A lucky eBay bid brought a pair of Shamrock pipes to me a few months ago. This is the first of the pair, a Pre-Republic 263 Canadian with a P-Lip stem.
Shamrock is a seconds brand of Peterson which, to my mind, presents excellent value for dollar if you are willing to overlook one or two more obvious fills in the briar. This pipe had several pink putty fills, noticeably on the underside of the bowl. Apart from these cosmetic flaws, the pipe needed a good cleaning to remove a thin layer of greasy residue from the rim as well as oxidation and tooth chatter from the short vulcanite stem.
The pipe is stamped “SHAMROCK” on the top of the oval shank and “A PETERSON” over “PRODUCT” over “MADE IN IRELAND” on the bottom of the shank. A shape number, “263” is stamped on the right shank near the shank/bowl junction. The nickel shank band is marked with a large Shamrock over faux hallmarks of Shamrock, Wolfhound and Tower.
Both Pipedia.org and Pipephil.eu report that the block letter “MADE IN IRELAND” stamp dates the production of this pipe to a very tight Pre-Republic time period between 1947 and 1949, though I’ve recently learned from Mark Irwin of Peterson Pipe Notes that this stamp was used in every decade of production after 1917 or so. For more details on this, we’re all waiting for Mark’s book to be released!
I started working on the pipe by removing the stem and dropping it into an Oxyclean bath to soften the oxidation and any other muck. While it soaked, I used sandpaper wrapped around a Sharpie marker to remove the light cake from the chamber.
A scrub with alcohol on a cotton pad and a bit of 0000 steel wool cleaned up the messy rim. I also wiped down the exterior of the stummel, removing the old wax finish along with decades of dirt.
With the briar clean, the old pink putty fills stood out sharply against the honey tones of the finish. I dumbed them down with a touch of stain pen. Buffing will blend the marker into the surrounding finish.
Scrubbing the rim had lightened the colour there, so I again used a stain pen to match the rim to the original stain after smoothing the briar with micromesh pads.
I finished cleaning the stummel by running a few pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol through the mortise and airway. The internals were pretty clean.
I retrieved the stem from its bath at this point and scrubbed it clean with 0000 steel wool and Magic Eraser. Some 220-grit sandpaper erased most of the tooth chatter, but left a few deeper dents that needed a bit of filling. I applied a patch mixture of thick CA glue and charcoal powder to the dents, filing and sanding things smooth after letting the glue cure.
I wet sanded the stem to 2000 grit to remove the sanding marks and bring up the shine before reuniting stem and stummel and heading to the buffer. Concentrating more on the stem, I gave the pipe a run of White Diamond compound on the wheel and finished off by applying several coats of Carnauba wax to the entire pipe.
The finished pipe is a bit of a looker now, in my opinion. I’ve always been somewhat partial to the Canadian shape, with its elegant oval shank and short taper stem; the bright nickel shank band and P-lip stem on this Shamrock give the pipe an additional flair.
Thanks for joining me for another estate restoration. If you enjoyed this adventure and would like to add this 70+ year old Pre-Republic pipe to your own rack, it is available on the Pipe Inventory page now.
Until next time, Happy Piping! Here’s the finished pipe.