Tag Archives: Sasieni Family Era Billiard

Sasieni Fantail Wire Rusticated Patent Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found this old Sasieni on one of his gallivants to the Oregon Coast. He stopped by an antique shop and picked up a few nice ones. This wire rusticated Sasieni billiard with a Sterling Silver band is unique to my eyes. I have not cleaned one up before or repaired one for someone else. It has a Fantail or Fish Tail stem that is unique. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and the stamping is faint but readable. In bright light I can read that at the bowl end it is stamped England in an arch. Flowing from the arched England it reads Sasieni in the newer script over FANTAIL over Pat. D-170067. The last stamping is the shape number 55. I am pretty certain that this is a Family Era pipe made somewhere between 1946 – 1979. The change of “Sasieni” script without the fish-tail initiated by Alfred Sasieni occurred after second world war. This puts the date of the pipe between 1946 and 1979 – a large spread.The Sterling Silver band looks like it could have been original with the pipe when it left the factory but I am not certain. Sasieni is a brand that I am not as familiar with so I do not know all of the ins and outs of the shapes and finishes.

I remembered that Al Jones had worked on a Sasieni pipe with a similar finish and stamping. His was a Moorgate Pot. Here is the link: https://rebornpipes.com/2015/02/28/sasieni-moorgate-rustic-restored/ I quote a section of Al’s blog regarding this pipe, “This Sasieni “Moorgate” shape in Rustic finish is the second pipe from the shop in Albany and part of the General Electric executives estate. The nomenclature shows that the pipe is from the “Family Era” and made between 1946 and 1979. The “Rustic” finish is a hand carved, rusticated finish done completely by hand. This work must have been painstakingly slow with the carving following the briar grain lines.”

I have included a photo of the stamping on the underside of the Moorgate shank from Al’s blog post as it is very close to the stamping on the one I am working on. Mine is not stamped Four Dot Rustic over “Moorgate” but rather FANTAIL where the Rustic stamp is and where Moorgate is mine has a Patent number. The finish on Al’s was more horizontal than the one I am working on. The striations run vertically on the bowl sides but the shank is the same style. I have included the photos of the bottom of the shank on the one I am working on below. I also included a screen capture of the pertinent section of PipePhil’s Logos and Stamping website and included the link should you want to look at on the site. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html From what I can see through the oxidation on the stem there may well be a letter “F” on the left side of the stem. Jeff included photos of the pipe from a variety of angles to show the condition of the bowl, rim and finish on the pipe. It was worn and tired. Fortunately there were no chips or cracks in the briar and other than just being dirty and worn it was in good shape. Jeff sent along a photo of the cake in the bowl and the lava that had flowed over the top of the rim. The outer edges of the rim looked pretty decent with no wear or tear from tapping it out against hard objects. The cake in the bowl was hard and quite this. The lava on the top filled in most of the grooves in the rustication on the back half of the bowl.The Sterling Silver band was heavily tarnished but it appeared to be sound underneath the tarnish. It had an arched Sterling Silver stamped into the topside of the band.The stem had deep tooth marks and the button was worn away from use. There were no bite throughs or cracks in the stem. The middle portion on both sides of the stem near the button was in the worst condition with the edges being quite clean. The stem was oxidized. The photos below show the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surfaces.Jeff reamed the bowl with the PipNet reamer and took out all of the cake. It was then clear that the inner edge was also undamaged. He scrubbed out the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until it was spotless. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and the lava on the rim with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the grim and build up in the grooves of the finish. The stain lightened considerably with the cleaning but it would not be hard to restain it to match the colour of the original. I took the next photos to show the condition of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. The cleanup on the rim was stellar in my opinion. The grime and lava are gone and the grooves of the rustication are clean and visible.I took photos of both sides of the stem to document the oxidation and the tooth marks located on the top and underside.I sanded the tooth chatter out of the vulcanite and cleaned up the area with a cotton swab and alcohol. I used black super glue to fill in the tooth dents that were too large to raise by applying heat to the stem. I set the stem aside while the glue dried. After the photo I used a little more glue to build up the area around the sharp edge of the button. Once it is dried I will recut that area with a needle file.I cleaned and polished the tarnished Sterling Silver band with a jeweler’s cloth. The tarnish came off quite easily and I buffed it with the cloth to make it shine.I restained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain cut by 50% with isopropyl alcohol. I applied it and flamed it with a lighter. I repeated the process until the coverage was good on the briar. Once it was dry I wiped down the bowl with cotton pads and alcohol to lighten it even more and bring it closer to the finish that had originally been on the bowl. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel carefully avoiding the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was light enough already and I did not want to damage it further. I hand buffed the area with a microfibre cloth. The bowl was looking very good at this point. I took the following photos to show where what the pipe looked like at this point. I decided to clean up a bit of extra cake that clung to the bowl walls toward the bottom of the bowl with the Savinelli Fitsall Reamer. It did not take too much to knock off the small remnants of cake toward the bottom of the bowl.Once the repair had cured I used a needle file to recut the sharp edge of the button. I also used the file on the flat surface of the repairs to blend them into the rest of the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and blend in the repairs with the surface of the stem. I sanded it so as to remove the oxidation but not change the profile of the stem. I examined the left side of the stem for the “F” stamp and all that was present was a very faint mark. If you did not know it was supposed to be there you would not see it. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I buffed it with red Tripoli and gave it another coat of oil. I dry sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads and rubbed it down between each pad with a coat of oil. I set aside the stem to let the oil dry. I put the stem back in place in the shank and buffed the bowl and stem lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and then with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. The contrast of the dark brown and a medium brown that shines through give the finish a rich patina. The bowl has been cleaned and the entire pipe is ready to smoke. The stem is in great shape. The tooth marks have been removed though there is slight scratching on the vulcanite. It is a beautiful pipe, just a little big for my liking or I would hang on to it. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Classic Find – a Sasieni Four Dot London Made Pembroke

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother and I recently purchased some pipes from an estate sale from an old pipeman named Gene in Pocatello, Idaho. There were a lot of great pipes in the lot. I have written about the pipes on a previous blog: https://rebornpipes.com/2016/10/07/a-good-day-hunting-orchestrated-between-british-columbia-and-idaho/ .  On his way home my brother stopped at an antique shop and found pipes that were by far the most prestigious of the finds. These included a Charatan’s Make Canadian Sandblast 0121, the Four Dot Sasieni Pembroke with a patent number, Pat.No. 150221/20, a Dunhill Bruyere Canadian EC 4R and a Jost’s Supreme Diamond Shank bent billiard. My brother took the photos that follow. They show the pipe before he cleaned it up and sent it to me.sas1He took some close up photos of the rim top. The top and the inner beveled edge of the bowl had a thick cake of tars and oils that had overflowed from the cake in the bowl. The outer edge of the rim appeared to be in good shape but the inner edge was hard to assess because of the lava buildup on the top.sas2The finish was very dirty but underneath the soiled grain there was some nice flame grain and birdseye that flowed around the bowl and on bottom and up the sides of the bowl and shank.sas3 sas4The shank was stamped on the left side near the bowl Made in England in a rugby ball shaped circle. Also on the left side next to that it reads Sasieni in clean and not a flowery script over FOUR DOT over LONDON MADE over PAT.No. 150221/20. On the right side of the shank it is stamped “Pembroke” (enclosed in quotation marks).sas5The stem was badly oxidized and was calcified from the button forward about an inch. I have seen this on pipes that generally had a softee bit. There were light tooth marks and tooth chatter on the both sides of the stem near the button. The four dot pattern is clear on the left side of the tapered stem. It may well be a light blue in colour but at this point in the process it was very hard to be sure.sas6I wanted to try to establish a date for the pipe based on the Patent Number stamping, the style of the stamping of Sasieni on the shank and the pattern of the four dots. I went to my go to source of information Pipedia and looked for the article on Sasieni pipe. Here is the link: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni. There I found some helpful information. I quote the relevant paragraphs in full: “All Sasieni One, Four, and Eight Dot pipes made before W.W.II and destined for the U. S. market carried a patent number on the shank which usually started with the numbers “15″, with 150221/20 and 1513428 being representative of the group. Also, the name “Sasieni” was stamped on the shank in a very florid manner, with the tail of the last “i” sweeping underneath the name forming a shape which has been compared to a fish by more than one collector. This script was discontinued by Alfred almost immediately after he took over the company, so this alone tells you your pipe is pre W.W.II. Underneath in block lettering are the words “London Made”, with the patent number making the third line…”

The pipe I had in hand had the 150221/20 stamping which told me that my pipe had been made for the American market. I also learned that the florid script Sasieni with tail of the last “i” sweeping underneath was discontinued after WWII. The arrangement of the stamping however is identical to the description above. The only difference was the stamping of the script Sasieni. My pipe did not have the florid “i” at the end. I read further in the article and found what I was looking for.

“Once Alfred took over the company in 1946, these elements changed in fairly rapid succession. The first thing to be changed was the nomenclature itself. In place of the elaborate “Sasieni” stamp of pre-war pipes, a simpler, though still script style, “Sasieni” was used. This can be seen on patent pipes which have the small, old style dots.”

I learned that Alfred Sasieni changed the script of the Sasieni stamp from the older florid stamp after 1946 to the simpler script. The paragraph says that it can be seen on patent pipes which had the small, old style dots. Now I knew that the pipe I had was made for the American market after WWII and after 1946. I had the window for the age of my pipe and knew that I had a pre-transition period pipe made during the time in which the Sasieni family still owned the business.

I turned to the Pipephil website to have a look at the time chart that is shown there with the time frames of the Sasieni pipes. Here is the link: http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/sasieni-timechart.html. I use a screen capture to copy the relevant section regarding the dating of my pipe. The red box around the years 1941-1947 shows the features that make up my assessment of the date of this pipe.

  • The passing of Joel Sasieni and his replacement by his son Alfred Sasieni in 1946.
  • The reissue of Four Dot pipes that had previously stopped during the war years.
  • The increase of the dot size and the rearrangement of the dots into an equilateral triangle. (While the one I have is in the same arrangement of dots, the size of the dots is small as noted above for pipes bearing the patent numbers.)
  • The simplified Sasieni stamping.

My brother scrubbed down the bowl ad removed grime on the finish. He reamed the bowl with PipNet reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. The stem was stuck in the shank so he was unable to remove it and clean out the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem. There was still some darkening and build up on the rim. The stem damage, oxidation and calcification still remained. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver and I brought it to my work table.sas9sas10I took a close up photo of the rim. There were still some chips of tar and some stain remaining on the rim of the pipe. The beveled inner edge was still dirty and caked.sas11The stem was worn and dirty. The oxidation and calcification were quite thick on top and bottom of the stem.sas12I was able to remove the stem from the shank by carefully twisting it slowly. It came out and left behind a thick tar that held it in place in the shank. I think that the change of altitude and humidity from Idaho to here made the stem removable. Once it was out of the shank I worked on the bowl. I scrubbed the rim of the pipe with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remaining finish. I sanded the top with 1500-2400 grit pads to smooth out the damage. I wiped down the bowl with the acetone as well. The photos below show the pipe after scrubbing.sas13 sas14I cleaned up the remnants on cake on the inside walls of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped the remaining cake completely out of the bowl.sas15I worked on the inside of mortise with a dental spatula and scraped away the tarry buildup that had held the stem in place. I scrubbed the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until the inside was clean and the cleaners came out without more darkening. It took a lot of cleaning and scrubbing.sas16I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation and the calcification with 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to sand out the tooth marks and blend them into the surface of the stem. I worked on the button edge with needle files and sandpaper to sharpen the look of the button.sas17I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. After each set of three pads I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. I gave the stem a final coat of the oil after using the last set of pads. I set the stem aside to dry. (There was still a light oxidation around the stem at the shank junction but the buffing would take care of that.)sas18 sas19 sas20I gave the bowl a light coat of olive oil and buffed it with a soft cloth. I took the following photos to show the look of the pipe before I buffed it with Blue Diamond or gave it coats of carnauba.sas21 sas22I lightly buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful around the stamping on the shank. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I finished by hand buffing it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a well-made pipe that is laid out well with the pattern of the grain. It certainly came out looking better than its age for a pipe made in around 1946. Thanks for walking through the restoration process with me.sas23 sas24 sas25 sas26 sas27 sas28 sas29 sas30