Tag Archives: Petersons Pipes

Restoring a Peterson’s Dunmore 70 Bent Apple Sitter from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen to work on from Bob Kerr’s estate is another one of his unique Peterson’s. I have restored two of the Canadian Imports from his estate – a Kapruf 54 sandblast bent billiard (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-another-canadian-import-petersons-kapruf-a-54/) and a Kapruf 9BC 56 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-linking-petersons-kapruf-9bc-with-the-56-shape-number/). These were interesting in that they both had a unique numbering system for Peterson’s pipes that were specifically brought to Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. of Montreal, Quebec (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). I restored an English Made Peterson’s System ‘0’ 1307 bent billiard a  (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/17/an-english-made-petersons-system-0-1307-bent-billiard-from-bob-kerrs-estate/) and a Republic Era Peterson’s Flame Grain Bent billiard with a fishtail stem (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/16/a-petersons-flame-grain-x220s-bent-billiard-from-bob-kerrs-estate/).

The next one on the table is of interest because it is a uniquely shaped Dunmore Bent Apple Sitter. It is part of the estate that I am cleaning up for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with their father, Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting.

I really am enjoying working on the Peterson’s in the estate. This was another unique one. When I took it out of the box of cleaned up pipes that Jeff sent back I could see that it was stamped Peterson’s over Dunmore on the left side of the shank and Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 70 on the right shank. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank under the thick grime and tarry spots. The shank is quite thick and the finish is probably the dirtiest of Bob’s pipes so far. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow on the rim. The top and edges of the rim are dirty. I think that there was a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end with some hack marks on the left side mid stem. Again, surprisingly did not have the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes but the button edges were worn. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.   Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the thick, hard cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the top of the rim and the edges of the bowl. It was hard to tell if there was any damage to the inner edge of the rim as it had a thick cake lining it. Hopefully it protected it. The lava flows down the outer edges so it will need to be cleaned in order to assess their condition.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful mix of swirled, flame and birdseye grain underneath the dirt and debris of the years. The cross grain on the heel was beautiful.    Jeff took photos of the stamping on both sides of the bowl and shank. The stamping on the left side was faint but readable as you can see from the photos. It read Peterson’s over Dunmore. The stamp on the right side read Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number 70. You can see that the beading around the shank end is almost filled in with the grime on the briar. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.    I turned first to Pipephil’s site to remind myself of the background of the Dunmore line. Unfortunately there was no information to be found there. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) but nothing specific to the Dunmore line of pipes.

I then turned to the book I should have consulted first, The Peterson Pipe, by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg. On page 298 there is an entry for Dunmore pipes. It reads as follows:

Dunmore (1971-c.1984 2006-10). Appeared first as Iwan Ries & Co. exclusive line “Dunmoor,” a Premier-grade in light-brown smooth or rustic red in all System shapes, with beading at the shank. Documented in the Associated Imports Catalog from 1973. Classic Range Dunmore shapes from ’78. A third Dunmore line (’06-10) featured standard and some B shapes, with beading around bowl instead of at shank-face, produced for European market.

On page 268 there is a shape chart that does comparison of the shapes in the various lines. There I found the following information:

In the Standard and Premier System it was shape 302. In the De Luxe System it was shape 25. In the Dunmore System (1977-1983) it was shape 70. In the Classic Lines it was shape 02/XL02. The production still continues. It is a Peterson Extra Large Size and was named an Extra Large Apple.

On page 165 there were also photos of pages from a catalogue with the  description: The unmounted Dunmore Premier debuted in both System and Classic Range shapes circa 1973 with a final appearance in the 1981 catalogue.

The information blurb on each page read: “Dunmore Briars.” Beautifully grained best quality briar in light-brown, matt or rustic finish. Often described as “Petersons Unmounted System” has all the advantages of the system range. Ten models each fitted with the Peterson Lip mouthpiece.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a Late Republic era pipe. It showed up in Peterson Catalogue in 1973 and from what I have learned about Bob’s other pipes this date fits well. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I am very glad for Jeff’s help cleaning them. He cleaned this filthy pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour I was amazed it looked so good. I took photos before I started my part of the work.     I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. I also wanted to show that the damage to the rim top was more extensive than I had originally thought. The rim top was burned and darkened with nicks and notches around the inner edge. There was some darkening that ran down the front of the bowl as well. The rim top was a nightmare of issues. The outer edge of the bowl looks very good other than the burning and darkening. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the lack of tooth marks and the light oxidation on the stem surface. You can also see the wear to the button. The third stem photo shows the hatch marks on the left side of the stem. One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very faint to start with so I was worried that it would disappear altogether with the cleanup. He was not only able to preserve it but it is clearer than shown in the earlier photos. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping in their cleaning process and often by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is almost destroyed. I would like to encourage all of us to be careful in our work to preserve this as it is a critical piece of pipe restoration! Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now, on to the rest of the restoration of this beautifully grained Peterson’s Dunmore 70 Large Bent Apple. It was great that I did not need to clean the pipe. I decided to start the process by addressing the damage to rim top and the inner edge. From the extent of damage to the inner edge of the rim and the top of the bowl I decided I would need to top the bowl to remove as much of this damage as possible to restore the rim top back to a more pristine condition and bring the bowl back to round. I topped it on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper. I took photos to show the slow process of repairing that damage. The photos show the topping process and the rim top after I had topped it to an acceptable point where the condition of the top and edges was good.    With the top cleaned up and repaired I moved on to address the inner edge surface itself. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and bring the bowl back to round. I followed that by sanding the rim top and edge with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I also sanded the darkening on the front of the bowl edge.   The bowl surface was quite smooth so I decided to forego polishing it with micromesh sanding pads. I cleaned the briar with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner to remove the debris left behind by the sanding of the rim top and to blend the repairs into the briar. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar and let it sit for 10 minutes. I rinsed the bowl off with warm running water to remove the product and the grime. The grain really began to stand out clearly. It was a beautiful piece of briar. I stained the rim top and edges with an Oak Stain pen to match the colour of the stain on the bowl. Once it was polished with the Before & After Balm and buffed with a microfiber cloth the stain would blend perfectly.After the stain had cured, I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the 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. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I decided to touch up the “P” stamp on the left side of the shank. I use PaperMate liquid paper for doing this. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once the material had hardened I used the tooth pick to scrape off the excess material.  I reshaped the edge of the button and top of the P-Lip with a needle file to get a more defined shape and edge. Once I had the shape more defined I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the remaining oxidation and smooth out the file marks. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The bead around the shank looks very good. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl. This Peterson’s Dunmore 70 Large Bent Apple was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. The beading around the shank gives this Peterson’s “Unmounted System” a unique look without the silver or nickel ferrule. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The thick/chubby shank makes it a very comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This beautiful large pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection and carry on Bob’s legacy. If not, I have a lot more of Bob’s estate to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

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An English Made Peterson’s System “0” 1307 Bent Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen to work on from Bob Kerr’s estate is another one of his unique Petersons. I have restored two of the Canadian Imports from his estate – a Kapruf 54 sandblast bent billiard (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-another-canadian-import-petersons-kapruf-a-54/) and a Kapruf 9BC 56 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-linking-petersons-kapruf-9bc-with-the-56-shape-number/). These were interesting in that they both had a unique numbering system for Petersons pipes that were specifically brought to Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. of Montreal, Quebec (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). I also finished restoring a Flame Grain X220S that was very nice https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/16/a-petersons-flame-grain-x220s-bent-billiard-from-bob-kerrs-estate/). This next one is of interest because it is a large System 0 1307 bent billiard with a fishtail stem. It is part of the estate that I am cleaning up for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with their father, Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting.

I really am enjoying working on the Peterson’s in the estate. This was another unique one. When I first looked at it when it came I wondered if the stem was a replacement. However, the shape and the fit of the stem makes me wonder if it was not original. When I took it out of the box of cleaned up pipes that Jeff sent back I could see that it was stamped Peterson’s System 0 on the left side of the shank and Made in England in a circular shaped stamp on the right side. The shape number 1307 is stamped on the underside of the shank just next to the nickel ferrule. It has some interesting grain around the bowl and shank under what appears to be a thick varnish coat. The shank is quite thick and the finish very dirty.  There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but they looked pretty good under the grime. It was another beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly did not have the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but it was hard to tell how the inner edge looked under the lava. The outer edges looked okay but there were some nicks there as well.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful mix of grain underneath the varnish, dirt and debris of the years.    Jeff took photos of the stamping on both sides of the bowl and shank. The stamping on the left side was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Peterson’s arched over System over 0. The stamp on the right side read Made in England. The nickel ferrule was stamped K& P Peterson’s of Dublin with three hallmarks. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface.   I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the Flame Grain line. Unfortunately there was no information to be found there. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I quote a pertinent portion of the article below:

1969/70 – The ‘Made in England’ stamp was discontinued with the closing down of the London based factory. Although Peterson has always prided itself in being an Irish made pipe, Peterson had also maintained a pipe factory in London since 1899.

English made Peterson pipes actually spanned the period between the pre Republic and Republic eras.

In 1899, Peterson opened the first in a series of several successive shops in London, England, that lasted until the late 1960’s/70s.

  • 1899 – 53, New Broad St. E.C.
  • 1910 – 7, Hills Pl., Oxford St. W.
  • 1915 – 21, Mortimer St. W.
  • Finally moving to 74/77 White Lion Street until 1970.

So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1899 through to around 1970. The stamps Peterson used in London are:

  • Made in England block format
  • Made in England circle format
  • Made in London
  • Made in London England
  • Simply, London England
  • London Made over England block format
  • Great Britain

I also looked at the article that the late Mike Leverette wrote on pipedia to see if the above information matched (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb). I quote a portion of that as well.

 English made Peterson pipes actually spans between the pre-Republic and Republic eras. In 1895, Peterson opened a shop in London England that lasted until the late 1950s or early 1960s. So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1895 through 1959. The stamps Peterson used in London and that we have seen are;

  • Made in England – block format
  • Made in England – circle format
  • Made in London
  • Made in London England
  • Simply, London England.
  • Great Britain

Though there are a couple of more, the above will give one the general idea. We believe the earliest stamp of this era was the “Made in England” in a block format since Peterson was using the “Made in Ireland” block format at about the same time on their Irish production pipes. The “Made in England” circle format was used during the same time frame as the “Made in Eire” and “Made in Ireland” circle formats.

I looked also on pipesmagazine forum to see if I could find any information on the 0 grade stamp on the shank (http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/petersons). Here is what I found in a quote from Chuck.

On to your query about grading.

  • A System 0 would be the same as today’s Supreme grade.
  • A 1 would be a Deluxe.
  • A 2 would be a Premier.
  • A 3 would be a Standard.

I have a 4 and a 5 grade which I assume were lesser grades and have been discontinued or will simply have re-graded as Standards in today’s market.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is an English made Peterson and was made before the factory closed in 1969 or early 1970. The System 0 stamp would be the same as a current Supreme grade System pipe. From what I have learned about Bob’s other pipes this fits well. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me on a recent visit and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. Wiping it down with acetone on a cotton pad enabled him to get rid of the varnish top coat. The finish looks very good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. Jeff did a great cleaning job on the rim top. The inner edge looked pretty good. There is a small burn mark on the right front inner edge of the bowl but it is minor. The outer edge of the bowl looks very good. I also took close up photos of the fishtail stem to show the lack of tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.    Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this English Made Peterson’s System 0 1307 bent billiard. I did not need to clean the pipe. I decided to start the process by addressing the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and bring the bowl back to round. I followed that by sanding the rim top and edge with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The photos below show the process and the results of the sanding. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth.   I decided to clean the briar with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner to clean up the sanded surface of the briar and blend the repairs into the briar. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar and let it sit for 10 minutes. I rinsed the bowl off with warm running water to remove the product and the grime.   After I dried the bowl off, I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the 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. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to give the stem a proper bend first. I heated the stem with a heat gun until the vulcanite was flexible and then bent it to match the angle of the bowl. The photos tell the story.   I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the remaining oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove some of the scratching. It is starting to look good.     I have one more tin of Denicare Mouthpiece Polish left from a few that I have picked up over the years. It is a coarse red pasted that serves to help remove oxidation. I polished the stem with that to further smooth out the surface of the vulcanite (and to be honest – to use it up).    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.    I am excited to be on the homestretch with yet another one of Bob’s pipes and I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the rich reds and browns of the bowl. This Peterson’s “System 0” 1307 shaped bent billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has the stunning look of a well-made Peterson’s System pipe with the polished nickel ferrule. The thick/chubby shank makes it a very comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you want to carry on Bob’s legacy by adding this pipe to your collection let me know as it will soon be on the rebornpipes store. I have a lot more of Bob’s estate to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

A Peterson’s Flame Grain X220S Bent Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen to work on from Bob Kerr’s estate is another one of his unique Petersons. I have restored two of the Canadian Imports from his estate – a Kapruf 54 sandblast bent billiard (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-another-canadian-import-petersons-kapruf-a-54/) and a Kapruf 9BC 56 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/09/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-linking-petersons-kapruf-9bc-with-the-56-shape-number/). These were interesting in that they both had a unique numbering system for Petersons pipes that were specifically brought to Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. of Montreal, Quebec (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). This next one is of interest because it is not one that I have seen before – a smooth fish tail stemmed nicely grained bent billiard. It is part of the estate that I am cleaning up for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with their father, Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting.

I really am enjoying working on the Peterson’s in the estate. This was a bit of a unique one. When I first looked at it when it came it noted that it was a Shamrock but I was very wrong. When I took it out of the box of cleaned up pipes that Jeff sent back I could see that actually it was stamped Peterson’s over Flame Grain on the left side of the shank and Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number X220S on the right shank. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank. The shank is quite thick and the finish very dirty.  There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty and there appeared to be some deep burn damage on the rear side of the bowl. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly did not have the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.   Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but there was some burn damage on the inner edge at the back of the bowl. The outer edges looked okay but there were some nicks there as well.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful flame grain underneath the dirt and debris of the years. The birdseye grain on the heel was beautiful.Jeff took photos of the stamping on both sides of the bowl and shank. The stamping on the left side was faint but readable as you can see from the photos. It read Peterson’s Flame Grain. The stamp on the right side read Made in the Republic of Ireland followed by the shape number X220S.  There was a P stamped on the left side of the saddle stem. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.   I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the Flame Grain line. Unfortunately there was no information to be found there. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I quote a pertinent portion of the article below:

At the start of the 1950’s, all pipes at Kapp & Peterson were stamped with “Made in the Republic of Ireland” stamp and also starting off the decade with the hallmark letter I on any silverware. Apparently nickel was scarce in those days, just after the war and the company tried to use aluminium instead. Needless to say It was not very successful!

I have adapted this section concentrating on the period following 1950,the made in the Irish Republic era and the different near modern Peterson grades and series, which should bring us up to the time period from the 1990’s onward.

Again this was a time of great change for the brand, the company having changed ownership on several occasions. However it was also one of great creativity, with the introduction of several commemorative series and some new literary character series of pipes that would leave a very lasting impression on the pipe smoking fraternity.

I found a discussion on pipesmagazine online forum on the line and I have included a portion of that below (http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/petersons-80-flame-grain).

The Flame Grain line by Peterson’s are not high grades but the briars are singled out for their exceptional grain patterns. A flaw or two might keep them from becoming a pipe costing hundreds of dollars more….

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a Republic era pipe and from what I have learned about Bob’s other pipes this is probably from the 60s to the early 70s. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me on a recent visit and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with great looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The damage to the rim top was more extensive than I had originally thought. The burned area extends on the inner edge around the back, the left side and front of the bowl. It is rounded over besides being burned. The outer edge of the bowl looks very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the lack of tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.   One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup work is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. I took some photos to show the clarity of the stamping. I have noticed that many restorers are not careful to protect the stamping in their cleaning process and often by the end of the restoration the nomenclature is almost destroyed. I would like to encourage all of us to be careful in our work to preserve this! Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this beautiful Flame Grain Peterson X220S bent billiard I did not need to clean the pipe. I decided to start the process by addressing the damage to the inner edge of the rim. From the extent of damage to the inner edge of the rim and the top of the bowl I decided I would need to top the bowl to remove as much of this damage as possible to restore the rim top back to a more pristine condition and bring the bowl back to round. I topped it on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper. I took photos along the way to show the extent of the damage and the slow process of repairing that damage. Each photo shows a little more of the damage has been removed until the final one that shows the smooth rim top. With the top cleaned up and repaired I moved on to address the inner edge surface itself. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and bring the bowl back to round. I followed that by sanding the rim top and edge with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1400-12000 grit pads and wiping the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. You can see some of the small sandpits in the surface of the bowl in the photos below. I have chosen to leave those and not fill them in as they are really part of the character of this pipe.   I decided to clean the briar with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner to clean up the sanded surface of the briar and blend the repairs into the briar. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar and let it sit for 10 minutes. I rinsed the bowl off with warm running water to remove the product and the grime. After I dried the bowl off I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the 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. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the remaining oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good.   I decided to touch up the “P” stamp on the left side of the shank. I use PaperMate liquid paper for doing this. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once the material had hardened I used the tooth pick to scrape off the excess material.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I am excited to be on the homestretch of another one of Bob’s pipes and I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the reds and browns of the bowl. This Peterson’s Flame Grain X220S bent billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has the unique look of a Peterson’s finish without the silver or nickel ferrule. It really is quite stunning even with the small pits in the briar. The thick/chubby shank makes it a very comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I am still not sure what I am going to do with this pipe. There is something about it that makes me want to hang on to it but time will tell. I have a lot more of Bob’s estate to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a “Made in England” Peterson’s System 3 # 357 from the Mumbai Bonanza Lot


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I have quite a few inherited Peterson’s System pipes ranging from the period 1915 to 1947 to present!!! I also have these pipes in System Standard, System 0 and System 3. So when Abha, my wife, sent me pictures of pipes that I had purchased from a Mumbai trash collector, I saw two distinct Peterson’s System pipes, one large and the other very small!! When Abha confirmed the COM stamping on both these pipes, I knew that I had Peterson’s System pipes from the 1930s-40s. Another two vintage Peterson’s System pipes added to my collection, I say. And I am not complaining, mind you readers!!

I was fortunate enough to have heeded the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Steve, and struck a deal with a junk collector from Mumbai. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what I was buying as we reside in different cities!!!!! The argument that Mr. Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot.       This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brands and some mediocre brands. Overall, with seven Dunhill pipes, a Preben Holm #1 FH, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, a couple of  Charatan’s Belvedere, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had struck a decent haul!!! This is indeed my “Mumbai Bonanza”.

This 15th pipe that I decided to work on from this find is a large Peterson’s System 3 pipe with a nickel ferrule and is indicated in indigo color arrow. It is stamped on the left of the shank towards the shank end as “PETERSON’S” in an arch in block capital letters over arched “SYSTEM” in block capital over “# 3”. The tail of the P in Peterson’s is forked. The right side of the shank is stamped with COM stamp “MADE IN ENGLAND” in a circle format with “Made” and “England” in a circle with the “in” located in the center of the circle. Stamped at the bottom of the shank, very close to the ferrule is the shape number “357”. All the stampings are crisp and easily readable. The ferrule has the usual three cartouche with first having Shamrock, the second a Prone Fox and lastly a Stone Tower. Stamped above the cartouche are the letters “K & P” followed by “PETERSON’S” all in a straight line. The stem is devoid of any logo.In my earlier restoration of my inherited Peterson’s System 31, I had extensively researched the dating of these old Peterson’s and I can say with certainty that this pipe is from the period 1938 to 1940/ 41. Also the forked tail of “P” in Peterson’s with the inward coiling upper part corroborates the vintage of this pipe.

I reconfirmed and refreshed my learning by visiting pipedia.org and my memory has served me right. Here is the link to dating Peterson’s pipes: https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb

For further understanding of System Standard/ 0/ 3 etc, I referred to the main article on Peterson’s, but came out cropper. There is nothing substantive and clear information about this grading of these System pipes. Any source of information may please be shared with us on rebornpipes.com.

But nonetheless this is a Peterson’s System pipe from the 1938-40/41 vintage and sure is staying with me.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The first and foremost thing that struck me as awful was that the smooth stummel is coated with a coat of lacquer!!! To top it, the coat has disintegrated in patches giving it a very sorry appearance. The icing on the cake is that half way up towards the rim, the stummel is stained black!! Why would they do that?  Well, the long and short of the above is that both the lacquer and the black stain will be removed and whether the finish is to be kept natural or be stained will be decided later. To be honest with you, being a grade 3 System pipe, there is nothing much to boast about the grains on the stummel. It has a smattering of cross grains and swirls all around the shank and stummel. The stummel surface is covered in grime giving the stummel a dirty appearance which is further accentuated by the patches of peeled lacquer coat. The stummel surface is peppered with a number of dents and ding on the foot and front of the stummel. A couple of fills are noticeable on either side near the shank and stummel junction and shown with yellow arrows. These will be clear when the stummel is cleaned of all the grime. In spite of all these flaws, the pipe has a nice size, heft and feel in the hand. It does have a quality which is seen on vintage pipes, but difficult to explain in words. And not to forget, this is nearly an 80 year old pipe!! A thick and uneven layer of cake can be seen in the chamber. The rim top surface has suffered the maximum damage and is uneven. It is covered in thick overflow of lava, dirt, dust and grime. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber and rim top surface will be known once the cake has been taken down to bare briar and the rim top crud has been scraped off completely. The bowl is out of round with the left half being thinner than the rest of the rim top. The inner rim is uneven with suspected burn/ charred surfaces in 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock direction (marked in yellow circle). Only once the stummel has been thoroughly cleaned that I can be sure of my initial appreciation. The outer rim edge too has dents, chips and dings, but not very severe, likely caused due to knocking against the hard surface. In spite of the thick cake, the chamber odor is, surprisingly, not strong and should be addressed once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar and the shank internals have been thoroughly cleaned The shank end is adorned with a nickel ferrule. The ferrule has oxidized a fair bit but should polish up nicely. The sump shows a heavy deposition of accumulated dried gunk, adversely affecting the airflow.The P-lip vulcanite stem is heavily oxidized and has calcification deposits towards the button end. There are deep tooth marks on the lower and upper stem surface in the bite zone and appears that the previous owner has literally chomped on the bite zone of the stem. The button edges also have bite marks, in fact, they are badly worn out. The tenon end has a major chunk missing and shows heavy accumulation of oils and tars. The part of the stem that seats in to the mortise is heavily scratched. Along with the stems of other pipes in line for restoration, I immersed the stem of this Peterson’s System 3 pipe in a mix of one part Hydrogen Peroxide 20% with one part hot water after I ran a couple of pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol through the stem air way. A couple of hours later, the stem oxidation on all these stems were raised to the surface.After I had fished out the stem from the Hydrogen Peroxide bath, I scrubbed it with Magiclean sponge and followed it up with a wipe of cotton swab and alcohol. I further scrubbed the stem surface with 0000 grade steel wool. The loosened and superficial layer of oxidation was easily removed and revealed the condition of the stem. There are deep bite marks in both the upper and lower bite zone. The bite marks are deep enough to cause significant thinning of the surface and complete disfigurement of the button edges. The deeper oxidation that was pulled to the surface would require more abrasive techniques.

THE PROCESS
I started the restoration with the stem repairs as this would take the maximum of my time to clean, repair and spruce up the stem. I flamed the damaged button edge and the nicks and dents with the flame of a lighter. This helps the vulcanite to rise to the surface as it has an inherent property to regain its original shape when heated. At this stage, I could clearly make out the extent of damage to the lower surface and the extent of the crack in the bite zone. This was further accentuated due to heating with the flame of a lighter. The upper surface too has a couple of deep tooth marks. I cleaned the internals of the stem using hard and normal bristled pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. The heap of pipe cleaners tells the sordid tale of the stem condition. With a pointed dental tool, I scraped out the entire dried gunk from the tenon end. I addressed the deeper oxidation by sanding the entire stem with a folded piece of 150 and followed by 220 grit sand paper. This also helps to address minor tooth chatter and prevents the fills turning brown once polished. Once the oxidation was completely removed, I wiped the surface clean with a cotton swab and alcohol and rubbed a little Extra Virgin Olive oil to hydrate the stem. Just for the information of statistically oriented reader, to get the stem to this stage it took better part of the afternoon and well past mid night!! Continuing with the stem repair, I tightly wrapped a scotch tape around one end of a pipe cleaner so that I had achieved a snug fit of the pipe cleaner in the small rounded slot of the P-lip stem. At the tenon end, I folded a pipe cleaner till the fit was snug in to the wide tenon and after applying generous coat of petroleum jelly, I inserted it in to the tenon end of the stem. Both the scotch tape and petroleum jelly prevents the mix of charcoal and superglue from sticking over the pipe cleaners and keeps the slot and tenon open. Thereafter, I mixed superglue and activated charcoal powder and generously applied it over the bite zone on either side, including over the button, over the chipped tenon end and set it aside to cure.  With the stem fill set aside to cure, I started with cleaning of the stummel as I was keen to know the condition of the walls of the chamber. With size 1 head followed by head size 2 and 3 of a PipNet pipe reamer, I took the cake down to bare briar. With my sharp fabricated knife, I removed the cake from the chamber where the reamer head could not reach and thereafter, using a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper, I sand out the last traces of cake and expose the walls of the chamber. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. Once the chamber walls were cleaned out, I was pleased to note a pristine chamber with no signs of heat fissures/ lines/ pits. With the same sharp knife, I gently scraped off the lava overflow from the rim top surface. The charred and uneven rim surface and damaged inner and outer rim edges is now clearly seen and should be addressed with simple topping of the bowl. Next, I cleaned out the internals of the shank and mortise. Using my dental tool, I scraped out all the dried oils, tars and gunk that had accumulated in the draught hole, airway and sump. The amount of crud that was scrapped out and the condition of the pipe cleaners that were used leaves no surprise why air flow through it was restricted. I finished the cleaning by running a few pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I also wiped the sump with cotton buds and alcohol. I gave a final cleaning to the sump with a paper napkin moistened with isopropyl alcohol. With this cleaning, all old smells in the pipe are history. The pipe now smells clean and fresh.  All this time that I was handling cleaning of the internals of this pipe, the patchy lacquer coating and the black stain to the upper half of the stummel was irritating me no end. The more I looked at it, the more convinced I was that this needs to be removed completely. Using cotton balls dipped in pure acetone; I worked the entire stummel and got rid of the lacquer as well as the black stain. The cleaned stummel revealed a couple of more flaws in the briar, but that is fine by me. I was prepared to handle a couple of fills and a couple more does not perturb me.  Next, I cleaned the external surface using a hard bristled toothbrush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. With a soft bristled brass wired brush, I removed the overflowing lava from the rim top surface and cleaned the internals of the shank with a shank brush and dish washing soap to remove what little crud remained in the shank. I rinsed it under running tap water and wiped the stummel dry with an absorbent soft cotton cloth.   Once I had wiped the stummel dry with paper towels and soft cotton cloth, the exact extent of damage to the rim top and edges could be clearly gauged. Now I had a fair idea of the extent of topping the rim surface. I top the rim on a piece of 220 grit sand paper to even out the rim surface dents and dings and also to reduce the charred rim surface. I addressed the out of round inner edge by creating a light bevel to inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and index finger. With a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I sand the entire stummel surface and addressed the minor pits and flaws that were revealed when the lacquer coat was removed. To further smooth out the scratches left behind by the abrasive 220 girt sand paper, I top the rim surface on a piece of 400 grit sand paper. I had hoped that further sanding with a 400 grit paper will address the minor dings that remained on the outer edge, but that was not to be. Thus, with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and index finger, I created a light bevel over the outer edge. I am very happy at the way the chamber and rim top surface appears at this in restoration. The old fills observed earlier during initial inspection and those revealed once the lacquer coat was removed, were next that I addressed. Very carefully and painstakingly, I completely removed the old fill with a pointed dental pick. I cleaned the fill of all the debris of old fill material, wiped it with alcohol and refreshed the fill with a mix of briar dust and CA superglue in each fill and set it aside to cure overnight.By next day, the fill was nice, hard and well set. Using a flat head needle file, I sand these fills to achieve a rough match with the stummel surface. With a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I worked the fill till I had achieved a nice blend with the rest of the stummel surface. At this stage, the dreaded air pockets revealed itself (marked with red arrows) in one of the fills. I spot fill these air pockets with CA superglue. I repeated the sanding with a piece of 220 grit sand paper again once the glue had hardened. It turned out much better than I had anticipated. I further sand the entire stummel surface again with the same grit sand paper to further smooth the stummel surface in preparation for a polish by micromesh pads. I subjected the stummel to a complete cycle of micromesh polish, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I paid greater attention to polish the rim top surface and the bevels created on the inner and outer rim edges. I wiped the stummel with a moist cloth after every grit pad to remove the sanding dust left behind by the pads. This also helps in monitoring the progress being made and provides an opportunity to take early corrective action, if required. I am happy with the progress being made till now. Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and worked it deep in to the surface and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful swirl grain patterns on full display. The contrast of the dark browns of the grain with the light hues of the rest of the stummel adds an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush to further deepen the shine. Turning my attention to the stem repairs in my home stretch, using a flat head needle file, I reshaped the button and roughly matched the fills with the rest of the stem surface. I sand the tenon end on a piece of I sand the fill with a piece of folded 220 grit sandpaper to even it out. With a round needle file, I smooth out the jagged tenon opening. A sanding with a flat head needle file of the buttons and bite zone to achieve a rough match, revealed air pockets on the upper and lower portions of the P-lip. I painted these air pockets with a permanent marker and spot filled it with clear superglue. Once the fill had cured, I sand the fills with a piece of folded 220 grit sand paper and followed it up by further sanding the stem with 320, 600 and 800 grit sand papers to achieve a perfect blending of the fills with the stem surface and a build a crisp button edge on either side of the P-lip. The repairs look good and the stem should polish up nicely. In my exuberance to cross the finish line and start on the new project, I completely missed out on taking pictures of this last step in stem restoration. My sincere apologies for this miss…. Using the micromesh pads, I completed the polishing cycle by wet sanding the surface with 1500 to 3200 girt pads. I had read that White diamond polish is between 3600 and 4000 grit of micromesh pads and best used between these two. I decided to give this a try to see if there is any difference in the final stem finish. I mount a fresh cotton buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply white diamond polish and buffed the stem. I wiped the stem with microfiber cloth and go through the remaining pads, dry sanding with 4000 to 12000 grit pads. The stem looks great with the fills nicely matched with the rest of the surface. I gave a final rub with “Before and After Extra Fine” stem polish compound from Mark to remove fine scratches from the stem surface. I rub a little quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem surface and set it aside to be absorbed by the vulcanite. The stem polished up nicely and appears as good as when new. To complete the restoration, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. I vigorously buff the nickel ferrule with a jeweler’s cloth and bring it to a nice shine.I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and give the entire pipe a once over buff. The finished pipe with a natural finish to the briar looks amazingly beautiful and is now ready for its long second innings with me. The dark spots of the fills, though visible, are not addressed as the pipe looks beautiful as it is. I only wish it could share with me its life story of the past years while I enjoy smoking my favorite Virginia blend in it or maybe an English blend!! P.S. I earnestly would like to request all the readers to help me with information as to what does Standard/ 0/ 3 on these System pipes denote/ signify. The only thing that is confirmed is that this is definitely not one of the high grade System pipes from Peterson’s what with the fills that were seen on the stummel, but nevertheless, it’s a vintage Peterson’s!!

With this write up, I am through with all my pending works and look forward to work on my next project to restore a pipe which my dear friend and mentor, Steve, had sent me about a year back with the intention of providing me an opportunity to test my own skills. This pipe is close to my heart for other reasons too which I shall bring out in the write up after I have completed the restoration. Suffice to say at this point that this pipe is in a very very sad state and that it’s a DUNHILL!! I wish to thank each one for sparing their valuable time to read through this write up and sharing this journey with me.

 

Back to Bob Kerr’s Estate – Another Canadian Import Peterson’s “Kapruf” – a 54


Blog by Steve Laug

With this Peterson’s “Kapruf” 54 I am continuing my work on a few more pipes from Bob Kerr’s estate. This is the second of the Peterson’s that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. I decided to take a break from working on his Dunhills to work on a few of the other pipes. The second of them is another really nice Peterson. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

It is a shape 54 with a sandblast that makes it a favourite of mine. This one also has a rugged sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped Peterson’s “Kapruf” over Made in the Republic of Ireland. That is followed by the shape number 54. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had a rich reddish brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was lightly oxidized and surprisingly did not have the tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. He obviously loved the Peterson’s as much as he did his Dunhills.Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.  Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful undulations of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was faint but readable as you can see from the photos. It took three separate photos from different angles to capture the totality of the stamp. It read Peterson’s “Kapruf” as can be seen below. The pipe also bears the Made in the Republic of Ireland stamp and the shape stamp 54. I think that the clue to the Montreal based Peterson’s Importer is clear with the number but I will check that as I work on the pipe. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. The “P” on the stem was washed out but present and the P-lip button is in very good condition.   Once again I turned to the blogs that Al Jones wrote on the Peterson’s Kapruf on rebornpipes to refresh my memory through Al’s blogs written specifically on the 9BC Kapruf pipe. The first blog contained some helpful information was still pertinent to this pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2015/06/03/peterson-9bc-kapruf-pre-59/). I quote from there and also include some of the catalogue pages from the blog.

I didn’t know much about the Kapruf line. It is described in a 1960’s catalog as: “A fine sandblast finish distinguishes this range of light natural grained pipes with their distinctive red colouring. Very popular with sportsmen.”

Al had also written a second blog about another “Kapruf” 9BC he had picked up that was not stamped with the 9BC stamp but with a shape number 56. The pipe I am working on while not a 9BC or a 56 has the shape number 54 that is a mystery as well if you go by the standard Peterson’s numbers (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/25/peterson-shape-56-mystery/). I am quoting the portion where Al resolves the 56 shape number because that will also cover this 54 pipe.

Well, the Shape 56 mystery is now resolved…Well, further sleuthing from the world’s foremost Peterson authority yielded an answer – which came directly from a blog entry here on rebornpipes, by our very own Steven Laug. In 2015, Steve posted a catalog from Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. which shows their unique numbering system. I even comment that the Shape 56 looks like a 9BC! So, all the while, the answer was hiding on this blog! Below is that brochure page showing the Shape 56. Steve comments that the postal code used in the address dates the brochure to between 1962 and 1969. I guess not many Canadians appreciated the shape, so they are pretty uncommon. Thanks to Mark Irwin for his superior memory and to Steve for making this type of ephemera available, you never know when it will come in handy.

I have included both the link to the document for you to check out and a page from it that shows the 54 shape number (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). I have put a blue box around the shape number to make identifying it simpler (the red box shows the 56 that Al refers to above). Be sure to check out the document as it is very informative.I turned to an article on Pipedia by a good friend, the late Mike Leverette entitled A Peterson Dating Guide (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb). I quote from the section by Mike on the Republic Era pipes.

The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

I went to the full article on Peterson pipes after this to try to pin things down a bit more clearly (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I believe the pipe is from the Republic Era – 1950 – 1989. I quote the pertinent section of that article below:

From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from both Mike’s Pipedia article and the longer article that the pipe was made during the Republic Era between 1950 and 1989. Most of Bob’s pipes were purchased in the 60s so my guess is that this is also a 60’s era pipe. I also knew that the pipe was brought into Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. in Montreal, Quebec. Noting above that the catalogue postal code puts it in the late 60s early 70s which also fits the story. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me on a recent visit and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks very good. The sandblast finish is very nice. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the deep tooth marks on the top and underside.I took a photo of the stamping and was able to capture most of it. I also captured the P stamp on the left side of the saddle stem.  Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this pipe that come from the Canadian Importer of Peterson pipes – a 54 Kapruf. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was very easy for me. I only had to rub the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. This stem was in such good condition it made me wonder if Bob had smoked it much. However the cake in the bowl said he had. He had not chomped on the stem at all so there were no tooth marks in the surface. When I removed the stem I was a little surprised that there was an aluminum inner tube in the tenon that was obviously original. It was in good condition so I left it alone. I decided to touch up the “P” stamp before I polished the stem. I used some Papermate Liquid Paper to paint the stamped “P” and when it dried I scraped it off with my fingernail and lightly polished it with a 1500 grit micromesh pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. Once again I am on the homestretch with this pipe and I really look forward to the final look when it is put back together and polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 valleys and ridges of the sandblast looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This second 1969/70 Peterson’s “Kapruf” a 54 Bent billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Peterson look in a sandblast “Kapruf” finish that catches the eye. The combination of various brown stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is a comfortable pipe to hold in the hand and I think that as it heats with smoking that over time the finish will darken and look even better. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on include 17 more Petersons. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Back to Bob Kerr’s Estate – Linking Peterson’s “Kapruf” 9BC with the 56 shape number


Blog by Steve Laug

With this Peterson’s “Kapruf” 9BC I am turning again to work on a few more pipes from Bob Kerr’s estate. This is the first of the Peterson’s that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stamping to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. I decided to take a break from working on his Dunhills to work on a few of the other pipes. The first of them is a really nice Peterson. It is a shape that is one of my favourites so this one will probably stay with me.

I love these older Peterson’s 9BC shapes and find that the sandblast versions really are a favourite of mine. This one has a rugged sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped Peterson’s “Kapruf” over London Made England. That is followed by the shape number 9BC over 56. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had a rich reddish brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was lightly oxidized with the typical tooth marks and chatter on both sides that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. He obviously loved the Peterson’s as much as he did his Dunhills. The P-lip button had some light damage to the top surface. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful undulations of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. The London Made over England stamp is faint but readable under a light. The pipe also bears the same 9BC over 56 stamp that Al Jones (upshallfan) noted on the on his previous blog and had called a mystery pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/25/peterson-shape-56-mystery/).Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the deep tooth marks and scratching, oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. The “P” logo on the stem is long gone but the robust p-lip button is in very good condition.Al Jones had written a couple of blogs on the Peterson’s Kapruf 9BC so I turned to rebornpipes to refresh my memory through Al’s blogs (https://rebornpipes.com/2015/06/03/peterson-9bc-kapruf-pre-59/). I quote from there and also include some of the catalogue pages from the blog.

I didn’t know much about the Kapruf line. It is described in a 1960’s catalog as: “A fine sandblast finish distinguishes this range of light natural grained pipes with their distinctive red colouring. Very popular with sportsmen.”

The second page shows the 9BC shape.  I have boxed the shape in with a red box for quick reference. Al had also written a blog about another “Kapruf” 9BC he had picked up that was not stamped with the 9BC stamp but with a shape number 56. Interestingly the one I am working on is stamped with both numbers. I quote from a pertinent section of that blog on the shape number (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/07/25/peterson-shape-56-mystery/).

Well, the Shape 56 mystery is now resolved…Well, further sleuthing from the world’s foremost Peterson authority yielded an answer – which came directly from a blog entry here on rebornpipes, by our very own Steven Laug. In 2015, Steve posted a catalog from Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. which shows their unique numbering system. I even comment that the Shape 56 looks like a 9BC! So, all the while, the answer was hiding on this blog! Below is that brochure page showing the Shape 56. Steve comments that the postal code used in the address dates the brochure to between 1962 and 1969. I guess not many Canadians appreciated the shape, so they are pretty uncommon. Thanks to Mark Irwin for his superior memory and to Steve for making this type of ephemera available, you never know when it will come in handy.

I have included both the link to the document for you to check out and a page from it that shows the 9BC/56 connection Al noted above (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/13/petersons-pipes-brochure-from-genin-trudeau-co-montreal-quebec/). I have put a red box around the shape number to make identifying it simpler. Be sure to check out the document as it is very informative.I turned to an article on Pipedia by a good friend, the late Mike Leverette entitled A Peterson Dating Guide (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb). While the one I have in hand is slightly different in terms of stamping it is an English made Peterson that bears the stamp London Made England. I quote from the section by Mike on the English pipes.

English made Peterson pipes actually spans between the pre-Republic and Republic eras. In 1895, Peterson opened a shop in London England that lasted until the late 1950s or early 1960s. So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1895 through 1959. The stamps Peterson used in London and that we have seen are:

  • Made in England – block format
  • Made in England – circle format
  • Made in London
  • Made in London England
  • Simply, London England.
  • Great Britain

I went to the full article on Peterson pipes after this to try to pin things down a bit more clearly (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I believe the pipe is from the Republic Era – 1950 – 1989. I quote the pertinent section of that article below:

1969/70 – The ‘Made in England’ stamp was discontinued with the closing down of the London based factory. Although Peterson has always prided itself in being an Irish made pipe, Peterson had also maintained a pipe factory in London since 1899.

English made Peterson pipes actually spanned the period between the pre Republic and Republic eras.

In 1899, Peterson opened the first in a series of several successive shops in London, England, that lasted until the late 1960’s/70s.

1899 – 53, New Broad St. E.C.

1910 – 7, Hills Pl., Oxford St. W.

1915 – 21, Mortimer St. W.

Finally moving to 74/77 White Lion Street until 1970.

So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1899 through to around 1970. The stamps Peterson used in London are:

    • Made in England block format
    • Made in England circle format
    • Made in London
    • Made in London England
    • Simply, London England
    • London Made over England block format
    • Great Britain

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from both Mike’s Pipedia article and the longer article that the pipe was made during the Republic Era prior to the closer of the London based factory. My thinking is that it came from the final factory location on 74/77 White Lion Street which closed down in 1970. That fits the time frame of many of the pipes from Bob Kerr’s estate.  I also knew that the pipe was brought into Canada by the Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. in Montreal, Quebec. Noting above that the catalogue postal code puts it in the late 60s early 70s which also fits the story. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me on a recent visit and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks very good. The sandblast finish is very nice. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the deep tooth marks on the top and underside. The “P” logo on the stem was long gone though I could see a faint ghost of it on the left side. I took a photo of the stamping and was able to capture all of it. Even the illusive London Made over England portion shows up. Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this pipe that links the two shape numbers that Al referred to – the 9BC and the 56. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was very easy for me. I only had to rub the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the tooth marks in the stem. I painted the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic style lighter. Since vulcanite has “memory” heat will lift much of the tooth damage. The photos show the marks that remain after the heat treatment.To repair these deeper tooth marks, I filled them in with clear super glue and set the stem aside to dry. Once the glue cured it would be a matter of blending the repairs into the surface of the stem with sandpaper.Once the repairs had hardened I also sanded them to blend them into the surrounding vulcanite with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I followed the 220 grit sandpaper with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to minimize the scratching. The two papers combined do a great job in blending the repairs. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  I polished out the scratches with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I am on the homestretch with this pipe and I really look forward to the final look when it is put back together and polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 valleys and ridges of the sandblast looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This 1969/70 Peterson’s “Kapruf” 9BC/56 Bent billiard was a fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Peterson look in a sandblast “Kapruf” finish that catches the eye. The combination of various brown stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is a comfortable pipe to hold in the hand and I think that as it heats with smoking that over time the finish will darken and look even better. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This one is staying with me as I carry on Bob’s legacy each time I fire up a bowl. I have a lot more to work on include 18 more Petersons. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Cleaning up an unsmoked NOS Peterson’s System Clay 12


Blog by Steve Laug

The next few blogs I am writing are about pipes that I worked on with Jeff on a recent visit to Idaho for my Father’s 91st birthday. The next and last of these was a pipe that came from one of the pipe lots Jeff picked up on his travels. It was in a group of old, unsmoked pipes. The pipe is a bent clay Billiard stamped Peterson’s System on the left side of the clay and 12 on the right side of the shank. The nickel ferrule is a classic Peterson ferrule with Peterson’s stamped on the left side. The stem is a military bit with a P-lip. The clay bowl and shank are quite nice with casting marks from the front of the bowl all the way down to the ferrule on the underside. It is a seam where the two halves were joined together. The seam looks almost like a crack but it is not. The there is some wear and tear on the pipe from sitting around as NOS (New Old Stock in some pipe shop). There are typical imperfections in the clay bowl. The rim top is a bit rough and there were some casting marks on the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl itself was unsmoked and the inside was very clean. The finish was dirty and somewhat lifeless. The P-lip stem was flawless with no tooth damage or marks. I took the following photos to show what pipe looked like before I started. I took some close up photos of the bowl top and the stem. You can see the roughness in the surface and edges of the rim top – pretty typical of a cast clay pipe. You can also see the dust in the bowl – even a small cobweb in the bottom of the bowl. The P-lip stem is flawless with no oxidation or chatter and tooth marks.I took some photos of the stamping on the pipe. The first photo shows the left side of the shank with forked P of Peterson arched over System. You can also see the Peterson stamp on the nickel ferrule. The second photo shows the 12 shape number on the right side of the shank. Each evening before going to bed, I have been reading the new Peterson book and came across a section on the clay system pipes. If I had not been reading it I would not have been even aware of them. I had left the book at home in Canada as it is large and heavy. So I wrote to Mark Irwin about dating this pipe and getting some information. Mark graciously sent me the information that I needed. Mark wrote as follows:

… What you have is one of the final generations of the Peterson clay System, made in the 1950s-early 60s. The ferrule no longer says “Brevet,” indicating its manufacture has shifted from France to the UK. I forget the name of manufacturer, but I’ll dig around for it. This was still a fair smoking clay, just not the epitome of Peterson’s work with the French. The final iteration would follow in the 70s–which was more of a pipe to blow bubbles with than to actually smoke! A shame really, as the ones from 1896-1940 were absolutely phenomenal.

When I came home on the weekend I look up some information from the late Jim Lily who was a Peterson Collector par-excellence. Jim maintained a Peterson Collector Blog for years and it is still online. Here is the link to the specific page on the Peterson Clay pipes – http://thepetersoncollector.blogspot.com/2012/04/peterson-clay-pipes.html. It confirms what Mark Irwin included above.

I am often asked about Clay pipes made by Peterson and why they are so rare and few.

Peterson made clay pipes during the Patent Era with two shapes being depicted as can be seen in their 1905 Patent Pipe catalogue. It shows shape numbers 8A and 12A. During this period their clay pipes were stamped “Peterson Patent” and could be purchased with either a silver or nickel band. During the Second World War, Peterson again started making clay pipes, due to the shortage of briar. The clays of this period are stamped “Peterson System” and were only offered with nickel bands. They continued making their clays until their London shop finally closed in the 1960s. Examples of which can be seen on page 9 of the 1962 &1965 catalogues, priced seven shillings and six pence!!.

 As to why they are few in number, I suspect that the brittle nature of the clay meant that mortalities would be high.

Both Mark and Jim confirmed that the pipe was from the 50s-early 60s. They were made in the London Shop until the shop closed in the 60s. Now I knew a bit more about the pipe.

For a wrap up on the clay pipe I turned to one of my go to sources for information – Pipedia. From there I learned a bit mofe about the pipes. Here is the link to the section on the clays – https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb#Peterson_Clay.2C_Bog_Oak_and_Cherry_Wood_Pipes

Peterson Clay, Bog Oak and Cherry Wood Pipes

(Peterson Clay, Bog Oak and Cherry Wood pipes were offered in the Patent Era with or without a formed case, as also offered with their briar and meerschaum pipes.)

Peterson made clay pipes during the Patent Era with only two shapes being offered and depicted in their 1905 catalogue. During this period their clay pipes were stamped/molded “Peterson Patent” and could be purchased with either a silver or nickel band. How long and in what years Peterson made these clays is not known but as stated above two shapes were offered in their 1905 catalogue. Then during World War II, Peterson again made clay pipes due to the understandable shortage of briar. The clays of this period are stamped “Peterson System” and were only offered with nickel bands. This later production of clay pipes ended with the closing of Peterson’s London Shop in the late 1950s or early 1960s…

Now that I had some background and a potential day for this 60-70 year old pipe it was time to work on it. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads. I had ordered several sets of them before I left Canada and had them shipped to Idaho to arrive while I was there. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The only issue that I found was that the seam on the underside and up the front was not glazed like the rest of the bowl. I polished it with the micromesh to try to bring a shine to the area. It worked fairly well. At least I feel like I did not make it worse!! I polished the stem with Mark Hoover’s Before & After updated Fine Polish. It did a great job in bring back the shine and rubbing out the fine minute scratches in the vulcanite.I finished the pipe by buffing it with a microfiber cloth to raise a shine in the clay. The clay took on a rich shine with the buffing and almost glowed. The area around the seam had a shine but was slightly different from the rest of the bowl… This is one of the frustrations of refurbishing and one that still catches me off guard. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a petite pipe measuring 5 1/4 inches in length, 1 3/4 inches in height. The outside diameter of the bowl is 1 1/8 inches and a chamber diameter of 5/8 of an inch. It is a beautiful little Peterson’s System Bent Billiard that is going to be a fun pipe to break in and enjoy. This is the final pipe that I worked on while I was in Idaho. With the strange stripe on the front and underside of the bowl – where the seam shows clearly and even polishing made stand out more – this pipe will stay with me. Thanks for reading the blog.