Blatter & Blatter have been producing high quality pipes in Montreal since 1907, established in that city only a year after Brigham set up shop in Toronto. I’ve wanted to work on a Blatter pipe for some time, so when this Red Dot Lovat came up on eBay, I snapped it up. It was listed in used, estate condition, but when it arrived it became obvious that the pipe had been smoked no more than a few times.
The rim showed a very light haze of lava, but the walls of the tobacco chamber were without cake. In fact, the factory bowl coating was in nearly perfect condition. The stummel was likewise in excellent condition, without dents or dings. The slightly flared saddle stem was without tooth chatter. Even the aluminum stinger was shiny as new when I removed the stem for inspection.
The pipe is stamped only with “Blatter” in script over “Montreal” in block lettering on the left shank. The stem is inlaid with a single red dot, indicating a machine-made pipe (Blatter hand made pipes are marked with two red dots). There is no shape number.
Apart from the light signs of use, one flaw caught my eye – a small fill on the left shank had shrunk and left a depression in the briar.
There was no cake in the chamber to ream, so I started this clean-up by wiping away the tobacco residue from the rim with a cotton pad dipped in alcohol. The old wax finish came off with a scrub with Murphy’s Oil Soap.
An experimental pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol came out of the stem completely clean, as I had expected. The shank and airway of the stummel were similarly spotless.
With the wax coat gone, the shrunken fill really stood out against the honey-brown briar finish. I picked the remaining putty from the fill and replaced it with a dab of CA glue mixed with briar dust.
I let the CA cure before filing and sanding the new fill smooth. Micromesh pads in 1500-3600 grits removed the sanding marks and a quick scribble from my lightest stain pen blended the repair into the existing finish. I forgot to take pics during this process (it only took 10 minutes or so), but these shots show the fill before and after the job was complete.
The stem needed nothing in the way of repairs, so I took both stem and stummel to the buffer for a quick polishing with White Diamond compound and several coats of Carnauba wax to protect the finish.
This Blatter Red Dot Lovat is ready to carry on where it left off after its long-past inaugural (and likely only) smoke. It is a larger pipe, just shy of 6″in length, with a thick-walled chamber drilled to just shy of 1.75″ x 0.75″ – lots of room for a favourite blend here!
Weighing in at 52 grams, this Lovat is a bit heavy for clenching and is better suited to a piper who likes to hold the pipe in his hand; indeed, the girthy bowl is particularly tactile and the flat underside of the round shank allows the pipe to sit securely on the table, perhaps next to an ashtray or fine beverage.
This classic Blatter Lovat is already on its way to a new piper who is sure to enjoy it for years to come.
Thanks for looking and until next time, Happy Piping!