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This Greenwich House Antique Imported Briar Crowned Pot Turned into a Nightmare


Blog by Steve Laug

Sometimes when I start working on a pipe there is can be a sense of gloom or expectant trouble. That was the case with this one. I thought it would be a straightforward clean up and restoration. Little did I know what lay ahead for me in this restoration. Time would tell and I would share it here with you my readers. It started as usual. I recognized the brand on this pipe but could not remember any of the details. Jeff picked this pipe up from an antique store in Ogden, Utah, USA back in 2019. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Greenwich House [arched over] Antique and on the right side Imported [over] Briar. It was the Greenwich House tag that grabbed my attention. You know how sometimes a name just sits on the edge of your memory beyond your reach but you still know it? That is what this name did to me. The finish is quite dirty with a cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The worm trails on the sides and base reminded me of a Custom-Bilt but a bit more smooth. The crowned rim top was more elegant. The saddle style stem was old vulcanite and other than deep tooth marks it was quite clean, Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started. He took close up photos of the rim top, bowl and stem to give a better picture of what he was seeing as he prepared to clean it up. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. The inner edge appears to be burned and damaged but it was hard to tell for sure. The stem had some deep tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button and some light calcification at the sharp edge.Jeff took his characteristics photos of the bowl sides and heel to give a clear picture of the grain around the bowl and the style of the worm trails carved into the sides and heel. It is a nice piece of briar.The stamping was readable though a little faint on the left side of the shank. It read Greenwich House arched over Antique on the left. On the right side it was very clear and read Imported [over] Briar.I turned first to my blog on a previous restoration of a Greenwich House pipe. I had worked on one that was stamped Thoro-Kleen, a metal pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/02/24/a-piece-of-art-deco-greenwich-house-thoro-kleen/). I read through that blog and have included a pertinent piece of information on the brand below.

According to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Thoro-Kleen) the Greenwich House Thoro-Kleen was a metal pipe system from the same family as the Roybrooke, Comet, and Original Gridiron pipes, and parts from all are believed to be interchangeable. The pipes were sold by the Greenwich House Corporation, located in 1947 at 939-M 8th Avenue, N.Y. 19, N.Y…

From that I knew it was an American Made pipe that had been carved for or by a company known as Greenwich House Corporation in New York City.

I turned to the listing of American Brands on Pipedia to see if there was a listing for the Greenwich House itself (https://pipedia.org/wiki/American_Pipe_Brands_%26_Makers_G_-_H). I found that there was not an article but the list of makers identified the brand and said that The Antique was made of Aged Algerian Briar. One more piece fell in place. The pipe I was working on was stamped Antique so I now knew the source of the Imported Briar.

But I still wanted a bit more information so I did a Google search and was taken to pipes made by Greenwich House on smokingpipes.com and other sites. Worthpoint, an auction site had several and also had one stamped Antique (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-greenwich-house-carved-1992675965). I have included the description from the sale item below as it is quite descriptive of the pipe in my hands.

Vintage Greenwich House Carved Antique Aged Algerian Tobacco Pipe. Good condition. Measures about 6.25″ long.

It is similarly stamped as mine and also similarly sized. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned up this nicely grained Pot with his usual pattern. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and then cleaned up the inside of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the rim top and bowl. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until the airways were clean and the pipe smelled fresh. The pipe looked much better once the bowl and stem were clean. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation and then let it soak in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. He rinsed it with warm water when he took out of the soak. Before I started my part of the work I took photos of the pipe. I took close up photos of the bowl and the rim top to show the condition. The photo clearly shows the burn damage to the inner edge and the rim top at the back of the bowl. You can also see the roughening of the rest of the inner edge and rim top. It was going to take some work to bring it back. I also took photos of both sides of the stem to give a sense of the condition of both sides at the button. There is deep tooth marking and damage on both sides ahead of the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was readable but was more faint on the left than the right side. It read as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and saw to my chagrin a stinger. I fiddled with it a bit to see if it was pressure fit or screwed into the tenon. There was no give to it. (This portends what is ahead, keep reading.) I set the stem down with the bowl and took a photo to give a general look at the proportions of this pipe.I started work on this one by using a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge of the bowl and the rim top at the back. I was able to clean and reshape the bowl by slowly working through the process. So far the restoration was going well.I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry 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 and a horse hair shoe brush 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.   So far so good! I filled in the deep gouges on the top and underside of the stem and set it aside for the repairs to cure.After the repairs cured things took a horrible turn! If you have read this blog for long you know how much I dislike metal stingers. I find that they indeed condense moisture and fill the shank with horrendous muck. Soooo… I decided I would try to remove this one and give the stem a thorough cleaning. I have found that most stingers are either threaded and screwed into the tenon or are pressure fit. Either way a little heat loosens the glue or gunk that hold it tight and it is easily removed.

Well… the heat did absolutely nothing with this one. It did not twist or wiggle free. It was solid with or without heat… or cold for that matter. I was frustrated at this point and tried to pull it with pliers and the “wicked” thing snapped off! Now that usually does not matter either. I can easily drill it out with a small bit.

Again not so!! The remaining tube went well beyond the saddle on the stem. I drilled and drilled then filed the edges to smooth it out. At this point I should have just left it. But I DID NOT DO THAT. NO! I tried to pull out the remnant of the tube with a small file. And then a chunk of the tenon cracked off. You can see the offending tube in the tenon stubbornly laughing at me. Arggh… This was becoming much more of a  problem. Each step I took to remedy it made it actually worse. Now I would need to cut off the remaining tenon and the drill the stem and make a new tenon for it. OH MY! THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO!!

I got out my hacksaw and carefully cut all the way around the broken tenon. I purposely did not cut the tube as I wanted to see how far into the stem it actually went. I pulled it out with a pair of pliers and took a photo of the length of the offending tube once it was free of the airway. You might laugh at this point and I invite that. This was a lot of work to go to just to clean out the airway in the stem. But now I could replace the tenon. I went through my tenons and had one that was a close fit to the shank of the pipe. I would need to drill out the stem to take the threaded replacement tenon but I was hoping that this part would proceed without more things going awry. I started drilling with my cordless drill and a bit slightly larger than the airway in the stem. I continued going through various bits up to ¼ inch which was the size I would need to receive the threaded tenon end with some modifications. You will notice the repairs to the deep tooth marks still have not been smoothed out.I modified the threaded tenon with a Dremel and sanding drum. I removed the should on the middle of the tenon and reduced the diameter of the threaded portion so that I could glue it in place in the stem. I cleaned up the edge between the thicker portion and the threaded portion with a flat rasp to make the fit smooth when inserted in the stem. I inserted it in the stem and took a photo.Before gluing the tenon I the stem I put all the parts together to make sure that everything lines up correctly. It looks good so I take photos to show it at this point in the process. With the alignment correct I coated the threaded end of the tenon with black super glue and pushed the tenon in place in the stem. I set the stem aside to let the glue cure and went and had a cup of coffee with Irene. I needed to lick my wounds a bit on this whole mess!After coffee I went back to the stem to clean up the repairs on the top and underside of the stem. I flattened out the repairs with a flat file to begin to blend them into the surface. I followed that up with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend it in. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the 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. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. While I liked the look of the new stem on the shank it felt like it was missing something to me. I really wanted to give it a special touch that would set it apart and make the look spectacular. I went through my band collection and found a perfect 14K Gold band that would do just what I wanted. I took down the end of the shank to enable a snug fit. I heated the band with a lighter and pressed it onto the shank end. I finally finished this nightmarish restoration of a pipe that should have been quite simple. The Greenwich House Antique Import Briar Crowned Pot with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that everything came together. The briar around the bowl is clean and really came alive. The rim top looks much better than when I began. The rich brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain  on the smooth portions really popped and the worm trails carving look good as well. 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 Greenwich House Antique Pot 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: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of pipe is 2.29 ounces/65 grams. It is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. Look for it in the American Pipe Makers section. If you would like to add it to your collection let me know. This is another pipe that has the possibility of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Restoring a Hand Carved Meerschaum Calabash with a 9mm Acrylic Filter Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on came from a trip Jeff and his wife took  to Europe in the Fall of 2017. He picked it up in a bazaar in Frankfurt, Germany. It was a nicely carved smooth Calabash with a round brass Altinay logo on the ruby coloured acrylic stem. The finish on the bowl and cap were scratched and worn looking but still had a lot of charm. The bowl and rim top appear to have been quickly cleaned for the sale but there was still a light cake in the bowl and some lava spots on the inner edge and rim top. The meerschaum was beginning to develop a patina on the shank and lightly on the bowl and rim top. The ruby coloured acrylic stem was made for a 9mm filter which is not surprising. It gave a good first impression but had deep tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button. He took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition. You can see the issues on the rim top and stem as I noted above. There are also some scratches on the rim top itself that I am hoping will polish out and look much better. You can see the tooth damage on the stem surfaces on both sides ahead of the button. The mortise on the shank has been fitted with a nylon tenon that holds 9mm filters. The stem has been drilled out to fit snug over the tenon. Jeff took photos of the side and heel of the bowl. You can see the graceful lines and nicely carved bowl of the pipe. It is a lightweight block meerschaum that is well made. There are a lot of visible scratches around the sides and top. He took a close up photo of the left side of the bowl to show the scratches. He took a photo of the brass Altinay two pipe logo inset on the left side of the taper stem.I turned to Pipephil to see what I could learn about the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-a4.html). There was a sidebar that said that the Altinay Pipe Co Ltd. was founded in 1964 in Eskişehir (Turkey). I did a screen capture of the section on the site and included it below.I then turned to Pipedia to learn a bit more about the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Altinay). I have copied pertinent information on the history of the brand below.

HISTORY OF ALTINAY

Necdet Altınay (1941-2018), who worked in various jobs from a young age to support his family, entered the meerschaum carving sector at the age of 14 and became a meerschaum master at a young age by training from the best masters of the time.

After developing himself in all areas of meerschaum carving such as compositions, sculptural works, famous claw figures until the age of 23, he founded Altınay Pipe Co. in 1964 and started working on purely classical style pipes by noticing the important deficiency in the pipe industry about classical style meerschaum pipes.

He has developed his skills on classical pipes with tactics he received from European pipe masters and has gained an important place in the sector with international fairs he attended regularly.

The importance he attaches to quality and customer satisfaction in his business has made the ALTINAY brand a popular and sought-after brand in meerschaum sector. And soon started exporting worldwide, America, Russia China and especially in Europe through distributors.

Besides his own brand ALTINAY, he also produced meerschaum pipes for world famous brands such as Dunhill, Peterson, Savinelli, Chacom, Brebbia, Butz Choquin. As it is already for Rattrays and Andreas Bauer now.

After working 3 generations together for several years, before he passed away in 2018, largely transferred his superior skills and vision to his son (Nedim Altınay,1967) and grandson(Said Altınay,1990), whom he worked and trained for many years. Now Nedim and Said are working together to take the company further in His quality and vision…

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual thoroughness. He carefully reamed the pipe with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the stem Soft Scrub cleanser and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe 3 years later when I finally got around to working on it. The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good with some slight darkening on the rim top and inner edge. The stem surface looked very good with some deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the logo on the left side of the taper stem. The fit of the stem to the shank is snug. The shank also shows some patina developing nicely along its length.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The tenon is nylon and is integrated in the shank. The stem is drilled to slide snug on the tenon. The stem is a nice looking ruby red acrylic. I polished the smooth meerschaum with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked on the darkening of the rim top at the same time. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The longer I polished it the more the patina came to the surface. The pipe became more beautiful with each grit of polishing pad. I took out my Dr. Perl Junior 9mm filters made by Vauen to fit one to the stem of this beauty. It fit in mortise and tenon perfectly and did not inhibit the air flow significantly. Impressive.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks on the stem surface on both sides with clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 pads and wiped the bowl down after each pad with a cloth and Obsidian Oil. I finished polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine stem polish. I wiped it down with the cloth and Obsidian Oil one final time and set aside to dry. This Altinay Meerschaum Calabash with a ruby coloured acrylic stem is a beautiful pipe. The polished light weight meerschaum that shines through the polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Altinay Meerschaum Calabash fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 55 grams/ 1.94 oz. This Altinay Calabash is a real beauty and the 9mm filter ruby coloured acrylic stem just highlights the beauty. Jeff made a great find when he picked this up in Frankfurt. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard Rusticated 314 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe. This one is a nice smaller size rusticated version of the shape 314. It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. I believe it came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This pipe was one that I believe he purchased as an estate and did not smoke. It is very clean other than the dust and debris of time  on the bowl and stem. The bowl and shank were clean with no cake, tars or oils. There was no lava on the rim top. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. To the right of that it was stamped Republic of Ireland stamp in three lines [over] the shape number 314. The ferrule was stamped K& P over Peterson’s on the left side. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of and on the button. There was no “P” stamp on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it.  I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top and the inner edge were in excellent condition. There were clean and a bit spotty. I would need to touch up the stain on the top and edge. The stem was clean but had tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button. They are visible in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the heel and shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.When I worked on other 314’s I had turned to a blog about a pipe that  Paresh had restored – a smooth Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year. As usual he had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe and the background information that he had gathered (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. The bowl of the pipe was clean and did not have any cake. The finish was very clean so I did not need to scrub or clean that with the normal soap. I checked the inside of the shank, the sump and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The surface of the stem was clean and free of oxidation so that was a bonus.I restained the rim top and inner edges with a Black Sharpie Pen to blend it into the rest of the surrounding briar. The match was good.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works 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. I polished the nickel ferrule with a jewelers cloth to remove the oxidation and give the nickle a shine. It came out looking pretty good. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the 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. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Rusticated Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rugged rustication shows a lot of peaks and valleys and depth. The polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I 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 Peterson’s System Standard Rusticated 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. This one has been reserved for first refusal. If you are interested in being in the queue for this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

A Pipe of Distinction


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a very personal pipe – and one that is staying in my collection. The photo you see below is of my late grandfather, in the early 1970s, smoking a charming Bewlay Canadian pipe. It is this pipe’s restoration that I am recounting today. I do not know where my grandfather acquired it (or under what circumstances), but I suppose it does not ultimately matter. My grandfather was an enthusiastic pipe smoker and he clearly enjoyed this one. I am definitely looking forward to cleaning this one up. It has a value well beyond dollars.The pipe is from The House of Bewlay and is a Canadian shape. What a charming and elegant pipe! In order to read the markings correctly, I used my old trick of rubbing chalk over them (like a gravestone) and that helped a lot. The pipe’s markings read Bewlay [over] Twenty. The other side of the pipe shows the shape number, 003 [over] London Made. This sort-of corresponds with a Bewlay catalogue from the late 60s, as you can see in the photos. I say, “sort-of”, because the brochure shows shape numbers 001 and 002. I do not know the exact date of the pipe, but it is likely from the late-1960s or early-1970s. Let us read a bit more about Bewlay from the Pipedia article:

The English brand of Bewlay & Co. Ltd. (formerly Salmon & Gluckstein Ltd.), was in business from the early 20th century until the 1950s. The brand ended up being sold and taken over by Imperial Tobacco Co. The shop chain closed in the 1980s but there seems to be one shop still in business on Carr Lane in the city of Hull. Bewlay pipes were made by prestigious firms. Notably Barling, Charatan, Loewe & Co., Sasieni, Huybrecht, and Orlik. So understandably, the English considered a Bewlay pipe a quality pipe.

Anyway, on to the pipe – and what a beauty it was. However, it was not without its issues. The stummel had the following problems: lava on the rim, a notable burn to the rim, plenty of cake in the bowl, a couple of nicks to the bowl, and a tired, worn-out colour of wood. By the way, the strange “stains” to the bowl are, in fact, old bits of newspaper. After my grandfather died, the pipes were wrapped in newspaper and stuck in a box. The newspaper got wet at some point in the intervening years. Meanwhile, the stem had its own set of problems: some oxidation and calcification, minor tooth marks and dents, a filthy stinger, the ‘B’ logo was a bit worn, and (worst of all) a large chunk of vulcanite missing from the bit! This pipe was going to be a bit tricky, and I needed to be especially careful to ensure the missing vulcanite would be repaired properly – so it could be used for many years to come. The stem was first on my list. This stem has a stinger in it – and it was being quite stubborn about coming out of the tenon! I opted to warm the stem and stinger with a hair dryer and this provided just enough softening of the internal goo to allow me to pull it out. The stinger then went for a soak in some lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol. I let it set for several hours and then cleaned it off and it looked much improved. I then finished it with some metal polish and moved on. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. This was fairly successful in raising the damage. Then, I cleaned out the insides with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Before & After Hard Rubber Deoxidizer. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing sludge off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed vigorously with SoftScrub on cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. I also built up some tiny dents on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let it fully cure.Now it was time to make a patch for the missing chunk of vulcanite. This patch was made with a mixture of cyanoacrylate glue and activated charcoal powder. This created a black, resilient mush that would be very hard-wearing when cured and would work perfectly for this repair. Thanks to Steve’s instruction, I first plugged up the stem’s draught hole with a pipe cleaners coated in petroleum jelly. This ensured that any of the cyanoacrylate and charcoal mush would not accidentally plug up the air passage in the stem. This was a tricky business and it took some real patience and effort to make it work. As the photos show, after I applied the cyanoacrylate and charcoal mush, it looked pretty darn ugly, but I was expecting that. I also managed to get some of the bits of pipe cleaner bristles into the repair! No big deal – those were quickly excised. After the curing, I pulled out the Dremel rotary tool and began to remove the excess material. This was also the preliminary step in shaping the button. To carry this process on, after the Dremel, I used a miniature file to further shape the button and make it suitable for sanding. I used another file on the inside to ensure there were no rough edges in the bore. I then sanded the stem down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. This ensures that it keeps its shape and looks like it should. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. It is worth noting that a repair this big on a stem will never be completely invisible, but I was very pleased with how I managed to make the stem of my grandfather’s pipe look so good. Just before finishing with the Micromesh pads, I took the opportunity to repair the “B” logo on the stem. It had faded – both by loss of paint and also by fingers inadvertently smoothing out the “B” over time. So, I added some acrylic paint with a paint brush, let it dry, and buffed it to make it look good. The “B” is back, but, as later photos reveal, a little bit has disappeared into history.On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake, and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper to remove as much as I could. I wanted to take the bowl down to bare briar to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside this stummel – it took many pipe cleaners et cetera to clean it out.I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. That removed the bits of aforementioned newspaper and any remaining dirt. I also soaked the rim in Murphy’s for a while just to loosen up the lava. In order to remove the lingering bits of lava and fix any nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the lava, without altering the look of the pipe. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain. What a difference that made! There is some beautiful wood under the grime! Having completed that, I was able to address the small nicks on the stummel. I dug out my iron and a damp cloth to try and raise the nicks. The hot and moist steam can often cause the wood to swell slightly and return to shape. There was some movement – not a lot, but it was better than doing nothing. I filled the remaining divots with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let it cure. Now, with the nicks filled, it was time to sand down the stummel. I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to wet/dry sand everything smooth. Then I added a bit more Before & After Restoration Balm. Then it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This is a wonderfully crafted pipe and has a very elegant feel to it. It took a lot of work, but I am proud of it and the final product is (hopefully) worthy of my beloved grandfather’s memory. Obviously, this is one pipe that I am keeping for myself and adding to my collection. I am sure that I will be enjoying this one for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Breath of Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is another Peterson’s System Standard pipe. This one is a nice smaller size It has a saddle style Peterson’s stem on the shank end. It came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when his daughter contacted me to tell me of his death and asked if I wanted to take on his pipes. I told her that I was sad to hear of his death but would gladly take on his pipes to restore and sell. This pipe was obviously a favourite of his. It had been well smoked and there was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The briar was dirty with grime and dirt ground into the finish and some of the lava flowing down the bowl sides. The nickel ferrule was oxidized but undamaged. There were oils oozing out under the ferrule and also out of the top of the ferrule onto the stem. The pipe was stamped on the left side and read Peterson’s System Standard. On the right side it had the three line Republic of Ireland stamp [over] the shape number 314. The ferrule was stamped K& P over Peterson’s on the left side. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. The P logo stamp on the left side was also filled with grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface had a lot of tooth chatter and marks and was heavily oxidized and calcified. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places.I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard 314 earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top looked had some scratching on the top and some damage to the inner edge but over all it was in much better condition than I thought. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are visible in the photos.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I restained the rim top and inner edges with a Walnut Stain Pen to blend it into the rest of the surrounding briar. The match was good.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works 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. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail and then buffed it with a soft cloth.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the 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. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl 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 Peterson’s System Standard 314 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. This one has been reserved for first refusal. If you are interested in being in the queue for this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Replacing a Broken Tenon on an Italian Made Capri Gozzo Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Yesterday I received an unexpected package from a fellow living in Port Clements, British Columbia. I say unexpected because I had not spoken to anyone from there about a repair. But here it was so I opened it to find a pipe with a broken tenon and a cheque for the work. There was a note in the package with a return address but no phone number or email. The pipe had the tenon broken off cleanly and stuck in the shank.The edges of the shank had some nicks in the edges and face on the left side. The stem face had some remnants but otherwise the break had been clean. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Capri [over] Gozzo. On the right side of the shank it was stamped and read Made in Italy. The finish was dirty and there was a moderate cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on the rim top. It looked like he had dropped it somewhere along the way and snapped the stem off. The stem was lightly oxidized and had some chatter and tooth marks on both side ahead of the button but nothing to deep. I took some photos of the bowl and stem when I received it to show what it looked like when I received it here in Vancouver. I took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the damage to the inner edge and the top of the rim. I also took photos of the stem to show the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides at the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It was clear and readable as noted above.I took some photos of the shank end and stem end to show the broken tenon and the remnant on the face of the stem.I decided to start my work on the pipe by pulling the tenon from the shank. Usually I use a dry wall screw and twisted it into the airway. On this pipe it was stuck tight. I put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes and it was still stuck. I decided to drill it out and move on. I went through my tenons and found that I was missing the black Delrin one that I needed for the size of the shank. I did find a threaded white Delrin one that would fit the shank with a few minor adjustments. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to remove the shoulder ahead of the threads and it fit perfectly in the shank. I am hoping that the fellow will return my calls so I can chat with him about the tenon. No luck on many phone calls so the tenon was glued in place this morning.Now it was time to work on replacing the broken tenon. I drilled out the face of the stem with a cordless drill and a bit roughly the size of the airway in the stem. I find that this helps to center the drilling. I worked my way through drill bits up to 15/64s which is approximately the size of the threaded portion of the tenon.I turned the threaded portion of the tenon into the drilled airway and the fit was perfect. I used a dental pick to spread some black CA glue on the threads of the tenon and turned it in place in the stem. I set it aside to wait for the glue to cure.While the glue cured on the new tenon I turned my attention to the bowl. I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.I used a piece of folded 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner edge of the bowl and smooth out the nicks there. I also sanded the rim top at the same time to remove the lava and darkening there. I stained the rim top with an oak stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each pad. The briar began to take on a shine as the pads progressed. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 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 pressed a thin brass band on the shank end to take care of the nicks and chips there. It also gave a smooth surface for the face of the stem to sit. I like the addition of the bling. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. It was in such great condition that I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. This Capri Gozzo Fancy Saddle Stem Billiard turned out to be a more beautiful pipe than I had expected when I took it out of the package. The finish on the briar is nice and the grain really stands out. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished black vulcanite stem. This classic looking Capri Gozzo Billiard feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 63 grams/2.22 oz. The pipe definitely looks better than when it arrived. It will be heading back to pipeman who sent it to me later this week. Thanks for walking through the repair and restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Another interesting old timer – a L.G.B. Bent Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

This morning I decided to work on another of the older cased pipes that I have here. This one is a cased Bent Bulldog. It has the brass (rolled gold?) filigreed rim cap and ferrule from the late 1800s and early 1900s of many of the other ones I have worked on previously. We bought this pipe from an online auction on July 30, 2019 from Oceanside, New York, USA. The pipe had no stamping on the shank or bowl but the case had a gold L.G.B. oval logo stamped inside the cover. The leather cover on the case was in was worn and in rough condition but still solid. There was heavy wear on the edges of the case but the hinges and lock still worked very well. Don’t you want to know what is inside of this case? It really is another beauty though it has the marks of a hard journey. Well… I will get there. Jeff opened the case to show us what the pipe looked like inside. The lining of the case was far more worn and had a orange colour to it. It had L.G.B. stamped on the inside of the cover. The rolled gold (brass) cap and ferrule were ornate and filigreed. The finish on the bowl was quite dark and opaque but I am pretty certain that the bowl is made of meerschaum. The amber stem was cracked on three sides with a deep crack but it had been repaired sometime in its life from the look of it. It was a pretty pipe.It was another beautiful looking older pipe. The meerschaum is dark – almost cherry coloured and goes very well with the amber stem. The gold coloured rim cap and shank ferrule were dirty but in good condition. The cap was smooth and not dented which was quite surprising to me for an older smoked pipe. The stem was amber had a large repaired crack on the top and underside of the diamond shape. It was chipped and dirty as well. It still looked all right but definitely had the tooth marks and chatter of its previous trustee! Once again this was an old timer – a pipe from the late 1890 or early 1900s. The case has a gold stamped L.G.B. in an oval logo on the inside of the green fabric lid. The shank of the pipe bears no stamping on either side. Have a look at the photos of the case lid below.Jeff took the pipe out of the case and took photos of the pipe to show the look and the condition it was in when we received it. The bowl and the “gold” was in excellent condition. There was a cake in the bowl and the rim top had some spots of lava on it. The stem is beautiful but under the bright light of the flash appears to have a lot of crazing that is often in these old amber stems. He took close up photos of the bowl, rim and stem surfaces to show their condition. You can see the light cake in the meerschaum bowl and tars/oils on the rim top that tell the story of how the pipe was used by its previous caretaker. The bright flash of the camera shows the crazing in the amber on both sides of the stem. You can also see the tooth marks in the stem surface. He took photos of the metal tenon in the shank to show the tars and debris that had collected on the screws of the tenon. It was well used and filthy. It was anchored in the shank and the stem was threaded and screwed on to it. The end of the shank confirms that the pipe is meerschaum to me. You can also see the chips/cracks in the stem.He also captured the look of the bowl. When I first took it out of the case I thought it was briar but I don’t think it is. I am pretty sure that it is meerschaum. It actually looks quite amazing. The twin rings below the rim cap have dirt and grime in them but otherwise the bowl is in good condition.He also took some photos of the crack in the stem. The first photo shows the stem from the top left side of the diamond stem. The second one shows the left underside of the stem. You can see that it is actually missing some chips in the second photo. Someone did a repair on the stem as you can see the glue marks on the first photo. It was a solid repair but would need to be revamped and cleaned up.I turned to the internet to see if I could find information on the L.G.B. brand and was not able to find anything about it. The only thing that came up was a link on Worthpoint  for a carved figural meerschaum (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/large-meerschaum-smoking-pipe-bent-1799326507). I have included a screen capture of the pipe below.The seller described the pipe with the words below. It was the most information that I could find on the brand. I am not sure how applicable the information is but it is a possible link.

Beautifully hand carved! Length is about 7 inches. Real amber stem. Gold center ring. I have not cleaned this meerschaum. Leaving that to the new owner to do as he/she wishes. The original case has inscribed ‘Made In Austria’ and ‘L.G.B. Real Meerschaum Amber’.

Jeff had cleaned it thoroughly. He had reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned that up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He had scrubbed the exterior of the briar with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. He cleaned out the interior of the shank and airway with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He carefully cleaned out the amber stem with clean water and pipe cleaners to remove the debris and oils in the airway and the threads of the tenon. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived here. The first two photos show the worn case. The third one shows the pipe in the fitted case and the L.G.B. logo stamped on the lid of the case. While worn it is clear and readable. The overall look of the pipe after cleaning shows the beauty of the meerschaum bowl. It looks amazing with the genuine amber stem. The crack in the stem is visible in the photos and it is solid and usable. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the cleaned bowl and rim cap. You can see the clean bowl and the smooth and undamaged rim cap. I also took some photos of the amber stem to show how it looked. The crazing in the surface of the stem is visible deep in the photos. The crack in the stem surface is not visible in the photos but it is very present.I took a photo of the left side of the shank. There was no stamping on either side of the shank to identify the brand. You can also see the rolled Gold Plated Ferrule on the shank end in the photo. The photo also shows a crack in the amber stem on the left side. Even in its worn condition it still is a beautiful looking piece of pipe history. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the bowl and amber stem with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar and amber. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. It is definitely looking much better and more full of life. I put the bowl in the case for awhile and turned my attention to the stem. I started the process by filling in the cracks on the sides of the stem and tooth marks on the stem surface with clear CA glue. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and followed that by polishing it with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It really began to take on a shine. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. When the bowl and the stem were finished this L.G.B. Bent Diamond Shank Meerschaum Bulldog looked much better. I carefully hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to raise and deepen the shine. It another beautiful pipe that is well over 100 years old. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 4 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is .95 ounces/28 grams. This L.G.B. Meerschaum Bent Bulldog was another great find that goes with other older pipes from various brands that I have restored in the past. This is a pipe that will hold another special place in my collection. It is also one that will likely be smoked sometime along the way. It is another pipe that has the capability of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through my restoration of this great find.

Next Up An LH Stern Certified Purex 71 Oom Paul


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen to work on was purchased from an online auction on June 10, 2019 in Romney, West Virginia, USA. I have worked on a lot of LHS pipes through the years and many of them had the LHS Certified Purex stamp on the shank. This Oom Paul is very nice with great grain around the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads CERTIFIED PUREX arched over a diamond the LHS in the centre. Underneath that is stamped Imported Briar. On the right side of the pipe it is stamped with the shape number 71. The stamping is clear and readable. The saddle stem also bears the silver (inlaid) diamond logo on the left side. The bowl had a thick cake and there was a lava overflow on the rim top filling. The inner edge of the rim thickly covered with lava so it was hard to know the damage at this point. The outer edge and rim top showed nicks and light damage. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides at the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. Jeff took photos of the bowl, rim top to show the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. The bowl had a thick cake that overflowed in lava on the inner edge and rim top of the bowl. I am hoping that the thick lava coat protected things underneath it from damage to the edges and top. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching, calcification and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the briar. You can see the beautiful shape of the bowl even through the dirt and debris of many years.Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable as noted above. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-lhs.html) and found a pipe with the same stamping as the one that I am working on. There was a brief history of the brand at the top of the page. It read as follows:

The L&H Stern Inc. was established by Ludwig Stern (1877-1942) in 1911. His brother Hugo (1872-?) acted as vice-president & secretary. The firm moved to 56 Pearl St. Brooklyn in 1920. It closed down in the 1960s. LHS was one of the main pipe supplier for US soldiers during WWII.

I turned to Pipedia to try and place this pipe in the timeline of the brand and was able find some helpful information which I have included below (https://pipedia.org/wiki/LHS). Again it had a brief history. It read as follows:

Ludwig Stern, a successful pipe manufacturer since 1893 and closing around 1960, reorganized his company along with his brother Hugo Stern, opening a factory in 1911. They named the company L&H Stern Smoking Pipes & Holders. The newly formed company was moved into a six story building on the corner of Pearl and Waters street Brooklyn, NY…

There were also Notes from Geyer’s Stationer on the page below this. It read as follows:

Thoroughly organized in all departments, and housed in a well-lighted and ventilated modern office and manufacturing building, the firm of L&H Stern Inc. is located near the first arch of the Manhattan bridge, near the river and convenient to the Brooklyn bridge, which makes it accessible from all the hotels in the metropolis for visiting buyers. The structure is six stories with a seventeen-foot basement, with light on three sides through prismatic glass windows, the first floor being seven feet above the sidewalk. Light enters the upper floors from all four sides.

L&H Stern is known to every important wholesaler and jobber in the country. LHS manufactures a complete line of briar pipes. Ginmetto wood pipes are also made, as well as Redmanol goods, the man-made amber. The first substitute for amber. Everything, even down to the sterling silver and other metal trimmings are made under one roof.

LH Stern was a fascinating company that literally covered the manufacture of all the pipe parts. I was not able to pin down the date on it with the information but it was a nice piece of briar. Now on to the pipe.

Jeff carefully cleaned the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and then cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank, stem and shank extension 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 lava on the rim top. The finish looks much better and has a deep richness in the colour that highlights grain of the briar. The rim top had some darkening and there was some damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The aluminum on the shank end and on the stem were slightly oxidized but clean. Jeff soaked the stem in bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. He worked it over with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleaner to remove any remnants of oxidation. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver and I finally started my work on it I was amazed it looked so good. Here are some photos of what I saw. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. The inner edge of the rim was nicked around the back right side. The outer rim showed some damage as well and was not ever truly round. The rim top was nicked and damaged as well. I took close up photos of the stem to show the condition of the surface and button. There was some remaining oxidation near the shank and the tooth marks and chatter were evident near the button on both sides.I took a picture of the stamping on the shank sides and it was all clear and readable as noted above.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe with the stem. It is a good looking pipe and very unique. The stinger apparatus and integrated tenon were a single unit. It was clean but slightly oxidized.I started my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inner edges of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work over the inner edge to clean up the damage. I also worked over the rim top and outer edges at the same time.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. The bowl began to take on a shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 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 my attention to the stem. I “painted” it with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth dents in the surface of the vulcanite. I was able to lift all of them. I scrubbed the stinger with a brass bristle wire brush to remove the darkening. I sanded out the remaining chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. With the bowl and the stem finished I put the LHS Certified Purex 71 Oom Paul back together and buffed it on the wheel using Blue Diamond to give it a shine. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the wheel and then buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It really a nice looking sandblast. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of this large pipe is 2.08 ounces /59 grams. This LHS Certified Purex Oom Paul was a great find. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Makers section soon. If you would like to add it to your collection let me know. This is another pipe that has the possibility of transporting the pipe man or woman back to a slower paced time in history where you can enjoy a respite. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Restoring a Mysterious Bent Egg with some stunning grain


Blog by Steve Laug

Neither Jeff nor I remember where we picked up this egg shaped pipe. We have no idea where it came from – whether the US or Canada. We have no idea when we purchased it or who we purchased it from. We have no idea what we paid for it. To top off all the unknowns about this pipe it is also not stamped with any identifying marks on the briar or on the stem surface. So the pipe is a mystery – no known maker, no location where it was found and no sense of time when we picked it up. But all of that does not deal with the fact that it is a stunning piece of briar underneath all of the nicks, scratches and ground in grime that covered it. Jeff took these photos of the pipe back in 2019 before he started his clean up work on it. Have a look at the photos he took and you will hopefully see through the debris and grime on the briar and gouges in the vulcanite stem. There is something remarkably graceful about the pipe. The next photo gives a glimpse of the overall condition of the pipe. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and tobacco shards in the cake. You can see the thick lava build up on the rim top and even some grain poking through. The stem is calcified, oxidized and had a lot of bite marks and tooth chatter on both sides that made the stem surfaces pitted and awful looking. But…He took close up photos of the bowl, rim top and the sides of the stem to help us see the mess even more clearly. Look at the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the fuzz and tobacco debris in the bowl sides. The rim top is buried under a thick lava coat and it is impossible to know what the inner or outer edges looked like. One can only hope they were protected but the armor coat. The stem was in brutal shape. You can see the deep tooth marks – gouges really in the surface on both sides almost halfway up the stem from the button. You can see the thick calcification and oxidation as well. Either you can say that the pipe was well loved or it was abused. The choice is yours. But I think we can all agree that it is a mess.Jeff captured the filth that was ground into the briar around the bowl sides and heel well but do not miss the grain that pokes through or you will miss something spectacular.  The next photos show the pipe after Jeff worked a miracle in getting all of the cake, lava and grime of the exterior of the pipe. You can only imagine what it looked like on the inside once he opened it up. It really was a disgusting pipe and one that truly only a pipe restorer could love. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned that up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scraped the lava with a knife and then scrubbed the exterior with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the debris. He scoured out the internals with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed it with warm water. He left the pipe looking surprisingly good. Here is what I saw when I received it. I took a photo of the rim top and bowl to show the condition more closely. Amazingly, considering its condition on arrival, it looked very good. The walls of the bowl were smooth and the edges looked good. There was some darkening on the rim top but otherwise it was in good condition. The photos of the stem show that it was very clean but the tooth marks and grooves/gouges in the stem surface were deep on both sides quite a way up the stem. It was a mess on both sides. I took some photos of the shank to show their unstamped condition. It is truly a nameless pipe by an unknown maker.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts. I wanted to give a idea of the delicate feel of the stem and the shank to the size of the bowl. It really does remind me of some of the Nachwalter pipes that I have worked on in the past.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the gouges in the briar on the left and right sides of the bowl. I tried steaming them and it was a useless effort as the nicks and gouges had sharp edges and did not lift at all. I filled them in with clear CA glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to begin to blend them into the surrounding surface area. To clean up the rim top I lightly topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. My goal was not to take off much of the top but merely to reduce the darkening on the top and edges.I sanded the entire bowl and shank (with the stem in place for the shank portion) with  a medium and fine grit sanding sponge. I wanted to remove as much of the scratching on the surface of the pipe as possible and further blend in the repaired areas. Keeping the stem on during the sanding of the shank guaranteed that the transition would remain smooth. The grain began to really stand out as I sanded it. I continued to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. The bowl and shank really began to take on shine and the grain is stellar. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm and worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit and work its magic for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The grain really came alive with the Balm. This is a really beautiful looking pipe. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem issues. I “painted” it with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift the tooth marks and grooves some. I filled in the remaining marks and gouges with clear CA glue and set them aside to cure.Once the repairs had cured I flattened them out with a small file. I sanded them and the rest of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further smooth them out and remove damage on the stem and button. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and then wiped the stem down a final time with the cloth and Obsidian Oil. I set it aside to dry. This Mystery Maker Bent Egg is a really nice looking pipe. The finish is smooth and the flow of the cut of the briar follows the grain. I put it back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad on the wheel to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the stunning grain looked like with the polished black vulcanite stem. The pipe really is beautiful. This egg shaped No Name Pipe is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 65 grams/ 2.29 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will soon be on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Makers section (though I am not sure where it was made). If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Please we are not pipe owners; we hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next in line. 

Rejuvenating a Nording Made in Denmark Natural Finish Signature Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us This pipe was purchased from an antique store on 05/30/19 in Metaine, Louisiana, USA. It is a classic Freehand with a unstained, natural finish around the bowl and shank. It has a plateau on the rim top and shank end. It had a fancy turned vulcanite stem. The rim top is plateau and shank end were originally stained black. The shape follows the grain of the block of briar very well. It is stamped on the underside of the shank reads NORDING over Made in Denmark near the stem/shank union. There is no other stamping on the pipe. There is a faded signature on the left side of the shank that reads Eric Nording. It is almost worn off from use The stem has a faint Nording N on the topside of the stem. The pipe was very dirty with dark oily stain on the sides mid bowl. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some lava overflowing onto the plateau rim top filling in the plateau. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. Other than being dirty the finish appeared to be in good condition. The stem was oxidized and had come calcification. There was some tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button and on the button surface. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. He took a photo of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard. The lava overflow fills in the plateau. The bowl is a real mess but it must have been a great smoking pipe. The stem looked dirty, calcified and oxidized with bite marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem ahead of the button. The shank end and fancy turned stem are also dirty. The next photos show the sides and heel of the bowl to give a clear picture of the beauty of the grain around the bowl of the pipe. Under the grime there is some great grain peeking through. Jeff took photos of the stamping to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. There is a faint signature on the left side of the shank that reads Eric Nording. It is quite faded and worn looking. The stamping on the underside of the shank readable as noted above.  Before I started my work on the pipe I wanted to learn more about where this pipe fit into the Nording lines so I turned to the first of two sites that I always check to gather information on a brand. I turned first to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rding). Nording’s were exclusively freehand shapes. There were quite a few photos and a longer history of the brand. It is well worth reading. I also found a collage of photos of Erik Nording included below. I turned to the second information site – Pipephil’s (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n2.html) and found a great history of the brand in brief form and many photos of different pipes by Nording.

Armed with the information on the Nording Freehand I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff cleaned up the pipe for me. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. The cleaning had removed some of the black stain on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and was able to remove much of the oxidation. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe. The Nording signature had become even more faint with the clean up. I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration.     I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition once it arrived in Canada. Jeff was able to clean up the incredibly thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl photos above. You can see that almost all of the black stain had been removed from the plateau top and shank end. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The inner edge of the bowl was in very good condition and was smooth to the touch. The rest of the rim top and edges looked very good. The stem looked very good and was much cleaner. The faintly stamped N is visible on the stem top. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is faint but readable as noted above. The dark ink Erik Nording signature was totally faded away. It is faintly visible but basically it is gone.I removed the stem from the pipe and took a photo to show the look of the parts.I decided to start the restoration by restaining the plateau rim top and shank end with a Black Stain pen. I worked to carefully get into the grooves and crannies of the plateau on both. Once it was finished I used a brass bristle wire brush to start removing the black from the high point. I then polished the high points on both with 1500 grit micromesh to get the contrast back. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding the briar with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingers to get it into the briar. I used a horsehair shoe brush to work it into the plateau top and shank end.  After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the process. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to lift the dents in the vulcanite as much as possible (I failed to take photos of the stem before I filled them in but the photos show the process). I filled in the remaining marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I used a file to reshape the button and flatten the repairs. I sanded the repairs with folded pieces of 220 to remove the file marks as well as the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I started sanding out the file marks and took a pause to touch up the N stamp on the stem surface. I wanted to make sure that I did no inadvertently sand it out during the polishing process. Once that was finished I finished sanding out the tooth marks and scratches with 220 grit sandpaper. I also started the polishing with 400 grit paper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite even after the micromesh regimen. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   I put the stem back on the Nording Signature Freehand and took it to the buffer. I buffed the bowl (carefully avoiding the stamping and signature remnants) and stem with Blue Diamond to polish the briar and the vulcanite. Blue Diamond does a great job on the smaller scratches that remain in both. I gave the bowl 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 really nicely with a great contrasting stain look to the briar. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This Nording Freehand turned out looking very nice. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the natural oiled finisn and blacks of the plateau top and shank end. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 60grams/2.12oucnes. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store in the Danish Pipe Makers section shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this beauty!