Blog by Steve Laug
I have just a few more pipes to finish from the Michigan lot – 5 to be precise, so I decided to work on another interesting pipe from that lot – an interesting bent egg with a diamond shank and a sandblast finish that is stamped Jobey Old Ivory. My first thought was that the pipe was actually a painted white bowl and I honestly have ignored it since it arrived here. I really dislike working on painted pipes as they seem almost impossible to bring back to life fully. They are not my favourite finish when there are so many rich briar finished pipes that grab my attention. I put off working on it as long as possible but finally after months of passing it by I took it out of the restoration box tonight. I looked it over carefully. It did not feel like a meerschaum in terms of weight. The inside of the bowl looked like briar but inside of the shank was fresh white. I have never seen a sandblast finish on a meerschaum pipe so I was not sure what it was. This is another totally unique pipe and different from any of the other pipes in the collection. The stem has a Jobey Link tenon system and screws into the shank and is pressure fit in the end of the stem. It is vulcanite with a Jobey metal oval on the left side of the saddle stem. It has some light tooth damage and chatter around the button area on both sides. It turns out that this unique sandblast pipe is another nice looking piece much like the rest of those in this 21 pipe Michigan pipe lot. The Jobey Old Ivory that I am working on now is on the bottom of the rack. It is the first pipe on the left and I circled it in red to make it easy to identify. Jeff took some photos of the pipe when he received them to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Like the rest of the pipes from the Michigan collection this pipe was dirty and well used. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. It was hard to know if the edges of the bowl were damaged or not because of the cake in the bowl and the lava. The sandblast finish is an interesting touch and was very dirty. The look of the yellowed, white finish was utterly unique and did not help me identify the material. The vulcanite stem is lightly oxidized and has some calcification at the button. There are tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button edge and some wear on the button edge itself. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of this interesting anomalous pipe.Jeff took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. The rim top had some thick lava overflow and some darkening. The thick lava on the rim top made it hard to know what the inner and outer edges of the bowl looked like. There is also a general accumulation of dust and debris in the sandblast finish on the rest of the bowl and shank.He also took photo of the left and underside of the bowl and shank to show the interesting sandblast pattern on the bowl and the heel. The finish is very dirty but this is another interesting pipe.Jeff took a photo to capture the stamping on the right underside of the diamond shank. The photo shows stamping as noted above. The stamping on this pipe is clear and readable. The second photo shows the Jobey brass inlay in the top left side of the saddle stem.The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem is lightly oxidized and scratched.The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem is lightly oxidized and scratched.Before proceeding with my part of the restoration of this one I decided I needed a more definitive answer about the material that the pipe was made of so I Googled the Jobey Old Ivory line online to see what I could find out. I looked on Pipedia and got a lot of history but nothing on the brand. I checked out the other site that I turn to for information, pipephil. The site did not include any information on this particular line from Jobey either. I finally found a link to an Old Ivory for sale on Smoking Pipes.com and found a little bit of information. Here is the link: (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/misc/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=244606). I quote from the description of the unsmoked pipe that they are selling:
Though simple and classical of shaping, this straight Billiard from Jobey does wear a distinctive style of finish: a craggy sandblast over a whitewashed stain, making for quite the unique look overall.
Other than that there was nothing else that I cold find regarding this pipe. So at least I knew I was working on a briar pipe that been sandblasted over a whitewashed stain. The yellowing came for the years of being smoked and gives it a sense of being old ivory. Overall it is a great looking pipe with a very unique finish that should continue to age and develop a patina through the rest of its life.
Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the pipe. It was in great condition and looked whiter than the rest of the bowl. The inner edge and the outer edge of the rim look really good. The stem photos show the tooth marks and the damage to the button surface on both sides.The bowl was in very good condition after Jeff had cleaned it up and did not require a lot of work on my part to complete the restoration. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into finish of the sandblast, white washed briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The pipe really looks good at this point. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a folded piece of 240 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth marks and chatter into the surface of the stem. Once the surface was smooth I sanded out the scratch marks and started the polishing of the stem with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth and took the following photos. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.I put the stem back on the bowl and polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. 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 variegated yellows and golds in the grain of the white washed sandblast finish looks really good on this bent egg pipe. It makes the bowl a very interesting looking and feeling pipe. The polished black vulcanite seemed to truly come alive with the buffing. The finished pipe is a beautiful looking bent egg that feels great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting this one on the rebornpipes store sometime in the days ahead. It may well be the kind of unique looking bent egg that you have been looking for. Let me know if you are interested. Thanks for walking through the restoration of this with me it was a pleasure to work on.