My brother Jeff and I visited an antique mall that was in an old grainery along a railroad track not too long ago. We went through the display cases and booths on two floors and found a few pipes. I have been told that VFQ means V ery F ine Q uality and underneath the grime it appeared that this one may have lived up to the stamping. The stem is a Cumberland like material with swirls and striations in a mahogany coloured stem.
In classic Medico style the pipe was made for their paper filter and had a hollow, adjustable tenon. The tenon has a split on both sides that can be expanded should the stem become loose in the shank.
The pipe was in rough shape. The bowl was thickly caked and had remnants of tobacco in it. The rim top was covered with overflow from the bowl and there were some large chips on the top and inner edge of the bowl on the right side. The finish was shot with the top varnish coat peeling all over the bowl. The ring around the bowl was dirty but was undamaged.
The pipe was stamped Medico over V. It also was stamped with the shape number 76 on the right side. The stem bore the V. The stem was oxidized, dirty and had tooth chatter on both sides at the button.
There was an old paper filter still in the tenon and the inside of the shank and stem were filthy. We scrubbed the mortise, airway into the bowl and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I took photos of the cleaned pipe when I finally brought it to my work table in Vancouver. Notice the angle of the rim top on the bowl. It was not flat and the damage had left the front higher than the back.
The next two photos show the condition of the tenon and bowl when taken apart and the damaged rim once all the cake had been removed.
The rim had damage all the way around but the biggest damage was on the rear right side where there was a large chip missing. The stem shows some wear in the next photos and the striations of colour are almost not visible due to oxidation.
I decided to even out the height of the rim cap by carefully topping the bowl. Since the back side was higher than the front I was pretty sure I could remove most if not all of the chipped area on the rear right. I topped it on a board with grit sandpaper and carefully leveled the bowl by applying more pressure to the rear of the bowl than the front and lifting the front edge off the paper as I remove the damaged and excess on the read of the bowl.
It took some work to level the bowl properly and end up with an even top both from a vertical and horizontal view. I used a folded piece of grit sandpaper to bevel out the inner edge of the rim to remove the remaining rim damage and clean up the appearance of the rim. I sanded the rim with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge and with grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratches. I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remaining finish and stain on the bowl in preparation for matching the newly topped rim with the colour of the rest of the bowl.
I did a more thorough cleanup of the mortise and airway into the bowl to remove all of the sanding dust and remaining debris that was there. I scrubbed it out with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I also ran pipe cleaners through the airway in the stem and cleaned the mortise with cotton swabs.
Medico VFQ – Save This Old Pipe Project
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Antiques 1. Format see all Format. All Listings filter applied. Buy It Now. Handmade see all Handmade. Yes 8. Not Specified Body Shape see all Body Shape. Billiard Blowfish 1. Bulldog 4. Featured Refinements see all Featured Refinements.Medico pipes in the collection
Refine more Format Format. Items in search results. Search refinements Categories. Collectibles Tobacciana Pipes Estate Other Collectible Pipes Unsmoked Meerschaum 2.
Antiques 1. Format see all Format. All Listings filter applied. Buy It Now. Handmade see all Handmade. Yes 8. Not Specified Body Shape see all Body Shape. Billiard Blowfish 1. Bulldog 4. Featured Refinements see all Featured Refinements. Vintage Smoking Pipe Briar Smoking Pipe Estate Pipes Lot 9. Calabash 2. Comoy Pipe 1. Filter Size see all Filter Size.
Condition see all Condition. New 4. Used Not Specified 8.Medico was created inand is still produced by S. The brand is famous for its pipe filters, which were lanched in the same year. Sincesome models have been made in Brylon, a synthetic material, and others in briar. The brand was also sold by the English company Cadogan and Oppenheimer Pipe. When you trace the Medico tobacco pipes history, you have to trace it back to the origins of the company that created it.
The company that originated the Medico brand is the S. This company dates back to the year In that year, a man named Sam Frank began selling pipes and related tobacco products. Eventually, the company began making its own line of pipes.
With the help of an experienced pipe manufacturer, Ferdinand Feuerbach, the company produced the popular Royal DeMuth and Hesson Guard Milano tobacco pipes. The company continued to grow well into the early part of the s. By the early s, there were some concerns about the tars and nicotine found in tobacco smoke.
In order to mellow out the flavor of hot tobacco smoke as well as to capture the tars and nicotine, the S. This is an absorbent paper filter that many people still use to this day. In order to accommodate the new filter, the company developed an accompanying brand of pipes known as Medico. That line of pipes continues in production today. The company ended up buying some of their main competition in That year the Kaywoodie brands came under the S.
Frank Company. The Medico brand continued production through this transition without many changes. The next big change for the brand came in the late s. Inthe company developed a synthetic material that combined the traditional briar wood with resins. It is known as Brylon. At that time, all Medico pipes were made from imported briar wood. In order to keep production costs down, the company began offering some lines with Brylon. Today, that is still true. Today, the Medico brand of pipes is still a top selling one for the S.
This line of pipes comes in thirteen different finishes with five made of briar wood and the rest from Brylon. All come with the push bit with a filter inside. The filter is easily changed out when the smoker desires.
As far as price, the briar wood pipes tend to be higher in cost that the Brylon ones.
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Found this nice little Medico V. Overall its in pretty good shape. Just needed a little TLC. I've been able to date this pipe as being made sometime from the early 's up to Medico pipes began being made in the early 's when the Medico pipe filters were introduced by the Sam M. Frank Company.
In the V. I still need to send it off to a friend so he can give it a good wax and buff but for the moment it looks pretty good. Smokes great too! Jul 31, 15, 14 Bethlehem, Pa. That's a great find. I'm sure it will be quite a looker when you get it back.Log in. Forums New posts Search forums. Retailer Directory. Radio Show. Pipe Shows.
Medico V.F.Q. Estate Pipe - Nice Little Find
I picked up this old pipe to experiment on, really.I reached into my box of pipes to refurbish the other day and this Medico VFQ billiard came out. It was in rough shape — the rim was worn nearly all the way around from being knocked against something to clear the dottle from the bowl.
The previous piper evidently also had dubious aim with his knocking, as there were also dents and dings on the back outside wall of the bowl in line with the stem. There was a significant chunk of briar missing from the rear right rim of the bowl, and a few good char marks just as a bonus. The previous owner of this VFQ was obviously a stem-chewer as well as a bowl-knocker. The button was a mess, with several deep tooth marks top and bottom.
My mother always told me to look for the silver lining in every cloud, and sure enough this old Medico had one. The stampings were clean and crisp, even after what was evidently a past life of hard use and hard knocks. The right shank carries a shape number, 39, while the stem also retained its own VFQ stamping. I started by reaming out the uneven cake from the bowl.
I dropped the reamed stummel into my jar of isopropyl alcohol to soak off the grime of years and hopefully most of the old factory lacquer finish. While it soaked, I went to work on the stem. The button area would be a much more involved process.
I began by removing the wispy bits of nylon from the top of the bite marks, then set out to tidy up what was left. I then sanded the stem with and grit papers to remove tooth chatter. I settled for dropping clear CA glue into the remaining dents, and sanding the fills smooth after the glue had cured. I wiped the stem down with mineral oil at this stage to get an idea of how the final stem would look. For a change of pace, I pulled the stummel out of the alcohol bath and had a look.
As you can see, the isopropyl does a good job removing the old finish. There were still a few rogue spots of the old lacquer clinging to the briar, so I wiped it down with nail polish remover and cotton pads to finish the cleaning.