The Stanwell 48 is described in Bas Steven’s list of Stanwell shapes as a “Freehand, egg-shaped bowl with rounded rim, long saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.” As with many other Ivarsson designs, this pipe has a certain lightness and understated elegance to it – I rather like the almost pencil-thin shank that flows smoothly into the long, equally thin saddle stem.
Having come to me in an estate purchase, this Stanwell 48 arrived in very good shape – remarkable shape, even, given its age – the “Reg’d No.” stamp was used between 1948 and 1970, but despite its 47+ years, the pipe was suffering only from a bit of extra cake, some rim tars and a light oxidation of the stem. Unlike many Stanwell pipes, the rustication on the pipe in front of me today is particularly craggy, featuring deeply carved pockets which give the pipe a very tactile appeal.
The pipe is stamped “Stanwell” over “Reg’d No. 969-48” over “Handmade” over “In Denmark”, and the shape number “48”. The stem carries the Crown S logo on the left flank.
I ran a pipe cleaner through the stem to make sure the airway was open and then dropped it into a bath of Oxyclean and warm water to soak for a while and raise the oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite.
While the stem soaked, I used 80 grit sandpaper wrapped around a Sharpie marker to remove the light cake from the tobacco chamber. A preliminary pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol quickly showed that this pipe had been cleaned before being put away – the insides were pristine except for a bit of carbon dust from the reaming!
I scrubbed the exterior of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and an old toothbrush. This lifted the dust and grime from the craggy rustication and scoured the rim tars from the briar.
Setting aside the stummel for a few minutes, I retrieved the stem from the Oxyclean bath and scrubbed away the raised oxidation with 0000 steel wool and a bit of Magic Eraser. The airway here proved to be just as clean as that in the stummel.
The scrubbing had lifted a bit of the white paint out of the Crown S logo, so I retouched it using a bit of acrylic paint. I dabbed the paint into and over the logo, let it dry, and then carefully scraped away the excess paint.
All that remained was to give the pipe a light buffing on the wheel and apply a few coats of Carnauba wax – very light on the rustication, heavier on the stem.
This Stanwell Reg’d No. Handmade 48 displays all the hallmarks of a great estate pipe. It has been gently used and well cared for, and, having been made between 1948 and 1970, it’s coming from old, quality briar the likes of which very few modern pipe can claim. Its age also makes the briar well seasoned and very lightweight – this pipe weighs in at an airy 29 grams or one ounce! On top of these benefits, this particular Stanwell was designed by one of the great fathers of the Danish design movement, Sixten Ivarsson. What’s not to like?
If you’d like to add this fine Stanwell pipe to your rack or that of another piper, it is available in the DadsPipes Store now, complete with Stanwell pipe sock.
Thanks for following me on another quick summertime pipe refurbishment. These easier jobs are just about right for whiling the time away during these last weeks of the season!
Here’s the finished pipe. Until next time, Happy Piping!