I picked up this Linkman/Dr.Grabow “Special” Italian Briar 4901 off Ebay , beating off one other bidder. Other than being dirty it looked in excellent condition with nice stamping’s. Being a propeller emblem Linkman/Dr.Grabow i knew it was a pre 1944.
I had been looking for a nice #01 shape and recently let a push stem #01 “Olde London” slip through my fingers on Etsy. I’m still kicking myself for that one so i made sure to go after this one.
The pipe arrived a few days later and there was no big surprises. Although i did think the #01 was a large billiard but it turns out its a medium sized billiard. 5 1/2 inches long x 1 5/8 inch tall is the dimensions.
Upon inspecting the pipe it had been well smoked but not beat up. The shank was completely plugged as well as the stem.
I got rid of all the old cake with a dull knife and heavy grit paper.
I ran a drill bit through the shank to unclog it.
The pipe was VERY dirty! Did i mention the pipe was DIRTY?
After several soaks ( changing to clean alcohol three times ) i finally got the stem cleaned as well as the shank and bowl. It took several tries with bristle cleaners before i could get a pipe cleaner to pass through the stem. I had well over a hour just cleaning the inner workings of the pipe. The pipe was so clogged that the stem was under clocked about a 1/8 of a turn. I had to break out a extra can of elbow grease on this step.
I next tackled the rim char with a piece of green pad soaked in Oxy-Clean and warm water.
I wiped down the outside of the bowl with a paper towel sprayed with mild detergent and water to remove the grimy surface.
I went over the bowl with a piece of 2500 grit paper and mineral oil. Staying away from the stamping’s.
I filed out some minor chatter and gave the stem a good wet sanding. 500 grit over the file marks and whole stem with 600-2500 grit.
Before buff and wax i wiped the stem and bowl down with mineral oil and let it soak in.
A buff and wax on the wheel and she is done.
For a Linkman the walls of the chamber are a little thicker than normal.
Bottom side of stinger.
Linkman’s had several stamping’s on their pipes so lets break them down.
Linkman’s/Dr.Grabow……the Linkman was dropped somewhere around 1944 . They also dropped the propeller and went to the spade emblem on the stem.
4901 Special/Italian Briar………….01 is the shape number.
SPECIAL (or Special Italian Briar) post-1937, begins with 43, 49, 1937 or previous, may not be marked as such, begins with 43, 44, 49 Series 43 = Natural Finish (DG), c1937. Series 44 = Dark Finish (DG), c1937. Series 49 = Walnut Finish (DG), c1937.
To be honest i could not see any finish on the pipe as it looks natural to me.
PAT. NO. (over) 1896800, block lettering, 3/8” wide, 1/8” tall, c1933-42
From my decipher of the stamping’s the pipe was made roughly between 1937-1942.
I have smoked a couple of bowls in the pipe now and find it a excellent, cool smoking pipe. Of all the non-removable stinger pipes i find the Linkman’s the best smokers. I find the old school burley’s burn the best in them too.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you.