a bath, I soaked the stummel in Isopropyl alcohol.  I was worried about the possible effects of the alcohol on the bulbs, but somewhat less catastrophic in the potential result than the Trinity Tests of the atom bomb south of Albuquerque nearing the end of World War II, I took a gamble.I started the next longer part by sanding the rim with 400- and 1000-grit papers, then the rest with 1000. Smoothing the chamber with 60- and 320-grit papers, I followed up with a full micro mesh of the rim and rest of the outer stummel.I thought Fiebing’s Dark Brown leather stain would be good for the stain.I performed the retort and decided to add a coat of Fiebing’s Burgundy.  I was satisfied with the color result, but in the process of flaming and micro meshing after the latter stain, a couple of the bulbs went M.I.A. Faced with the not altogether unanticipated contingency of somehow having to replace a bulb or two, as I still considered them, I had already considered using small push pins, the kind for wall maps, and had found a couple of places online that carried close to the same shade of brown in case it became necessary.  Hoping to avoid the time waiting for them to arrive by mail, however, I scoured this wannabe big city that is lacking in so many of the amenities found in the real thing.  The best I could find was the following box of 200 map pins in every color but brown (any shade of it!).  The good news was that they only cost $2.99 minus tax at a hobby store.  I concluded it would be necessary to replace all seven of the bulbs for the sake of consistency and suppose I might have opted for a conservative dark blue or even black, but as Tom Cruise’s high school character in Risky Business put it, “Sometimes you just have to say what the @#$*!”  Besides, Christmas is coming up.  The smaller brown pin below was an original I twisted out.The one prospect I didn’t even consider until I examined the holes left by the missing “bulbs” was that some antique version of map pins might have been used when the pipe was adorned in such an unconventional way by its maker.  But when the time came to remove the bulbs that were still intact, I found out they were indeed nothing more than map pins from more than a century ago.  All I had to do was snip off the longer metal ends of the new ones and Super Glue them into the slots.  I still don’t know how the brass studs are attached because I didn’t want to mess with them.  I’m curious by nature, but I have limits.  My dad always said, if it works, don’t fix it.

And so, without further ado, here is the finished CPF Arcadia. CONCLUSION
I’ve come to love this pipe out of time that should have been made in the Art Deco period, which didn’t really get rolling until 1925 and hit its peak in the 1930s art scenes of Europe and the U.S. – or even the hippie  (or psychedelic, counterculture and what-have-you) movement of the 1960s into the ’70s).  If this restoration taught me anything, it’s that sometimes wishing for something vague can lead to a happy ending.  I’ve come to love this pipe and will happily keep it if it doesn’t sell.  And it is for sale, for the right price on my site, or a good trade.


The Final Restoration while in Pune, India – a no name Cavalier

Blog by Steve Laug, Jeff Laug, Paresh, Abha and Pavni Deshpande

The final restoration project with Paresh and his family was this tired and worn Cavalier pipe. When we looked at it together we were all pretty certain that it was never going to amount to much no matter how much we worked on it. We purposely saved this pipe to the end of the visit to use it to pull together all that we had learned over the week together. The only sad part of the restoration was that Dal Stanton had already left to go back to Bulgaria. It was yet another East and West adventure in pipe restoration. As I mentioned in the previous blog on the Preben Holm, my brother Jeff and I had traveled to Pune, India where we met Dal Stanton of Pipe Steward and had an incredible visit with Paresh Deshpande, his wife Abha and his daughters Mudra and Pavni. With that cast of players – from the US, Canada, Bulgaria and India it was a special and memorable week of fellowship and pipe restoration. Each of us (minus Dal) played a role in this restoration. I will try to include the contribution of each in the story as it unfolds.

Lest you might think that all we did was work on pipes, I must remind you you that while staying in Pune we enjoyed the sights of the city, fellowship and great food along with working on pipes together even after Dal left. Paresh and his family did a magnificent job of hosting the event and making us all feel like we were part of his family. The hospitality, the amazing food provided by Abha and the joy and laughter of Mudra and Pavni were all part of making this an unforgettable visit. In the next weeks there will be several blogs written about the pipes that we worked on. Dal is working on a blog about the restoration of a BBB bent billiard that had belonged to Paresh’s grandfather that was a real group effort. Both Paresh and I will also be posting blogs on some of the other pipes that we worked on together including meerschaums and briars. We thoroughly enjoyed the time together while smoking our pipes and sharing beer and scotch to celebrate each restoration and to close each day. We exchanged tips and processes that we used. It was a time of sharing and learning for all of us.

The blog I am writing now was on the restoration of a worn and tired Cavalier that came from Paresh’s Grandfather’s collection. Like the rest of the pipes in his Grandfather’s collection the pipe was very dirty but to me it showed some promise. I had never seen a pipe like this with detachable briar parts, a metal shank and a horn stem. It was an interesting piece that showed an interesting grain under the grime. The stain colour was a contrast of browns and the brass band on the top of the shank was a nice addition. The rim top was almost destroyed. There were cracks and a portion of the top was burned away. The bowl was out of round and had a thick cake. The inner and outer edge of the bowl showed the damage of burning and poor reaming. The exterior of the bowl and shank showed a lot of wear and dirt. There was a metal tube pinched on between the bowl and the upright shank. It was hard to know what the tube was and if it matched the brass band. There was also a bone ball cap on the end of the shank in front of the bowl that was worn but still whole. The horn stem had some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside and some wear on the button edge but otherwise it should clean up nicely. Paresh, Abha, Pavni and Jeff and I all turned the pipe over in our hands wondering what we were going to do with it. It needed a lot of work and would never be flawless. But we decided to go ahead with the restoration anyway and see what we would get. We took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show the parts and the condition. I took a photo of the top of the bowl to capture the damage to the rim top and the cracks in the bowl radiating down the sides. I took photos of the shank extension and the horn stem on the end to show its condition as well. The shank extension and stem were in decent condition so that was a blessing to be thankful for at this point in the process. I took photos of the sides of the bowl to show the cracks that surrounded the pipe – both width and depth. We took the pipe apart and took photos of all of the parts. It later became clear that the cap on the bottom of the shank also was removable but at this point it was solidly in place and could not be removed.I started the cleanup process by topping the bowl on this old timer before Paresh and his family arrived at the apartment for the day. I topped it on topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I scrubbed the exterior of bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a cotton pad to remove the grime. I rinsed it off with warm water to remove the soap and grime. About that time Paresh and his family arrived for the day’s work. He and Abha looked the bowl over and Pavni agreed to sand it out on the inside. But before any of that could happen we needed to drill small holes at the end of each crack. Paresh used his magnifying glass and a black permanent marker to put spots on the end of each of the holes. These would guide us as we drilled each of them. It turned out that each crack had several branches radiating from them and would require a lot of drilling. After marking each crack Paresh drilled a small hole in the end of each one. I wiped the holes down with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove the debris. We filled in each of the holes and the cracks with clear super glue and briar dust. We packed the glue into the holes, repeated the glue and added more dust as necessary to build up the repairs. When the repaired areas had dried I used a needle file to smooth out the repair and blend it into the surface of the briar. I sanded the repaired areas with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to further blend them into the surface of the surrounding briar. Overall the patches and repairs were looking pretty good. I was surprised by how good the pipe looked.

While I was working on the bowl Paresh addressed the issues with the stem. He cleaned the interior with pipe cleaners and alcohol and scraped the buildup on the stem surface with the blade of an exacto knife. He cleaned up the straight edges of the button with a needle file and reshaped the surface of the button at the same time. He followed that by sanding it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the file marks. He filled in the deep tooth marks on the stem surface and on the button top with clear super glue. When the repair had dried he sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. While Paresh was working on the stem, I finished the repairs and sanding on the bowl. Then I turned my attention to the shank piece. I cleaned it out with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I wiped down the outside of the shank with Murphy’s on cotton pads. I finished this section about the same time that he finished the stem work.I worked on that and simultaneously to Paresh and my work, Jeff was working on the shank portion. He scrubbed the briar and the metal with oil soap. He worked over the metal shank piece with 0000 steel wool and we were all surprised with the copper that was under the oxidation. The shank band was also loose so he cleaned that as well. It was brass. Abha and Jeff went to work on cleaning the inside of the parts of the shank. Many pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol later the interior was pretty clean. They tried to remove the knob at the end of the shank but it did not come loose at all. No matter how much they worked on it the knob was still tightly in place.Paresh decided to give the knob a try. He painted the edges around the know with alcohol and scraped the crud that was built up around the joint between the two parts. He kept at it and then low and behold the knob turned and came off in his hands. What was revealed was a lot more of the crud that Jeff and Abha had been removing. Abha cleaned out the inside of the cap and the threads with cotton swabs and alcohol. Once the inside was cleaned and the threads were cleaned they were able to finish cleaning out the inside of the shank.I put the shank pieces together and glued the clean brass band on the top of the shank. The pipe shank and parts were looking pretty good at this point. There was still a lot of polishing to go but the  Cavalier was going to look very good. We took the pipe apart and began the process of polishing the briar and stem. I worked on the shank and stem. For ease of sanding I put the stem on the shank and  polished the stem and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down with a cloth after each pad. Paresh carefully reamed the bowl with a Castleford Reamer. We worried as he turned the cutting heads that the bowl would split but all remained intact as he cleaned it out. Pavni polished the inside of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls and give them a shine. Paresh polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. He wiped it down with a cloth after each set of pads. The photos show the growing shine of  the bowl. I polished the cleaned knob with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. Paresh polished the shank  parts with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with  1500-12000 grit pads. The briar began to come alive again. With all the parts polished it was time to take the next step. We rubbed down all of the parts with Before & After Restoration Balm. We buffed it by hand with a microfibre cloth. We put all the polished and “balmed” pieces together on a background and showed what the pipe looked like now.We put the pieces back together and took photos of the pipe at this point. We called it a day and Paresh took the pipe home with him. He wanted to polish it and wax it with his Dremel. He buffed it with White Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. When he brought it back the next morning it was a beauty. We took pictures of the finished pipe to show its beauty. The pipe really looked more alive, with the grain popping through. We decided not to stain it but left it as it stood after using the balm. The polished wax made the grain stand out. What started out as a possibility now became a reality. Paresh could now smoke and enjoy both the history of the pipe and carry on its legacy. The photos below tell the story. Thanks for looking.

Reflecting on a Few CPF pipes in my collection – Pipes from the Colossus Pipe Factory

Blog by Steve Laug

I don’t remember much about the first CPF pipe I picked up or even where I found it, but I do remember loving the shape, size and feel of it in my hand. It seems to me that it was a diamond shank straight bulldog pipe and I remember it being very old – over 100 years of age. I remember turning it over and looking at the Old World style craftsmanship, the fine briar and the metal work that was on the shank end and rim top. I remember the gold stamping on the side of the shank – CPF in an oval over Genuine Briar. That first pipe I came across was the beginning of a side collection of CPF, American made pipes coming out of the Colossus Pipe Factory in New York. Over the past 7-8 years I have been picking up CPF pipes on Ebay and in shops around the country to add to my personal collection. My brother Jeff also continues to pick them up for me.

It is a brand that has been shrouded in some mystery through the years even in terms of what the CPF initials mean. Some have interpreted it to me Consolidated Pipe Factory while others have taken it to mean Colossus Pipe Factory. Because of that it has been virtually impossible to trace the brand. I have written about the history of the brand in previous blogs but here is the link should you want to go and check it out. In the link that follows I give the rationale and proof for the brand being Colossus Pipe Factory. Give the blog a read if you are interested in the background (https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/14/some-reflection-on-the-historical-background-on-cpf-pipes/). I quote the concluding paragraph of that blog in the following as it gives a quick overview of the history of the brand with the mergers and finally the demise of the brand as a whole.

From my research I believe that we can definitively assert that the CPF logo stands for Colossus Pipe Factory. The brand was purchased by KB & B sometime between 1884 and 1898 and that it continued until 1915. That time frame gives help in dating some of the older CPF pipes you or I might find. It can be said that prior to the dual stamping it is fairly certain that the pipe is pre-1884 to 1898. After the dual stamping it can be placed post 1898 until the closure of the brand line in 1915. CPF made beautiful pipes. I believe Sam Goldberger was correct in his assertion of the potential carvers that made the pipes being of European training and the classic shapes and well aged briar. That coincides with all the CPF pipes that I have come across.

I collected the links and various blogs I have done on CPF pipes in my collection and chosen some representative photos of each of the pipes. I think as you flip through the photos you will see the beauty I see in them and hopefully it will kindle a love for the preservation of these old timers for generations ahead of us.

The first pair of pipes that I have pictured below is stamped CPF Cromwell on the left side of the shank. They both are vertical twin stemmed – twin shank pipes. Both came to me in very rough condition. The stems were damaged and repaired with a white putty material and the bowls were very worn. The first one is in the best condition. The second I worked a bit of Frankensteining on to resurrect it to be smokeable again. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/01/out-damn-spots-a-c-p-f-cromwell-double-vertical-stem-bent-billiard/https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/27/frankensteining-a-badly-damaged-c-p-f-cromwell-double-stem-pipe/The third pipe came to me from the same lot as the two above. Where there both had vertical twin shanks and stems this one has a horizontal twin shank and stem. Like the others above it has the same damage and repair to the stem – white putty to make it smokeable again. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/09/28/bringing-new-life-to-a-c-p-f-siamese-parallel-twin-stem-billiard/. The fourth pipe in my collection is an alternative wood in both the bowl and the base. The bowl is detachable – unscrewing from the base. The polished band and the horn stem are beautiful touches to this unique pipe. If you would like more information be sure to follow the link below and read about the restoration of this beauty. It is one of the more unique pieces from CPF that I have. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/03/restoring-a-unique-alternative-wood-c-p-f-tulip/.The next pipe is a small pocket sized horn shape with a horn stem. It is stamped like the others with the CPF oval on the shank and on the band. The horn stem has a captivating pattern of swirls and striations that make it a pleasure to hold and look at while smoking. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/22/a-small-c-p-f-french-briar-horn-captured-my-attention/.The next pipe is another detachable bowl pipe. This one is a CPF Pullman. The bowl is separated from the base by a brass ring that adds a touch of class. The briar base has a brass band with CPF logo and stamp on the left side. The bent horn stem gives a touch of colour to the look of the beautiful old pipe. Give the blog a read if you are interested, but clicking on the link that follows: https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/06/repairing-renewing-and-rejuvenating-a-removable-bowl-c-p-f-pullman-bent-billiard/.The next one is another pocket pipe. It has a Bakelite stem and a rectangular vertical shank that sets of a nicely shaped apple pipe. The yellow of the stem works well with the rich red of the briar. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/10/01/restoring-a-wreck-of-a-c-p-f-rectangular-shank-bent-egg/.The next pipe came to me as a damaged bowl. It is a nicely shaped bent bulldog with a diamond shank. The bowl originally had an ornate metal rim cap that had disappeared long before it came to me. I am keeping an eye open for a replace rim cap to see if I can bring it back to its original shape. https://rebornpipes.com/2013/03/31/cpf-french-briar-bulldog-restemmed-and-refurbished/.The next pipe is also one that came to me without a stem. The shank cap or ferrule was oxidized and green in colour when I started the restoration on it. I also worked an old vulcanite stem to fit the shank that has the same orific button as the original. The fit and size of the stem makes this another pocket pipe. It is distinguished looking and I only wish it could tell its story for us. Here is the link to the restoration: https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/01/restored-cpf-bent-billiard-a-reclamation-project/.The next straight shank billiard also came to with the two above bowls. This one was by far in the worst condition. It had nail holes around the rim top and the rim cover was oxidized to a dark green and was crumbling. Originally this pipe would have had a built in wind cap with a hinged top but that had long since disappeared by the time I worked on it. I crafted a new stem for it and banded the shank to clean up the disintegrating briar on the shank end. It is an interesting piece https://rebornpipes.com/2013/04/07/reworking-and-reshaping-an-old-french-briar-cpf-billiard/.This next little pocket pipe has a horn stem and a great looking briar bowl. The shape is a small bent billiard. The band is original and bears the CPF logo and stamping. The shank has the CPF logo the look of the bowl and shank is quite stunning. I was able to work on it and bring it back to life. https://rebornpipes.com/2015/06/08/bringing-a-pre-1884-era-cpf-bent-billiard-back-to-life/After I first wrote about CPF pipes I received email from a fellow who had a trio of CPF pipes that he had picked up.   There were two unsmoked bulldogs – a bent and straight with amber stems that he wanted me to clean up. In exchange he would give me the CPF bent meerschaum bulldog in the photo. I took him up on the trade and soon had the threesome in hand to work on. I finished his two pipes and sent them back to him and turned my attention to an almost worn out looking meerschaum bulldog.I cleaned up the bowl inside and out and worked over the brass shank end and bowl cap. I rebuilt the amber stem that had bit throughs on the end at the button and some crystalizing and crumbling on the stem as a whole. I was able to stabilize it and make it useable once again. It is a light weight durable little meerschaum that is a sweet smoke. Read bout the restoration on the blog by clicking on the following link: https://rebornpipes.com/2015/12/25/taking-a-swing-at-reconstructing-and-refurbishing-an-old-cpf-meerschaum-bulldog/.The next pipe is a CPF Best Make Straight Bulldog. This one is a beauty with its silver filigree rim cape and shank end. It is stunning with the brown briar and the orange amber stem. This one just came to life as I cleaned and polished all the parts and did the repairs on the amber stem and silver bowl cap. Give it a read by clicking on the following link: https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/02/cpf-best-make-bulldog-with-a-silver-rim-cap-and-ferrule/.Over the years of collecting and working on CPF pipes I have seen quite a few classic shaped meerschaums but had not seen very many carved figurals. My brother Jeff came across this interesting figural featuring a horse and knowing my love for CPF pipes picked this one up for me. It is a true beauty. There are some small cracks around the bowl but nothing that is an open fissure. I was glad to add it to the collection. Even so you can feel the energy of the racing horse as it turns around the tree stump on its right side. Give the blog a read if you want to see more photos and read about the restoration. https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/05/against-a-stump-a-carved-cpf-best-make-horse-meerschaum/.My brother wrote to tell me that this old CPF Giant was found in an antique store in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The owner had told him that the pipe was owned by an artist who strictly used it as an art prop… never smoked it. It is about 130 years old and is a large bent billiard. It is a large pipe – over 11 inches long and similar to the older Wellingtons that I have worked on of similar size. It was a great addition to my collection. If you want to get a feel for the history of the pipe and restoration it went through click on the link that follows: https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/25/refreshing-an-old-giant-cpf-french-briar-bent-billiard/. The next pipe was a unique one that Jeff picked up. It is a CPF that was different from any others that I had ever seen or worked on before. It was a briar calabash with a black Bakelite screw bowl/cup. The shank was darkened and appeared to have originally had a band that had been lost somewhere along the way. That is pretty common on these old CPF pipes. The stem was amber and needed some work to bring it back to usefulness. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank with the words COLON in an arch over the CPF logo in an oval. Underneath that, is stamped French Briar in a reverse arch thus encircling the CPF logo. I replaced the missing band with a polished nickel one to give it a more complete look. I am always on the lookout for old bands and rim caps so I may find one that fits this old pipe. Give the blog a read to see detailed pictures of the pipe. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/06/27/new-life-for-an-unusual-cpf-colon-calabash-pipe/.When I received the next pipe I was excited to look it over and add it to the collection. The beautiful briar with swirls of birdseye and cross grain flowing around the long shank bulldog was stunning. The horn stem fit well in the shank and it would clean up nicely. Have a look at the blog for details but this is one of the better pieces I have added. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/19/breathing-life-into-an-1890s-era-cpf-french-briar-horn-stem-bulldog/.The next little bent billiard is another beauty – it is a chubby bent pocket billiard. The grain on the bowl is quite stunning and the restored horn stem and brass band give the pipe a touch of old country charm and class. Give the blog a read to see what the pipe looked like when we found it and the steps in its restoration. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/20/another-piece-pipe-history-a-lovely-cpf-french-briar-bent-billiard/.The next beauty is a silver military mount billiard. The ferrule and stem cap are both silver. The pipe is a CPF Remington and the grain and finishing touches on the old pipe give it a sense of timeless class. The pipe is in rough condition when it came to me and with some careful restoration it is back to looking lovely. Give the blog a read to see what it looked like when I receive it. It is a beauty.  https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/21/restoring-another-cpf-french-briar-this-one-a-remington-silver-mount-billiard-blog-by-steve-laug-the-next-pipe-i-chose-to-work-on-from-the-lot-of-the-lot-of-pipes-my-brother-and-i-picked-up-on-our-vi/.This Rhodesian was in very rough shape when I received it. It took a lot of work to bring it back to this point. The bowl had a lot of damage and the horn stem was very worn and tired. I did a lot of reconstruction on the rim top and edges of the bowl and tried to bring life back to the damaged bowl without loosing the shape. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/21/this-old-cpf-french-briar-rhodesian-was-in-rough-shape/.The square shank straight bulldog with the double ring around the bowl cap is a beauty. Instead of the usual diamond shank and stem this one has a square shank and stem. The horn stem is very stunning with the colours of the horn and the briar. Have a look at the blog to read about the restoration process on this one. https://rebornpipes.com/2017/09/29/cleaning-up-another-cpf-this-time-it-is-a-square-shank-bulldog-setter/.The last pipe I am including in this blog is my latest addition. It is an unsmoked CPF Chesterfield that is in excellent condition. It came to me from a good friend in NY who picked it up in a recent purchase. The grain and the shape are quite nice. It is a stubby billiard with a P lip style stem. The stem is hard rubber and it is old. Give the blog a read to get the back story on this pipe. https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/29/refreshing-an-unsmoked-1910-1915-cpf-chesterfield-billiard/.With the above pipe I will close my reflections on some of the CPF brand pipes in my collection. Hopefully you can understand what I love about them as you scroll through unique pipes in the above collection. I am always on the lookout for more CPF pipes and excited to find and work on them. If you come across one and want to “help” me out let me know. Thanks for reading this blog.


Restoring Life to a Early 20th Century Gitana Depose Apple

Blog by Steve Laug

I was going through boxes of old pipes here, sorting and getting them ready to sell as grab bags. In the process I came across this pipe. It is stamped Gitana in an oval with an L on the left of the oval and G on the right side of the oval. Underneath the oval stamp is the word Depose. There is a polished aluminum band on the end of the shank. The briar is quite nice with birdseye around the bowl. The stem is horn and has a lot of tooth damage next to the button on both sides. There are deep troughs carved by the teeth in the horn material on both sides. The rim had a lot of damage from burn marks and the inner edge had been damaged by reaming with a knife. There was a white waxy substance on the inside of the bowl from the edge down about a ½ inch. There was a light cake in the bowl and some light lava on the bowl top. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the damage to the inner edge of the bowl from the reaming job. The cake on the bowl sides and the tarry oil on the rim top are also visible. The briar at the top is quite damaged and will take some work to remove the knife cuts and deep gouges in the briar. The stem is also shown with the chewed damage on both sides.  I removed the stem from the shank and was a bit surprised by the aluminum system that was inside. The tenon was aluminum and had a bullet shaped cap on the end of it. The cap had a hole in the top that allowed the smoke to be drawn through the airway in the stem. The previous own had wrapped the aluminum portion of the tenon with what looked like aluminum foil to build it up to fit tightly in the shank. The photos below show the tenon and the system. I was unfamiliar with the brand and was surprised by the tenon system. I did some searching online and could find nothing on the Gitana brand or the Gitana Depose brand. I did happen across a similar pipe on Smokingpipes.com. The writer who described the pipe for the site wrote the following which contained some really helpful information. I quote:

We were able to ascertain a little information about La Gitana, which was a French brand created by Chapel Frés…but this relic from the early 20th century still sports its original horn stem, coupled with a novel aluminum tenon arrangement that we can only assume is meant to trap moisture. Although we aren’t sure how well it achieves this, it does do quite well at looking like an old-school James Bond accessory. It fits securely within a cork-lined mortise, which many briars of this period tended to have. https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/france/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=196840

From that I learned that the brand was called La Gitana. It was a French made pipe from a company called Chapel Frés. It was made in the early 20th century and the author had described the tenon system like the one I had.  I also learned that the mortise had originally been cork lined to facilitate holding the tenon snuggly in the shank. This was what was missing in the pipe I had and it had been replaced with the foil mess that is seen in the above photos.

Armed with the name Chapel Frés I looked on Pipedia under French Pipe Companies and found the brand there. It stated that it came from that factory and the brand had been founded in 1904 in Saint-Claude, France. Here is the link https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_Fr%C3%A9s.

Armed with that information I started my cleanup of the stem. I scraped away the foil that was wrapped around the tenon. I examined the bullet shaped cap on the tenon and figured out that it unscrewed from the tenon. I cleaned the metal underneath alcohol, cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and steel wool. I cleaned out the airway in the shank at the same time. The tube in the end of the tenon looked clean. I used alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to clean out the inside of the bullet cap. I cleaned out the walls in the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was a very dirty pipe that once it was clean had an interesting look to it. I cleaned up the inside of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped the walls clean of the carbon build up. I sanded the walls of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper.To remove the damage on the rim top I topped the bowl until the damaged areas were removed and the rim top was clean. I used a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the rim and bring it back to round as much as I could. I washed down the exterior of the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the finish and the grim on the briar. The pipe looked really good at this point. I needed to round down the outer edges to bring it back to the shape it was when I started but for now it was clean. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The stamping is quite readable and clear.The tenon had some sticky substance for the glue on the foil on the tenon end. The tenon and threads still needed more cleaning to remove the oils.I filled in the tooth marks and troughs in the surface of the horn with clear super glue. I set the stem aside to dry.I decided to try to fit a cork in the shank to line it as suggested above. I cut away some of the excess cork from a wine cork I had. I trimmed it down with a Dremel and sanding drum until the diameter was close to the inside of the shank. I drilled it out with a series of drill bits starting small and working my way up to one that was close to the size of the tenon. I sanded down the cork exterior until it was a fit in the shank. I pressed it in place in the shank.I used a needle file to thin down the inner walls of the cork lining. It needed to be very thin to allow the tenon to fit in the shank. I tried to put the tenon in the shank. The fit was still not right. The cork was too thick to allow a fit. I pulled it out of the shank and slid it over the tenon. I sanded it down with sandpaper and files until it was a good fit. I glued the cork on the tenon and let it dry. When it cured I rubbed the cork down with Vaseline to soften it and allow it to slide into the shank. The fit was very good. I took some photos to show what the pipe looked like at this point in the restoration (I had also started the shaping on the bowl top). I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a clean cloth after each pad. The grain began to pop and really stand out. Once the glue repairs cured I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs. I sanded them to blend them into the surface of the horn. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 and dry sanding them with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I gave it a final coat and let it dry. The following photos show both sides of the stem. I worked Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar and the horn stem with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the wood and the horn. I let the balm sit for about 20 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show what the bowl and stem looked like. I am happy with the look of the pipe. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and horn. 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 original patina on the bowl came alive with the buffing and worked well with the polished striated horn stem. The pipe has a rich look. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem work give the pipe a very classic look. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. Thanks for reading this while I worked on it. It was interesting and unusual piece to restore and I really enjoyed the work.

Restoring a Windsor De Luxe 13106 Unique with a Horn Stem

Blog by Steve Laug

When I saw this old horn stem pipe on Ebay UK I immediately put in a bid and I won the pipe. It had a great striated horn stem that had lots of deep colours. The area in behind the button on the top and the bottom of the stem was really damage with large chunks of horn missing. On the underside of the stem there was a dark red stain in the striations of the horn near the button. The stem has a metal push tenon with a twisted stinger apparatus screwed into the end of the tenon. The metal ring between the shank and the stem was attached to the stem. The stem had a faint crown stamped in the horn. The bowl had a thick cake and the rim was heavily covered with lava that flowed over from the bowl. The underside of the bowl had a half-dozen fills in it that were shrunken and filled with white putty. The stamping on the shank said Windsor in a script with a flouring line underneath. Stamped under that was De Luxe. On the underside of the shank next to the stem it was stamped 13106. I have no clue as to the provenance of the pipe – WMTP says that there are several makers in England that made the brand. All have stamping that is slightly different. The finish on the bowl looked to be in decent shape under the grime and build up on the sides of the bowl. (Anyone have any ideas on the maker let me know).horn1



horn4 I took close up photos of the stem to give an idea of the damage that I would be working with on this pipe. On both sides of the stem there was serious damage in the form of missing chunks of horn. These chunks were missing in the sharp edge of the button and in the surface of the horn itself. The first and second photos show the top and bottom sides of the stem. In the second photo below there is a dark line at the bottom edge of the stem next to the button – that is the red mark that was in the surface of the horn. The third photo below shows the profile of the stem and clearly shows the missing chunks in the horn.horn5


horn7 The close up photo of the rim below shows the overflow of lava on the surface that would need to be removed to assess damage to the bowl and rim.horn8 The twisted aluminum stinger apparatus was hefty and at first glance seemed to be stuck in the tenon. I tried to turn it and pull it and it would not budge. I would need to heat it to see if I could loosen the tars that bound it to the tenon.horn9

horn10 I decided to work on the stem first. I enjoy working on and repairing horn stems. I find great satisfaction in bringing them back to life and bringing out the rich glow that come from a polished piece of horn. In this case I sanded out the damaged areas with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges of the holes and to clean up the debris. I wiped it down with a cotton pad and alcohol to clean off all the debris. I decided to add a little colour to the horn before filling in the hole so that the darker striation would continue to the button. I used a black permanent marker to colour in a stripe from the place it ended on the undamaged portion back to the button. I filled in the damaged areas on the surface of the stem and on the button with clear super glue. The area on the underside where the red spot was cleaned up a bit but the red bled through. I added multiple coats of the glue to build up the areas. I overfilled them so that I had material to work with in reshaping the button and the stem surface.horn11



horn14 Once the glue dried I used a needle file and a coarse sanding stick to recut the edge of the button and clean up the top face of the button. I wanted a clean defined area that matched the undamaged part.horn15 I sanded the entire stem, carefully avoiding the area of the stamping with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repair into the surface of the stem and to shape the button. I heated the metal tenon with a lighter and was able to unscrew the stinger from the end.horn16 I worked on the shape of the button and the flow into the button with sandpaper and sanding sticks. The shiny areas in the photo below next to the button are the patches of superglue. Much polishing still remains to be done at this point but the surface is smooth to the touch.horn17

horn18 I cleaned up the stinger with 0000 steel wool to remove the tars and tarnish. I cleaned out the inside of the stinger with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.horn19

horn20 I reamed the bowl with the PipNet reamer and took the cake back to bare wood. I wanted to check out the inside of the bowl for damage or cracks. Fortunately it was very clean.horn21

horn22 I scrubbed the rim with alcohol and cotton pads to remove the tars. It was very hard so I also used a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I was able to get most of the build up off the rim. There was some darkening that I would need to sand with a more aggressive grit of sandpaper. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads as well to remove the grime and old finish.horn23With the basic work done on the exterior I cleaned out the shank and the airway in the stem. I also scrubbed out the inside of the bowl with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.horn24

horn25 I put the pipe back together to get a look at how things were coming along. I wanted to see what the repaired stem looked like. In the photos below you can see the new look of the stem from all angles. I am pleased with the overall repair of the stem.horn26



horn29 I took the stem off the pipe and worked on it with the micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each pad as I have found when working with horn that the oil gives it a better bite into the material and helps raise the shine.horn30




horn34 I lightly buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a soft flannel buff and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.

With the stem done I turned to the finish on the bowl. I used a dental pick to remove the putty fills from the bottom of the bowl and shank. I wiped the bottom of the bowl down with alcohol and then packed briar dust into the holes where I had removed the putty. Once the dust was packed in I put a drop of clear super glue on top of the dust and then packed it down with the pick. I added more briar dust to top up the fill.horn35

horn36 When the patches had dried I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the excess material and blend the surface of the patch into the bowl surface.horn37 I heated the briar and then stained it with a medium brown aniline stain. I flamed the stain to set it in the briar. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax to give it a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.horn38



horn41 I pushed the stem back in place and gave the entire pipe a final coat of wax and then buffed it with a clean flannel buff. I finished by buffing it by hand with the cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful pipe and the horn just shines. I am looking forward to enjoying it in the days ahead. What would you call this shape? Any ideas?horn42






horn48 Thanks for looking.

Revamping a Bavarian Folk Wine Pipe Made in Italy

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author

“Voters in the southern German state of Bavaria [April 7, 2010] voted for Germany’s strongest smoking ban, meaning lighting up in bars, restaurants and beer tents at Munich’s famous Oktoberfest will be ‘verboten.’”
― David Levitz, journalist, Agence France-Presse

Who would have dreamed that those crazy, fun-loving Bavarians who have been hosting the annual Oktoberfest since October 12, 1810, the day Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen; the culinary health scoffers who gave to the world such artery-hardening treats as Weisswurst, Schweinshaxe, schnitzel and spaetzle, and for snacks and dessert, laugen pretzels, apfelstrudel, Baverische crème and zvetchgenkuchen – would ban smoking in all public buildings just months before the bicentennial of the world’s biggest excuse to get betrunken?

Bavarians are even so fond of beer and schnapps that they have a great little saying: Saufen bis zum Verlust der Muttersprache, or drink until you forget your mother tongue. And if you’ve ever seen many German tourists, how many of them didn’t look like triple bypass candidates? Of course, everyone knows smoking kills more people than drinking and/or diet-related maladies…right?

One 31-year-old Garden Grove, California woman who lost her job and started a blog, and has written a book but is still searching for a publisher, has a particularly active gift of gab. She blogged, “Bavaria’s cuisine is a monster truck. It crumples the delicate-by-comparison culinary offerings of Spain, Italy, and France like tiny little Fiats and Peugots in its path… It is rich and doughy and filling and is the only thing on the planet that can soak up German beer. Every other fare will simply hide in the corner of your stomach, petrified at the sheer awesomeness of the brew that resides in there with it, and it will never get digested.” Perhaps the most succinct line from this particular blog is, “Germans do it with bigger sausages.” [http://www.everywhereist.com/7-badass-bavarian-foods-you-must-try/] I, for one, can’t wait until the book comes out.

If the world is going mad as far as singling out tobacco as the great evil, then Bavaria may now be the capitol for the insanity. Maybe all that ice bockbier and apfelstrudel have saturated their bodies and have nowhere left to go but the brains.

At any rate, there remains for those of us who still appreciate the virtues of pipes and their tobaccos the glorious contributions of German craftsmanship in general and Bavarian in particular.Rob1 And more along the lines of the subject of this blog:Rob2

Rob3 When I emailed Steve a few photos of my new acquisition from eBay, for less than $11, I was happy as usual to receive a response but, I must admit, a little disheartened to hear of the 20 hours he spent restoring the 1810 Meerschaum Bowl masterpiece above. Then I considered the facts that his folk pipe was part meerschaum, and of course suspected he had, as his masterful skills and (if I may be so bold) somewhat obsessive creative bent allow, more than just restored it. He had in fact, of course, re-worked parts of it, as I learned when I read with pleasure his July 7 account. I mentioned the conjecture that Steve is a born pipe maker to my mentor, Chuck Richards, who with not an inkling of surprise to me that Steve has made a few pipes in his time. I therefore hereby suggest a blog by our host on these endeavors, which I am certain I am not alone in my curiosity to hear about and see.

Alas, as shall be seen, my Bavarian Three-Piece Folk Wine Pipe – not counting the screw-in bit – pales in comparison, although it did present problems I had not before encountered. Starting with the bit, the eBay photos revealed one gash that appeared to be so deep that it must have pierced the air hole. As Lady Luck provided, however, such was not the case. On the other hand, there turned out to be three bad divots in the bit, not counting the severe wounds just below the lip, top and bottom, from grinding teeth. Then there were the countless scratches on every piece; the well-caked chamber; scorching of what I believe is the ornate but aluminum wind cap; a serious cleft in the alternative wood shank, the variety of which I have not yet determined, and a hole in the bottom piece, where the wine is placed, too deep for any fix other than wood putty.

All of these complications, I knew, would be nothing compared to the task of cleaning and sanitizing a pipe with a form that defied retorting. Noting this anticipated cleaning conundrum with a quip, “That’s entirely rhetorical,” in fact, was the reason for Steve’s second reply to my email where he mentioned the time he spent on his folk pipe.

By the way, I owe a final nod to Steve, as well as the owner of my local tobacconist who confirmed his assessment, for identifying my Bavarian folk pipe (which turns out to be a no-name Italian version) as being designed to add wine.

RESTORATION Rob4 This, as it happens, is how I decided to approach the restoration: piece by piece.Rob5





Rob10 Without thinking – you might say a bit compulsively on my own part – I already cleaned and polished the wind cap before snapping the last shot above.Rob11


Rob13 Other than the almost unconscious cleaning and shining of the wind cap, inside and out, with Everclear-soaked cotton cloths, super fine steel wool and mostly 500-grit paper except for a few tough spots requiring 320, I saw no reason not to dive in with the bit. After all, filling the crevasses – and I can only imagine the drunken stumbling about that caused them – would take several days of layering with black Super Glue and drying time in between. The remainder of the restore was finished in a day and a half of intense work. I gave the bit a good soak in an OxiClean solution to start and cleaned out the mess inside with about six bristly cleaners dipped in Everclear before they came out clean.Rob14


Rob16 With that process begun and the pipe disassembled, I returned to the main tobacco chamber (remember, this three-parter has a second chamber at the bottom for wine) and used my Senior Reamer to take out most of the fairly even though excess cake. After that I swabbed it out with some alcohol-soaked cotton gun cleaner squares and finished the removal of char and smoothing with 200-, 320- and 500-grit paper.Rob17 The yellowing of the cap’s inside area is the fault of my photography, not lack of attention. I know nothing of body work on cars, which is the kind of detail work the metal rim requires, and despite my restoration of this pipe for my own enjoyment, any tips on eliminating dings in metal, preferably without removing the entire rim piece, will be appreciated. Since the pipe is staying in my own collection, after all, I have a long time to work out that part.

I turned my attention to the outer bowl, first scrubbing out the draught hole with bristly cleaners soaked in alcohol – quite a few, in fact. Then I used 320-grit paper to remove both the old finish and the scratches, starting with the rough, un-sanded opening of the draught hole showing before and after below.Rob18


Rob20 From 1500-4000 micromesh, I prepped the bowl for buffing. I liked the natural, lighter shade of the briar and chose not to re-stain it, proceeding straight to the buffer wheels. I used white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba.Rob21

Rob22 The shank was what I expected would take most of the work, and I was right. I sanded the wood with 200 and 320 paper, deciding the cleft in the unknown wood gave it a certain character. Besides, it wasn’t going anywhere without the kind of serious reshaping Steve is into.Rob23 I sanded it again with 500-grit paper and micro-meshed all the way.Rob24 The ferrule was dull and scratched.Rob25 I used micromesh on it and then Lincoln black boot stain, which I flamed, let cool and wiped clean with 4000 micromesh.Rob26 Finally, I used Lincoln brown stain on the shank’s wood and used 4000 micromesh to take off the ash.Rob27 I buffed it with white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba, and used red and white Tripoli on the ferrule.Rob28 Onto the final stage – the bottom chamber where the wine is added. Here it is after sanding with 320-grit paper.Rob29



Rob32 By the time I cleaned it out with bristly cleaners and Everclear, when added to those used for the other parts, I had a pile about as high as Steve’s from his meerschaum bowl folk pipe, only much grimier except for the last that came out clean.

Now take a closer look at the right side, first with the small hole that could neither be sanded away nor ignored, then filled with a dab of wood putty. I let it sit and harden until the next day, when I colored the putty with an indelible brown marker and squeezed a drop of Super Glue over the mark.Rob33

Rob34 Late that night, I sanded off the roughness of the dried Super Glue and smoothed the whole piece with micromesh. And here is the finished, waxed result, without re-staining.Rob35 At last, I was ready to assemble the separately restored parts and wipe it all down with a soft cotton rag.Rob36






Rob42 The only nomenclature, just under the bottom ring in the last photo, reads Imported Briar over Made in Italy.

This restoration involved two firsts for me: filling a hole with wood putty, as basic as that is, and more significantly, the importance of considering each independent part of the whole. Never before had I encountered a pipe with more than a bit connected to a shank that in turn attached to the bowl. The simple addition of a second chamber for wine with two openings – one for the shank and the other for the regular tobacco chamber – forced me to approach the project from an angle that was novel to me. The ultimate restoration was a unique pleasure for me, and I am happy to report that the finished folk pipe smokes quite well, even without wine. I look forward to seeing how it works with Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider.

Now I have just a few final words on the Bavarian tobacco ban. It seems they tried the same thing in 2008, but the result was a scoff law that the authorities didn’t even try to enforce. Let’s hope that all of the pipe smokers in the southern German state of Bavaria unite to overcome the 61% of voters who decided to deny them the right to run their own lives.

An Old Horn Stem, Bone Tenon Apple Restored

Blog by Steve Laug

When I saw this old-timer on EBay I decided it had my name on it. The combination of shape and stem material are something that I love. It looked to be in pretty fair shape, just a bit of darkening at the rim, some nicks in the briar which is to be expected in a pipe this age. The stem looked all right – a few tooth marks on the surface but the horn material did not appear to have any splintering or cracks. The threaded tenon looked like it was a bone tenon and it too appeared to be in good shape. I put in my bid and was the only bidder. I have included the photos that the seller included in the sale. The pipe is delicate – a mere 4 inches.

The seller did not include any information on the stamping on the pipe. I wrote and they responded that it was not readable but that there was an oval on the left side of the shank. When it arrived I took it to my work table and did a cursory clean up and tried to read the stamping on the shank. I could see that the oval had remnants of gold in the marks. Under a bright light and using a jeweler’s loupe I could see that there was a letter visible on the right side of the oval that was readable – “N”. I wetted the stamping and looked more closely and could see what appeared to be the long straight leg of another letter on the left of the oval. It could easily have been a “K”, “R” or an “L”. On closer examination it seems to have a base on the bottom of the left leg. That would make it an “L”. So armed with that I did some digging in “Who Made That Pipe” and found several possibilities. The most likely was “LMN” and through continued observation of the logo I think that is what it is stamped. For me, a good part of the enjoyment of the hobby of refurbishing is the pipe mysteries that come along with the pipes I work on. So this pipe was going to be fun to work on and to research.
I used the information in WMTP to research more into the maker of the pipe (at least according to the book). The pipe seems to have been made by a company called Jacobs, Hart & Co. England. I searched the various online directories of business in London at the time and found the following information on the hallmark site. It simply says that in 1889 in London there was a tobacco merchant named Joshua Michael Jacobs. I found his hallmark which interestingly is an oval as well with the JMJ letters stamped on the silver. I also found that members of the Jacobs family were gold and silver smiths as well as involved in the tobacco industry.


At this point the trail went cold and I could find nothing else regarding the firm in the records. I knew that the family was involved in the industry but I could not find any information on the pipe brand itself. The only connection at this point was the listing in WMTP.

I searched the web for information on the second name in the company – Hart, and found that the name was held by an Australian who was a tobacco merchant as well. I have no idea about the migration from England to Australia but the link is certainly possible. I have included some information from the records I read through on the Hart family to show at least the tobacco connection.

The first document I found was a birth announcement for an Alfred David Hart. The birth announcement reads in part: “Born at Franklin Cottage, West-terrace, Adelaide. Birth certificate held – Father, general merchant, Franklin St., Adelaide, number Vol 3, pg 140 Adelaide.”

Further information found in the Biographical Register of Australia shows that he is included. Quoting in part: “Partner Feldheim, (I), Jacobs (qv) & Co (later Jacobs Hart & Co) tobacco merchants (emphasis is mine), managing director at William Cameron Bros & Co, tobacco manufacturers 1895; director of British Australian Tobacco Co from inception, chairman to 1925; dir Foster’s Beer Co: left estate of at least Pounds 183,252. The references given are: British Australian (Lond) 5 Apr 1928 cover p ii, 14 June 1928 p 21; Brisb Courier 12 Apr 1928 p 6; Argus 18 Feb1928 p 31; Vic LA PP 1894 2 no 37, p 417, Vic LA, V & P 1895 6 1 no D4 p 52, 62, 1895/6 2 no 3 p 8 ? 34.” http://metastudies.net/genealogy/PS04/PS04_230.HTM

The last bit of information on this partner in the company I found was his obituary. It too links him to the tobacco company that is associated with this pipe.

Hart, Alfred David (1851–1928)
Mr. Alfred David Hart, who died on Thursday night at his residence in St. Kilda road, in his 78th year, was one of the founders of the modern tobacco trade in Australia. Mr. Hart was born in Adelaide in November, 1850, and he came to Melbourne in youth. His long association with the tobacco trade began at that time. For some years he was with Feldheim Jacobs and Co., and afterwards the firm became Jacobs Hart and Co., with establishments in Melbourne and Adelaide. At a later time Mr. Hart retired from the firm and became chairman and manager of Cameron Brothers and Co. Pty. Ltd. When the tobacco companies of Australia amalgamated he became chairman of directors in Melbourne of the British Australian Tobacco Company Pty. Ltd. From that position he retired in 1925, though he still held large interests. At one period Mr. Hart was chairman of directors of the Foster Brewing Company, and to the time of his death he was one of the directors of the Swan Brewery Company and chairman of directors of the United Insurance Company Ltd. Mr. Hart had many other business interests. He was the proprietor of Elizabeth House, the large building at the corner of Elizabeth and little Collins streets.

Apple5 That is the extent of that information as well. Once again there is no written link to the information noted in WMTP. I did some more research on the LMN brand and came across several pipes with that stamping for sale on various sites. Once of those was found on Worthpoint. It is pictured below. I have also included the link to the site. http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-lmn-hallmarked-bent-chimney-169605160 I did find that LMN was registered as a trademark in Australia and belonged to WD & HO Wills Australia LTD. Here is the trademark information:


With that I decided to put my research to rest for a while and went to work on the pipe. The next photo gives a clear picture of the size of the pipe. I have it resting next to my iPhone 4 for comparison sake.
The next four photos show the pipe as it was when I started the refurbishing. The bowl itself was in good shape. There were nicks and marks all around the bowl. On the bowl front there was an area where a fill had fallen out and left a deep hole in the briar. The bowl interior was fairly clean with a light cake and some remnants of tobacco left in the bowl. The inner edge of the rim had two areas that were burned. The burned area extended to the top of the rim in those two spots. The stem was quite clean. There was no evidence of the horn delaminating which was good news. Next to the button on both sides of the stem there were troughs left behind from tooth marks. There was tooth chatter over the surface, both top and bottom a 1/3 of the way up the short stem. The bone tenon was in excellent shape with no damage or broken threads. There was some staining on the end but other than that it was flawless.



Because I love the finished look of horn I worked on the horn stem first. I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the tooth chatter and the deep troughs around the edges of the button. As I worked on them I realized that the horn material was thin in those spots. I roughened the surface and built it up with clear super glue. My goal was to level out the troughs and give a clean flow to the taper of the stem to the button. This took several applications of super glue. After each application dried I sanded it with 200 grit sandpaper and a medium grit sanding sponge to make sure that the surface was level before adding a new layer.

When the troughs were filled and level I screwed the stem back into the bowl and took some photos to check out the taper of the stem to the button. I wanted to make sure that the taper was smooth and the flow correct. I find that taking a photo gives me some distance from the pipe and I can examine it more critically than in real life at this point. I would need to work on the button area but the taper was correct.



I gave the bowl a light reaming with a PipNet reamer. I decided address the deeper nicks and crevices on the bowl with briar dust and superglue. Before doing that I wiped down the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the finish and clean the bowl.
I packed briar dust into the nicks and holes in the briar and then added drops of super glue followed by more briar dust. I always over fill the patches as it is easier to sand the patches than to continue to fill them as they shrink. The next two photos show the patches.

I sanded the patches with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the thicker portion of the repairs and then followed up with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. The repairs are smooth and match the surrounding briar. They are dark spots but I have found that I don’t mind those as much as putty fills. I also have found that they can be blended into the briar more easily when stained with a dark brown or black aniline stain. They are still present but do not stand out.

To remove the burned areas on the inner edge and top of the rim I topped the bowl using a topping board and 220 grit sandpaper. I move the bowl across the sandpaper in a clockwise circular pattern – more out of habit than anything else though I find that it minimizes the scratches left behind and is easier to smooth out with later sanding.

I took the top of the rim down until the burn marks were minimized and the top of the bowl was smooth to the touch. I sanded the bowl top with a fine grit sanding sponge to remove scratches. I did not go on to sand with higher grit paper as I would be sanding after I stained the bowl. I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol and then applied and flamed the dark brown aniline stain. I repeated the process until I had good coverage on the bowl and rim. The stain was very dark and hid the grain. It was also very opaque and not what I wanted as the final stain on the bowl. I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the stain. Doing this removes the surface coat but leaves the stain deep in the grain of the briar.


I buffed the bowl with White Diamond on the wheel to further remove some of the stain and smooth out the surface of the briar. I avoided the area of the stamping so as not to further damage the already faint stamping. I then folded a piece of sandpaper and worked on the inner edge of the rim to remove the damage and work the bowl back into round afterwards. I have included the photos below to give an idea of what the stain looked like at this point as well as the way the repairs were hidden by the stain. There is some great grain on this old pipe.



I sanded the bowl and stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil to preserve the horn and renew it.


I buffed the bowl and stem lightly with White Diamond and then gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it lightly with a soft flannel buff and then hand buffed the area around the stamping. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The horn has a rich shine to it now and the briar looks very good. The contrast between the rich brown stain and the striations of colour in the horn stem give the pipe a distinctive look. There are still some battle scars that add character to the pipe in my opinion. Overall the pipe looks almost new. It is cleaned and ready for a smoke.




Refurbishing a horn stemmed Bruyere Garantie Beautiful Swan Necked Pipe

I picked this old timer up in an antique shop near Vancouver, quite a few years ago now. When I got it the bowl was almost black and dirty. The rim had a good 1/8 inch of grime and tar built up so that it looked like a plateau top. The finish was so opaque that you could not see the grain through it. The stem was dirty and to be honest with you all, when I got it I had no idea it was a horn stem. I worked hard to get the oxidation off it and all I got was more of the brown tones coming through. There was tooth chatter on the top and bottom of the stem. The chatter was kind of white coloured. I asked several guys about the stem and they also did not even think about a horn stem. I had the pipe in my collection for about 5 years or more before it dawned on me that it was a horn stem.

This is a big pipe and it is elegant. It is 8 inches long and the bowl is a little over 2 inches tall. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Bruyere in an arch over Garantie. On the right side it is stamped St. Claude in script over Bruyere. Once I stripped it down there are a few visible fills in the briar but they blend in quite well surprisingly – no pink putty on this one. I cleaned the rim meticulously by hand with warm soapy water on a damp paper towel. I scrubbed it until it was clean. I then sanded the bowl to remove the varnish coat and grime. I had not learned many of the tricks I use now so it was one of the first old timers that I refurbished. I wiped the bowl down with Isopropyl alcohol once I had sanded the majority of the finish coat off the pipe. It took quite a bit of time to carefully wipe away the finish around the stamping without damaging that. The bowl was finally cleaned and smooth – I remember sanding it with 1200 wet dry sandpaper to finish. Then I stained it with a medium brown wood stain – I have no idea if it was an alcohol stain, it well could have been Watco Danish Oil for all I know!

The stem took quite a bit of work to sand it smooth. I cleaned it up twice. Once when I first got it and then again when I figured out it was a horn stem. It is a big piece of horn and quite pretty in terms of the sheen and depth of colouration in it. I used the method I spelled out in a previous post on polishing horn stems and it is like new. I sanded it with wet dry sandpaper up to 2400 grit and then buffed it with lots of carnauba wax. Later I used the micromesh sanding pads on it and really gave it a depth of shine. The pipe is a great smoking pipe and is definitely a sitting pipe. It is a handful. The first picture shows the finished pipe. I wish I had some before photos but this was found in the days I never thought of doing that. So all I have is finished photos. The next series of photos show the size of the pipe in comparison to a nice little bent billiard that is about a group three sized pipe. The grain is quite nice. Nothing striking in terms of straight grain but there are several spots with nice birds eye and then the rest is swirling grain that almost seems to have movement to it. The stem is multicoloured and has the old orific (round) airhole in the button.


Chuck’s Gift Pipes Part 1 – a Horn Stemmed Venezia Vogini

Blog by Steve Laug

In celebration of his 1500th post on Smokers Forums, Chuck (Desertpipe) sent me an email regarding some packages that he was going to distribute to three folks on the Forums. Two of them came to the Vancouver area and one went to the East Coast of the US. I refurbished the older Barling that is heading east as a surprise to the new owner. (I posted the refurb on that old pipe on the blog https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/new-life-for-an-old-barling/ ) Now the wait for the package to come my way north and into my mail box begins.

Chuck posted on SF that he had mailed out the packages. On 08/23/12 I received this email from him regarding the package coming my way. It seems he has chosen two pipes for me to work on. I look forward to seeing them.

Back a decade ago, when I first started getting serious about understanding pipes, I discovered the wonderful world of size. I dawned on me that the size of pipes had radically changed over the course of time, related to the quality, cost and strength of tobacco. I put together quite a collection of pipes from many decades, and also a collection of tobaccos from as many sources and time frames as I could.

The two pipes coming your way are from this collection. The red stemmed pipe will need your magic touch to return to perfect, and I look forward to your take on the restoration. The other is one of my two favorites of this type. It has all the bells and whistles that make one collect very old examples, and I bet it finds a permanent home in your collection.

Enjoy, my Friend,

When I received the above email, my curiosity was piqued and I sent him an email asking about the age of the two pipes and this is his response via a reply email.

My best guess…..The red stem is early Redmanol time frame….puts it 1920’s/30’s? 14k gold filled band has no marks to help out.  The horn bit folder (so far beyond cool as to be in a class by itself) is before that, as far as I have been able to trace, turn of the Century or a bit before?

Now I am even more excited to see what the package contains once it arrives. I have a weak spot for older pipes. The tension of the wait increases!

Today, 9/4/2012 Chuck’s gift box arrived. I opened it to find a tin of C&D Opening Night and two nice little old timers. The first is an old WDC bent pot with a Redmanol stem. The other is a folding vest pocket pipe. The shank has a 90 degree bend and the stem is horn. These are going to be great to work on.

I chose to work on the folding vest pocket pipe first. It is stamped Vogini over Venezia in an oval on the upward bend of the bowl to meet the shank. When it arrived the bowl was clean. There were a few scratches on the rim. There were small dents on the left and right side of the bowl. The band was set crooked with the back side lower than the front making a good seat for the shank impossible. The shank is briar and is a 90 degree bent piece. It is very unusual. There were fills on both the top and the underside of the horizontal part of the shank. The stem is a nice piece of horn that is actually quite tiny. It has tooth chatter on the top and the bottom side of the stem. There are two tooth dents on the underside next to the button. The orifice hole in the button is slightly off centre. This is a great looking old timer that should clean up easily and look amazing!

I have done a bit of research and find that the Venezia brand is definitely Italian and is either a Cavicchi mark or La Rocco but not sure which was an early company. The mark may even go back further into history that I am aware and than Who Made That Pipe reports. If any of you have any ideas on the age and provenance of this pipe let me know by posting a comment. Thank you ahead of time for the information. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

On the evening it arrived I removed the band from the shank and glued, pressure fit it and reset it at a proper angle to seat the shank correctly. I used carpenters glue to reglue the band. I pressed it on and held it until it was set. I then wiped the bowl down with a cotton pad and acetone to clean off the grime and the remaining finish. I also wiped down the band to remove the oxidation that was built up on it. ImageImageImage

I cleaned off the briar shank and the bowl with some more acetone to remove the finish completely and to clean it so that I could begin to repair the fills in the shank. The first photo below shows the pipe after has been wiped down with acetone completely. I avoid using acetone on horn stems. In pictures 2, 3, and 4 you can clearly see the cotton pads that I use with the acetone to wipe the pipe down. These are circularly pads that I pick up at a local store in the makeup section. They are used to remove makeup but I find them perfect for using with alcohol and acetone wipes. I dampen them with the liquid and then wipe down the surface. The dirty pads in the pictures show the dirt and stain that has been removed from the surface of the pipe. ImageImageImageImage

Once the surface is clean, I picked the pink putty fills from the top and underside of the shank piece. I wanted to refill them with briar dust and super glue (pictures 1 and 2 below show the spots that were filled with the combination). ImageImage

I sanded the filled areas (pictured in the next two photos) until they were smooth dark spots on the surface of the wood using fine and extra fine sanding pads. I continued to sand down the surface of the shank and the bowl until the spots were basically blended into the wood as much as possible. I also sanded the rim and top of the bowl to remove the scratches. The bowl and rim were sanded with micromesh pads 1500-2400 grit. The shank was also sanded with the same grits. Photos 3-4 show that finished look of the spots. Once they were sanded to that point I wiped down the shank piece with a pad and isopropyl alcohol to clean off any remaining dust on the briar. ImageImageImageImage

I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem to remove the tooth chatter and the tooth marks on the underside. Horn is such interesting material to work with. I use a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the chatter and tooth marks. It is flexible so it is easy to conform to the curve of the stem. I also had to use emery cloth (fine grit) to remove the remaining marks left by the tooth dents. ImageImage

I restained the bowl and the shank with an oxblood aniline stain, flamed it and then buffed it with White Diamond to remove opacity of the stain and polish it. I wanted the bowl and stem to match in colour rather than the original look of the darker shank and lighter bowl. I gave the entirety several coats of carnauba wax and a light buff with a flannel pad on the buffer. ImageImageImageImage

From the above pictures you can see the colour of the shank and bowl are pretty close. I needed to do some work on the fit of the shank to the bowl. The briar tenon on that portion of the shank was loose fitting and could easily have fallen out at this point in the cleaning. I used a thin coat of super glue and sanded it down to make it a snug fit. Once the shank had a good flush fit and was snug to the bowl, I sanded it with micromesh pads 8000 and 12,000 grit to give it a shine. I gave it another coat of carnauba wax and set it aside.


I gave the tenon on the stem a thin coat of super glue as well and sanded it until the fit was snug. The stem had been loose and easily came out of the shank and would twist from side to side. The superglue made it fit perfectly. I continued to sand the surface of the stem with micromesh pads using the 1500 and 1800 grit pads before buffing it with White diamond. I went on to sand it with the pads from 2400-12,000 grit. Each successive sanding brought more of a shine to the stem. Once it was finished I gave it several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the whole pipe on the buffer to raise the shine. Image


The final pictures were taken this morning (9/5/12) after a quick wipe down with a polishing cloth. The next series of five photos show the pipe with the shank and stem extended and ready to smoke. There are several shots to show the state of the horn stem after the sanding and polish. It has a beautiful natural sheen to it that is amazing and only possible in horn. There is almost a warm glow that seems to come from within the stem. You can see that the super glue patches in the fills and the sandpits are fairly well blended into the shank.  ImageImageImageImageImage

The next series of four photos show the folded pipe ready to be put in the vest pocket and carried with me to the next event where I want to take a small pipe which folds up nicely into a small square and slips into my pocket. The grain on this little pipe is amazing.

I would like to once again thank Chuck for his generous gift of this old timer. I look forward to firing it up and smoking it over the remaining years I am around. I love these unique old timers that add colour and character to my collection. I often wonder what stories they would tell if they could speak. Ah well, I will now add my story to the list of those who have smoked and enjoyed this beauty. ImageImageImageImage