Tag Archives: Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48

A Unique Stanwell 33 Bulldog from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is another one from Bob Kerr’s estate and is part of his collection of Danish made pipes. It is their uniquely shaped Danish Bulldog. I have worked on the restoration of others in this collection which include a Stanwell Jubilee Shape 118 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-stanwell-jubilee-1942-1982-shape-118/); a Stanwell de Luxe Shape 812 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-changing-up-and-working-on-a-danish-made-stanwell-de-luxe-812-billiard-regd-no-969-48/); a WO Larsen (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/13/restoring-pipe-17-from-bob-kerrs-estate-a-w-o-larsen-super-15-bent-stack/); a Danish Sovereign Bulldog variation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-danish-sovereign-305-bulldog-variant/) and a Danmore Deluxe Volcano (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/20/restoring-a-petersons-dunmore-70-bent-apple-sitter-from-bob-kerrs-estate-2/).

To this list of Danish pipes I am adding the next – a unique Stanwell Bulldog shaped pipe. Like the others it is part of Bob’s estate that the family asked me to clean up and move out to others who will carry on the trust that began with Bob. In the collection there were BBBs, Peterson’s, Dunhills, Comoy’s and Barlings as well many others – a total of 125 pipes. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I created a spread sheet to track the pipes, restoration and sales. This job would take a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes and help the family.

The pipe on the table is a Stanwell Bulldog stained with a rich brown stain with a vulcanite shank extension and a fancy saddle stem. The grain pokes through the dirty finish on the pipe. It was stamped Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Handmade in Denmark shape 33 on the left underside of the diamond shank. The finish was dirty like the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was an overflow of lava on the rim. The top and edges of the rim were dirty. I could see a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized with tooth chatter on both sides. The Silver Crown S was on the topside of the saddle stem. Surprisingly it also had none of the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the grain on the sides of the bowl and the heel. There is a lot of dust and grime on the surface of the briar but the grain can be seen through the grime.    Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Stanwell over Regd. No. 969-48. To the left of that it had the shape number 33 and directly underneath it read Handmade in Denmark. The saddle portion of the stem had an inlaid silver Crown “S” on top behind the saddle. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the time period of the Regd. No. Stanwell pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I quickly found what I was looking for. The pipes stamped this way were made until the late 60s or early 70s then the stamping was discontinued. I have included a screen capture of that information below.I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Stanwell and read some more about the history of the brand. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). Once again there was no specific information about the pipe I have in hand. I did find however that the stamping with the Regd. No. 969-48 started after 1948 and continued until the late 60s and early 70s.

With that information in hand I had a sense of the history of this pipe. It had been made after 1948 and before the early 1970s. I could estimate that from the rest of Bob’s pipes this one was probably purchased between the 50s and late 60s and at the very latest the early 70s. I would guess that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate it was taking me forever to clean and restore them by myself. I enlisted Jeff’s help with the cleanup. He cleaned over half of the pipes for me. He cleaned up this pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. It was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. 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 finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show the great job Jeff did on the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks good though there is some damage on the front inner edge on the left side. The finish is dull, but still is in great condition. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface and the vulcanite shank extension.  One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very readable though there are spots that are faint. He preserved the stamping as you can see. I took a photo to show the clarity of the stamping.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this Regd. No. Stanwell Bulldog! I decided to begin the restoration of the bowl by cleaning up the rim damage on the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the roughness on the front left. The first photo shows the damaged area on the front inner edge of the bowl circled in red. The second and third photos show the cleaned up rim edge. The bowl looks better. I polished the briar and the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads to blend in the stain and to polish the briar and remove the scratches in the surface of the bowl, heel and shank. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth.     I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.    I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good. I carefully worked on the Crown S stamp. The Silver Crown is coming alive.     I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have a few tins of this laying around so I am trying to use them up. It does a pretty good job polishing the stem.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a coat of “No Oxy Oil” developed by Briarville. I am experimenting with this product on the pipes I am restoring.    I am excited to be finishing work on yet another one of Bob’s pipes. This is the part of the restoration part I look forward to when it all comes back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 medium brown stained bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell Regd. No Danish Bulldog was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The brown stain really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½   inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a STANWELL # 89


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

This pipe, because of its interesting Dublin shape with a round rim, beautiful grain and it being a STANWELL, had been attracting my attention for some time now. However, I was always relegating its restoration since the condition was far worse and would require a ton of work as well as time to complete it.

After I had finished the pair of KRISWILLS, I could not think of working on any other pipe but this STANWELL!!!!!! And so, here I am with this pipe, admiring the shape, feel of the pipe in my hand and the beautiful grain that could be seen through all the dirt, oils, tars and grime.

A medium sized fancy Dublin with an oval shank, this pipe has beautiful densely packed birdseye grain on either side of the bowl with lovely cross grain extending from the front of the bowl right down the bottom to the shank end. Similarly, the grain extends from the back of the bowl up to the shank end!!!!! The flattish surface of the shank further accentuates the dense grain. No wonder then that this Stanwell is stamped as “SELECTED BRIAR”!!!!!!!! This beauty is stamped “STANWELL” in an inverted arch over “REGD No. 969- 48” over “HANDMADE” on top of the shank while on the bottom of the shank it is stamped “SELECTED BRIAR” over “89” over “MADE IN DENMARK”. The stem is stamped on the top of the saddle with a crown over “S” and on the bottom of the saddle with “HANDCUT”.All the stampings are crisp and easily readable.

I searched the net for information on this brand in general and this pipe in particular. The first site I always visit is Pipedia. I gathered a lot of information about the brand and some important snippets of information are reproduced below:

Stanwell Article from smokingpipes.com

When pipe smokers talk about pipes that are consistently great smokers, exhibit the creative and beautiful designs that exemplify Danish pipemaking and offer the best value in factory produced pipes, they are talking about Stanwell. We hear time and time again, from customers and top pipe makers from around the world, that Stanwell is the best factory produced pipe in the world. Stanwell maintains the most modern pipe making facility in the world and for many years has enjoyed some unique relationships with many legendary Danish pipe makers. In fact, Stanwell occupies a pivotal place in the history of the world-wide popularity of Danish-made pipes.

At the end of the war, briar became available again, so Nielsen began importing his own briar and started making briar pipes to compete with the English manufacturers. It must be remembered that in 1948, England was the single great center for pipe making. Therefore, Nielsen changed the name of his pipes to “Stanwell”, which sounded much more like a proper English name than “Nielsen”. He also created the horse drawn carriage logo for its English connotations. He later changed his own last name from Nielsen to Stanwell, a testament to his devotion to the pipes he made. Stanwell’s relationships with Danish pipe makers goes back to Sixten Ivarsson, who is considered the originator of modern Danish pipe making. Ivarsson was commissioned to design Stanwell shapes. In 1969, the factory was moved a town called Borup, just outside of Copenhagen to be closer to Ivarsson.

Essentially the goal of Stanwell is, and always has been, to produce high quality pipes at a price that is truly within the reach of the common man. In this they have succeeded admirably, offering perhaps more pipe for the money than any other pipe manufacturer in their price range. Stanwell pipe offers exceptional quality at a remarkably affordable price. Today it often seems that there are few options in between low cost, very low quality pipes and the handmade pipes that fetch hundreds of dollars. Stanwell manages to fill this void commendably by offering pipes close to the quality of the handmade with prices that are only slightly higher than drug store pipes.

Stanwell pipes are a must for any pipe collection. The Stanwell name is a cornerstone of Danish pipe making. In owning a Stanwell, you will not only enjoy beautifully styled, great smoking pipe at a great price, you will own a piece of pipe making history.

Now that I have some historical information about the brand, I went ahead with my attempt at dating this pipe. I had read that Mr. Basil Stevens is generally considered an authority on Stanwell pipes and so that was logical start point for me. I gathered some information from a site, https://www.scribd.com/document/45022903/Stanwell-Dating-Pricing-Information-by-Basil-D-Stevens, which I have reproduced from the above site:-

Dating Information:

1) Regd. No. stamping discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s. This is the Stanwell trade mark registration. The “48” indicates that the registration was made in 1948. (info rec’d from Jorgen Grundtvig, Managing Director, Stanwell A/S)

3) Up until the early 1960s only the top pipes, e.g. “Hand Cut” had the stem/mouth pieces stamped with the Stanwell logo of a crown over “S”.

6) “Handcut” stamped on black vulcanite stems have not been done since at least the 1970s and possibly earlier. (info from J.G.).

STANWELL SHAPES
Shape “89”
Two versions of this shape number
a) Freehand, oval stem, short oval saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.
b) Large pot, thin, long saddle mouthpiece.

From the above information that I have gathered and highlighted in blue, I feel that this particular pipe was from the 1960s and is a freehand made by Sixten Ivarsson. Any variation or additional information or any incorrect assessment on my part may please be conveyed through your comments on rebornpipes.com

Armed with this information, I carried out my detailed initial visual inspection of the entire pipe. This assessment helps me in identifying the issues that are seen as well as understand likely issues that may present themselves subsequently while making a mental map of the entire restoration process.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The stummel is covered in oils, tars and grime to such an extent that the bowl is very dull to look at with all the grains hidden and sticky to the touch. This will need thorough cleaning. Whether to sand the bowl with micromesh pads to bring to fore the lovely grain will be decided later. The bowl is heavily caked and has large amounts of lava overflow on top of the rim. The internal condition of the bowl and rim will be ascertained only after the cake has been completely reamed out. There is always the fear of possibility of charred rim edges or burn fissures or charred briar inside the chamber of pipes in this condition. However, the entire stummel appears solid to touch from the outside reducing the probability of any of the above possibilities being present.The short oval saddle stem is heavily oxidized with a number of light tooth chatter on both surfaces. The lips on both sides have been chewed off. I had masked both the stampings on the stem with a whitener pen, you could of course use acrylic paint or any other stuff, but I found the whitener pen to be the best option as it helps to fill the letters at a later stage. As expected, the airway is clogged and a test draw was rewarded with debris and carbon dust. This will have to be cleaned.THE PROCESS
The first step that I usually follow is the reaming of the bowl. Using a Kleen Reem pipe tool and my trusty and effective fabricated knife, Abha, my wife, cleaned out the cake from the chamber. To smooth out the inner surface of the chamber and completely remove the last traces of remaining cake, she sanded the inner surface with a 220 grit sand paper. With a sharp knife, very gently scraped the surface of the rim top and removed the accumulated tars, oils and grime.She cleaned the bowl and rim using undiluted Murphy’s Oil soap and a toothbrush. Thereafter, the bowl was washed under running tap water and immediately dried out using paper towels and a soft cotton cloth.

The stummel is now clean and fresh. Inspection of the rim and chamber revealed an intact inner edge and a perfect condition of the inner walls of the chamber. What a relief this was!!!!! The only issue was that the rim top is still blackened and an eye sore. I addressed this issue by sanding the rim and the entire stummel with micromesh pads. I very lightly and briefly wet sanded with 1500 to 2400 pads, gently wiping with a moist soft cloth to remove the dust left behind due to sanding.I dry sanded the rim and stummel using 3200 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. At the end of the dry sanding, I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” with my fingers into the briar. The immediate and incredible transformation that takes place is a worthy reward for all the efforts!!! The bowl now looks fresh and attractive with the grains popping out any which way you look at the briar; it feels somewhat like DIWALI, festival of lights celebrated here in India. I polished off the balm with a soft cloth to a lovely shine. I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH THIS PIPE!!!!!Turning my attention to the stem, I started by sanding the stem with a 220 grit sand paper. I was especially careful around the edges and the stampings. Using the crisp edge of the folded sand paper, I reshaped the buttons and sanded it to even out the surface. Thereafter, I sanded the stem with 320 and 440 grit sand paper. To finish the stem I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with moist cloth after each pad and rubbed olive oil into the stem after every three pads. I carefully removed excess whitener from the stampings. The stem is now looking nice and shiny with crisp stampings. Having addressed the “appearance” aspects of this beauty, I turned my attention to the “performance” aspect to ensure that this beauty smokes as well as it looks. I thoroughly cleaned the shank internals using shank brush, pipe cleaners, cue tips and isopropyl alcohol. The stem airway was cleaned using regular pipe cleaners and also bristled ones dipped in alcohol. The airway is now clean and the draw is full and open.

To complete the restoration, I rubbed a minute quantity of PARAGON WAX on the stummel and the stem. After a few seconds, using muscle power and a microfiber cloth, I polished the entire pipe to a lovely shine. Can’t wait to load and fire up this stunning piece of briar!!!! The finished pipe is shown below and yes… for the curious reader, the prop is not Beer filled mug, but a Beer mug filled with GREEN TEA!!!!! Thank you for your valuable time spent in reading my amateurish chronicle.

Restoring a Stanwell Handmade Danish Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The second pipe I picked up from Charles Lemon of Dadspipes was a nice little Stanwell Bulldog that captured my attention. It is another one that I have added to my own collection. I loved the shape of it when I saw it in the photos that Charles sent me of the estate pipes he had purchased recently. It came in the mail through our ‘ultra quick’ Canada Post Express Mail on Friday. I cleaned up the W.O. Larsen and already wrote about that on the blog. This one looked amazing and came in its own Stanwell pipe pouch. It was stamped on the left underside of the diamond shank with the number 33 and next to that Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 over Handmade in Denmark.Bull1When I removed the packing material and took the pipe out of the bag it was indeed a beauty. The colour was lighter than what was shown in the original photo that I had of the pipe. That does not matter too much to me as the lighter colour allows the grain to show through. This pipe has some amazing birdseye grain on the bowl sides. The diamond shank culminating in a vulcanite shank extension looks stunning.Bull2 Bull3The finish was quite clean on the pipe and it still had a shine. The vulcanite shank extension was lightly oxidized. The shank stamping was very clear and sharp. The double rings on the bowl were in perfect condition. The finish on the bowl and shank was in excellent condition. The rim was another story. It had some tar and oil (lava) build-up that flowed over from the cake in the bowl. The cake, though uneven, was hard. The rim also had a burned area on the middle of the rim top on the right side. It impacted the condition of the bowl and the roundness of the inner rim edge. The stem was oxidized and the stamping of the Crown S was worn and the gold stamping was gone. There was tooth chatter on the topside of the stem and tooth marks on the underside.Bull4 Bull5I took some close-up photos of the stem to show the tooth chatter and tooth mark on the underside near the button.Bull6I took a close-up photo of the rim to show the condition of the rim with the burned area (top left toward the front of the bowl) and the thickness of the cake.Bull7I reamed the cake back to bare briar with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. The carbon cake came out nicely and left the bowl quite clean. This reaming also gave me a clear picture of the condition of the burned area on the rim.Bull8 Bull9The next series of photos tell the story. I reamed the bowl and then topped it. I took a photo after I had topped it lightly to show the extent of the burn mark on the right side of the rim. I finished topping the bowl using 220 grit sandpaper on the topping board.Bull10 Bull11 Bull12I sanded the rim with a medium and fine grit sanding block to smooth out the scratches. I used the light brown stain pen to touch up the rim surface. The inside rim edge needed some more work but I wanted to see what the rim looked like at this point.Bull13I sanded the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of sandpaper – beginning with 180 grit and then progressing to 220 grit sandpaper and then on to 1500-3200 grit micromesh sanding pads. I beveled the edge slightly to remove the rim damage and darkening. The second photo below shows the finished rim after sanding.Bull14 Bull15I touched up the inner bevel with a light brown stain pen. I wet sanded the vulcanite shank extension with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and gave it a coat of micromesh between the 4000 and the 6000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Bull16 Bull17I cleaned out the inside of the mortise and the airways in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until they came out clean.Bull18I scrubbed the stem with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 to begin removing the oxidation on the surface.Bull19Most of the oxidation came off so I used some Antique Gold Rub n’ Buff to highlight the Stanwell Crown S on the stem top.Bull20I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads and gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads (I forgot to take the photo) and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set it aside to dry.Bull21 Bull22I buffed the stem and bowl with Blue Diamond carefully working over the stem and the shank extension to polish the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and preserve it. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to add depth to the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I am looking forward to giving it an inaugural smoke soon. I really like the finished look of the pipe. The slightly beveled rim took care of the burn so that it can no longer be seen. The smooth finish shows off the birdseye grain and the swirls of cross grain. It is a beautiful pipe and I am glad to have it grace my pipe rack. Thanks for looking.Bull23 Bull24 Bull25 Bull26 Bull27 Bull28 Bull29