I found this pipe on a random Ebay search. Here is one of the pictures as it was listed.
I was instantly drawn to the pipe. The shape,rustication ,the star logo really appealed to me. Not to mention the excellent shape it was in. Looking at the additional pictures i could tell by the stem style it was a late 1920’s to early 30’s pipe. It seemed unmarked though, so i sent a message to the seller asking if there was any makers stamping on the pipe. They replied that there was not and if i wanted it he would knock off 35% of the buy it now price, which by the way was really reasonable. I gave it some thought and kept coming back looking at it. The more i looked the more i liked it,so i purchased it.
While i waited on the pipe to arrive i did some research to see if i could figure out who manufactured it.At first i thought it was a LHS pipe but that proved to be a dead end. I then researched all pipes on Pipephil that used stem star logos . Nothing seemed to fit the age. Frustrated i gave up until the pipe arrived , once i had in my hand i knew what it was. I’ll touch on this at the end of the post.
The pipe arrived a few days later and i was eager to start on it. Once i had in hand i could tell this is a very well made pipe. Some of the best quality i have ever seen in a factory pipe.
The rustication is very well done. Its a medium sized apple, 5 1/4 inch long x 1 5/16 inch tall.
Notice how thick the shank is?
The metal tenon is also very thick and good quality metal, unlike most that are thin and bend easy. This one would be hard pressed to bend. The pipe was well made and built to last.
The pipe was very clean for its age and took little work to get it back to smoking standards.
Cleaning the shank was simple and only took a few pipe cleaners while the stem took a soak in 91% alcohol.
There was very little cake so just a quick sand with 500 grit is all the inner bowl needed. I then decided to tackle the ashtray dings on the rim. I ran the rim over a hot iron with a wet rag between the bowl and iron to steam out them out as much as possible.
With the pipe clean as it was i gave it a good scrubbing with mineral oil and removed the reemaining rim cake with a piece of green pad.
The stem only took a few bristle cleaners and some scrubbing with a green pad till it was clean enough to work on.
With not very deep spotty oxidation i just opted to a scrub of hot water and Oxy Clean on the stem instead of a long soak . I then went over it with Barkeeper’s cleaner and polish to remove and last bits of oxidation.
Some gentle filling took off what little chatter was on the stem. Then i sanded the file marks with 400-800 , then the whole stem got 1000-3000 grit wet sand. The stinger and tenon got a going over with 000 steel wool.
One more rub down with mineral oil over whole pipe and shes ready for some stem buffing and a few coats of wax .
Finished pipe .
Only marked Italian Briar
While cleaning it i did find a flaw on the rim.This might explain it being unmarked.
I smoked a couple of bowls with the ball stinger and was not that impressed. Removed the stinger and it smokes like a different pipe. Nice draw and smokes good and cool. This is gonna be a favorite smoker i can already tell. I’m gonna try some flakes in it next, it should be great for them.
Now I’m gonna share what this pipe is or was gonna be.
It just so happens that another pipe that was up for auction at the same time was the key and i even had it on my watch list but did not make the connection until after the pipe arrived in the mail.
There was a very rare WDC (William Demuth Company ) Charles Lindberg NY Paris May 21 1927 Spirit of St. Louis up for auction.
LENGTH : 5.45+ in. BOWL HEIGHT: 1.5+ in.BOWL DIAM: 13/16+ in.
Here is a side by side shot.
The pipes are identical in shape, size, style, rustication etc…
So I’m saying this was gonna be a WDC Lindbergh but because of the very visible flaw on the rim it was rejected and unmarked with a different stem used. The Lindbergh pipes were made shortly after his historic flight in 1927, so the time line also fits the pipe.
I’ve also looked at other WDC pipes from that era . Some lines carried the same style rustication , like the Turin and used metal tenons.
Let me know what you think. Think its a WDC unmarked Lindbergh or other WDC line?
Till next time,
Good smoke’s to you.