Tag Archives: Savinelli Oscar Aged Briar pipes

New Life for an Oscar Aged Briar 704 Birks Liverpool


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a Savinelli Made Liverpool that we purchased in 2018 from a fellow in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. It is a thin pencil shank pipe in a shape that I would call a Liverpool from the  flow of the stem and shank. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right side it is stamped with a Savinelli “S” shield followed by the shape number 704 [over] Italy. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Birks. The stem bears the stamp of BB with the left B stamped backwards. The bowl had a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim. It was hard to estimate the condition of the rim top with the cake and lava coat but I was hoping it had been protected from damage. The bowl was smooth and a natural finish. The finish was dusty and tired but had some nice grain under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The stem was dirty, oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and deep tooth marks near the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff captured the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. The cake is very thick and heavy. The next two photos of the stem show the top and underside of the stem. It is oxidized and calcified an you can see the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of both sides. Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing the worn finish and what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. It will be interesting to see what happens as the pipe is cleaned and restored.He captured the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clear and readable. The left side reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right side it has the Savinelli Shield S followed by the shape number 704 [over] Italy. On the underside it is stamped Birks. The stem bears an interesting BB logo. All of the stamping is understandable as it is a typical Savinelli made pipe. The only stamp that leaves me a bit mystified is the Birks stamp. I know that Birks is a designer, manufacturer and retailer of jewellery, timepieces, silverware and gifts, with stores and manufacturing facilities located in Canada and the United States. I wonder if that is the connection with the stamping on this pipe. Was it a gift made by Birks and sold as such? Was it a line they sold in their stores? I have worked on these in the past and that is the best I can find.

The pipe has been here for a few years now so it is about time I worked on it. I took it out of the box where I had stored it and looked it over. It was amazingly clean and looked like a different pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The bowl looked very good. The rim top showed a lot of darkening but the inner bevel was in good condition. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. When he took it out of the soak it came out looking far better. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top is clean but there is a lot of darkening around the top and edges. The bowl itself looks very clean. The close up photos of the stem show that is it very clean and the deep tooth marks are very visible.I took photos of the stamping because they had cleaned up very well. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the bowl and to give a sense of the proportion of the pipe. It is a nice looking pencil shank Liverpool.I decided to take care of the damage on the rim top and inner edge first. I worked over the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and was able to remove much of the darkening. Once I had finished the bowl was round and the edge looked very good.I polished the briar and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I was able to blend in the repairs into the side of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for fifteen minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I filled the tooth marks with clear CA glue. Once it had hardened I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. I touched up the BB stamp on the left side of the taper stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed it on and worked it into the stamping with a tooth pick. Once it had been sitting for 5 minutes I buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The BB was worn but it definitely looks better. I believe that it is the logo for Birks!I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave the stem a final coat of Obsidian Oil to preserve and protect it. This Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar 704 Liverpool was another fun pipe to work on and I really was looking forward to seeing it come back together again. With the grime and debris gone from the finish it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich natural finish on the bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite stem. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 33grams/1.16oz. This is truly a great looking Oscar Aged Briar. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Restoring a Restemmed Oscar Aged Briar 310KS Poker


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a pipe hunt in Utah. It is a nice looking Poker with cross grain and birdseye grain and has a taper vulcanite stem. I am pretty certain the stem is a replacement. The bowl has a rich reddish brown colour combination that highlights grain. The pipe has some grime ground into the surface of the briar. The finish had a few small fills around the sides but they blended in fairly well. This pipe is stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left it reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right it has a Savinelli “S” Shield and next to that was the shape number 310KS [over] Italy. The replacement stem was slightly larger than the shank diameter and had rounded shoulders. There is a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the top beveled inner edge of the bowl. The rim top looks good but it is hard to be certain with the lava coat. There were some tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the vulcanite stem near the button. The pipe looks to be in good condition under the grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake and the thick lava coat. It is hard to know what the condition of the rim top and edges is like under that thick lava. It is an incredibly dirty pipe but obviously one that was a great smoker. The replacement stem was poorly fit to the shank and it had light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.   He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the beautiful grain around the bowl and the condition of the pipe. You can see the grime ground into the surface of the briar.   He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the Savinelli “S” Shield and the shape number 310KS [over] Italy. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to look at the Savinelli write up there and see if I could learn anything about the Oscar Aged Briar line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). There was a listing for the Oscar Aged Briar and I did a screen capture of the pertinent section.I looked up the Savinelli brand on Pipedia to see if I could find the Oscar Aged Briar line and the 310KS Shape (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). There was nothing that tied directly to the line I am working on. There is a detailed history of the brand there that is a good read. I also captured the shape chart and boxed in the 310KS shape in red. The shape is identical to the one that I am working on. The stem on this one would have originally been a saddle stem with a shooting star logo on the left side of the saddle. The one I have has a replacement taper stem with no logo and with a poor fit to the shank.It was time to work on the pipe. As usual Jeff had done a thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. Other than the damaged rim top the pipe looked good. I took a photo of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top looked very good. The rim top and the inner edge of the bowl had darkening and some nicking on the crowned edge. The vulcanite taper stem had light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button edges. The diameter of the stem was larger than that of the shank. It also had rounded edges.   The stamping on the sides of the shank is clear and readable as noted above.     I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a nice looking Poker that should clean up very well. I started working on the pipe by dealing with the rounded shoulders of the stem.  I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper smooth out the transition. One of the issues with the stem was that the stem was not completely round with less material on the left side of the stem. I worked on the left side to make it round. I also needed to address some light damage to the shank end so I decided to use a thin brass band to make the transition smooth and repair the edge of the band. I spread some super glue on the stem and pressed the band in place on the shank. I took photos of the banded shank. I like the look of the pipe with the band.  I worked over the rim top and inner bevel of the rim with 220 grit sandpaper. I smooth out the damage and gave the  rim top and edge a clean look that would polish out nicely. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped down the bowl after each sanding pad.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out.    There was a spot on the right side of the inner bowl wall that look like a crack in some of the photos. I sanded it out with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The photo below shows the polished stem. This nicely grained Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar Poker with a replacement vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. I put a thin brass band on the shank to clean up the fit of the stem to the shank. The briar is clean and really came alive. The rich reddish, brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Oscar Aged Briar Poker is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

A Rusticated Savinelli Oscar 127 Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is a nicely rusticated saddle stem Billiard with a smooth rim top with a bevel on the inside edge of the bowl. It is stamped with Oscar over Aged Briar on the heel of the bowl followed by the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 127 over Italy. The stamping is clear and readable though the shape number is hidden slightly by the rustication. The pipe has a combination of brown stains and the tight rustication is not only tactile but also lends a sparkle to the finish. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the beveled inner edge of the top and top toward the back of the bowl. There was darkening on the briar around the inner beveled edge and the top of the rim. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the beveled inner edge of the rim.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the tight rustication pattern that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. The stamping on each side of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable. The shooting star logo on the stem side is clear but faint. I am hoping that it can be repainted once it is clean. It all depends on how deep the stamping on the stem side is. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.   I confirmed that the shape number stamping, partially hidden by the rustication is indeed 127 by comparing it to the Savinelli Shape Chart that I have. I have drawn a red box around the shape on the chart below.For some background give the article on Pipedia are as it includes a well written history of the Savinelli brand. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. The stamping on the side of the stem was very light and the white that had remained was gone. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can some spots on the inner edge and the top where some darkening remains.  The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are very clear in the photos.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping is clear and readable as noted above.   I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and beveled inner edge. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work edge to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better.   Because the bowl and rim top looked so good I decided to move on to rubbing the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the crevices. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.    I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The deep tooth marks and the deep marks on the top and underside of the stem needed to be filled in and reshaped. I filled them in with clear super glue. I purposely overfill the spots so that as they cure and shrink they will still fill in the damage. Once the glue cured I used a needle file to recut the button edge and shape the button surfaces. I flattened the fills on the top and underside of the stem at the same time. I sanded the repaired button and stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the button and stem. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sand paper.   I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.     This Savinelli Oscar Aged Briar 127 Billiard is a nice looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the rustication around the bowl sides and the heel. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well and almost sparkle on the pipe. The polished black vulcanite taper stem adds to the mix. It was impossible to save the shooting star logo it was just too far gone. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax by hand and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Oscar Aged Briar rusticated Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. It is also a sitter with a flat bottom. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

The Easiest Restoration in the Recent Estate Lot – A Savinelli Oscar 701 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

This little Savinelli Lovat is by far the easiest pipe I have cleaned up from the recent estate lot pipes that my brother purchased. It is a beautifully rusticated Lovat with an almost sandblast finish over the rustication. It is a oxblood stained pipe with a vulcanite stem. I wonder if it was not the last pipe that the pipeman purchased before his demise. The bowl had a light cake in it and the rim already had some overflow of lava on the top but the bowl had not been smoked to the bottom. The bottom of the bowl was raw briar. It had very few tooth marks and chatter. The stem was lightly oxidized and the finish was in great shape. It is stamped on the smooth portion on the underside of the shank with the words Oscar over Aged Briar on the heel of the bowl. Next to that it was stamped with the Savinelli S in a shield next to the shape number 701 over Italy. My brother took the following photos of the pipe when he brought it home from the sale.

I looked the shape up on the Savinelli Shape Chart and found it there in the right hand column. It is the second pipe circled in red below.

Jeff also took a photo of the rim top and the cake in the bowl. There is a light cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the top of the rim and the bevel. It was not too thick so it would easily come off the surface. He took two photos of the underside of the shank. The first shows the 701 shape number and the second shows the remainder of the stamping. The contrast stain on the rustication pattern looks very good.The next two photos show the side and bottom of the bowl. The random pattern of the rustication almost looks like a sandblast pattern.On the left side of the saddle portion of the stem there is the characteristic Savinelli Oscar shooting star stamp. It is in excellent condition.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button are not too deep in the surface of the vulcanite. They should be relatively easy to remove.

Jeff thoroughly cleaned out the internals of the pipe, reaming it with a PipNet reamer and removing all of the cake. He scrubbed the externals with Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the lava on the top of the rim. He rinsed the bowl in water to remove the debris of the cleaning. The stem soaked in Oxyclean to lift the light oxidation that was present. It came to the surface and would be easily remedied. The next four photos show the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. It really was a delicate looking Lovat that showed real promise.

I had to have a picture of the cleaned up rim top. It was amazing how he had been able to get all of the lava off on the top and the bevel as well.The next two photos show the oxidation that I would have to deal with to get the stem back to its polished black glory.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation and remove the tooth chatter and marks.I ran a pipe cleaner with alcohol through the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem. It was very clean so nothing more needed to be done. The mortise was very clean.I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush to raise a shine. The next photos show the buffed bowl. It is really a nice looking pipe. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and then rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads, gave it another coat of oil then buffed it with red Tripoli. I brought it back to the work table and finished polishing with 6000-12000 grit micromesh pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond to raise a shine. When buffing a rusticated bowl with Blue Diamond a soft touch is imperative or you will fill in the divots of the rustication with the polishing compound. I buffed the stem with the Blue Diamond as well, being careful around the shooting star logo so as not to damage it. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and by hand with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer diameter: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It will soon be available on the rebornpipes store. If you wish to add it to your collection you can email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a private message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.