Tag Archives: repairing tooth marks

Paresh’s Grandfather’s Pipe #5 – A Tiny Peterson Bent Calabash Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

I have completed the repair of four of the pipes of the seven left to Paresh by his Grandfather. It is an interesting assortment of older pipes that come from the period of 1937-1950s. I am really enjoying not only working on them but doing some research on them as well. His Grandfather worked for the Indian Railroad and was a pipeman. Paresh is also a pipeman and only recently learned that his Grandfather smoked a pipe. The fifth pipe is a petite Peterson’s Calabash pipe with a delicate stem and a rusticated finish around the bowl and rim. It is petite but not small in terms of length – 5 inches long and 1 ½ inches tall. I took the following photos of the pipe before I stated to work on it. It was in excellent condition, very clean with just a thin bit of lava and tar on the top of the rim. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was in excellent condition. I took some photos below show the pipe as it arrived. The rim top was clean and the bowl reamed. Abha had once again done a great job cleaning the finish and the interior of the pipe. She had scrubbed it with Murphy’s Oil Soap and removed all of the debris and dust from the deep crevices of the rustication. There was some darkening to the rim top but it was undamaged. The inner and outer edge of the bowl looks pretty good. The bowl was very clean and smooth on the inside. I also took a close up photos of both sides of the stem. You can see that there is light tooth chatter on the top and underside of the stem just in front of the button. There is a deep grove from teeth on the underside of the stem and a small split and divot in the button on the underside as well. The surface of the stem is lightly oxidized. The stylized P on the left side of the saddle stem is faint but readable.I wanted to know more about the shape and to help pin down the date of the pipe for Paresh so I sent an email to my go to Peterson’s guy Mark Irwin and asked him about identifying the shape and some history. He wrote back quite quickly and gave me the following information.

It’s called a calabash (no shape #, just the name), called a “lady pipe” by Europeans, introduced in 1945 as part of a quartet of “Speciality Shapes” that included the Belgique and Calabash (“lady pipes”) and the Tankard and Barrel. Often thought of by Pete Freaks as “flake pipes.” Couldn’t see any stampings on it, but 1945 seems too early for a rustic finish in this shape. Not impossible, but unlikely. Been in continuous production since ’45.

I sent that information to Paresh who was also doing a bit of research on the pipe. He went to http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.ca/ and came across this piece of information that confirmed my suspicions and potentially filled in the “not impossible” comment Mark wrote above. The pipe in question has the definite P with a forked tail on the smooth patch on the underside of the shank.The stamping is faint and worn but it is there under a light and with a lens. The rest of the stamping reads Made in the Republic of Ireland and next to that is the Peterson’s stamp. Looking up that part of the stamp on Pipedia’s section on Peterson pipes I found that The Republic Era was 1950 – 1989. I was narrowing down the time period for this pipe. About the same time I received another email from Mark saying that he had looked through the 1945 and 1950 catalogues he had and as far as he could tell the rusticated finish was not offered during that time period. He suggested that the pipe was from the late 50s to early 60s.

With that I reread Paresh’s biographical write up on his Grandfather once again. There Paresh stated that his Grandfather had revisited England between 1959 and 1960 so I am pretty certain that we have a pipe that he picked up on this second trip. It is interesting that the forked P as Paresh found states it is a 30s era pipe but the Republic of Ireland stamp put it later after 1950. I am including his bio now as part of the background information on this little pipe. The way the tooth mark sits on the underside of the stem I can almost imagine him sitting at home or in his office contemplating something deeply and rubbing the stem against his teeth. Over time it wore the almost trough like mark in the underside of the stem. Here is Paresh’s tribute.

Respected Sir,

Now that the first batch of my Grandfather’s pipes has reached you, I would like to share my memories of him with you, the aim being to provide you with an insight to his personality, the era in which he lived, and a brief history associated with the pipes that I have inherited from him.

My Grandfather, Ananta (named after an exotic seasonal white flower having lovely fragrance), was born in a small coastal town of Konkan region of Maharashtra, India, in 1918. These were very turbulent times when India’s freedom struggle against British rule was gathering momentum and the atmosphere was charged with “Quit India Movement”. Having completed his graduation from Bombay, he joined Railways in 1937. This also marked the beginning of his journey into the world of pipe smoking!!!!!

Having seen his potential, in 1945, he was sponsored by the Government to visit England, for gaining further experience and expertise in his profession. This was a period when India’s Independence was round the corner and efforts were being made to train Indians for various administrative appointments in future Independent India. He returned back to India after a year, in 1946 and with him came some pipes that he had purchased in England. I believe a few of his Petes, Barlings, Charatans and GBDs are from this visit.

In 1947, when the British finally left India for good, my Grandfather was gifted pipes by his British peers, subordinates and Superior Officers as a parting gift. He stayed in touch with a few of them over all these years, even visiting them in 1959-60. Some of his later era Charatans and Barlings and Petes are from this trip. He quit smoking in early 1970s (before I was even born!!!!) and his pipes were packed up. There were a number of pipes which were used as TINDER for lighting fires (CAN’T BELIEVE IT…… I have not overcome my grief of this loss till date!!!!!) due to ignorance!!!!!!

My Grandfather was a very strict disciplinarian and temperamental (I did not know this as he was neither when dealing with me as I am the youngest of all his grandchildren!!!!!! He was always the most understanding and loving person in my life). I later learned that in his office, he was not to be disturbed when his pipe was lit, as he would be in his thinking/ contemplating mode while it was just the opposite as he lit his pipe in the evening while at home, when he would be at his relaxed best!!!!.

The interesting part is that neither of us knew that we each smoked a pipe until after his demise in Jan 2018!!!! In our culture, to this day, smoking or alcohol consumption is socially never talked about (mute acceptance!!!). It was during his last rites that absent mindedly I lighted my pipe and looking into the flickering flames of his funeral pyre, remembered and recollected all the wonderful memories and talks that we had shared. No one said a word to me about my lighting up a pipe!!!!!! Immediately thereafter, I rejoined my duty station. A few days later, my wife, Abha, received a box from my Uncle with a note that said “Grandfather would have loved Paresh to have these”. This box contained a collection of his fountain pens and 8-10 of his pipes (since then as my folks are winding up his belongings, I have received 2-3 packets and a large number of pipes, some in decent condition and some in unspeakable state). Abha immediately messaged me with pictures of these pipes and pens. I had been collecting and restoring (no major repairs, though) fountain pens since long and immediately recognized some of them as highly collectibles, however, pipes were a totally different ball game! I was inexperienced with no knowledge/ information regarding various brands/ pipe makers, shapes and materials. I knew nothing about the value of these pipes, nothing about pipe restorations, nothing about caring for them; I mean zero knowledge about collecting pipes. I smoked some real cheap Chinese pipes which were readily and unfortunately, the only ones, available in India and some inexpensive pipes from eBay India!!!!! Also regular pipe cleaning, pipe rotation, pipe cleaners and such things were unknown to me.

Thus, to know more about the REAL pipes, I embarked upon the journey of exploring finer nuances of pipe brands/ makers, their history and watching “How to videos” on packing a pipe, cleaning, repairing and caring for ones pipes. I found it extremely interesting and satisfying. It was while meandering through this confusing quagmire of pipe world that I came across rebornpipes.com website and eventually established contact with you, Mr Steve, who has since been my mentor, guide and GURU, making this journey a wonderful and satisfying experience.

Sir, there is one more thing that I need to thank you for and that is when you asked me to write a brief about my grandfather and his pipes, I realized how little I knew about him, in fact, knew nothing, as I was not even aware that he was a “pipeman” as no one in my family ever spoke about it being taboo subject and since he had quit a long time before I was even born!!!! This led me to ask the elders in my family, questions on the subject and came to know the above details. I cannot thank you enough for prodding me to get to know my grandfather and his pipes a lot better. Sir, these pipes of his, with your help and guidance, will remain with me forever in mint condition……

I began my work on the pipe by cleaning up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove the remnants of cake left behind. You can see from the photo that there was very little cake to remove. When I examined the walls of the pipe they looked really good.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the rusticated finish on the bowl and shank to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the finish with my fingertips and with a horsehair shoe brush. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The rusticated briar really began to have a deep shine and show the variety of colours in the contrasting brown stains. I took a photo of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. This is going to be one of those fine, delicate beauties that Peterson made that really grab my attention. I cleaned out the internals of the mortise and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The early pipe cleaners came out dirty with tar and oil. Later ones came out with the reddish brown stain from when the bowl was dip stained. The pipe is clean now and ready for a new bowl of tobacco to be run through it.I set the bowl aside and began the work on the stem. I cleaned up the inside of the button and the surface. I opened the crack slightly and filled it in with clear super glue. I pressed together and held it tightly until the repair dried and the crack was sealed. I cleaned out the surface of the tooth groove with alcohol and cotton swabs and then filled it in with black super glue. It would take several coats but I layered it in and let it cure between coats.Once the repair on the underside had cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the rest of the stem. I also sanded out the tooth chatter and pitting on both sides of the stem at the same time. I added some black super glue to touch up the air bubble spots on the repair and the button and set it aside to dry. Once it had dried I smooth it out with 220 grit sandpaper and blended it into the surface of the vulcanite. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I have two more of Paresh’s Grandfather’s pipes to finish and then I will pack them up and send the whole lot across the sea to India where he can carry on the legacy. I know that he is looking forward to having them in hand and enjoying a bowl of his favourite tobacco in memory of his Grandfather. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

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An Italian Croc Skin Zulu and a Bear of a Meer Lining Repair


Blog by Dal Stanton

This Zulu caught my eye along with a striking, Comoy’s Royal Falcon bent Bulldog on the UK eBay auction block.  I have always been attracted to the canted stummels of both Dublin and Zulu shapes.  They strike me as pipes with a bit of attitude!  The second thing that caught my attention was the exquisite, tight crocodile skin-like texture of the rustification.  When I first took the Zulu out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket, I wasn’t quite sure how to best describe the pattern. Initially, I was thinking maybe, pine cone – mainly because of the tight, uniform design.  I showed it to my wife for her first impressions.  Without hesitation she said that it was iguana or crocodile skin…  I chose the croc description because it seems to go better with the Zulu motif!  Of course, the final selling point was the Meer lining.  That is always cool not only because of the aesthetics but also because of the special attributes of Meerschaum.  The seller provided some helpful information on both pipes.  After sealing the eBay deal in pounds, it did not take long for the Zulu and Bulldog to arrive in my box here in Sofia, Bulgaria.  I restored the Royal Falcon already and if you’re interested, you can take a look at it HERE.  Here are pictures I took on my worktable of the Zulu.  The Zulu is clearly marked on the bottom of the shank, on the left side Ariston [over] Rustic, and to the right, Veritable [over] Ecume, a French reference which means, “Real Foam”, referencing the Meerschaum lining.  “Meerschaum” means, ‘sea foam’ in German.  The other identifying mark is a gold rondel with a tilted ‘R’ ensconced in it. When I went to all my usual places to identify the origins of this Ariston Rustic, what I found was not a lot, and what I did find did not seem to line up.  My first stop was Wilczak & Colwell (3/3/97) ‘Who Made That Pipe?’ listed ‘Ariston L’ as coming from the Lane Tobacco Co. Importer 1942 – ENG/USA.  However, subsequent searches for Lane Tobacco Co., didn’t turn up anything.  The seller on eBay provided information saying that the Zulu was made by “Empire State” and referenced this link to Pipephil.eu (See: LINK).  The gold stem rondel with the tilted ‘R’ was the common connector.  I had wondered before why an ‘R’ on the stem with a name, ‘Ariston’?  But this link pointed to ‘Regis’ bearing the same logo – probably the source of the ‘R’.  ‘Empire State’ below also states an Italian connection.Going to the ‘Regis’ link in Pipephil brings you to the listing below with the connecting stem rondel.  A seller of another Regis on eBay gave more information which is helpful, but I’ve not been able to substantiate it.

Aristons were originally made in Italy under the trade name “Empire State” (go figure) for a niche market in France that catered to dignitaries in the French Government, somewhat like Bertram pipes were for the US Government dignitaries.  Who knows – this pipe might have been smoked by French President Charles DeGaulle !  Well, maybe….As I look at the Italian, perhaps, Regis Ariston Rustic Zulu with a critical eye to the issues it has, the rusticated surface appears to be in good condition.  It needs to be cleaned.  The Meerschaum lining has carbon cake buildup and the rim shows lava flow which has formed a caked layer on the top of the Meer lining and has flowed over the rim briar. I will not know the condition of the Meer until I carefully remove the cake in the chamber.  Meerschaum, a stone, needs no cake to protect it like briar pipes.  When carbon cake forms on a Meerschaum surface, it can crack and damage the Meer as the carbon heats up and expands and contracts.  The stem has little oxidation as I can see.  The larger issue is the bit.  The former steward of this Zulu was a clincher and there are significant bites on the top of the bit and the lower lip of the button is compressed and the bit suffers from a hole. That was probably when the Zulu was retired. The bit needs some TLC.

Beginning the restoration, I will deal with oxidation in the stem.  I decided to use the Before and After Hard Rubber Oxidizer that Steve ran through the paces several months ago to test the product put out at www.iberen.com.  Steve published his findings on Rebornpipes (A Review – Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Fine and Extra Fine Polishes) which is very helpful.  So, I picked up some of the Before & After product while I was in the US and decided to try it.  As Steve discovered in his review, its important to read the directions 😊!  I did, and Steve’s input was beneficial.  One of the things I learned was that the Deoxidizer isn’t aggressive toward stem stampings and marks – that is a big plus.  The other, which is impacting how I restore pipes, is that the solution is geared to deoxidize several stems in one soaking.  My usual practice is one pipe at a time – I’m not thinking too far ahead what’s next or working on more than one pipe at a time.  So, with that in mind, I decide to move forward with a project restoring several L. J. Peretti pipes I purchased in a Lot from a seller near Boston – this Lot contained several Oom Paul’s which will be sold to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, helping women, girls (and their children) who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  So, I fish those pipes out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket and clean the internals of each Oom Paul stem with pipe cleaners and a long bristle brush dipped in Isopropyl alcohol 95% before putting them into the Before & After Deoxidizer. I pour the Before & After Deoxidizer in a plastic container that can be sealed up and airtight.  The liquid reminds me of slime products out there for people’s morbid entertainment!  It has an odor too, that’s not too pleasant.I lay out the full Lot of L. J. Peretti boys that are destined for the worktable eventually!  I’m choosing the 4 Oom Paul’s to serve as both an experiment to test the new deoxidizer product which is more beneficial to soak several stems at once and to give me a jump start for the next restoration projects!  I pull 4 of the Perretti Oom Paul stems and clean the internals. Then I take a picture to show the ‘before’ condition.  Along with the Ariston Zulu’s stem, which has minor oxidation, 2 of the 4 Perretti stems, I would say also have minor oxidation.  The other 2, one stamped with the Peretti “P”, are heavily oxidized. I slip the stems into the slime goo, careful not to mix the order of the stems so they make it back to the correct Oom Pauls! Pictues of the Peretti Lot and the deoxidation in process: The instructions indicate that even for the most oxidized stems, the process takes less time than with my usual OxiClean bath, but I leave them in the solution overnight because its late and I need some sleep! The next morning, I take one stem at a time, hooking it with a tooth pick and allowing the goo to run off the stem as much as possible to save the product.  I finally found Bulgaria’s version of mineral oil to use to clean off the goo – staying away from water.  A pharmacist friend here looked it up and she provided me with a bottle of Paraffin Light Liquid – used in Bulgaria for ingestion for certain lower abdominal blockages 😊.   With a cotton pad I use paraffin oil to remove the deoxidizer.  With each stem I follow the same procedure by scrubbing off the oxidized layer with the cotton pad to then buffing with the cotton pad.  Then with each, I apply Before & After Polish, first Fine and Extra Fine, by putting a dab on my finger and working the polish in, which has a gritty oily feel (Fine) and then smoother (Extra Fine).  With each application I work it in then, with cotton pad, I wipe the polish off but buffing at the same time. I have to say, I’m impressed.  The more oxidized of the Peretti stems came out looking good, apart from one oxidation shadow in the first stem to the left.  But overall, the vulcanite appears darker, blacker, rejuvenated.  I take the ‘after’ pictures and I think this product is working as advertised. Back to the Ariston Rustic Zulu, here are shots of the stem after the Deoxidizer and then after each Before & After polish regimen.  From above’s ‘P’ Peretti marked stem and the ‘R’ gold rondel mark in the Zulu, it also appears that the B&A Deoxidizer is not harmful as reported and acted to polish and bring out the stamps.I put stems aside for the time and turn to the croc skin rustification, rim and the Meerschaum lined chamber and take a closer look.  Two-thirds of the rim is hidden by a thick lava flow, but the forward third, shows the briar rim.  I like the lighter smooth briar that provides the border between the Meer and the external surface.  When cleaned up, that will look good.  Before working on the Meerschaum chamber, I want to clean the rim and get a better look at the condition of the Meerschaum’s topside.  While I’m doing this, I will clean the Zulu’s surface.  First, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I use cotton pads and a bristled tooth brush to do the scrubbing in the nooks and crannies.  I also lightly utilize a brass brush to work on the rim. I then rinse the Murphy’s with cool tap water, careful to keep water out of the internals.  The croc skin stummel’s surface is in good shape dirt-wise.  I see nice attractive, minute reddish flecks on the peaks of the black rustification which brings out some contrast to the croc texture. The cleaning did not make a dent on the hard, caked lava over the rim.  The pictures show the progress. To clean the rim and reestablish crisp lines, I take out the topping board, which for me is a small chopping board with a piece of 240 grade sanding paper on top.  I lightly top the Zulu’s rim first with 240 grade paper then 600 to smooth things up.  It didn’t take much to remove the lava build-up and to reintroduce the crisp lines – the rim will look great contrasted to the black croc rustification. Now to clean the fire chamber.  Working on the Meerschaum requires care and most of all, patience.  I’ll first start on the chamber proper to remove the thickest carbon cake buildup.  I use my Savinelli Fitsall pipe tool to scrape the cake from the Meer gently and slowly! The trick is to know when the Savinelli Fitsall starts meeting the Meer surface.  The sound and feel of the carbon cake a crunchiness.  When the crunch stops, and the feel is more solid on the surface, this lets me know that I’m on the Meerschaum. When I remove what I can with the Savinelli Fitsall, I then wrap a piece of 240 grit paper around a dowel rod and sand the Meer surface – removing more of the carbon from the Meerschaum surface. With the carbon cake removed, I can inspect the Meer surface revealing some minor perforations, but no threatening cracks, that I see!Now, to remove the lava from the beveled top and smooth out some nicks on the Meerschaum lining, I again use a rolled piece 240 grade sanding paper.  I first pinch the paper with my thumb and run it around the circumference of the Meerschaum bevel.  To get more of an edge in contact with the bevel, I then wrap the paper around the dowel rod and work methodically around the rim to remove the cake and scratches.  After the 240 grit paper, I switch to 600 and repeat the movement around the rim.  During this process, the sanding of the Meer bevel causes a slight rounding of the rim’s briar in contact with the Meer.  I take the stummel back to the topping block and lightly top again using 600 grit paper.  This does the trick restoring the crisp lines of the rim which I like. To remove the dust in the chamber, I wet a cotton pad with alcohol and wipe the chamber, using tweezers to grip the pad as I pushed it into the chamber.  That cleaned things up but also revealed a crack in the Meer lining starting at the front of the stummel and going down about halfway into the chamber – where there is some wearing in the Meer surface – a bit craggy.  I take some closeups to get a better look at the culprit and try to assess the seriousness of what I’m seeing. In the second picture below, I lighten the exposure to enable seeing in the darker chamber – the crack starts at the 9PM position in that picture.  Wanting to be sure of my next steps and not wanting to miss something, I decide to send the following pictures to Steve, with his vast RebornPipes restoring experience he is usually able to give some help.  His response came quickly from Vancouver – 10-time zones away!  His assessment agreed with mine, that the Meerschaum was most likely OK, that it seemed solid.  He also agreed that I could utilize Troy’s (of Baccy Pipes) method of using chalk and egg whites to repair Meer surfaces.  Steve had reposted Troy’s blog on the methodology and I had saved it as a keeper in my resource bucket.  Steve’s repost can be found here: Old Time Meer Lining Repair Method On a Kaywoodie Shellcraft #5651 | Baccy Pipes

While I’m mulling over this new challenge to restore this Ariston Rustic Zulu, and how I’m going to find white chalk here in Bulgaria (I asked my wife and neither of us have seen old fashion chalk for sale here), I decide to finish the cleanup of the stummel by taking cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95% and working on the buildup in the mortise.  I also utilize a shank brush (thanks to Charles Lemon of DadsPipes.com for giving me a name for what I was calling a ‘long bristled brush’ foever!) which does the job.I reread Troy’s blog describing his Meer lining repair and the basic concept is simple – a mixture of ground white chalk and egg whites creates a surface that, when it cures, is very durable and emulates amazingly the composition of Meerschaum.  If you’re new to Meerschaum, here is a quick easy read about how Meerschaum is mined (See: LINK) which I found interesting.  Chalk!  On a recent two-day trip to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city where we have colleagues working, I put out the appeal for ‘Chalk!’ and Tammy, a Kindergarten teacher by profession, had some in store!  So, unloading the small paper bag of my precious chalk from Tammy onto my work desk, I follow Troy’s direction to pulverize the chalk, getting it as fine as possible.  I use an old fashion mortar and pestle to do the job.  I have absolutely no idea how much powdered chalk is necessary for the applications Troy’s method utilizes.  If too much, then I’ll have some on queue for the next Meerschaum lining repair project! Troy described in his blog how he came upon this strategy as he approached repairing his first Meer lining:

I had read and heard from other pipe restores that an old late 19th-early 20th century druggist recipe for fixing broken meerschaum was egg whites and finely ground chalk, so that was what I was going to try and fix the meer lined rim with. It is said to have about the same porous properties of meerschaum and imparts no taste to the tobacco. 

I follow Troy’s lead in masking the stummel to protect it from the chalk/egg white mixture because it sets up very hard – not something I want on the croc skin rustified surface! My plan is to apply an initial thin coating of the Meer patch mixture to fill in the cracks in the fire chamber and over the cracked area originating from the rim.  I would like to build up the lining toward the rim so that it will cover the crack as well as provide a new platform for an internal bevel or rounding.  For the first application, I mix about 1 tablespoon of white to 1 tablespoon of chalk to create a thinner mixture to get into and fill the cracks for the first two applications. After mixing the chalk and whites well, I used my finger to apply the mixture to the Meer surface.  I’ll let it sit for a few hours then apply another coat.The first thin coat.After a couple of hours, I apply another thin coat which I leave to cure overnight. To be on the safe side, I insert a pipe cleaner into the airway to be sure that it remains open. I made enough of the egg white/chalk mixture to apply the next coats.  I put the Meer patch mixture in the fridge, sealed in a small plastic container for use tomorrow.The next morning, I jiggle the pipe cleaner to make sure its keeping the airway open.  I take the mix out of the fridge, pour some of it into a smaller mixing cup and I add more chalk to thicken it.  Troy described a more methodical ‘parts to parts’ ratio.  I simply added more so that it would provide a somewhat thicker application.  After it looks right, after thoroughly mixing with a pipe nail tool, I apply it to the chamber walls with my finger as Troy describes.  Using the finger enables me to feel the foundation and spread the mixture evenly.  I leave it until I return tonight after my workday!  It should have about 7 to 8 hours to cure before I apply another coat.Seven hours later, I return to the worktable.  I decide the next coat of Troy’s Meer Recipe mixture will be my final and thickest application.  I take the mixture out of the fridge and add a portion to a smaller mixing cup.  I add more chalk until it looks right – thicker than before but not too thick it sets up in the mixing cup!  I take a picture of the finished mixture and the final application.  I’ll set the stummel aside now for 24 hours to assure that the Meerschaum coating has cured thoroughly and ready for sanding.With the Meer Recipe curing, I now turn to the stem work.  The former steward of this Zulu liked his pipe.  Zulus or Yachtsmen, being lighter weight, usually ride very well hands free.  Yet, without a bit protector, over time the teeth work as God created them, furrowing in the vulcanite to achieve a tight, comfortable grip.  Eventually, as this Zulu bears witness, the bite breaks through under the pressures and a hole is the result.  I take pictures to show the forensics of this bit.  There is a long, elongated tooth dent on the top, and some chatter, the breakthrough on the bottom, and the button has a cut of sorts – not sure how that happened.  All are pictured – I insert a pipe cleaner to highlight the hole.  To work on the dents, I first use heat to expand the vulcanite.  With a cheap bic lighter, I paint the top dent first with the flame – moving the flame back and forth without scorching the surface.  This method helps some, but not enough to avoid the next step, mixing up Special T CA glue and activated charcoal to patch the hole and fill the dents.  After forming a point with an index card, covering it with scotch tape to keep the glue from sticking, I insert it into the button to form a backing for the patch material.  I then empty one capsule of activated charcoal with a bit of the glue and mix it with a tooth pick.  When it arrives at a molasses-like consistency, I apply it to both hole and the upper dent, applying more than needed to build a mound to file down to shape a button later.  To quicken the curing process, I use an accelerator. Pictures show the progress.    I also apply a drop of Starbond Black Medium KE-150 glue to the cut on the button and let it sit to cure until tomorrow.  Another day has come and gone in Sofia, Bulgaria.The next day, after a LONG day on the job, I’m thankful to return to the worktable with both stummel, with cured Meerschaum lining repair and stem bit/button reconstruction waiting for my attention.  I decide to work on the stem.  To establish a button baseline, I use a topping board with 240 grit paper to remove the excess patch glue.Next, using a flat needle file, I score a working starting point to establish a new upper, button lip.  The score is intentionally leaving a large ‘button real estate’ to enable a patient, methodically sculpting of the button from large to normal sizing.  After the scoring, I file toward the stem’s vulcanite surface, removing the patch mound.  Of all the mini-projects in restoring pipes, stem work as I’m doing now, is probably the most time consuming. So, I put on my favorite Spotify jazz station, set back, and enjoy the moment.  I take pictures to chronicle the upper bit progress. After the top is roughed in, I turn to the lower bit. The initial shaping with files is completed! It’s normal to uncover small pockets where air was trapped in the glue as I can see.  I’ll fill those in later.Now, continuing the removal of excess patch material and shaping with 240 grit sanding paper, I also remove the marks left over from the filing.  I also work on the tooth chatter left over on the upper side of the bit.  After 240, I  use 320 grit, then 600.  Pictures show the progress. Now to address the air pockets that have emerged in the charcoal/superglue patch.  I clean the area with alcohol and cotton pad, even using a dental probe to make sure the pockets and surface are free of dust and leftover sanded vulcanite.  When it’s clean, I paint the surface of the button with a thin film of regular, clear super glue, filling the pockets.  I use the tip of a toothpick to spread the glue evenly over the surface.  I do both sides and set the stem aside to allow the glue to cure. Finally – in the interest of full blog disclosure – I had several iterations of filling the air pockets with thin glue and sanding.  I think I’m finally satisfied with the button/bit repairs!  Moving on.I turn to the Zulu’s Meer lined stummel.  The egg white/chalk layering has cured thoroughly.  I unmask the stummel to get a closer look at the results.  I am careful to peel away the masking tape at the rim.  I’m not sure how the Meer mixture will respond – will it crumble away?  It doesn’t, and I find that my fingernail is a good tool to remove excess Meer Recipe from the rim surface showing me the general lay of the land. My priority is to clear away the excess Meer Recipe from rim plateau.  I first use a flat needle file reaching across the chamber to remove material.  When near the briar surface, I top the stummel very lightly using 600 grade sanding paper.  As I have my first experience working with Troy’s Meer Recipe, I’m pleased with how durable it is.  It doesn’t feel fragile. After a gentle topping, I am VERY pleased at the appearance and composition of the Meer Recipe and the rim, now with clean briar, looks great. The pictures show the rim’s emergence.  Next, after wrapping a piece of 240 grit paper around a sharpie pen, I carefully start smoothing the chamber walls, removing the rough Meer Recipe and expanding the chamber, marching it back towards the original Meerschaum surface.  The method that emerges is that I rotate the stummel in my hand and allow the natural shape of the cylinder to emerge.  I do this with 240, followed by 320, then finally with 600 grit papers.  I leave enough of a layer of the Meer Recipe to cover the old Meerschaum and do not expose it. Now to cut a gentle bevel to remove the rough Meer Recipe on the rim and to lower the threshold of greater vulnerability of the surface where pipe tools go in and out.  I roll a tight piece of 240 paper to shape the bevel.  I do a combination of sawing it vertically to smooth rougher rises and pinching the paper with my thumb over the top of the rim.  I follow with 600 grit paper doing the same.  Here are pictures showing the progress.I notice that there are a few pockets around the circumference of where the Meer Recipe and briar meet.  I decide to bring out the unused Meer Recipe and apply a thin coating on the surface of the rim to fill these gaps.  I’ll give it a few hours and then clean off the residue.  I think this bit of improvisation works.  It looks good.  The lining will require TLC as any Meerschaum deserves.  Troy’s Meerschaum Recipe looks like Meerschaum and has essentially the same composition characteristics.  I think the Meer Recipe repair is now completed!  Thanks for your pioneering and sharing, Troy!Now to the Zulu’s croc skin surface.  I clean the stummel using mineral water, which in Bulgaria is light paraffin oil.  I remove the dust from all the Meer Recipe sanding and I am again reminded why I was attracted to this sharp looking Zulu – the Croc Skin rustification is striking.  I take a black dye pen and darken many of the valleys of the rustification to freshen the black pop of the croc skin.  Earlier I noticed that the texture of the croc skin rustification was enhanced and given depth by lighter, reddish flecks on the peaks of the rustification.  To further enhance this, I use an 1800 grade micromesh sponge pad and randomly sand on the Croc Skin surface – nipping the ridges to lighten them here and there allowing more briar to peek through.  These are subtle enhancements to the Zulu and I think they look good.Back to the final stages of the stem’s refurbishment. I reunite the Zulu bowl with the stem to give me a bird’s eye view of the progress.  I like what I’m seeing!Now to the final stage of the stem restoration.  I use 0000 grade steel wool and buff the entire stem, including the Regis ‘R’ gold rondel.  The steel wool removes the final scratches and tracks left from sanding and buffs the stem up.  I then do a complete cycle of micromesh pads from 1500 to 12000.  I wet sand using 1500 to 2400, then dry sanding with 3200 to 4000 and then 6000 to 12000.  Between each cycle the stem receives a coating of Obsidian Oil which refreshes the vulcanite.  At the end of the process, the stem is looking great – including the bit and button repairs. Now, looking at the rim, I will buff up the bare briar ring forming the rim.  I use the full 9 entourage of micromesh pads from 1500 to 12000 to shine and deepen the briar ring.  I think this bare briar ring is one of the attractive features of a Meer lined pipe.  The contrasts enhance the overall attractiveness of the pipe.  This Zulu surrounds the rim with the dark, craggy croc skin rustification – the center is the light Meer and the rich, butterscotch bare briar pops in contrast.  I like it. The first picture is before the micromesh sanding – then after.  On the home stretch, I use a Dremel with cotton cloth wheels and I go over the stummel applying Tripoli and Blue Diamond compounds.  These compounds bring out more the bare briar flecks in the rustification.  I also apply the compounds to the rim and lower shank nomenclature area where the briar is smooth.  Then, with another cotton cloth wheel, I apply coats of carnauba wax to the stem and stummel.  I find that by using the high speed and compact Dremel, I’m able to effectively apply wax even to most rustified and blasted finishes without the wax gunking up. I’m pleased with the restoration and recommissioning of this Italian (perhaps) Meerschaum lined Ariston Rustic croc skin rustified Zulu.  The use of Troy’s Meer Lining Recipe worked well and looks good.  I’m also pleased with the stem button/bit hole repair and button rebuild.  The Zulu is 5 ¾” long, 2” in height, bowl depth: 1 ½”, internal chamber diameter: ¾”, and full rim diameter: 1 ¼”.  If you would like to add this Meerschaum lined, croc skin rustified Zulu to your collection, go to The Pipe Steward Store and leave a comment or send me a note at ThePipeSteward@gmail.com.  This Zulu will benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria helping women and girls (and their children) who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

 

Paresh’s Grandfather’s Pipe #2 – A Yello-Bole Carburetor 4522 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have repaired pipes for Paresh in India over the past four months and not long ago he sent me seven of his Grandfather’s pipes to restore. It is an interesting assortment of older pipes that come from the period of 1937-1950s. His Grandfather worked for the Indian Railroad many years and was a pipeman. Paresh is also a pipeman and recently found out that his Grandfather smoked a pipe as well. The second of the pipes is an older Yello-Bole Carburetor Billiard. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Carburetor over the KBB triangle logo followed by Yello-Bole over US Pat. 2082.106 over Cured with Real Honey. On the right side there is a four digit number 4522. This pipe was made between 1935 and 1936. Here is the rationale. The carburetor patent was granted in 1935, this pipe is stamped “US Pat.” Interestingly enough, it also has a patent number on the bottom of the shank that reads Reg.U.S.Pat.Off. over No. 343.331. The four digit number was used by KBB until 1936. The first two numbers indicate the finish, in this case 45 indicates a smooth finish. The second two numbers indicate the shape, in this case 22 indicates a straight billiard. The rim top is beat up and worn there is damage on the surface and also has nicks around the inner and outer edges of the bowl. The bowl still had a fairly thick cake on the walls. The carburetor tube that goes through the bottom of the bowl from outside to the inside was clogged and dirty. I took a close up photo of the rim top and both sides of the stem. You can see the damage to the top and inner edge of the rim top in the first photo below. The second and third photo shows the top and underside of the stem.The next photo shows the stamping on the left side of the shank as noted above. There is also a large crack on the top left side of the shank. The next two photos show the stamping and the crack very clearly. I always enjoy getting some background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring when I am working estate pipes from the family members. If you have followed rebornpipes for a while you have read a few of these summaries from estates like Kathy’s Dad, Barry’s Dad and Farida’s Dad. Each of them did a great job summarizing their fathers’ estates. Since the next group of seven pipes that I will be working came to from India and belonged to the Grandfather of Paresh, I asked him to write a short tribute to his Grandfather. What follows is his writeup.

Respected Sir,

Now that the first batch of my Grandfather’s pipes has reached you, I would like to share my memories of him with you, the aim being to provide you with an insight to his personality, the era in which he lived, and a brief history associated with the pipes that I have inherited from him.

My Grandfather, Ananta (named after an exotic seasonal white flower having lovely fragrance), was born in a small coastal town of Konkan region of Maharashtra, India, in 1918. These were very turbulent times when India’s freedom struggle against British rule was gathering momentum and the atmosphere was charged with “Quit India Movement”. Having completed his graduation from Bombay, he joined Railways in 1937. This also marked the beginning of his journey into the world of pipe smoking!!!!!

Having seen his potential, in 1945, he was sponsored by the Government to visit England, for gaining further experience and expertise in his profession. This was a period when India’s Independence was round the corner and efforts were being made to train Indians for various administrative appointments in future Independent India. He returned back to India after a year, in 1946 and with him came some pipes that he had purchased in England. I believe a few of his Petes, Barlings, Charatans and GBDs are from this visit.

In 1947, when the British finally left India for good, my Grandfather was gifted pipes by his British peers, subordinates and Superior Officers as a parting gift. He stayed in touch with a few of them over all these years, even visiting them in 1959-60. Some of his later era Charatans and Barlings and Pete are from this trip. He quit smoking in early 1970s (before I was even born!!!!) and his pipes were packed up. There were a number of pipes which were used as TINDER for lighting fires (CAN”T BELIEVE IT…… I have not overcome my grief of this loss till date!!!!!) due to ignorance!!!!!!

My Grandfather was a very strict disciplinarian and temperamental (I did not know this as he was neither when dealing with me as I am the youngest of all his grandchildren!!!!!! He was always the most understanding and loving person in my life). I later learned that in his office, he was not to be disturbed when his pipe was lit, as he would be in his thinking/ contemplating mode while it was just the opposite as he lit his pipe in the evening while at home, when he would be at his relaxed best!!!!.

The interesting part is that neither of us knew that we each smoked a pipe until after his demise in Jan 2018!!!! In our culture, to this day, smoking or alcohol consumption is socially never talked about (mute acceptance!!!). It was during his last rites that absent mindedly I lighted my pipe and looking into the flickering flames of his funeral pyre, remembered and recollected all the wonderful memories and talks that we had shared. No one said a word to me about my lighting up a pipe!!!!!! Immediately thereafter, I rejoined my duty station. A few days later, my wife, Abha, received a box from my Uncle with a note that said “Grandfather would have loved Paresh to have these”. This box contained a collection of his fountain pens and 8-10 of his pipes (since then as my folks are winding up his belongings, I have received 2-3 packets and a large number of pipes, some in decent condition and some in unspeakable state). Abha immediately messaged me with pictures of these pipes and pens. I had been collecting and restoring (no major repairs, though) fountain pens since long and immediately recognized some of them as highly collectibles, however, pipes were a totally different ball game! I was inexperienced with no knowledge/ information regarding various brands/ pipe makers, shapes and materials. I knew nothing about the value of these pipes, nothing about pipe restorations, nothing about caring for them; I mean zero knowledge about collecting pipes. I smoked some real cheap Chinese pipes which were readily and unfortunately, the only ones, available in India and some inexpensive pipes from eBay India!!!!! Also regular pipe cleaning, pipe rotation, pipe cleaners and such things were unknown to me.

Thus, to know more about the REAL pipes, I embarked upon the journey of exploring finer nuances of pipe brands/ makers, their history and watching “How to videos” on packing a pipe, cleaning, repairing and caring for ones pipes. I found it extremely interesting and satisfying. It was while meandering through this confusing quagmire of pipe world that I came across rebornpipes.com website and eventually established contact with you, Mr Steve, who has since been my mentor, guide and GURU, making this journey a wonderful and satisfying experience.

Sir, there is one more thing that I need to thank you for and that is when you asked me to write a brief about my grandfather and his pipes, I realized how little I knew about him, in fact, knew nothing, as I was not even aware that he was a “pipeman” as no one in my family ever spoke about it being taboo subject and since he had quit a long time before I was even born!!!! This led me to ask the elders in my family, questions on the subject and came to know the above details. I cannot thank you enough for prodding me to get to know my grandfather and his pipes a lot better. Sir, these pipes of his, with your help and guidance, will remain with me forever in mint condition……

Thanks Paresh for this great descriptive take of your Grandfather. It really gives me a sense of the pipes that you have sent me and what they meant to him. It is obvious from the variety of pipes that you sent and the overall condition that he knew how to choose good quality pipes and obviously enjoyed smoking them throughout most of his life.

Paresh’s wife Abha cleaned the pipes before she sent them to me here in Canada and did an amazing job cleaning them up. She reamed the bowls, cleaned the rims and scrubbed the exterior of the pipes and the stems with Murphy’s Oil Soap and cleaned off the buildup on the stems. This particular pipe had a very hard cake in the bowl and with the tube sticking up from the bottom of the bowl she was very careful in here cleanup. There was till cake that needed to be removed. The finish on the bowl is in bad condition and was peeling and dirty. The light varnish coat was rough. The stamping on the sides and bottom of the bowl was very readable. The crack in the shank was fairly open and would need to be banded to repair it. The rim top had been beat up on hard surfaces and the outer edges were rough and rounded. The stem was lightly oxidized on both sides of the stem and had quite a bit of tooth chatter on both.

I removed the stem from the shank and started my work on the bowl itself. I wiped down the peeling finish on the bowl and shank with acetone on cotton pads. I rubbed it down until I had removed the varnish coat and the grime in the finish. I carefully cleaned up the reaming in the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer first. I started with the smallest cutting head and worked up to the second cutting head. I took the cake back to bare briar on the top ¾ of the bowl with the PipNet. I finished up the bottom ¼ with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and took the cake back to the bare briar on the bottom. I was careful around the tube extending into the bowl bottom so I would not damage it. I wanted to check out the condition of the interior of the bowl. It looked very good once it was cleaned off. There was no checking or cracking on the bowl walls. There was no sign of burn out inside.  I decided to take care of the cracked shank next before I cleaned up the inside. I found a nickel band that was the right diameter for the shank. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to cut back about 1/3 of the depth of the band so that when it was fully on the shank it would not cover up the stamping on either side of the shank. I cleaned out the crack with a cotton swab and alcohol. I put some all-purpose white glue in the crack and pressed the band onto the shank. I used the sandpaper on the topping board to face the band and the end of the shank. I wanted the shank end and band to be absolutely smooth so that the fit of the stem in the shank would not change. You can see from the first photo below that the band placement does not come close to the stamping but completely cover the crack.To remove the damage to the top of the rim and minimize the damage on the inside and outside edge of the rim I topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I cleaned out the carburetor tube on the bottom of the bowl with a paper clip and pushed through the tars and grime that had plugged the tubes. I cleaned out the airway in the shank and the mortise with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol until the inside was clean.I polished the rim top and bevel with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and the scratches. I stained the rim with a Maple stain pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl and shank.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the finish with my fingertips. I worked it into the rim and shank end. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter on both sides of the stem at the button with 220 grit sand paper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish both Fine and Extra Fine to remove the last of the scratches. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond. I gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I have five more of Paresh’s Grandfather’s pipes to finish and then I will pack them up and send across the sea to India where he can carry on the legacy. I know that he is looking forward to having them in hand and enjoying a bowl of his favourite tobacco in memory of his Grandfather. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

Paresh’s Grandfather’s Pipe #1 – An Early GBD Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have repaired several pipes for Paresh in India over the past four months or so and not long ago he sent me a box of seven of his Grandfather’s pipes. There is an interesting assortment of older pipes that come from the time period of 1937-1950s. His Grandfather worked for the Indian Railroad for many years and was a pipeman. Paresh follows in his love of the pipe and just recently found out that his Grandfather smoked a pipe as well. The first of the pipes I am working on for him is a GBD. It is an older one that has a silver band on the shank that is stamped with a GBD oval over four individual boxes – each is worn and hard to read. It is possible that it reads MRCLtd like the one in the first photo below which would identify the pipe as a French made GBD by Marechal, Ruchon & Co. Ltd. It could also be silver hallmarks with a lion (925 silver) and anchor (Birmingham) and two unreadable marks (one of which could give a date). Underneath them AO is stamped. AO could mean Alfred Oppenheimer which would date the pipe as after the Oppenheimer bought the brand in 1902 from MR&C Ltd. This would make it an early English made GBD pipe. The shank is stamped with a GBD Oval. There are no other stampings on the shank sides or the band. There is also a GBD Oval stamped on the left side of the saddle portion of the stem.Paresh’s wife Abha cleaned the pipes before she sent them to me here in Canada and did an amazing job cleaning them up. She reamed the bowl, cleaned the rim and scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and cleaned off the buildup on the stem. She also cleaned off the silver band. The finish on the bowl is in very good condition and the GBD oval logo on the bowl was very readable. The silver band was scratched and worn. The GBD oval on the silver was faint but readable. The four hallmarks were very worn but it is possible that the first two are a lion and anchor but not certain. The stem was lightly oxidized on the underside and there was a GBD oval on the left side of the saddle portion of the stem. Interestingly for a stem that purports to be bite proof there is a deep tooth mark on the left side of the top near the button over the left twin bore and on the underside near the button on the right side. Both are directly over the twin bore airways.

The stem is unique and one that I have not come across before. From researching on the internet a bit it appears that the twin bore stem could be an early edition of the Tuskan Series that was London Made. Underneath the movable end cap diffuser it has something like the Tuskana Insertion with the twin bore stem. In the pipe I am working on it has the insert between the twin airways but it also has a diffuser cap at the end of the button. It is an amber coloured piece that covers the end of the button. There is a slight gap between the edge of the button and the cap that functions to diffuse the smoke. The end piece can be turned vertically to reveal the twin bore stem underneath. Like I said it is quite unique and I have not been able to find any other examples of this system on the internet. If any of you have any insight or information on this particular feature on GBD pipes please let me know. Thanks.I found an advertisement on the Pipedia link above which explains the Tuskana Insert. I have included that below.I took photos of the pipe before I started to work on it. It is a beautiful pipe that has some age on it. It has some very great looking grain on the bowl and shank. The rim top is worn, damaged on the surface and also has nicks around the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl was slightly out of round and there was still a light cake on the walls.I took a close up photo of the rim top and both sides of the stem. You can see the damage to the top and inner edge of the rim top in the first photo below. The second and third photo shows the top and underside of the stem. I have circled the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with red.I always enjoy getting some background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring when I am working estate pipes from the family members. If you have followed rebornpipes for a while you have read a few of these summaries from estates like Kathy’s Dad, Barry’s Dad and Farida’s Dad. Each of them did a great job summarizing their fathers’ estates. Since the next group of seven pipes that I will be working came to from India and belonged to the Grandfather of Paresh, I asked him to write a short tribute to his Grandfather. What follows is his writeup.

Respected Sir,

Now that the first batch of my Grandfather’s pipes has reached you, I would like to share my memories of him with you, the aim being to provide you with an insight to his personality, the era in which he lived, and a brief history associated with the pipes that I have inherited from him.

My Grandfather, Ananta (named after an exotic seasonal white flower having lovely fragrance), was born in a small coastal town of Konkan region of Maharashtra, India, in 1918. These were very turbulent times when India’s freedom struggle against British rule was gathering momentum and the atmosphere was charged with “Quit India Movement”. Having completed his graduation from Bombay, he joined Railways in 1937. This also marked the beginning of his journey into the world of pipe smoking!!!!!

Having seen his potential, in 1945, he was sponsored by the Government to visit England, for gaining further experience and expertise in his profession. This was a period when India’s Independence was round the corner and efforts were being made to train Indians for various administrative appointments in future Independent India. He returned back to India after a year, in 1946 and with him came some pipes that he had purchased in England. I believe a few of his Petes, Barlings, Charatans and GBDs are from this visit.

In 1947, when the British finally left India for good, my Grandfather was gifted pipes by his British peers, subordinates and Superior Officers as a parting gift. He stayed in touch with a few of them over all these years, even visiting them in 1959-60. Some of his later era Charatans and Barlings and Pete are from this trip. He quit smoking in early 1970s (before I was even born!!!!) and his pipes were packed up. There were a number of pipes which were used as TINDER for lighting fires (CAN”T BELIEVE IT…… I have not overcome my grief of this loss till date!!!!!) due to ignorance!!!!!!

My Grandfather was a very strict disciplinarian and temperamental (I did not know this as he was neither when dealing with me as I am the youngest of all his grandchildren!!!!!! He was always the most understanding and loving person in my life). I later learned that in his office, he was not to be disturbed when his pipe was lit, as he would be in his thinking/ contemplating mode while it was just the opposite as he lit his pipe in the evening while at home, when he would be at his relaxed best!!!!.

The interesting part is that neither of us knew that we each smoked a pipe until after his demise in Jan 2018!!!! In our culture, to this day, smoking or alcohol consumption is socially never talked about (mute acceptance!!!). It was during his last rites that absent mindedly I lighted my pipe and looking into the flickering flames of his funeral pyre, remembered and recollected all the wonderful memories and talks that we had shared. No one said a word to me about my lighting up a pipe!!!!!! Immediately thereafter, I rejoined my duty station. A few days later, my wife, Abha, received a box from my Uncle with a note that said “Grandfather would have loved Paresh to have these”. This box contained a collection of his fountain pens and 8-10 of his pipes (since then as my folks are winding up his belongings, I have received 2-3 packets and a large number of pipes, some in decent condition and some in unspeakable state). Abha immediately messaged me with pictures of these pipes and pens. I had been collecting and restoring (no major repairs, though) fountain pens since long and immediately recognized some of them as highly collectibles, however, pipes were a totally different ball game! I was inexperienced with no knowledge/ information regarding various brands/ pipe makers, shapes and materials. I knew nothing about the value of these pipes, nothing about pipe restorations, nothing about caring for them; I mean zero knowledge about collecting pipes. I smoked some real cheap Chinese pipes which were readily and unfortunately, the only ones, available in India and some inexpensive pipes from eBay India!!!!! Also regular pipe cleaning, pipe rotation, pipe cleaners and such things were unknown to me.

Thus, to know more about the REAL pipes, I embarked upon the journey of exploring finer nuances of pipe brands/ makers, their history and watching “How to videos” on packing a pipe, cleaning, repairing and caring for ones pipes. I found it extremely interesting and satisfying. It was while meandering through this confusing quagmire of pipe world that I came across rebornpipes.com website and eventually established contact with you, Mr Steve, who has since been my mentor, guide and GURU, making this journey a wonderful and satisfying experience.

Sir, there is one more thing that I need to thank you for and that is when you asked me to write a brief about my grandfather and his pipes, I realized how little I knew about him, in fact, knew nothing, as I was not even aware that he was a “pipeman” as no one in my family ever spoke about it being taboo subject and since he had quit a long time before I was even born!!!! This led me to ask the elders in my family, questions on the subject and came to know the above details. I cannot thank you enough for prodding me to get to know my grandfather and his pipes a lot better. Sir, these pipes of his, with your help and guidance, will remain with me forever in mint condition……

Thanks Paresh for this great descriptive take of your Grandfather. It really gives me a sense of the pipes that you have sent me and what they meant to him. It is obvious from the variety of pipes that you sent and the overall condition that he knew how to choose good quality pipes and obviously enjoyed smoking them throughout most of his life.

I removed the stem from the shank and started my work on the bowl itself. I cleaned up the reaming in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and took the slight remnant of cake back to the bare briar. I wanted to check out the condition of the interior of the bowl. The inside looked very good once it was cleaned off. There was no checking or cracking on the bowl walls. There was no sign of burn out inside.To remove the damage on the rim top and to minimize the damage to the inner edge of the rim I lightly topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I carefully removed the damage without changing the shape of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inside edge of the bowl. I was able to remove much of the damage to the edge with the sandpaper and smooth out the bevel.  I polished the rim top and bevel with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and the scratches. I stained the rim with a Cherry stain pen to match the colour of the rest of the bowl and shank.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the finish with my fingertips. I worked it into the rim and shank end. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed.  I polished the silver band with a jeweler’s cloth to remove the tarnish from the silver and give it a shine. It worked pretty well to bring it back to life. The second photo below shows the stamping on the left side.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I cleaned the deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol and dried it off with a cotton pad. I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue. I set it aside to cure and called it night.In the morning I sanded out the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish both Fine and Extra Fine to remove the last of the scratches. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond. I gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I have six more of Paresh’s Grandfather’s pipes to finish and then I will pack them up and send across the sea to India where he can carry on the legacy. I know that he is looking forward to having them in hand and enjoying a bowl of his favourite tobacco in memory of his Grandfather. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

 

Replacing a Broken Tenon on a Civic Select 14 Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a call from a local fellow who had picked up my phone number from a local pipe and cigar shop. He had just returned from a trip and the tenon on his little Civic Zulu had snapped off. As it was his only pipe he wondered if I would be willing to take on the job of repairing it. He had tried to glue it on with epoxy but it had not worked. The pipe was relatively new and half the bowl was not even darkened by smoking. There was raw briar on the bottom half of the bowl. The briar was dirty on the outside from being pocketed in his coat of backpack.  The stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter on both sides at the button. The oxidation is deep in the vulcanite. I told him I would take on the project. I took photos of the pipe before I started working on it.I found a Delrin tenon replacement in my box that would fit well once the diameter was reduced. We talked and he decided to get rid of the stinger to make it a better smoking pipe. The broken angle on the end of the stem would need to be sanded smooth and faced so that the new tenon would fit well. I took some photos of the pipe, stem, broken tenon and new tenon.In preparation for drilling out the stem for the new tenon I used a sharp knife to open and bevel the edges of the airway in the stem. I have found that doing this keeps the drill bit centred and straight in the airway.I used the Dremel and the sanding drum to reduce the diameter of the new tenon. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the tenon. I worked on it until the diameter was the same as the broken tenon and the fit in the mortise was snug.I started drilling the airway with a bit slightly larger than the diameter of the airway. I slowed the speed on the cordless drill to make sure it moved slowly and straight. I worked my way up to a bit that was the same diameter as the new tenon end, but not too large to compromise the strength of the stem.I removed some of the diameter on the threaded end of the tenon to get a proper fit in the stem. I cleaned up the inside of the newly drilled end of the stem with a needle file to smooth out the walls. When it was smooth I cleaned up the new tenon, applied glue to the end and pressed it into place in the stem.I sanded the tenon with 4000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to clean up the marks and scratches in the tenon. Once the glue had cured I put the stem on the shank of the pipe. As is usual with these repairs the alignment was not perfect but close. I sanded the shank/stem junction smooth to clean up the alignment. I took pictures of the newly fit stem. I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I worked on them until they were clean. Since the pipe was barely smoked it was a pretty simple clean up.I reamed out the debris in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I wanted the bowl to be clean and smooth.I stained the area where I had sanded the shank with an oak stain pen to blend it into the rest of the shank. It is a bit streaky at this point in the process but that would blend together once I buffed and polished the pipe. I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the finish with my fingertips. I worked it into the rim and shank end. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish both Fine and Extra Fine to remove the last of the scratches. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a more aggressive buff of Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will call the pipeman soon so he can pick up his pipe and begin to enjoy it once more. He called several nights ago and said he had ordered some new tobacco and it had arrived. He was excited to try it out with his repaired pipe. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

Restoring a Kaywoodie Hand Made Rusticated Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

Last Fall I took a trip for work to Gainesville, Georgia in the US and during that time had a day free to do a bit of roaming. The friends I was staying with took us to a couple antique malls to have a bit of a pipe hunt. I found a few good pipes that I will be working on in the days ahead. This is the first of them – a Kaywoodie Hand Made Rhodesian. The stamping on the left side of the shank is faint but readable with a bright light and a lens. It reads Hand Made over Kaywoodie. On the right side of the shank it reads Imported Briar. The bowl had a light cake lining the walls and bottom while the rim top had a coating of lava that made the rim top look like it was rusticated or knocked about. The rim top is beveled slightly inward and was probably originally smooth. The carved worm trails pm the bowl sides and shank have angled slash marks across each of the grooves. The grooves on the bowl sides are more worn than those on the shank. There are twin rings around the bowl separating the cap from the bottom portion of the bowl. The finish was dirty and many of the grooves were filled in with dust and debris of the years. The stem had some nicks and scratches in the vulcanite and was lightly oxidized. There was also a spot on the top side near the shank where there must have been a logo insert that was lost many years ago and had been filled in with glue. There was light tooth chatter on both sides of the stem at the button but no deep tooth gouges. I took close up photos of the bowl, rim top and both sides of the stem to show the condition prior to cleaning. The buildup on the rim top is a combination of thick lava and damage to the surface of the briar. There appears to be some rustication on it but at this point I am not certain it is actually rusticated or just damaged.On the top side of the stem was a round spot that I think had originally held a Kaywoodie logo. It was missing and there was a slight divot in the stem. I filled it in with a clear super glue and set it aside to cure.I cleaned up the rim top with a Savinelli Fitsall Knife blade. I scraped the surface of the rim and also the inner edge of the bowl to smooth things out. Once the rim was cleaned off the damage to the surface of the rim was visible. It was rough to touch. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer starting with the second cutting head and finishing with the third head which was the close to the same size as the bowl itself. I reamed the cake back to smooth briar. I worked over the beveled rim top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rough surface and remove as much of the damage as possible.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the rusticated patterns of the briar to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the rustications with my fingertips and with cotton swabs. I worked it into the rim and shank end. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I wiped it off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed.  I wiped down the rim top and polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top to match the contrasting stains on the rest of the bowl. I used a black Sharpie pen to colour in the grooves on the top of the rim to match the grooves around the bowl. When I had finished I like the final look of the pipe.I used a dental spatula to clean out the hard tars and oils on the walls of the mortise. It did not take too much work to remove the hard build up. I scrubbed out the shank after that using cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. I cleaned out the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. The airway in the end of the tenon was slightly out of round because somewhere along the way the stinger had been removed and the airway damaged. I used a knife to bevel the edge of the airway in the tenon and then sanded it with a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth it out. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish both Fine and Extra Fine to remove the last of the scratches. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a more aggressive buff of Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will be posting it on the rebornpipes store very soon. It should make a nice addition to your pipe rack if you have been looking for a reasonably priced older Kaywoodie Hand Made Rhodesian carved in an almost classic Custombilt style. It should be a great smoking pipe with a good hand feel. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

 

A Piece of WWI History – A CCC Officier’s Pipe from the France Campagne 1914-1918


Blog by Steve Laug

I have been doing quite a few repairs lately and really needed a break to work on some of my own. I decided to work on one that my brother sent recently. It is a horn stemmed briar that is stamped Officier with a CCC triangle logo next to that. There is a copper coloured band on the shank for decoration since the shank is not cracked or damaged. The bowl also has embossed filigree on the front side. It reads Souvenir De France Campagne 1914-18. The band had several dents in the surface and there was a stamp on the band as well – a diamond with something stamped on the inside that is unreadable. The band is more of a ferrule than a band with the shank end cover by the edge of the ferrule. The pipe was incredibly dirty with grime and grit all over the outside of the bowl.  There was also some dark stain on the front and right side of the bowl. The rim also has some dark spots. Removing that damage would also damage the gold lettering on the front of the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl and some darkening on the top of the rim. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was also in great condition. There were some small nicks around the outer edge. The horn stem had a slight twist to the right side. There were some worm holes on the right side near the union of the stem and band. There was also some worm damage on the underside of the stem next to the button on the left side. There were some rough spots on the top of the stem between the shank and the button – almost some delaminated spots. Jeff took the following photos before he cleaned the pipe. Jeff took close up photos of the rim top, the bottom of the bowl to show their general condition the grain is quite beautiful under the grime. He took a great photo of the front of the bowl to show the gold stamping. It is very readable and in good condition. You can also see the dark stain on the briar underneath the stamping. I have seen this kind of stain on pipes in the past that has been caused by water or some kind of moisture that the pipe was laid in for a long period of time. In this case you can use your imagination and consider that possibly this damage occurred while in the hands of an officer in the French Campaign in WWI in between the years of 1914-18 or possibly after the closing date of the stamping.He took several photos of the stamping on the shank and band. The shank bears a script text with the French spelling Officier and next to that is the rounded edge triangle with three C’s stamped inside. The band has a diamond stamp with something inside of it but it is not discernible. The band/ferrule on the shank was loose on the shank. When the stem was removed the ferrule came off in hand. The tenon on the horn stem was an older nipple style tenon. It appears to be either horn or bone. It was intact but dirty. The next photos show the worm damage to the right side of the stem near the band union and on the underside of stem at the button. Fortunately none of them went all the way through the horn. I was unfamiliar with the triangle CCC brand so I did a bit of research. I looked on PipePhil’s site and did not find any information on the site. I also looked on Pipedia and found a possible link to a CC Paris in a triangle stamp. I followed the link on the French Pipes and Makers page to the CC Paris page. There I found the following information and interestingly photos of an Officier pipe. The only difference in the triangle logo was the stamping of Paris under the CC stamp instead of the CCC stamping. I am fairly confident that the CCC and CC Paris brands are linked together. I quote in full:

Every collector of antique pipes knows that pipe factory and retail store catalogs from the 1800s – early 1900s are as rare as hen’s teeth to find…and an even rarer occasion, when found complete and in good to better condition. This fragile catalog from this little-known French manufactory, merchandised its pipes with the logo of a triangle bearing the letters “C C Paris” embossed in fitted cases. Cases with this logo are known, but the Wolf and Mathiss name, until now, was not known as the factory behind the retail establishment. Wolf & Mathiss was originally known as Cawley & Henry, a pipe manufacturer founded in 1867. The product line was fairly robust, catering to not only pipe and cigar smokers, but also to cigarette consumers, because the catalog includes cigarette rolling papers that, according to company information, had received silver medals at two expositions, Anvers (1885) and Paris (1889). https://pipedia.org/wiki/CC_Paris

I have included two photos from that website. The first is a photo of the cover of a catalogue of the CC Paris brand. The second is of the left side of the shank revealing the stamping – the Officier with a triangle CC Paris to the right of that. The photos are courtesy of Doug Valitchka.There was also a link to the Tobacco Pipe Artistory blog. That site has a full catalogue of the pipe brand and some interesting information. I have included the link for easy access to the info.

http://tobaccopipeartistory.blogspot.ca/2015/11/wolf-and-mathiss-catalog-paris-1890-1900.html

Jeff once again did his usual great job on cleaning this pipe, leaving it pristine and without damage to the finish. He was very careful to not damage the historic stamping on the front of the bowl. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He carefully cleaned the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime of the smooth finish on the bowl and shank. He was able to remove the tars and oil on the rim but the dark stain on the front, the right side and the rim top remained. He wiped off the soap with a damp cloth. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish looked very good. He cleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to remove the tars and oils. He washed the exterior of the stem to remove debris from the worm damaged areas. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the pipe and stem when it came to Vancouver from Idaho.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the parts from the left side and from the front of the bowl. The ferrule was loose as was the fit of the stem in the shank.I used a multi-purpose white glue to reglue the ferrule to the shank. I pressed the ferrule into place and aligned the stamping on the ferrule with the shank stamping. I wiped off the excess glue that squeezed out and let the glue set.I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar on the smooth finish to clean, enliven and protect it. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I worked it into the rim and also on the stamping on the front of the bowl. I set it aside for a few minutes to let the balm work. I buffed it off carefully with a cotton cloth to polish it. The briar really began to have a deep shine. The dark spot though still present does not look bad and really is a part of the pipe’s story. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed. I cleaned out the worm damage with a qtip and alcohol. I filled in the damaged areas on the right side of the stem near the shank end and on the underside of the stem at the button with clear super glue. I set the stem aside to let the glue cure. Once the glue had cured I sanded the repaired areas with 220 grit sandpaper to blend in the repairs with the surface of the horn. I also sanded out the areas of the stem that were beginning to delaminate. I used a small file to sharpen the edge of the button. I polished stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it 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 used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the repairs on the horn stem. Somehow they had dried with a white spot in the center of each. The stain blended them into the surface of the horn and though they still showed were much better concealed. The loose tenon was an easy repair. I coated the tenon with several layers of clear fingernail polish to build up the diameter of the tenon.Stem fit snugly in the shank and the pipe was beginning to look really good.I took a photo of the stamping on the front of the bowl. I wanted to try to get more information on the history of the time. I did some research on the Campagne de France between the years 1914-1918 to see if I get a feel for that period – the time of World War I. My initial thinking was that the pipe was a souvenir of the war time intrusion of the Germans through the Alsace into the capital of France itself – Paris.I am quoting in part from two of the articles I found online about that time period. The first is part of a history that was written by Major Hubert Midy looking at the war from the perspective of the French Foreign Legion. It is entitled: HISTORY: The Foreign Legion, French Campaign 1914/1918. I have included a screen capture of the painting that was at the head of the article.…This first world war is a baptism to the horror that will follow and will remain the most deadly century in the history of humanity.

The centenary should be able to refresh our memory; thousands of books are dedicated to this war which still remains enigmatic in comparison with this second war whose motives for triggering are perfectly expressed.

And yet, everything was perfectly orchestrated, the French pointed out the German culprits, the latter accused the Russians, all suffered the latent aggressiveness of Austria and his hostility to his neighbor Serbia; the attack in Sarajevo giving him the opportunity to end once and for all.

As a result of this hostile Austrian act, the Russians take the responsibility to mobilize for Serbia, which immediately leads Germany to come to the aid of Austria.

Kaiser William II certainly did not imagine giving Vienna a “carte blanche” that a European war could take place.

Yet he could not ignore that there was a system of “bloc of alliance” which entailed a solidarity of several countries among them grouped against any external threat.

But in the end, despite this simplistic explanation of the outbreak of conflict, the objective factors are insufficient to understand how Europe threw itself into the furnace. Admittedly, there was indeed a suffocating climate of fear and suspicion, Germany scared and terrorized the French with its 25 million more than it, but nothing justified the entry into the war.

The war, deep down, no one knew what it was after forty years of armed peace. No one imagined the violence of a conflict in the industrial age, all thought that if it took place, it must be necessarily short, rough and brutal and specialists unanimously said that a war would mean total ruin belligerents.

Contrary to expectations, this war was long and marked with the red-hot iron of the blood of the fighters morally and physically destroyed by the destructive power of the heavy artillery which was able to neutralize an army of kilometers before the battlefield.

https://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://legionetrangere.fr/index.php/79-infos-fsale/299-histoire-la-legion-etrangere-campagne-de-france-1914-1918&prev=search

I searched further and found a second article that is a great summary of the war tracing the history from its beginnings in 1914 to its closure in 1918. I have included it for the information it gives.

The international context in which hostilities broke out in 1914 resulted from the profound changes that have affected Europe since the mid-nineteenth century.

The fragility of the Balkans crossed by strong nationalist pushes, the regrouping of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (1867), the realization of the Italian unity (1870) and that of Germany (1871) destabilize the European equilibrium resulting from the treaty Vienna (1815).

Tensions between France, eager to find Alsace and Lorraine annexed in 1871, and Germany on the one hand, between Austria-Hungary and Russia on the other, not to mention the role of England, always anxious to maintain its global influence, fuel the risk of crises. The Ottoman Empire itself was forced at the Berlin Congress (1878) to recognize the independence of several countries that were integrated into its administration (Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro in particular).

Through the combination of these new divisions and competition between major states (repeated crises between 1904 and 1914), the confrontation could not be avoided.

The war broke out following the assassination on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo of Franz Ferdinand, nephew and heir to the Emperor of Austria, by a Bosnian student linked to Serbian nationalist circles. Austria, after securing the support of Germany, presents an ultimatum to Serbia: this ultimatum requires that the investigation into the circumstances of the assassination be conducted on the Serbian territory by Austrian officials. Serbia accepts the conditions with the exception of the presence of Austrian agents which would constitute an attack on its sovereignty. Austria-Hungary declares war on July 28, 1914.

The cog of the alliances begins immediately: between the general mobilizations and the reciprocal ultimatums, Germany declares war on Russia on August 1st and on France on August 3rd, causing the reply of England declaring war in turn to Germany on August 4th. Patriotism, long nourished by various public opinions, allows the populations and the political classes of the different belligerents to accept this situation perceived as legitimate by each of the camps.

The German armies, regardless of the neutrality of Belgium, attack France first. This operation will be called the “Battle of the Borders” (7-24 August 1914): the French are moving forward to Mulhouse, Strasbourg and Lorraine. But in Mons and Charleroi the English and French are forced to retreat after fierce battles where they have difficulty coping with the dynamism of the attackers despite the effectiveness of the French artillery (exceptional light gun of 75).

Arrived at the gates of Paris on September 2, the Germans, instead of attempting to seize the capital, try to take the whole of the French battle body by a maneuver encirclement. Then commits the “Battle of the Marne” where Joffre, Chief of Staff, and General Gallieni, commanding the Place de Paris, launch a general counter-offensive marked by great feats of arms: General Foch heroically resisted in the swamps of Saint-Gond, and the army of General Maunoury was transported by Paris taxis to the north of the Marne: noting the failure of their action, the Germans retreated on September 10 to the Aisne; their commander-in-chief, von Moltke, is replaced by von Falkenhayn. Paris is saved.

Then begins the “race to the sea” between October and November 1914. The German army tries to outflank the allies on the left up to the north to reach the ports allowing British troops to disembark. The English and the French face tough and deadly engagements especially in Flanders (1-27 October). The first trenches appear, the soldiers digging them to protect themselves from both the enemy and winter. Finally the front stabilizes between the North Sea and Switzerland for nearly 700 km; 10 French departments are partially or totally occupied. The eastern front at the same time enabled the Germans to secure a victory over the Russians who had taken the offensive (Battle of Tannenberg, August 26-30, 1914); but the necessity of taking troops from the French battlefield weakened German power in the battle of the Marne.

The war of movement, initially planned to quickly defeat France, thus ends at the end of the year 1914 with two unexpected consequences: on the one hand a reciprocal neutralization of the armies in the presence, on the other hand a worldwide extension of the conflict Japan joined the Entente (Great Britain, Russia and France) and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined Germany and Austria-Hungary (October 1914).

The characteristics of this new conflict appear on both sides: the States must organize a real economy of war mobilizing all the means which they have to avoid the defeat (organization of the resources, supply, production of armaments, massive use of the railways, financing of the war effort).

In July 1918, Foch launched a counter-offensive which gave the signal for a progressive decline of the Germans, whose retreat continued to increase (the German front was sunk in Montdidier in August, the general offensive of Verdun to the Yser is triggered on October 31). The Italians erase on their side the disaster of Caporetto (October 1917) beating the Austrians to Vittorio-Veneto (October 1918). In the Balkans, under the influence of Allied pressure (Franchet d’Esperey, victorious at Uskub), the central empires are taken in reverse; Bulgaria and Turkey are increasingly isolated and demand an armistice (30 October); Austria does the same on November 3rd. Faced with the reversal of the military situation, political agitation spread to Germany: the German fleet revolts in Kiel, the revolution breaks out in Berlin, William II abdicates and the republic is proclaimed on November 9, the armistice is signed in Rethondes the 11th of November.

https://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr/fr/la-premiere-guerre-mondiale-1914-1918&prev=search

Given that information I thought it would be helpful to look up the meaning of the French word Souvenir. I expected it to mean the same as the English word and it indeed did have. Here is the definition of the word:

Noun: a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event. Synonyms: memento, keepsake, reminder, remembrance, token, memorial; bomboniere; trophy, relic. Use: “keep the key ring as a souvenir”

Verb: souvenir; 3rd person present: souvenirs; past tense: souvenired; past participle: souvenired; gerund or present participle: souveniring. Use: take as a memento -“many parts of the aircraft have been souvenired”

So now I knew that the pipe was a memento, memorial token, or remembrance  of a horrible time in the history of the French. It was a time when Paris itself came under siege of the German army and the world as it was then known came to screeching end. The war forever changed the way people in those days viewed their time in history.

This small CCC Officier bent billiard with a horn stem is a real beauty with a mix of grains around the bowl and shank. The grain really is quite stunning. The rim top and the right side of the bowl have some dark stains that could not be removed without damaging the stamping on the front of the bowl. The horn stem is repaired and polished and has a shine that looks very good with the brass ferrule on the shank end. I buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish being careful to avoid the stamping on the front side of the bowl. The briar and the horn took on a deep and rich looking shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed by hand with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The rich brown stain allows the grain to really stand out on this little pipe and it works well with the polished richness of the stem. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 5/8 inches. This little commemorative pipe has quite a history. I only wish that it could tell the story of its journey from France, to the US and up to Canada. I am sure that it would be a fascinating tale that would I am sure capture out imaginations. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.