Estate Pipes by Rod Neep

The ethos of restoring pipes
and some guides


Project files:


Stock changes constantly as I renovate these old pipes. They can be purchased using Paypal from these pages.

Below: A beautiful antique meerschaum pipe made by Adolph Frankau (London) 1910. Complete with a Birmingham hallmarked sterling silver band. Presented in its original leather covered case.

Adolph Frankau (London) Meerschaum pipe dated 1910

 Rod Neep -1970s Charatan

Rod Neep. With a Charatan pipe that I purchased new in the 1970s, A good pipe can last a lifetime. I still use that pipe regularly, although of course, I have other pipes in my rotation.



Estate pipes are basically pre-owned pipes (usually used). They can be either relatively modern or antique.

I take pleasure in renovating these pipes so that they can be enjoyed again, giving them a new lease of life.

I do not try to make a pipe "like new". These are old and well used pipes, and they have a history. I don't want to totally destroy that history. What I do want is to restore them to a state where they are clean, very neat and very presentable.


Above: A batch of unrestored estate pipes from an auction house. This was the photo presented at the auction.

Unrestored estate pipes

Above: a very large lifetime collection of 64 pipes from the estate of one old gentleman. There were some little gems amongst them, and some total basket cases which were beyond repair.




When an old estate pipe comes into my hands it is usually very dirty and the chamber is commonly choked with built up deposits of carbon. These two photographs are of the same pipe! Before and after renovation.


When this batch of pipes arrived from the auction house the first thing that I did was to inspect them, then remove the stems which were put into soak in oxyclean.

Can you spot which pipe was the little gem? No, it isn't the white one on the right. That was a ceramic tourist pipe made in Holland, and it had some serious cracks in it. It went straight into the bin!

The gem is the little black bent rusticated pipe on the left. It was very dirty, and choked up with carbon deposits, but it was going to be worth the effort of renovating it.

Pictured below is that same pipe after renovation


The bronze coloured Falcon pipe with the white mouthpiece is the same pipe illustrated above. All choked up with carbon deposits.

Pipe stems

The stems of old pipes are usually made from vulcanite. (Some modern ones are made of acrylic). Vulcanite is rubber which has been processed to make it hard. The problem with vulcanite is that as it ages it turns brown or grey as the rubber oxidises.

The stems shown here are at various stages of renovation. On the left with the oxidation. In the centre having been soaked for 24 hours in oxyclean and brushed to remove the oxidation. At this stage it still needs a lot of sanding (down to 12,000 grit) to make it smooth. On the right, a renovated and polished stem.

Eventually a pipe stem will be marked by your teeth, and worse still, you will bite a hole in it!

See Project file - Pipe stems





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