Tag Archives: Savinelli Pipe Lines

Refurbishing a Savinelli Nonpareil 9111 Billiard Bowl

Blog by Steve Laug

I received a private message on Facebook from Doug, a friend in the US about refurbishing the bowl on a pipe he just picked up. He would do the stem he said so there was no need for me to even worry about that so I sent him a message and the deal was done. The package arrived in Vancouver not long after that message exchange. When I opened the box there was a large beautiful briar pipe inside. It had amazing grain on it and a polished horn shank extension. The bowl had a very light cake in it and the rim had some darkening around the inner edge and a small nick on the back right side of the inner edge. The finish was dirty and there were some areas on the bowl just below the rim where there was some sticky substance and buildup. There was a small nick in the horn extension on the left side. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the bowl Savinelli over Nonpareil. Next to that was the Savinelli S shield logo and next to that it bore the shape number 9111 over Italy. In the Savinelli Grading Hierarchy the Nonpareil was just below the Giubileo d’Oro. It is thus one of the higher grade lines that Savinelli produces. The Nonpareil line has the shape number stamped using a 3 or a 4 digits shape code which is an exception to Savinelli’s routine 3 digits shape code. The 9111 is a beautiful shape in the line.

I took a close up photo of the shank end to show the darkened metal inset that runs the length of the horn extension. This added touch adds stability to the horn and seems to add protection that keeps it from splitting over time. The close up of the rim top shows the lightly caked bowl, the darkening on the inner edge of the rim and a small nick in the edge at about 7 o’clock in the photo. You can also see the sticky buildup on the backside of the bowl just below the rim in the first photo. The pipe really has some stunning grain under the grime on the surface. The final close up photo shows the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inside edge of the rim. I was able to minimize the nick on the rear right edge and also some of the darkening on the inner edge with the sandpaper. (Note the sticky substance on the side of the bowl just below the top of the rim. This extends all the way around the bowl.)I cleaned off all of the stickiness and grime with a cotton pad and alcohol. I figured it would remove the debris and help the grain to really show up. I carefully wiped off the horn with just a dampened cotton pad. Once I was finished I was rewarded with some beautiful grain and some deep shine on the horn extension. I cleaned up the thin cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and took out the ragged edges of the cake.With the bowl cleaned I cleaned out the internals – the mortise and the airway in the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.I polished the briar and horn with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding dust. I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar to lift out the dust in the grain, enliven and protect the bowl and horn shank. I let it sit for a little while then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I really like the way the grain stands out in some amazing contrast now. With the bowl cleaned and polished I buffed it with Blue Diamond to polish out any remaining scratches. I gave the bowl 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 briar polished up pretty nicely. The finished bowl is shown in the photos below. Next week I will box the pipe up and put it back in the mail to Doug. I look forward to hearing what he thinks one he has it in hand. I can’t wait to see the bowl with the stem polished and in place. I have to remember to have Doug send me a finished picture of the pipe once he reunites the bowl and stem. Thanks for walking through the refurb with me. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. It is truly a beautiful piece of briar.


An Old Savinelli Catalogue Describing Various Lines of Pipes and Accessories

This old Savinelli Catalogue gives great descriptions of the various lines of Savinelli Pipes. It gives a brief history of the brand and the workmanship used in their pipe manufacturing. The lines are described from the highest grade to the cheapest grade. It also includes a write up on Sherwood New Concept pipes, Churchwardens and Canadians/Lumberman pipes. There is a page on the Lollo compact pipe and the Roley Pocket pipe. There is a page on inexpensive pipes and lightweight pipes. The brochure ends with a page of accessories and oddities – the Kalumet, The Pipe Boy Car Pipe Rest, Snorkel and Tobacco jars. The back page of the catalogue gives the Briar Story, How to Break in your new pipe and filling, lighting and smoking the pipe.

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A Savinelli Catalogue Smuggled from Argentina by a Pipe Patriot

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos Provided by Gustavo Capozzi

“The original is unfaithful to the translation.” ― Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges, KBE(1889-1986), Argentine short story writer, essayist, poet, translator and Knight of the British Empire, regarding Henley’s translation of Beckford’s “Vathek” [1943]

I noticed fairly frequent comments from a certain Argentine member of the Smokers Forums on various threads of mine as well as others, but his note on my most recent post about the restoration of a Savinelli Panama Bent Bulldog #111 KS was – in particular because of the broken English that seemed to me even more apropos to his meaning – eloquent and moving. The member, whose real name I now know is Gustavo Capozzi, referred to a comment I made, that I never bought a Savinelli I didn’t like, when he wrote:

“Robert I agree with you. When I´m a young boy, looked through the window the Savinelli pipes, and as people with money buy.In my student days had only national pipes and an Albanian as ‘imported’.I have a catalog Savinelli of that time where I enjoyed. Even today I could not get some. Congratulations!”

Concluding from the message that he has never owned a Savinelli, I experienced a series of vivid mental images of the young Gustavo growing into manhood, saving the cherished Savinelli catalogue and never being able to afford one or, now, to find the fine Italian brand anywhere in his native country because of governmental commercial import regulations. To be open to the point of risking sounding mushy, I was very touched. And the final word of congratulations to my good fortune added a sense of downright guilt.

In a private message to him on the Forums, I suggested that our host, Steve, would likely be quite interested in the catalogue, which Sr. Capozzi agreed to photograph and email. In fact, he replied that he had already done so, with such speed that I was further struck by his deep love of Savinellis. However, in a case of miscommunication, I believed he had sent the photos to Steve. Eager to know that they were received, Sr. Capozzi wrote to me again, and I contacted Steve, who responded that he had no such email. When I relayed this news to him, he dashed back the frantic note, “emails were sent to you!!!!!!”

With a rising sickness in my stomach, I searched my email, not finding anything. Then I found all but the first batch in the WRONG Junk Mail folder (only with MS Office, I know) and hastened to alleviate Sr. Capozzi’s clear agitation. He shot back the first eight photos.

As a final note before posting the catalogue, I will just add that Sr. Capozzi and I turned out to be mutual fans of the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, whose quote above seemed fitting to the means of my new friend’s photo translation of the catalogue for our enjoyment and learning…and how much there is to learn from this marvelous catalogue is astonishing: pipe lines, shape charts, dry system pipes, filter dry systems, accessories and even “suggestions.”Sav1 Sav2 Sav3 Sav4 Sav5 Sav6 Sav7 Sav8 Sav9 Sav10 Sav11 Sav12 Sav13 Sav14 Sav15 Sav16 Sav17 Sav18 Sav19 Sav20 Sav21 Sav22 Sav23 Sav24 Sav25 Sav26 Sav27 Sav28 Sav29 Sav30 Sav31 Sav32 Sav33 Sav34 Sav35 Sav36 Sav37 Sav38 Sav39 Sav40 Sav41 Sav42 Sav43 Sav44 There happens to be one particular Savinelli in my possession that I have good reason to suspect would make an excellent first for him, if I can find a way to clear Argentina’s red tape. And, of course, provided Sr. Capozzi will give me his address.