68. Preserving A 356 System Oom Paul

I had thought to finish up the B shapes this time around, but placed a half-serious bid on eBay and found myself the winner, to my consternation (at first), but delight (on actually examining the pipe). Sometimes the most exciting auctions seem to involve sellers who don’t know what they’re selling or auctions with photos that are just fuzzy enough to create a certain amount of uncertainty as to what, exactly, the shape is, or what condition the pipe is in.  I thought it might be the O2 house pipe (that’s “O” for “oversize,” as we explain in the book), and in a moment of madness bid on it, although I rarely smoke such behemoths. I fully expected to be outbid as the auction had 5 days left to run, but no one did.

It didn’t turn out to be the O2, but a shape I reach for much more often, the first, chubby version of the 02.  This is Peterson’s classic Oom-Paul shape, going back to the patent shapes of 1896. I love the size of chamber on these pipes, which is usually about 19mm x 48, one of the best in my smoking experience for Virginias and VaPers.

By the 1937 catalog the original 02 shape had three numbers: 02 for DeLuxe, 305 for 2nd grade, and 356 for the 3rd grade – 2nd being today’s Premier, 3rd being today’s Standard.  One of first things I knew we needed for The Peterson Pipe book was a cross-reference shape chart of shapes that bridges System and Classic Range, and just last week I had a question about an unfamiliar System shape that turned out to date from the 1930s.

I have a hunch based on the Peterson ephemera and the 02 shapes I’ve seen that sometime during the 1940s the original chubby 02 was modified, slimming down the shape, but not the chamber size, as you can see in the Shamrock 02 photo above. My reason for believing this has to do with the disappearance of the chubby original 02 shape from the catalogs after 1937, the appearance of the 02BB shape in the 1940s, and the transition to simply the 02 number before it was finally discontinued in the c. 1973 Associated Imports catalog.

Why the “BB” you may ask? I can offer you my fairly educated guess: the second “B” just stands for a tapered stem (fact), an old Peterson practice still in use with saddle stems, which are marked “S.” The first “B” (supposition) stands for a tapered bowl.  Like I said, that’s just a guess, but until I get another chance to dig through the Peterson archives, I suppose it’s as good as anyone’s.

When the pipe arrived, I was delighted to find it stamped IRISH FREE STATE, which means it was cut between 1922 to 1937, although my co-author has never logged a hallmarked IFS early than ’27. Even so, to companion and smoke a Peterson that’s going on 80 years old is a marvelous thing. The only rarer COM stamp would be the EIRE, that short period from 1938 – 1948.

As received, the 356 wasn’t in anything like the condition that Steve Laug routinely deals with on a daily basis over at Reborn Pipes, but in what I call the “well-beloved” state, meaning that while it looks pretty nasty, the owner actually took extremely good care of it, apart from neglecting to ream the carbon-cake! Some dental chatter, lava flow, extreme cake, a small burn mark at the front of the crown, and some small cracks under the ferrule at the mortise are all I had to contend with, all well within my DIY skill-set. The vulcanite testified to use, but not abuse, and certainly hadn’t been out in daylight for a long while.

The wood itself is what I call “classic standard-grade Peterson” – good, strong birdseye covering most of the bowl, and better than many, many Standard Systems. The only fill – and what made it a 3rd (Standard) grade – is on the back toward the mortise. It is fairly small, black and still strong after all these years, so no need to pick and refill it.

The three cracks at the mortise deserve mentioning, because the 02 shape, like the 14, has an enormous opening here, making the briar extremely thin. It’s not surprising that the company eventually moved away from such extremes, although I wonder (as I always do) how this gigantic opening and its accompanying reservoir impacts the smoking qualities of the pipe. I know my System shape 14 pipes (which have the same huge mortise) perform extremely well.

The ferrule was loose, and on backwards. I had worried from the eBay pictures that the soldered band was cracked or had been inexpertly repaired, but such was not the case – it had just discolored, as solder will do on a nickel band. If you’re new to the world of vintage Petes, you can expect such solder marks as an indicator that the pipe dates to before 1963.  I was surprised by the brass color of the solder, as when most old Pete bands are polished up, the solder simply disappears until the band becomes oxidized again.  Doesn’t look like silver, doesn’t it? Metallurgists (Al?) can you shed some light on this?

You can see in the various photos the discolored white glue the craftsmen used to seat the ferrule. I’ll use Liquid Nails to re-seat it onto the stummel, because I’m in the habit of polishing Peterson bands with a silver cloth on a routine basis, which can break the hold when using white glue. On Al’s advice, I wasn’t as aggressive in polishing the nickel mount this time, and while Fabulustre didn’t quite do it for me, white diamond did enough to keep me happy & keep the nickel intact and the nomenclature clear and crisp.

Also notice that on these hand-soldered nickel mounts, a bevel has been turned down where the band meets the wood, something you unfortunately don’t see on post-1963 machined-pressed nickel mounts.

The bowl smelled like its previous companioner had smoked non-aromatic tobacco, and using the smallest head on my PipNet, it came out like sand with just gentle turns, telling me the pipe had not been smoked in many years. No heat fissures beneath, and a pleasant smell, so I opted for Steve’s trick of using cotton pads instead of sea salt for an overnight alcohol soak. It passed the olfactory test the following morning, and when I cleaned out the shank it also didn’t take much – a tube-brush scrub and 7 or 8 pipe-cleaners and it was clean.

As a help to those interested in such things, I include a side-by-side comparison of the tenon end of the mouthpiece with a recent-production mouthpiece: the tenon extension juts straight out on the recent one, but is conical on the original. Note the width of this thing—6.5 mm!

The rule of thumb for a System graduated mouthpiece is 1.5 mm at the button, 5 mm at the tenon. (And no, if you’re wondering, the old Systems never had filters.) Premier and DeLuxe Systems dating from the same era would have had hand-cut vulcanite stems with screw-in bone extensions, if they had not been erroneously removed by unknowing owners.

I’ve become convinced over the years that a tight fit on the mortise-tenon juncture is essential to good performance on a System (or any army mount): it creates a much better, cooler, more flavorful airflow. One way to spot a replacement stem is simply to notice the fit. An original will probably bear a ring scar from where it hits the ferrule. A replacement won’t seat as well. This is one reason the company won’t just send customers a mouthpiece: they know it needs to be fitted by hand, by an expert.

I decided to strengthen the three hairline cracks in the mortise with clear CA glue. Not really necessary with the ferrule glued over it, but as long as it’s off, it’s just a bit of extra insurance to prolong the life of the pipe. While the excess glue wouldn’t show, I did need to smooth off the excess glue on the inside of the mortise (with a small dowel and 220 grit) for the tenon to fit securely.

I was careful not to soak the crown of the pipe long enough in alcohol to lighten the stain around the top. The original 3rd Grade Systems, according to the ’37 catalog, were stained “medium walnut.” One of the things I don’t like about many restorations I see is that, in re-dying a bowl, the original grain is often obscured. Fortunately, I read Charles Lemon’s latest post at Dad’s Pipes, and got out the mineral oil instead.

I coated the pipe with a cotton pad, then stood it up in my makeshift dyeing / drying rack (pipe reamer inserted in beer bottle). I had intended to go back and wipe it down, but got distracted, and when I came back, the wood had soaked it all in! More importantly, it was gorgeous. The following day, I applied some carnuba with the Foredom to let the oil set up a bit. This was a revelation for me. I’ve never seen carnuba take to a Pete bowl like this before, and all I can conclude is that the mineral oil was the magic here. Charles, I am indebted to you!

I’ve learned from bitter experience that breaking in a pipe this old can be every bit as hazardous and worrying as any new pipe, so I gave some thought to giving it a very light coat of pipe mud, just enough to help get the new carbon cake started and prevent undo any heat from burning the bowl. I say this because I once companioned a Patent pipe, which I had paid dearly for, only to have a giant burnout develop down at the airhole. It was devastating to think I’d mucked up a 100-year-old pipe, and so I’ve vowed to take much greater precautions with old wood ever since. I don’t like the taste of cigar (being mostly a Virginia user), so I decided in the end not to apply it. I hope I don’t live to regret that decision! If anyone has suggestions for breaking in old briar like this, please let me know. I can use all the help I can get.

The stem work was routine – after internal cleaning, I pulled out nearly all the dental chatter with soft passes of the lighter. I’m more a preservation than a restoration guy, so I left two little dents on the bottom of the button rather than resort to CA glue.

I soaked the mouthpiece in Oxyclean for about 4 hours, then went to work with micromesh pads. This time I thought I’d try wet-sanding with each grade, just to see if the work went more quickly. I confess, this is the most tedious part of the job for me, but I hate stems that are still brown under the shine. I’m sure it was hard on the pads, but the work went much quicker, and while I stopped (again, like my hero Steve) between every three grades to wipe it down with Obsidian oil, the results were noticeably better than usual, so I think I’ll make wet-sanding a habit.

The bend on the stem does not conform to the 1937 catalog, giving the pipe an extra .25 inches in length over a similar 356 with the 1937 bend. I decided to leave as it was.

P-Lip army mounts are among the worst to restore, at least for me, because of the P-Lip and the shoulders on the mount. I always seem to have a fine light brown haze around the shoulders and a thin brown line at the juncture of the upper and lower walls of the button. This time I used a small diamond file to carefully cut through the oxidation on the walls at the button, followed by careful use of a split 2400 micromesh pad, before running the gauntlet from 1800 to 12,000. It’s been my experience that if you don’t cut through the oxidation at the beginning, you’re going to see it when you’re done. I also put more effort into those shoulders, and I’m pleased to report (as maybe you can see) that under the Ott-Lite, all is a glossy obsidian.

And finally, the finished pipe:

Cataloging Information

Stamps:
Peterson’s over System (fork-tail P) over 3 (in a circle) on obverse;
356 stamp, lower reverse side of stummel;
IRISH over FREE STATE on obverse of stummel, just below ferrule

Year: Cut between 1922 – c. 1940
Mouthpiece: Probably original
Length: 6.25 in. / 159 mm.
Weight: 2.15 oz. / 60 gr.
Bowl Height: 2.22 in. / 56.61 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.9 in. / 48.45 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.762 in. / 19.35 mm
Outside Diameter: 1.37 in. / 34.97 mm

 

 

Shamrock 02 photo courtesy Smokingpipes.com

 

 

 

 

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54. A Quick DIY for Nickel Mounts

01-p1110002Mod had several definitions in my generation, but my favorite is from the ’60s and ’70s, when guys would routinely spend their weekends and pocket money taking a beloved car and making it look or perform better—mod meaning modification. These guys didn’t drive the Alphas, Porches or Vettes. They drove whatever they could afford, from VWs and MGs to Cameros, Novas, and Mustangs if they were lucky.  

So, here’s a quick mod for a nickel-mount Pete to make it shine like sterling – almost. I thought of it over the holiday when I picked up my Derry Rustic, then set it down, vaguely dissatisfied.  I picked up my 2016 Elf Army and found the same mysterious disappointment. I don’t smoke pipes that don’t give me that spark of joy that marks a true pipe companion, and I thought, “Uh oh, what’s wrong?” They both smoke fine, even the acrylic f/t not being too bothersome, so what was the problem? As I held them in my hand, one after another, what I saw it as a disparity between the finish and mouthpiece on the one hand and the nickel mount on the other.

Peterson’s nickel ferrules have had their ups and downs over the years. The pressed mounts, which came into use in the early 1960s, are outsourced, of course, and vary in their degree of polish by industry standards and by the era they were made. Sometimes you’ll see a System estate with a fairly polished mount, sometimes one that’s rough. The same seems to be true on new Petes. There’s different finishes and grades of nickel for varying applications, from refrigerators and toasters to automotive and medical equipment. I have no idea what grade Peterson uses, but it would be interesting to find out.

02-p1110004The Derry Rustic Mount as Received

The mounts on Derry Rustic and Elf Army I worked on for this blog are about average, neither better nor worse in their finish than previous years. That is, except for the bevel, which seems to have gone missing! The bevel is that place at the end of the cup that laps over the briar, and in years’ past it was a hallowed tradition at K&P to make sure that it was turned down to meet the wood snugly. You can tell it’s there — sort of — in the following photo, but what there is doesn’t chase around the entire cup.

Peterson’s nickel mounts throughout the years are of a sufficiently high quality to take a much higher polish, albeit with the loss of a bit of the K&P over PETERSON stamping. (That stamping, by the way, goes back to their earliest registered assays marks with the Goldsmiths of Dublin, and is just about the only place you’ll see “K&P” –Kapp & Peterson – these days on a Peterson pipe.) If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of sharpness in the stamping for a near-sterling look, go for it, I say.

03-p1110007Back Side of the Unmodified Derry Rustic Mount–the bevel barely discernible

Perhaps I should add that a true mod is not a grumble or complaint, but making good on an opportunity to make something you could afford just a little better than it was to begin with.

You’ll need your buffer, perhaps some Tripoli (use sparingly, if at all), some White Diamond, and masking tape. The results you can see for yourself.

04-p1110012Remember to give yourself plenty of play on the buffer. Too much taping can’t hurt.

05-p1110014Here it is after the Tripoli (brown) compound. You can see how the Tripoli ate away a bit of the stamping, but what a difference it made for the mounting! I hasten to add that after reading this blog, my friend Al Jones cautioned against using Tripoli, as it can quickly eat right through the nickel. While this didn’t happen for me, I suspect it was just dumb luck on my part, and you’d do better to begin with the white diamond.

06-p1110016And here it is after the White Diamond. Like I said, “almost sterling,” right?

07-p1110027And the finished pipe.

 

Coming up:
Sweet Petes of 2016
and More B Shapes

 

 

45. Preserving A Centenary Commemorative XL339

P1080111On my first visit to the Peterson factory in 2009, I fell into a conversation about the stand-out pipes in Peterson’s long history with then-factory manager Tony Whelan, Sr. and silversmith David Blake, since retired. They began a back-and-forth litany of the pipes they felt were truly important in the time they’d been working there. Their list began with the 1975 Centenary pipes.

1975 was an incredible year for Peterson, a high-water mark not seen since the 1910s: pipe sales were going through the roof, the company had a new factory out in what was then the countryside of Dún Laoghaire (the workers played football in the field behind it for many years), and they were celebrating what they thought of as their 100th anniversary.

As part of that celebration, the company released the first of its true commemorative pipes—the 1875 – 1975 Centenary issues. Unsmoked and with their original boxes and certificates, these will become among the most highly sought-after collectibles in the Peterson world, and they deserve to be for a number of reasons:

  • they were the first true commemoratives of the company;
  • they were among the first forays into the “collectible mindset” that would signal a sea change in the pipe-collecting world at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s;
  • the bowls were high grades;
  • they were individually, serially stamped by bowl shape – that is, “x” out of so many—it could be 1/11 or 22/83, depending on the bowls Peterson was able to source in that particular shape;
  • they all featured the complete P-Lip: button, graduated bore, aluminum tenon;
  • the bent shapes featured a System reservoir.

Issued in smooth bowls, they were uniformly given a deep undercoat of black – you’ll notice the striking black grain pattern popping through – followed by a rich dark mahogany top coat. The sterling bands were stamped with the 1875 – 1975 Centenary logo, hallmarked “h.”

P1080133So when I saw this old Centenary on eBay, of course – it being my favorite Peterson shape – I jumped at it. And I’m glad I did, although it presents an anomaly to the Centenary story that I don’t have an answer for, as yet: there’s no serial stamp! Instead, on the bottom of the shank at the mortise there is a small “X166.” I checked the bowl over, comparing it against the photos we’ve accumulated and the other example I have in my rotation, and it’s the same grade, same stain, but no limited edition number.

The 339 and slightly larger XL339 shape with the “B” stem is something of a throwback to the earliest days of briar pipe-making: the huge tapered stem gives it an elephantine appearance that I can imagine might be off-putting to many. It has a Victorian or Edwardian air about it that suggests it would have been at home in the pocket of Holmes or Watson.

The XL339 shape derives from Charles Peterson’s original 4, which later became the 4S DeLuxe System, 309 Standard System, and 339 Classic Range. With the tapered stem, I’d say it falls in the category of “seldom-seen” shapes, although not nearly as rare as the 4B (its DeLuxe System equivalent).

The pipe was in the kind of condition I love in an estate: dirty, but well-beloved, with some heavy stem oxidation, mild dental marks, band tarnish and a few scratches on the bowl. The previous owner wasn’t part of my generation of pipemen, as evidenced by the rim dents where it had been emptied against hard surfaces. I assume he was left-handed, because the front dents at both front and back are on the right-hand side where an upside-down strike would hit.

He smoked natural tobaccos, or tobaccos with very little top-dressing, as the chamber has simply that old light musty smell of a pipe smoked long ago. He didn’t seem to fill the bowl to the top, and judging by the cake he only smoked about half the bowl before setting it aside—there is a distinct heavy ring of cake going not quite half-way down.

P1080120So the first thing I needed to decide was whether to add a bevel to the outside of the rim, top the bowl, or simply leave the dings. I so admire the work I’ve seen from Steve at Rebornpipes, Tim at PipesRevival, and Charles at DadsPipes, and I imagine they might go for the topping or beveling. I didn’t really want to shorten the bowl, even by a few millimeters, nor did I want to add an external bevel, because it already has a large inner one, and while it might be interesting to look it, it seemed foreign to Charles Peterson’s original Dutch Bent aesthetic.

P1080119In the end, I decided to go for a preservation, rather than restoration, aesthetic. I haven’t heard many of my DIY heroes talk about this, but I know Tim at PipesRevival tries to hold on to nomenclature and even restore it when he can.

The steps for a job like this are pretty routine, although there are one or two peculiarities that might be of interest, given the fact it’s a Pete.

The first problem Peterson Deluxe P-Lips & DeLuxe Systems sometimes encounter is removing the tenon, which is often get fused into the draft hole. In the old days when these extensions were made of bone instead of aluminum, they’d fuse to the stem and often crack or disintegrate if you tried to remove them.

I tried was soaking it in alcohol. The soak didn’t work, and neither did pliers wrapped in t-shirting or metal-against-metal, so I put it in the freezer for an hour to see if the aluminum would contract. That did the trick, but only with the pliers gripping directly on the tenon extension. This caused a few scratches, which were mostly erased with the application of some tripoli on the buffing wheel. It removed the original gold tone, but as you can see, also removed most of the grip-marks.

P1080164P1080170You may be wondering why go to all the trouble of removing the extension. Good question. The answer is that there can sometimes be a constriction of airflow with the gradual buildup of tars and pipe-cleaner debris. A properly-performing DeLuxe P-Lip mouthpiece (meaning it has the aluminum or bone tenon extension threaded onto it) is a wondrous thing, delivering just the right dryness / coolness to your smoking.

P1080145

Standard-Issue Aluminum Tenon (top) and the Centenary XL339 (bottom)

Ironically, once I got the tenon out, cleaned, and reinstalled, I found out why it had never been removed: this is a much thinner extension than is customary on the DeLuxe stems, and it is perfectly drilled. Where the normal tenon extension will often hang up a pipe-cleaner, meaning you have to remove it to get a pipe cleaner through, this one didn’t. It passed the dreaded “pipe-cleaner test.” No need for all that bother, after all. Like I said earlier, this is something I’ve never seen before in a Peterson DeLuxe.

While I was waiting for the mouthpiece to cool off in the freezer, I reamed out the bowl with the two smallest heads on my PipNet. The cake was light and easily removed, revealing good wood beneath with no pits or evidence of heat fissure scarring.

P1080161Next I placed the mouthpiece in a Soft Scrub (no bleach variety) marinade to soak awhile. This is an idea I learned at PipesRevival, and I sometimes have good luck with it, although I normally have use an Oxy Clean soak followed by Micromesh pads.

One thing I strive for when I’m restoring my own pipes: a stem that’s obsidian under the Ott Lite, with no brown under-haze. If Soft Scrub and the buffing wheel’s application of tripoli and white diamond don’t do it, I’ll have to revert to Oxy Clean, or even the old bleach-soak followed by Micromesh pads.

P1080194

Under the Ott Lite After First Attempt — Brown Haze

As experienced DIYers know, you’ve got to get the oxidized vulcanite to a glorious gunmetal color if it’s going to buff up to obsidian. After the first round with tripoli, I was disappointed—I could still see brown haze, which is especially difficult for some reason to remove at the tenon end of the stem. So I went back for another round, with better results, but still not up to standard. I decided to see if white diamond would help, and it did the trick.

But honestly, aside from saving my hands and back the work of going through all the Micromesh pads, I don’t think I ended up saving any time and I’ll probably save the Soft Scrub for milder cases in the future.

While marinating the mouthpiece, I tackled bowl restoration. First I cleaned the inner bevel of the bowl rim, using Murphy’s Oil Soap and cotton pads. I could be mistaken, but it looks like the inner bevel was stained with the black undercoat, something which seems to be borne out in photographs of other Centenary pipes.

P1080175After that, a good wipe-down to clean of the outer bowl surface with 91% isopropyl. I don’t want to lose the original stain color if I can help it, so submerging the bowl in alcohol is out of the question.

Next I turned my attention to the stem, first passing my lighter over the mouthpiece to raise as much of the dental chatter as possible. I lingered over the top of the button and overdid it a bit, but it came out with Micromesh.

P1080185You can see where the lighter-flame raised the chatter in the brown spots. I used painter’s tape and taped off the end, then went through the spectrum of Micromesh pads in quick order. Peterson P-Lip buttons seem extremely difficult to clean well—at least, for me.I’d love to have some advice on how to get down into the cracks and negotiate the curves of the top and button of the lip.

After the buffing, I topped it with Obsidian Oil. I’d give it at 95% on the Obsidian scale, with some minor under-haze at the button lines.

P1080196Next came the sterling band, another distinctively Peterson issue. You can get fantastic, quick results if you just put it on the buffing wheel with some tripoli or white diamond. That is, if you don’t care about the hallmark or any decorative stamping, which will vanish .

P1080190 I’ve learned this the hard way: it’s best to go about cleaning your Peterson sterling in the least invasive way possible. First, remember to tape off the band to keep your buffing compound from hitting the briar. I began with Simichrome, and left it to soak a bit while I worked the mouthpiece on the buffing wheel. After the Simichrome, I use white diamond on the unstamped silver, and Fabulustre on the stamped. You probably know about Fabulustre, a jeweler’s compound I learned about from Mike at Briar Blues. It’s finer than white diamond, and is made for sterling and gold jewelry. You can’t get out deeper scratches with it, but it’s perfect for safely going over hallmarks and stamping.

P1080205So on to finishing the bowl exterior. I took out a few minor scuffs and scratches with Micromesh pads on the lower sides, and noticing the Murphy’s soap lightened the rim a bit, decided to go with another trick I’ve learned from one of the gents I mentioned earlier: I rubbed olive oil into the bowl with my thumb, then massaged it out with a microfiber cloth. This brought a matt glow to the wood and brought back the original color of the stain. I followed it with carnuba wax on the buffing wheel. The combination of olive oil and carnuba takes down the gloss of the wax just enough.

P1080219Taking another sniff of the bowl, I still couldn’t detect any ghosting, just that wonderful old-pipe bowl smell, so I decided to skip the salt solution and take it for a test run with some Marlin Flake. The nose doesn’t always know, but in this case, it was correct—a great first smoke!

P1080220More about the 1975 Centenary, the Centenary pipes and how to care for this special cross-breed of a System and a Classic Range in the book. For now – happy piping!

 

 

34. Peterson’s System 4130: Built to Last

In the past thirty years or so the System has lost its place as the flagship in the Peterson catalog. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is that the public—and perhaps Peterson—has forgotten exactly what these pipes can do, and how they do it. One of my goals in writing The Peterson Pipe is to re-establish the System as the incredible pipe it is by re-educating the public. I can’t tip my hat with text from the book, but I can share Mark Domingues’s restoration of this classic vintage System 307, which is an education for those with eyes to see.

Throughout much of the twentieth-century, but especially in the first half when this pipe was made, a pipe-smoker might only own one or two pipes. If it was a System, that would have been enough. Notice the extreme punishment this pipe was put through, and how it was able to withstand it because of the sterling cap, which held the split briar together long after a traditionally-mounted pipe would have been thrown away.

Note also the silver-soldering of the early pipes: these ferrules were made from hand-cut sheets of sterling, which were soldered, of course, by hand. David Blake, Peterson’s former silversmith recently retired, will take you through each of the steps involved in how these were made.

Finally notice that even though the bowl is partially split, it was sufficiently strong to hold the stem in place. The bowl crown’s charring also gives evidence of the smoking practices of another, more rugged days.

Mark’s restoration is a true labor of love and proof of what a System can take. The “4130” number is a mystery to me—Mark rightly suggested to me in an email it might have been some kind of after-market stamp. The ferrule design and stamping and the circular COM plus the stem-bend give me the feeling it was made sometime in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but why there was no “307” stamp on it is a mystery.

Lone Star Briar Works

Today’s article is about an old Peterson’s System pipe whose rim was scorched badly with the briar burned down on 2 sides. It has a Sterling silver cap marked K&P Sterling Silver,  Peterson’s Dublin. There are no hallmarks, I think that means it was meant for export. The bowl is stamped Peterson’s System, 4130 on the other side. The nomenclature is so faded, it can only be seen with magnification. I want to say a Pre-Republic but at the time of this writing, I can’t make out any COM in this light. Maybe the shape number can date it? I think it has the Made in England circle format.
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As can be seen from the pic, the sterling silver cap was partially split and the lip was pulled up. The previous owner must of had trouble with the stem, because the cap was split and the briar was cracked beneath…

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