Tag Archives: Peterson’s System pipes

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson’s System 31 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a dirty but appeared to have some great grain under the grime. The bowl had been reamed somewhere in the journey and was quite clean inside. The smooth rim top was damaged and had some darkening. The edges – both inner and outer had some damages by burning and the bowl was out of round. The smooth finish is dirty with grime and grit deep ground into the sides of the bowl and shank. There were some deep nicks in the briar on the right side and heal of the bowl. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The stamping on the shank is clear and readable. The left side is stamped Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines). To the right of that stamp is the shape number 31. The nickel band is oxidized and dirty but it has the K & P stamp over three symbols. Next to that it was stamped Peterson’s. It had some nicks and dents around shank end of the ferrule. The stem was quite clean and has deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the topside of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening and light lava on the rim top. The bowl reeked of aromatic tobaccos. The stem surface was clean but there are deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides on and ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – 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.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson Company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

I found a great description of the System 31 shape on smokingpipes.com (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/peterson/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=192182). I am including a portion of that below.

Peterson’s “31” shape is the only straight pipe featured in the System Standard line, yet it still features system drilling. Featuring a push-style tenon and a long, tapering metal tube, it houses a condensation chamber just under the bowl itself — providing the same gurgle free smoke you’d expect of a bent System configuration.

I did a search on Google about the Peterson System 31 Straight Billiard to see if I could learn any specific information on the shape. I found a link to a pipe for sale on Smokingpipes.com. I quote:

Paresh had worked on System 31 pipe so I went back and reread his work on that smooth pipe. It was very helpful for the background information included (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-system-31-pipe/).

I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-1989. The K&P mark on the nickel band ties to Kapp & Peterson brings the date to the time between 1950-1964. It was a smooth Straight billiard with a unique shape and chamber beneath the bottom of the bowl. The finish was stained with a combination of rich reddish brown stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

The bowl had been reamed and cleaned. I started working on the pipe by cleaning out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean.  I topped the damaged rim top on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage on the rim top and edges of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I gave the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel. I filled in some of the deep gouges in the briar on the right side and heel of the bowl with some clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the briar surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out and blend it into the surrounding briar.I stained the sanded area on the bowl side and the rim top with a Cherry stain pen to lay a base coat and then did a top coat of Mahogany stain pen. I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. It works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   The nickel ferrule was out of round and dented. It was solidly connected to the shank end so I did not want to removed it. Instead I fit a dowel into the end of the ferrule that was round and heated the nickel with a lighter to soften it. Once it was softened I used a small furniture hammer to bring the ferrule end back to round. I repeated the process until the opening in the ferrule was round and the stem fit well. It was not perfect but it was better than when I started. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks in the stem. I was able to raise them slightly. I filled in the remaining marks with Black CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded it smooth with 120 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I unscrewed the extension tube from the end of the stem. I cleaned up the threads on the extension and inside the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It did not take long to clean it. I coated the threads on the extension with Vaseline and screwed the extension back into the stem. I worked on the stem to further smooth and reshape the button and stem with the 220 grit sandpaper and the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.  I put the stem back on the Peterson’s System 31 Straight Billiard and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Peterson’s shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem has a rich glow. This Peterson’s System Straight Billiard fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.23 ounces/35 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Irish Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Rebirthing a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 304 Flat Bottom Oom Paul


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe that has been sitting here in Vancouver for a long time. It is a nice smaller size, flat bottom sitter. It has a nickel ferrule and a saddle style Peterson’s P-lip stem. It came to us from an antique mall on 10/20/16 in Chinook, Washington, USA. This pipe was obviously a favourite of the previous trustee. It had been well smoked and there was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The well grained briar was dirty with grime and dirt ground into the finish and some small dents and scratches on the bowl sides and heel. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. The flat bottom on the bowl enables it to stand on the desk or table top while you are doing other work. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it had the three line Republic of Ireland stamp [over] the shape number 304. The ferrule was stamped K&P over Peterson on the left side. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. The stem was not stamped with a logo but it appears to be the original stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top and beveled inner edge in his photo. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake. The heavily oxidized and calcified stem surface had a lot of tooth chatter and marks on the stem and on the button surface and edges. He took a photo of the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places.I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html 

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl: During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

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.

With Paresh’s help on the date in place, I then turned to the Peterson’s Website to get a sense of the 304 System Standard Sitter shape (https://www.peterson.ie/pipes/system/system-standard-smooth/moreinfo.cfm?pd_product_Id=172). I quote from the site regarding the shape, line and the range of pipes.

About the Shape: A smaller version of our signature flat-bottomed Oom Paul, this deeply bent design is a sturdy sitter with the comfortable posture of a bent pipe. Despite its compact size, it maintains the iconic muscularity, stout proportions, and overall antique look of our House Style.

About the Line: Our flagship line, the System Standard stamp first appeared in 1945, but the entry-level design has been a staple in our catalogues since Charles Peterson secured his final patent in 1898. Designed to provide a cooler, drier smoke, each pipe features a deep reservoir within the shank to collect excess moisture; a graduated bore mouthpiece that funnels the smoke and allows moisture to collect within the reservoir; a sturdy nickel military mount, which allows the pipe to be broken down and cleaned without damage or warping; and our patented P-Lip bit, which draws the smoke upward, thus reducing tongue bite. While the P-Lip bit is the traditional choice, we also offer System Standard pipes with fishtail stems. Available here in the traditional walnut stain of the Smooth finish.

About The Range: In 1890, after 15 years of handling and repairing pipes while working for the Kapps, Charles Peterson secured a patent in his own name, titled “A certain new and useful improvement in Tobacco-Pipes,” which introduced a unique system comprised of a higher draft hole and a moisture reservoir bored into the shank and transition of a briar pipe. Over the next eight years, Charles continued to refine his System, applying for and securing patents for a graduated bore mouthpiece (1891), and a unique button design known today as the P-Lip (1894-1898). Designed to wick moisture away from the smoke, reduce tongue bite, and increase the longevity of the pipe, Peterson’s complete System patent sparked a tradition of innovation, one we continue to uphold to this day. The System Pipe is the invisible source behind our unique House Style: our pipes’ muscular shanks and transitions, tubular profile, and generous bends. Our overall shaping style has a distinctly antique form because it has remained largely unchanged for over 120 years.

In our System range, you’ll find a variety of shapes in myriad finishes, each featuring Charles Peterson’s groundbreaking improvements in the realm of tobacco pipes. Whether you’re looking for your first pipe or to enhance a robust collection, here you’ll find numerous options to suit any taste, all backed by our legacy of craftsmanship.

I finished my reading about the shape 304 System Standard Flat Bottomed Oom Paul by following a link to some information on the smokingpipes.com website that is quite helpful (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/peterson/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=362575). I quote a portion of the description regarding the shape below. It was written by Truett Smith.

The “304” shares both style and history with the “306”: Both designs were introduced to Peterson’s shape chart in 1992 and were the first new System pipes since the “301,” “302,” and “303” were featured in the 1978 catalog. The “304” and “306” also boast flattened heels, allowing them to sit upright while still offering the comfortable posture of a bent pipe. While most Peterson shapes change numbers when featured outside the System line, these two flat-bottomed forms remain constant across series. Presented here is the “304,” being a touch smaller than the “306,” catering to pipe smokers’ personal preferences.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I started to work on it.   I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top looked amazing – no burn or chip damage on the top or on the beveled inner edge. The stem cleaned up fairly well leaving behind some residual oxidation that would need to be dealt with. The tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are visible in the photos.  I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.   I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth.  I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with black CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 304 Flat Bottom Oom Paul with a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 304 Oom Paul fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54 grams/1.90 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

New Life for a Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard purchased from a seller on 11/17/21 in San Marcos, Texas, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 314 underneath. The pipe was another tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some burn damage on the left front and side of the top and edges. The nickel ferrule was tired by undamaged. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was lightly oxidized and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow onto the rim top in his photo below. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake and lava. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The burn marks on the left side are also visible in the photo. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. The stamping on the nickel ferrule is very clear and readable. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • 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.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the left edge mid bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the outer edge and rim top on the side. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the outer left edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I lightly topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone.I polished the top with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to prepare it for staining. I stained the rim top and edges with a Walnut stain pen. I let it dry and repeated it until the stain matched.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should darken and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 41 grams/1.41 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Worn and Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard on a Facebook auction on 02/02/22 from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 303 underneath. The pipe was a tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some serious burn damage on the right front of the top and edges from repeated burning with a flame lighter. The nickel ferrule was tired but undamaged and stamped K&P [over] Peterson. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was a mess with oxidation and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. It looks like there is some damage to the inner edge on the right front of the bowl. There really was no way of knowing for sure what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation.He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • 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.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the right top edge of the bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the inner edge and rim top on the right front as I had guessed when I saw the photos before the cleanup. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I then used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel to remove the burn damage on the right front. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I did not need to restain the rim top and edge because with polishing the match is very good. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail. I used a worn piece of 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh to polish off the excess, then buffed it with a soft cloth. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303 Bent Apple with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should darken and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 303 Apple fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 49 grams/1.73 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s System 0 Bent


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 4 I have worked on already with a red X). This fifth one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we purchased on 08/31/2019 from an auction Nyack, New York, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] 0. On the right side of the shank there is a number 308 stamped next to the bowl shank junction followed. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Made In Ireland in two lines. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] faux hallmarks (a clover leaf, an Irish wolfhound laying down and a tower. Under that it reads Peterson [over] Dublin. The bowl was dirty with lava on the rim top and a moderate cake in the bowl. The nickel ferrule was quite dirty and worn with some small dents in the surface. Jeff took photos of the bowl before he did his cleanup work in preparation for sending them to Walls Pipe Repair for their new stem. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. There is also some great grain around the bowl and shank.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article there. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “pre-republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922;and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s System 0 Made in Ireland stamp. On page 126 it had the following information.

The stamp reads IRISH over FREE STATE, in small letters, usually perpendicular to the line of the shank, very close to and parallel to the seam where the shank meets the mouth piece. On banded pipe, this often hidden under the band itself. At the same time, they issued a smaller number of pipes stamped MADE IN over IRELAND. Today’s collector may encounter specimens of these with mountings hallmarked for every year from 1922-1937.

On page 301 of the above book I found a listing on System pipes that referred to the 0 stamp. I quote:

System Pipes (1937-59) The 1937 catalog only slightly changed the grading hierarchy for System pipes. The De Luxe model, described as “the finished possible quality obtainable” would be assigned no grading subscript, but neither would the First Quality. Below these were 0 Grade, 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade, all stamped with numbers and PETERSON’S over SYSTEM or PETERSON’S over DUBLIN. Grades 0 and 2nd were fitted with sterling mounts, 3rd grade with nickel. Each of these grades were sometimes stamped below and sometimes to the right of the model name. Sometimes these numbers were circled, sometimes not. The location of the number and whether it was circled or not was rather random from the onset of its use until discontinued in 1959, and by itself only indicates that a given pipe was made between ’37 and ’59.  

On page 302 there was a listing on the nickel mounted markings. I quote:

Nickel-Mount Markings. Often called faux hallmarks or faux marks by Peterson collectors, this set of three little images of a shamrock, an Irish wolfhound and a round tower appear within rectangular shapes as decorations on nickel mountings. Very early nickel mounts (1891-c. 1920) had no such decorations, only the same stamps used on sterling but without the hallmarks. As a stamp, the set of decorations began to appear at the beginning of the Irish Free State era, sometimes alone but often under K&P and over block lettered PETERSON over DUBLIN, although the  three emblems appeared on K&P’s Irish Carving Shamrocks pipes since 1896. The stamp was used until about 1963, when hand soldered nickel bands and ferrules were replaced by pressed ferrules and premade bands…The shamrock is the emblem of Ireland; the Irish wolfhound has long been used for both hunting and protection, and is an emblem of strength; the round tower a symbol of Ireland’s early religious power. These decorations were stamped at the factory on non-sterling mounts only, and the assay office has nothing to do with…

The information was very helpful. I have highlighted the pertinent reference to regarding the stamping, the shape 0 number and the faux hallmarks above. I knew that I was dealing with a Pre-Republic period pipes stamped Made in Ireland made between 1922-1938.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipe arrived here this week I took photos of it with its stem so you can see what I see.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top had some scratches and marks on the top and some darkening and nicks around the inner edge. It should clean up really well. I also took close up photos of the new stem to show how well it is made! Thanks to Walls Pipe Repair!! I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look. The new stem looked really good with the bowl. Since the stem was in perfect condition and would not need work I set it aside and turned to work on the bowl. I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the bowl and the rim top first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel to minimize the darkening and damage and blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The polishing of the rim top brought the rim top colour to match the rest of the bowl. I did not need to stain the rim at all. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the nickel domed ferrule with a jeweler’s cloth to raise the shine and give it some pop. It looked much better after the polishing. Since the stem was in such new condition the pipe was basically finished. I am excited to put the final touches on this newly restemmed Pre-Republic, Made in Ireland Peterson’s System 0 Bent. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful mixed grain all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem combined with the bowl and made a stunning pipe. This smooth Classic Older Peterson’s System 0 Bent is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 68 grams/2.40 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring an Pre-Republic Era Peterson’s System House Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I have been picking up pipes from an older Eastern European Professor who lives in the LA area. Over the past few years we have picked up a large number of pipes from him. Included in the last lot was a Peterson’s System pipe that intrigued us. We had no idea how big the pipe was until it arrived. It is a huge rusticated pipe. To me it is a house pipe but not sure. It is 9 inches long and the bowl is 2 1/2 inches tall. Rim diameter is 1 3/4 inches and chamber is 1 inch diameter. It is stamped on the left side and reads Peterson’s (with a forked tail P) over System. Below that and to the right it is stamped Made in Ireland in a circle. The ferrule is sterling silver and rounded. It is stamped with K&P each in its own cartouche over Sterling Silver. That is followed by Peterson over Dublin. The Professor and his friend included the following photos for us to have a look. You can see why we had no idea of the size of the pipe. He also included photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the sides to show the general condition of this pipe. I was well smoked and showed wear and tear of the years of the Professor’s travels and use.The pipes arrived in Idaho after some time spent negotiating a price and then waiting for the shipping. When they arrived in April he took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. You can see the style of the rustication on the bowl – rugged and really a lot like the finish on a Rocky Donegal. It is dirty with dust and debris deep in the rustication on the rim top, bowl sides and shank. The bowl has a remnant of cake in the bowl and shows signs of being recently reamed. The finish has some worn spots on the sides and rim top. The silver ferrule is oxidized and dark from tarnish. The stamping on the silver and the briar is very readable. The stem is oxidized but does not appear to have any tooth marks or chatter. Jeff sent me photos so I could have a sense of the pipe.He took close up photos of the rim top and stem to give a clear idea of the condition of the pipe. He took photos of the bowl from various angles to show the condition of the briar and the style of the pipe. It is a beautiful old pipe under the grime and grit of the years.   Jeff captured the stamping on the shank side. It is clear and readable as noted above. There are some spots on the stamp that are more faint than others but it is still clear. The silver stamping is very clear. I turned to the Pipedia article for confirmation of my thinking about it being a Pre-Republic Period pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#1950_-_1989_The_Republic_Era). I quote the section on the Pre-Republic Period that confirms my thoughts. I have highlighted the portion in red regarding the COM stamp on this pipe.

1915 – 1949 The Pre Republic Period — This was a turbulent period for the company with the outbreak of World war 1 and the start of the Easter uprising in 1916. The K&P shop was extensively damaged during the military action at this time ( see attached newspaper report). Following quote by Kapp & Peterson.-

“Kelly’s, the well known Dublin landmark at the corner of Sackville Street and Bachelor’s Walk, one of the most shot at and fully punctured premises in Dublin, was in our possession practically before the smoke ceased over the ashes of our fine shop under the Metropole Hotel. This was one of the most sensational business captures arising out of the Rebellion.”

Around 1916, Peterson began stamping their pipes “Made in Ireland” in what is referred to as a block format. Charles Peterson died shortly after retiring and moving to Hamburg in Germany in 1919 where he is buried.

The original 1890 ‘system’ pipe patent expired at around this time. The Irish free state came into being in December 1922. The Free State Era was from 1922 through to 1937.

Peterson followed with a stamp of “Irish Free State” in either one or two lines, either parallel or perpendicular to the shanks axis and extremely close to the stem. Ireland was a republic in all but name. Eventually the Irish people voted for a new constitution in 1937 and Ireland then formally became Eire (Ireland in Irish). The Made in Eire era stamps were from 1938 through till 1941. Peterson now stamped their pipes with “Made in Eire” in a circle format with “Made” and “Eire” in a circle with the “in” located in the centre of the circle. This was used during the years of 1938 – 41. Later they stamped their pipes with “Made in Ireland” in a circle format 1945-1947 and still later with “Made in Ireland” in a block format 1947-1949. The “Made in Ireland” block format came in either one line or two lines.
The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949.

Further down in the article there was some more interesting information on the brand and the time period of this particular pipe.

The pre-republic Peterson’s are often considered to be rather special by Peterson pipe smokers. They hark back to a time when quality briar was in abundance and craftsmanship was of the highest level.

Like all collecting desirables, pre-republic pipes are now relatively hard to come by, with availability declining with each passing year. The amazing thing that I find with pre-Republic’s is the consistently high smoking qualities that they show, regardless of being a high or low grade issue. No it is not that I am looking through rose tinted glasses and being sentimental, they really were very well made. I base my judgement on owning and smoking quite a few of them.

For the purpose of this exercise and bearing in mind the eccentric vagaries of Peterson nomenclature, I am suggesting that an acceptable criteria or starting point for when the Pre- Republic era begins and ends, requires a short historical resume.:-

The Irish Free State came into being in December 1922. The British sovereign, as King of Ireland, was nominal head of state, but Ireland was a republic in all but name.

An entirely new constitution was voted by the Irish people in 1937, with provision for a President Of Ireland as head of state. Therefore, Ireland became a republic in 1937, but was not called that. It was called simply EIRE (Ireland in Irish.)

When, in 1945, the British government inquired of prime minister Eamon de Valera whether he intended to proclaim a republic, his answer was: “we are a republic”, having refused to say so before for eight years. This was news to the British: when George VI ascended the British throne in 1936, he had been crowned King of Ireland, as well, little knowing that there no longer was a Kingdom of Ireland!

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949.

Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22,If it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “pre republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922;and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949…

The site also had a photo of the exact stamping that was on the ferrule of this pipe so I am also including that photo below.There was also a section in the Pipedia article on House Pipes. I include that below as I am pretty certain that the pipe I have is one of them. I have highlighted a section in red below that gives a sense of finishes and costs of these large pipes.

House pipes: Another popular Peterson system pipe variant, is the huge House Pipe. I believe the term house pipe, has come from the fact that they are just too big to carry around for some and too heavy to hold in one’s mouth. The pipes are so large that you’ll want to smoke them at home, settled into a comfortable chair for a very long session with a good book! I remember seeing them referred to as ‘systems on steroids’!

These large hand made pipes normally retail for around $200 $ 400 depending on shape and finish. Varying from Smooth, Sandblast and Rustic finishes and Straight Billiard and Bent shapes. Extra large bowls. All with sterling silver bands. Finishes include terracotta and oak colours.

Over the years there have been a few large System pipes Produced by Peterson which could be considered to be included as ‘House’ pipes. In the early Peterson catalogues, circa 1900,they were advertising XXL systems which were similar in size to the modern ‘House’ pipes. Around 1990 Peterson were asked by a large UK retailer, i.e. Bonds of Oxford St. London, to commission the making of a special giant classic bent pipe, with dimensions of, length 17cms, bowl height,6.1cm, bowl chamber depth 5.5cms, internal bowl diameter 2.1cm. This is a classic shaped Peterson with hallmarked silver ferrule in smooth and rustic finishes, plus options of tapered and saddle stems. In the early 1990s Kapp & Peterson made this giant, classic full bent, smooth pipe exclusively for Bonds of Oxford Street London. Bonds seem to have an endless source of New Old Stock Peterson pipes. I am always intrigued by these pipes when they arrive by post. Inevitably they come in their original packaging and to my mind, are a window back in time. I enjoy the box and contents as much as the pipe.

I had seen this pipe on many occasions when I had previously visited Bonds E bay site. I have always been attracted to it and admired the classic shape ,size and finish. They were offering the same pipe in various finishes and stem fittings. However I preferred the smooth tapered fishtail. I am a sucker for large bent Pete’s. Just my taste. However it was not cheap at around $355. Having had the opportunity to see the pipe ‘in the flesh’, I am amazed at the quality, feel, looks and the smoking performance. Yes you heard right I smoked it! Normally with the newer unsmoked high grades that come into my collection, they remain unsmoked. However I made an exception with this beauty and boy it was worth it.

I wrote to Mark Irwin and sent some photos of the pipe to see what he could tell me. Unfortunately in my first email the photos did not include any profile shots. I sent him those in subsequent emails and also order a copy of the 1896 K&P Catalog from Smokingpipes. Here is what Mark wrote in the emails.

FIRST

Hey Steve,

Without seeing a perfect flanking shot, I can’t be 100% sure here, but I can tell you it is either the shape 1 or shape 3 straight-sided (“dutch billiard”) from the 1906 and 1896 catalogs. Not seen in K&P catalogs after 1906, like other magnums it remained in the shadows but surfaced from time to time. The rustication is excellent, dating it to the late 1940s or early 1950s when this type of work was routine at the factory. The sterling mount was given to it because of the unusual size as well as the good blast. With a flanking shot, I can determine whether it is the 1 or the 3.

I just thought of something: if you have the restoration of the 1896 K&P catalog I released not long ago through Smokingpipes, you can simply lay your bowl on top of shape 1 and shape 3 and *presto* you’ll know. The original scaled illustrations are quite useful in this way.

Happy Smokes,

Mark

SECOND

It’s the 1. How very cool. Is this pipe going in your collection, is it someone’s your working on or do you intend to sell it? Great piece!

Yes, I think with your enjoyment of the history of pipes you’d love the catalog and the historical commentary.

Mark

Mark’s information confirmed what I had learned from my research and gave me additional information. Mark notes that the rustication dates it to the late 1940s or early 1950s. The COM stamp had helped me date it between 1945-1947 so that fits!  He also confirms that it a Shape 1, straight-sided (“Dutch Billiard”).

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. Before he sent it to me, Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual procedure. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water. It looked amazing when I took it out of the package of pipes he shipped me. So much so that it is the first of those pipes that I chose to work on. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work.   The rim top and the inner and outer edges of the bowl all look very good. The stem surface looked good with the oxidation gone and no visible tooth marks and chatter on either side of the stem. The stamping on left side of the shank and on the silver ferrule is clear and readable as noted above.I took a photo of the pipe with a regular sized Peterson System 312 to give a sense of the size of this pipe. It really is a big pipe. I then removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a proportionally pleasing pipe.I started my work on the pipe by addressing the fading of the finish on the rim top and edges. I used a Walnut Stain Pen to match the color of the rest of the bowl. The finished rim top and edges look better. The bowl looked very good at this point so I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about 10-15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Beautiful Rustic Peterson’s Pre-Republic System House Pipe Shape 1 “Dutch Billiard” is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The style of rustication that is used around the bowl is highlighted by the dark, rich stain application and works well with both the polished Sterling Silver ferrule and vulcanite stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Rustic Peterson’s System House Pipe is a large pipe that will be great for sitting and reading on the porch. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 9 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 101 grams/3.56 ounces. This is a pipe that I am adding to my own collection for now. I hope to enjoy it many times on the front porch over the summer ahead. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

A Singularly Interesting Restoration of a Full Bent Peterson


Blog by Steve Laug

My friend Ken wrote and asked me if I take this older Peterson’s Full Bent to clean up and restore for him. Today it arrived in the mail. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] 2 in a circle (which I believe is the grade stamp). There is no stamping on the other side of the shank or on the underside. The silver ferrule is stamped on the left side K&P [over] three hallmarks – the seated woman, the harp and a letter “P”. To the right of that it is stamped Peterson [over] Dublin. The pipe looks to be an old timer. The bowl was quite dirty with a moderate cake in the bowl, some tobacco bits and a spot of what looked like moldy tobacco stuck on the wall. The sump was filled with tars, oils and some spots of mold as well. The pipe reeked of old wet and moldy tobacco. It was a mess. The rim top had a build up of lava on the top and edges. The inner and outer edge looked good with no nicks. The finish was very worn and scratched. The silver ferrule was oxidized and dirty. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top and the bowl to give a clear idea of what I was working on. It had a light lava coat that is hard to see in the photo. The bowl had a moderate cake that is not very visible and moldy particles on the back wall and in the sump and mortise. The stem had straightened quite a bit and there was oxidation, calcification and tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on the side of the shank and the silver ferrule – it reads as noted above. It is clear and undamaged. The second photo gives a clear photo of the hallmarks on the silver. They read as noted above.I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I always like to date the year a pipe was made while I am working on it. In the process of working on a pipe if I can pin down a date that it was made that it adds another dimension to the restoration process. Once I have identified the hallmarks on the pipe then I use a Hallmark chart to pin the date down. In the case of Peterson’s pipe with a silver band I use a hallmarking chart that Peterson included in their catalogs and on their website

I have a copy of the hallmark charts in one of the Peterson catalogs that I have uploaded to the blog on rebornpipes. I turned to that chart to lock down the date letter for the Sterling Silver System that I am working on. Here is the link to the site (https://rebornpipes.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/peterson-cataloguecomp_page_27.jpg).

The chart defines the meaning of each hallmark on the silver band. The first one is of a seated woman with a harp is known as the Hibernia stamp and identifies the pipe as made in Ireland. The second stamp is a crowned harp which is a fineness mark denoting the high quality of silver that was used. The third stamp in this case is an uppercase “P” in a cloverleaf rectangle. I have included a larger screen capture of the chart in the photo below. Following that I have included a blown up capture of the chart with the “P” in a red box. That dates it to 1930/31. It is interesting to note that there is an asterisk after the date under the boxed “P” stamp above. The note at the bottom of the page is hard to read in the above photo. I looked it up on another chart and found out that it read as follows:

“Up to and including 1931, the date letter was changed on June 1 each year. From 1932 on it was changed on January 1.”

It is thus interesting to note that the date was a significant change in the dating methods came about the year after this pipe was made.

Now that I had the date pinned down to 1930/31 it was time to work on the pipe itself. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cut the cake back to bare walls. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. The bowl looked very good on the inside. With the inside cleaned out I turned my attention to the exterior of the bowl. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on the rim top, the bowl and shank and the inside of the bowl itself. I was able to remove the grime and tars with the soap and rinsed it off with running water to remove the tars and soap. The bowl looked very clean. While I scrubbed it the glue that held the band in place loosened and the band came off in my hands. The glue was a mess underneath, it was uneven and chipping. I would need to be replaced to hold the band firmly in place.I cleaned out the internals of the bowl, shank and sump with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It was filthy and I wanted to make sure to kill whatever was lurking in the bit of tobacco in the bowl and sump. It smells and looks much better now.I cleaned of the old glue on the shank end, sanded it to smooth out the surface and reglued the ferrule with an all purpose white glue. I adjusted the ferrule to the angle of the shank end and set it aside to dry.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each sanding pad to remove the debris from the surface. The briar began to take on a shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips. I works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a soft cloth. With these older pipes I try to keep the old patina in tact so I was glad to see that the finish looked very good with the Balm. I polished the silver ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove the tarnish, polish and preserve the silver. The silver looks very good and the hallmarks are clear and readable as noted above. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I cleaned it out with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and 99% isopropyl alcohol. It took quite a few cleaners to get the grime and debris out of the stem, but it smells sweet now. I loaned my heat gun to my daughter so I had to resort to old methods to bend the stem to correct angles. I heated it with the flame of a Bic Lighter until the vulcanite was pliable then carefully bent it to the angle I wanted. I cooled it with water to set the bend.I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem near the button with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down between sanding pads with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I am excited to finish this 1930/31 Peterson’s System Circle 2 Full Bent. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This sandblast Peterson’s System Circle 2 is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 66 grams/2.33 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one I am working on for my friend. I will be sending it back to him soon. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Peterson’s System Bent Dress Black B42


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another smooth finished Peterson’s System – this time a B42 (Brandy) in Dress Black. It was the second of four pipes that came to me from a friend for work. This one had very loose stem that did not seem to hold on in the shank that he wanted me to have a look at as well as cleaning and freshening it up. The finish was smooth and painted with a dress black. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the shape number B42. It was in great condition when I brought it to the table. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and some lava on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was in good shape but had some scratches that would need to be polished. It is stamped as well and reads K & P [over] Peterson on the left. The stem appears to be acrylic (perhaps a replacement) and was unstamped and in good condition. There was some light chatter on and near the button that would polish out. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow. The stem looks good but it has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It reads as noted above. I also tried to capture the stamping on the ferrule and it is readable but the photo just could not capture it well.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I turned to work on the pipe itself. I started my clean up by reaming the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. I cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished the cleaning of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I smoothed out the bowl walls and checked for cracks and flaws. All looked very good. I cleaned off the build up on the rim top with damp cotton pads and was able to remove all of the lava on the rim. It actually looked very good.I scrubbed the interior of the bowl, shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. It was full of tars and oils that with a bit of work came clean.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.      I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth give it a shine and to remove the oxidation.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the acrylic stem. I sanded out the tooth marks in the surface of the stem on both the top and underside with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I also sanded the area on the shank end for the first inch to clean it up and make the taper match the shank taper. I polished it as well with the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I am excited to finish this Peterson’s System B42 Dress Black Bent Brandy. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to further raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with deep sandblast all around it. Added to that the polished black acrylic stem was beautiful. This Dress Black System B42 is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 83 grams/2.93 oz. It is a beautiful pipe and the second of the four I am working on for my friend. Once the other two are finished it will be sent back to him. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

New Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard Rusticated 314 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe. This one is a nice smaller size rusticated version of the shape 314. It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. I believe it came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This pipe was one that I believe he purchased as an estate and did not smoke. It is very clean other than the dust and debris of time  on the bowl and stem. The bowl and shank were clean with no cake, tars or oils. There was no lava on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. To the right of that it was stamped Republic of Ireland stamp in three lines [over] the shape number 314. The ferrule was stamped K& P over Peterson’s on the left side. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of and on the button. There was no “P” stamp on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it.  I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top and the inner edge were in excellent condition. There were clean and a bit spotty. I would need to touch up the stain on the top and edge. The stem was clean but had tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button. They are visible in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the heel and shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.When I worked on other 314’s I had turned to a blog about a pipe that  Paresh had restored – a smooth Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year. As usual he had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe and the background information that he had gathered (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • 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.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. The bowl of the pipe was clean and did not have any cake. The finish was very clean so I did not need to scrub or clean that with the normal soap. I checked the inside of the shank, the sump and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The surface of the stem was clean and free of oxidation so that was a bonus.I restained the rim top and inner edges with a Black Sharpie Pen to blend it into the rest of the surrounding briar. The match was good.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove the oxidation and give the nickle a shine. It came out looking pretty good. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Rusticated Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rugged rustication shows a lot of peaks and valleys and depth. The polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard Rusticated 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. This one has been reserved for first refusal. If you are interested in being in the queue for this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Breath of Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe. This one is a nice smaller size It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. It came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This pipe was obviously a favourite of his. It had been well smoked and there was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The briar was dirty with grime and dirt ground into the finish and some of the lava flowing down the bowl sides. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. There were oils oozing out under the ferrule and also out of the top of the ferrule onto the stem. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Peterson’s System Standard. On the right side it had the three line Republic of Ireland stamp [over] the shape number 314. The ferrule was stamped K& P over Peterson’s on the left side. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. The P logo stamp on the left side was also filled with grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface had a lot of tooth chatter and marks and was heavily oxidized and calcified. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places.I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • 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.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top looked had some scratching on the top and some damage to the inner edge but over all it was in much better condition than I thought. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are visible in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I restained the rim top and inner edges with a Walnut Stain Pen to blend it into the rest of the surrounding briar. The match was good.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail and then buffed it with a soft cloth.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. This one has been reserved for first refusal. If you are interested in being in the queue for this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!