Crafting a Churchwarden for a Lord of the Ring’s Enthusiast

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Blog by Dal Stanton

After restoring 3 pipes which Tina chose to gift special men in her life, the final request was to fashion a Churchwarden for her oldest son Thomas, who is a Lord of the Rings “groupie” and of course, he wants a ‘Gandalf Pipe’ to aid in blowing inspired smoke rings!  Tina’s son has been married for a few years and apparently, he and his wife have a Lord of the Rings movie binge at least once a year!

In my research on the Churchwarden shape, as the story goes, there were men back in the days when they didn’t lock churches at night, who were employed as ‘wardens’ of the church – whose responsibility was to guard the premises.  To be faithful to their charge, they were not allowed to leave the walls of the church.  That created an unusual dilemma between guarding the holy confines…

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Refreshing a Leather Clad Classic Billiard

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Blog by Dal Stanton

I acquired this Leather Wrapped Classic Billiard as part of what I call the French Lot of 50.  I landed 50 pipes which included some long-forgotten treasures dating back to before WWII as well as a plethora of pipes mounted with horn stems.  In this French Lot of 50 I discovered French pipe manufacturers that were all but forgotten within the pipe world.  My restoration of the petite EPC Majestic Bent Horn Stem Billiard which earned me my first contribution to the repository of pipe information on Pipedia with the research on the A. Pandevant & Roy Co. of Paris.

The next pipe to catch the eye of someone searching through the ‘Help Me!’ baskets in my For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection is a nice looking Leather Wrapped Classic Billiard shape which I’ve targeted with an arrow in the picture of the French Lot of…

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A Gift for a US Coast Guard Man – A Carved Bearded Sailor, ‘Ole Crusty’

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Blog by Dal Stanton

Tina commissioned the restoration of 3 pipes and one Churchwarden project by repurposing a bowl.  Her purpose was to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria while at the same time purchasing great vintage pipes that would be gifted to special men in her life.  The first of these pipes, the Lindbergh Select Poker, which came out beautifully, is for Tina’s brother who served as a naval aviator and flew on P3 airplanes flying over different bodies of water to do reconnaissance missions and who has many stories of his adventures.  I’m now looking at the Carved Bearded Sailor – my first try at restoring a sculpted face.  There are no identifying marks on the pipe, and I’ve searched closely with a magnifying glass.  I acquired the Carved Bearded Sailor from a Lot I snagged on French eBay, so my assumption is that this pipe has a…

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Tina’s first choice: Renewing a Lindbergh 324 Poker

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Blog by Dal Stanton
Burgas, Bulgaria, is a coastal city on the Black Sea where my wife and I as often as we can, go to find some rest and relaxation on the beach, especially during the summer months.  When we’re not enjoying the surf and sand, one of my favorite activities is to go pipe picking, of course!  I found the Lindbergh 324 Poker on one of these expeditions in 2017 on the main walking streets in Burgas – an antique shop I’ve visited before did not let me down on this visit!

I found the treasure trove in a copper pot waiting for me on a stack of books.  I carefully and methodically sifted through the pipes in the brass pot and culled 5 nice candidates who were calling my name!  They were a Butz Choquin Supermate 1596 Paneled Billiard – St Claude-France, a Rusticated Harvey Meerschaum Lined…

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Restoring a Surprising Silver Treasure: a Robinson 8494 Quarter Bent Paneled Tomato

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Blog by Dal Stanton

I acquired this interestingly shaped pipe in an eBay Lot acquisition from France which has contained several very collectible pipes.  The challenge with this French Lot has been that several names stamped on the pipes are unfamiliar to me and require more research to uncover the origins.  This pipe continues that trend as its origins aren’t clear. My good friend and former colleague working in Ukraine, a pipe man and restorer himself (see: https://www.thepipery.com), saw this Robinson Paneled Tomato in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection and reached out to me about commissioning it which I was more than happy to do!

I’m categorizing this Paneled Tomato (though a case could be made that this is a Prince shape, but the shank is a bit too broad I think) pipe as a petite as its dimensions are: Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 inch, Tomato…

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Rebuilding a Rim and Chamber for an Aldo Velani Trio Rusticated Volcano

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Blog by Dal Stanton

This Rusticated Volcano came to my worktable in what I call the St. Louis Lot of 26 that my son, Josiah, found in an antique shop before last Christmas. He was impressed by the quality of pipes in the Lot and emailed me in Bulgaria with a proposition of going in together for the Lot of 26.  His part in the purchase would be his Christmas present to me – that I would choose a pipe for my own from the Lot.  My part of the purchase would be to restore the pipes to benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria.  It was a proposal hard to refuse and some weeks later I unwrapped the St. Louis Lot of 26 in Denver where our family had gathered for Christmas.  I chose as my gift from Josiah an unbelievable find: a Churchwarden – EP Champion Made in France. …

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