111. Dublin Shapes: A Visual History by Era (1896-2018)

In the past few years I have become enamored with the Irish equivalent of the English billiard—the straight dublin. I have heard some folk cavil against it for one of the very reasons I love it: its v-shaped chamber, which creates a more concentrated flavor as the bowl is smoked to the bottom. In my experience, this type of chamber requires the least number of relights of any bowl geometry and for that reason also trumps the billiard. That it is linked by name with Dublin (and so with Irish smoke) is yet another reason for my affection. Seriously, can you think of any other pipe shapes named for a city? (No, Bull Moose, Minnesota doesn’t count.)

The dublin shape name seems to appear with every other straight shape at the dawn of briar history in the last decades of the 19th century. The name suggests its origins, and you might think it has something to do with the dudeen or clay pipe of Dublin. No, and yes.

No: dudeen, also spelled dudheen, doodeen, and doodheen, is from the Irish Gaelic dūidīn, and is the diminutive of dūd, “pipe,” so that a dudeen is “a short tobacco pipe made of clay,” according to the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. And “Dublin,” of course, is from the Irish dubhlinn (dubh = black and linn = pool). The dublin shape is common among clays, but not specific to the town of Dublin.

Yes: Somehow, quite early in the history of briar pipes, the shape name came to be associated with the town bearing its name.It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, whether it was a name used in an early pipe catalog or a name like the “dutch” billiard coined by servicemen. And if any pipe maker might be said to have proprietary rights to the shape, I’d say it would have to be an Irish maker, wouldn’t you? The Peterson book, incidentally, has some history about the Dublin clay pipe industry in the late 19th century as well as K&P’s own clay System pipes.

(Courtesy Bill Burney)

In the Fall 1998 issue of PipeSMOKE, Jacques Cole, one of the only writers to discuss shape names, writes:

The Dublin is probably the oldest briar pipe shape – like a cone, either slight or extreme – owing its origin directly to clay pipes. The reason for the name is quite obscure and no satisfactory explanation has been found. A variant of the Dublin is the obtuse-angled Zulu (sometimes called Yachtsman or Woodstock) and is made with either a round or an oval shank. A variation with an upright bowl and extreme cone is called a Bell Dublin.*

It’s significant, I think, that Peterson’s very first catalog contained the shape, if not the name. Remember that over the years, Peterson has only rarely added names to their shape numbers, although a few shapes have only had names. It’s also important to understand that Peterson has only attempted a comprehensive catalog of all the shapes in production five times in their long history (1896, 1906, 1947 and 1975/79), and even then omitted some shapes that were produced in such small quantities as to not warrant the printer’s ink. On the other hand, there is every reason to believe that there are a number of shapes that have begun production and then been in the catalog for decades, sometimes since the company’s beginning.

What follows is as comprehensive a visual catalog of Peterson’s dublin shapes as I’m able to present based on the literature at my disposal and the generally poor condition of what Poirot calls my “little gray cells.” This post surveys only the straight dublins, although I would like to document the heeled and bent dublins sometime in the near future.

 PART 1: THE STRAIGHT DUBLINS

 Patent-Era Straight Dublins (1896-1921)

1896 Patent System Dublins

Straight Systems are fascinating pipes, and if you ever get a chance to smoke one, try it. I believe the 120 System re-entered the catalog quite briefly twice, once in the 1950s and then again in the late 1970s. They have three characteristics: they’re very dry; they have shallow bowls (as you can see in the demonstrator photo below), and they ghost easily, much as the current reverse calabashes, and so require care if not devoted to a single type of tobacco or blend.

Pre-1963 Shape 120 Demonstrator

 

1906 Patent System Dublins

By the 1906 catalog, Patent System dublins are represented in only two sizes, shapes 31 and 32. As the 1896 and 1906 catalogs were printed at full scale, by laying a transparency of the 1906 shapes over the 1896, it appears that the 1896 shape 30 is closest in size to the 1906—identical, it looks to me. And the 1906 shape 32 is smaller than the 31, making it the smallest, with the 1896 large shape, the 28, having been discarded.

 

1906 Patent Lip Dublins

Far more important for later generations of smokers was the introduction of the Patent Lip dublin shapes, which with their traditional drilling at the side of the chamber’s floor allow for a conventional chamber size. The largest of the three, the 120, has been in production now for 112 years, but the 121 and 122 were both seen well into the mid-twentieth century.

 

Irish Free State-Era Straight Dublins (1922-1937)

The IFS-Era added two new straight dublins to the 120, 121, and 122: the 120F (“Flat” or oval shank) and slender 417. The System straights seem to have disappeared by this time. The 120F is a natural thought in Peterson’s design language, which always comes back to comfort and practicality, and I can imagine someone in bowl-turning or even a customer thinking how great it would be to set his straight dublin down in order to emphasize a point over a pint.

The first illustration of the 120F seems to be in the1937 “A Chat with the Smoker” pipe-box brochure issued not longer after Peterson opened their London factory. (It may well have been in production before then.) Examples of the shape appear as late as the 1965 catalog and may well have been made for several years after that.

The 417, a small-bowled Dublin with a “bing”-length shank, first appeared in the 1937 catalog, but with two shape numbers: 417 for the Kapet and DeLuxe and 2022 for the “K” and 1st quality. The 2022 number would be dropped by 1945. Like the 120F, the last sighting of the 417 was in the 1965 catalog.

 

Éire Era Straight Dublins (1939-1948)

The Éire Era produced two new dublin shapes. The first was a rarely-seen and gorgeous 935, illustrated here in the US-only Shamrock version created for Rogers Imports, Ltd. The 900 shape numbers are seen only in the 1937 catalog and a tantalizing chart in the 1942 George Yale catalog. As you can see from the average measurements (given at the bottom of this post), the 935 is smaller than the 120.

The other Éire dublin came at the end of the era in the 1947 shape chart as part of “SPORTS” line’s shape 8, a pocket-pipe version of the 120.  This line was created using used popular bowls, then shortening the shanks and mounting them with tiny P-Lips (aside from the original bulldog shape 5). Italian smokers continued to order the “SPORTS” pipes well into the early 21st century and they are still sometimes available in the US.

 

 Late Republic Era Straight Dublins (1969-90)

Peterson created no new variations on the dublin shape for most of the Republic Era (1949-1990), although one magnificent example appeared in 1988 at the very end of the Late Republic-Era as part of the 988-1988 Dublin Millennium pair of commemoratives. It is a unique and aggressive shape with its forward-sloping chamber jutting out like a ship’s prow from the famous Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast. While neither the current nor former factory managers (Joe Kenny and Tony Whelan, Jr.), nor Doris Barrett, could recall a catalog number, the intrepid Jim Frenken spotted the number on a German eBay listing, XL88S. Here’s one of the photos:

 

Dublin Era Straight Dublins (1991-2018)

 Tom Palmer’s Dublin era saw no less than four new dublin shapes as well as a bell dublin and a handful of bent dublins. It is significant that these shapes followed 1988’s Millennium with its almost futuristic or Italian sensibility yet began with the 1995 shape A4 dublin Antique Reproduction. In hindsight, I think Peterson was making a de facto statement about the importance of the dublin shape to its catalog.

The A4 is one of my favorites in Peterson’s dublin group, originally issued as the 1903 Antique Reproduction in the quartet of four shapes from 1995. It was doubtless inspired by an engraving with just this mounting from the 1906 catalog (which you’ll see in the Peterson book).

Peterson’s reproductions are hit-and-miss, sometimes being homages rather than strictly authentic re-creations, sometimes being somewhere in between, and once in a while hitting the target dead center.

As a reproduction, the A4 is a fascinating, even remarkable piece. Folk unfamiliar with Peterson history might easily enough mistake it for the real deal. The thick shank makes it an obvious homage to the shape 31 Patent System seen above [not to be confused with the current-production System 31]. And it scores perfect marks for the high-fidelity S (saddle) Patent-Lip System mouthpiece with its graduated bore and build-in (rather than screw-in) extended tenon seen on mid- and lower-grade Patent Systems. But it’s not a System pipe. Instead, Peterson designed it as what we call in the book a type of “sub-System”—a long-standing Peterson design concept—the graduated bore P-Lip mouthpiece will keep a straight pipe’s air hole much drier, but by forgoing the reservoir, allow for a deeper chamber (20mm x 42mm). And that, in my opinion, is all to the good.

The B16 is the Big One in Peterson’s shape group, the largest of all production dublins, and appropriately so as it honors Tom Crean, the “Irish Giant” who was pictured several times smoking a Peterson dublin. The B16 was issued as part of my all-time favorite Dublin era special collection, the Great Explorers, which came out in 2002.

In 2010, Peterson released its most visually extreme straight dublin shape, the aptly named ‘Wilde’ or B47 from the Writers Collection quartet. The narrow waistline of the bow and cant of the rim gives the shape the quasi-optical illusion of a dublin bell, accentuated by the slightly downturned mouthpiece. It’s still a straight dublin, but it has become much more fluid.

Peterson has always been a bit secretive about who designed what shape. Apart from Charles Peterson’s originals in the 1896 and 1906 catalogs and several Paddy Larrigan originals, only a few shapes can be traced to specific designers, as you’ll see in the Peterson book.

But whoever designed the Titanic centenary collection, released as the Iceberg 1912 quartet, did a remarkable job evoking a maritime feeling. The B57 / Port takes the classic dublin shape and cinches it slightly at the waist. It is almost (but not quite) the same shape as the B47, being a little thicker around the waist and with a straight mouthpiece.

 

Average Measurements and Production Years for a Few Classic Straight Dublins

 Shape 120 Patent Lip Straight Dublin.
Years of production: 1906 – present.
Average Measurements:
Length: 6.16 in./156.46 mm.
Weight: 1.40 oz./39.69 g.
Bowl Height: 1.94 in./49.28 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.63 in./41.40 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./21.08 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.38 in./35.05 mm.
P-Lip: Yes

Shape 122 Patent Lip Straight Dublin.

Years of production: 1906 – c. 1960
Average Measurements:
Length: 5.5 in. / 139.7 mm.
Weight: .095 oz. / 27.7 g.
Bowl Height: 1.78 in. / 45.29 mm.
Chamber Depth:  1.527 in. / 38.80 mm.
Chamber Diameter:  0.734 in.  / 18.65 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.226 in. / 31.15 mm.
P-Lip: Yes

Shape 120F (flat shank) P-Lip Straight Dublin.
Years of production: 1937 – c. 1965
Average Measurements:
Length: 6.03 in./153.16 mm.
Weight: 1.10 oz./31.18 g.
Bowl Height: 1.86 in./47.24 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.33 in./33.78 mm.
P-Lip: Yes

Shape 417 Straight Dublin.
Years of production: 1937 – 1965
Average Measurements:
Length: 6.21 in./157.73 mm.
Weight: 1.00 oz./28.35 g.
Bowl Height: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.57 in./39.88 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.67 in./17.02 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.24 in./31.50 mm.
P-Lip: Yes

Shape 935 Straight Dublin.
Years of Production: 1938- c. 1945
Average Measurements:
Length: 6.25 in. / 158.75 mm.
Weight: 1.40 oz. / 40 gr.
Bowl Height: 1.75 in. / 44.45 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.375 in. / 34.925 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in. /19.05 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.325 in./ 33.65 mm.
P-Lip: Yes

Shape Millennium Dublin (1988).
Year of production: 1988
[One of the set of two pipes released in celebration of the 988-1988 Dublin Millennium]
Average Measurements:
Length: 6.26 in./159.00 mm.
Weight: 1.80 oz./51.03 g.
Bowl Height: 2.04 in./51.82 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.67 in./42.42 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
Stem Material: Vulcanite
P-Lip: Yes

Shape A4 / 1903 Antique Reproduction
Years of Production: 1995 – c. 1998
Average Measurements:
Length: 140 mm / 5.46 in
Weight: 47 gr / 1.64 oz
Bowl Height: 49 mm / 1.92 in
Outside Diameter: 34 mm / 1.32 in
Chamber Diameter: 20 mm / 0.78 in
Chamber Depth: 42 mm / 1.64 in
P-Lip: Yes

Shape B16, Great Explorers Crean
Years of Production: 2002 – c. 2006
Average Measurements:
Length: 5.63 in./143.00 mm.
Weight: 2.00 oz./56.70 g.
Bowl Height: 2.06 in./52.32 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.70 in./43.18 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.58 in./40.13 mm.
P-Lip: No (aside from a few sets through Lubinski.it in Italy)

Shape B47, Writers Collection Oscar Wilde
Years of Production: 2010 – c. 2014
Average Measurements:
Length: 5.82 in./147.83 mm.
Weight: 1.60 oz./45.36 g.
Bowl Height: 2.15 in./54.61 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.75 in./44.45 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
P-Lip: No

Shape B57, Iceberg 1912 Port
Years of Production: 2012 – c. 2016
Average Measurements:
Length: 5.71 in / 145 mm
Weight: 1.92 oz / 54.4 gr
Bowl height: 2.17 in / 55 mm
Chamber Depth: 1.73 in / 44 mm
Chamber Diameter:  0.79 in / 20 mm
Outside Diameter: 1.61 in / 41 mm
P-Lip: No

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*From “PipeSMOKE’s Guide to Pipe Shapes and Styles,” Vol. II, Issue 2, Fall 1998. This was on-line a few years back, but doesn’t seem to be available any longer. Cole’s article was taken from a chapbook he wrote, Briar Pipe Shapes and Styles: Pipe Line Guide No. 1 (Park Hill Publications, 1990), 38ppgs. Gene Umberger kindly forwarded me the entry for “Dublin,” which appears on p. 8:

 

“The DUBLIN is most probably the oldest Briar shape, owing its origins to the traditional shape of the simple Clay Pipes. Some of the earlier Dublins were found also with the ‘heel” under the bowl. Modern conditions are not encouraging for the maker to turn this type and the Dublin has had its ‘ups and downs’ in popularity. Between the last Wars, it virtually disappeared from some catalogues. In Western Germany, after 1945, pipes were small to contend with the shortage of tobacco, but when larger shapes began to be once more required, the DUBLIN was one of the first to be asked for. You will find a number of derivations centered on the stem, and the most popular of these is perhaps the ZULU, sometimes called YACHTSMAN. Usually produced with an oval stem, it is also made with a round shank. A fairly long ‘all-square’ can be rather pleasing.”

 

** Joe’s opinion was confirmed by Doris Barrett in shipping and Tony Whelan, Jr., retired factory director. Email to Mark Irwin, 24 October 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

99. Peterson Acquired by Laudisi Enterprises

As it seems all good things must, the “Dublin Era” chapter of Peterson pipes (1991-2018) comes to an end today. As we write in The Peterson Pipe, “It is tempting to call this the ‘[Tom] Palmer Era,’ but he resists the label, insisting “the reality is that it is a collective effort on all our parts. My role is to stimulate interest and bring out the creativity in the folks at Sallynoggin.” Tom, CEO of the company since 1991, is the most gracious and affable businessman it has been my pleasure to know. Like Tony Dempsey and Jimmy Nicholson before him, Harry Kapp and his father Henry Kapp and his father’s partner Charles Peterson before them, Tom has always believed the heart and soul of the company is in the craftsmen and women, its shop keepers and office personnel.

The company has been acquired by Laudisi Enterprises (parent company of Smokingpipes.com), Tom said on the phone yesterday, and he believes it could not have fallen into more capable hands: “Sykes Wilford,” he said, “lives, breaths, and smokes pipes, and I couldn’t ask for a better successor than that.”

Peterson Announcement

Joshua Burgess, Vice-President for Retail Sales at Smokingpipes, has been in Dublin for about six weeks as Laudisi sets up its Smokingpipes.eu operation, which has been in the planning stages for quite some time. Dublin had already been selected as the site for their European operation when Tom Palmer made the decision to retire earlier this year, so setting up headquarters at Peterson’s Sallynoggin factory made perfect sense with the acquisition.

Conor Palmer, Tom’s son and Commercial Director at Peterson, as the releases indicate, will stay on for a period during the transition, while Damian Maguire, who has been Peterson’s financial director since August of 2015, will step in as managing director. Joshua forwarded me this official press release, which Smokingpipes has also issued today:

Press Release(1)

While change is inevitable and often painful, today’s acquisition will be far less so than any in living memory. Peterson’s management changes in the 1970s and 80s came at a difficult time in the world-wide pipe community and were potentially ruinous to the company. But the company’s strong heritage as an Irish family business carried it through until a management buyout by long-time Peterson employees Jimmy Nicholson and Tony Dempsey, which was shortly succeeded by Tom Palmer’s acquisition of the company.

Tom’s interest in Peterson as part business and part heritage is, thankfully, shared by Sykes Wilford. In his blog post this morning, Sykes writes: “Laudisi is about pipes and pipe tobacco. I don’t simply mean that it sells pipes and pipe tobacco, which of course is true, but that the very soul of the business is steeped in the product. There are plenty of companies that do something. They, as institutions, might even know a fair bit about it. But they don’t love it. Institutionally, Laudisi Enterprises loves pipes. That love informs every decision we make. It’s the reason that other serious pipe people like to work with us: we understand what they do; we share their passion. Peterson then, as an organization serious about its tradition, its history, and its pipes, is a rather perfect fit within the Laudisi tent.”

We explore the remarkable achievements of the company during Tom’s direction in the “Dublin Era” chapter of the Peterson book, but I invite you to take a few minutes now to take a look back at Tom’s innovative Pipe of the Year series, the Dublin Era’s unique B shapes, the 4 Antique Collection reproduction sets, and the13 special collections released under his direction. Two favorites, apropos of the day, are the 2010 Writer’s Collection quartet seen at top, and one of Tom’s favorites, the 2002 Great Explorers collection below. Life is such an adventure, and to reflect on it and learn from it is one of its greatest and most difficult joys.

As for the Peterson book, well, as our layout designer pointed out, this gives us a rather tidy ending—the Dublin Era is complete. There will be a few minor changes, but with a little luck these won’t postpone the book launch at the Chicago show next spring.

So good luck to Sykes, Joshua Burgess (may you soon find the brew pub of your dreams), and the newly-formed Peterson – Smokingpipes crew.

Raise a pipe (and a pint, if you’re of a mind) to Tom and Conor Palmer, for their uniquely Irish contribution to the world of pipes and the international pipe-smoking community: Saol fada agus breac-shláinte chugat! Long life and good health to you!

 

 

 

 

70. Peterson “A” Shapes (the 1995 Antique Collection)

Note: For those so inclined, I have put two pipes appearing in the book up for sale in the “FOR SALE & TRADE” page found on the navigation bar at the top. There is also some Penzance and other tobaccos I’m looking to trade, if anyone has an excess of virginia tobaccos on hand. If you buy either of them, I will be glad to list your name as “from the collection of” in the photo credits at the back of the book!

 

 

The “A” Shapes — all in one go!  This must be the smallest shape group in the entire Peterson catalog. Certainly, it’s the smallest one I know about, consisting of just four numbers, A1 – A4. They all derive from Peterson’s first full-blown foray into antique reproductions. They weren’t the company’s first look back, the 1981 Mark Twain and a few other pieces having appeared in the late 1970s, but they remain the finest presented set, and were made available in a leather companion cased set as well as individually cased, beginning in 1995 and running through 1999 or so.

 

A1 (1910 – Straight Bulldog P-Lip Army Mount)

The inspiration for the “1910” A1 could very well be the bulldog System 35 pictured on p. 42 of the 1906 catalog. Alone of the four original antique shapes, the A1 has remained in the catalog, and has been available in several lines over the years, including the St. Patrick’s Day for 2008 (2nd below) and 2011, the Donegal Rocky, the Smokingpipes.com exclusive Aran sandblast, and the Derry Rustic (first below). It’s just a great bulldog shape, not too big, not too small.

 

 

A2 (1905 – P-Lip Army Mount Billiard)

The “1905” A2 seems to be a copy of the System 29, also on p. 42 of the 1906 catalog, where it is displayed with an AB long, or army-mount tapered long stem. Here the Dublin-Era designers of the mid-1990s one-upped the original catalog illustrations, opting for a chubby AB stem that I’ve always admired. The reproduction, of course, was not drilled for a System, which means the chamber is significantly deeper, and from personal experience, I can say it smokes very well indeed as a P-Lip. In its A-shape release, I’ve only been able to track it as appearing in the 2002 St. Patrick’s Day line, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it appeared in other lines as well.

 

A3 (1909 – Bent System with Space-Fitting Mount)

The A3 derives from the so-called “1909” bent System with Space-Fitting Mount. I say “so-called” because the shank angle and size of the bowl most closely resemble the System Ball shape 15 seen on p. 24 of the 1906 catalog, but the A3 is actually more of a chopped billiard than a ball. My sense of this shape is that whoever cut it did not have a clear understanding of the three basic Patent shapes (the ball, the billiard, the straight billiard or “dutch”). Perhaps making a ball shape is something contemporary cutters no longer know how to do.  In any event, what the Peterson aficionado is left with is, in fact, an original System shape with a functioning System design, which is kind of fun, really, as this makes it one of the rarest of all System shapes.  Like the A2, it is hard to track in subsequent lines. I’ve only found it appearing in the extremely handsome and remarkably P-lipped St. Patrick’s Day 2000 release. As you can see in the photo below from Smokingpipes.com, it is easily the handsomest of all the A shape releases, somewhat resembling the Sherlock Holmes Moriarty, although smaller in size.

 

 

A4 (1903 – Dublin with Space-Fitting Mount)

Originally the 31S System in the 1906 catalog (seen here as a 31A), like the “1905,” this great dublin-on-steroids shape wasn’t made in the Antique Reproduction collection as a true System, but did have a tenon extension built into the mouthpiece (also true of the “1909”) and performs quite well as a P-Lip.  It appeared subsequently as an A4 in the incredible sterling-mount P-Lip 1999 July 4th line and the 2002 St. Patrick’s Day F/T nickel-band.

 

 

Photographs courtesy
Danishpipeshop.com
Smokingpipes.com

 

69. Peterson B Shapes, Part 5 (B49 – B65)

Here we are at last, in this fifth installment and final installment cataloging Peterson’s B shape history.*  B49 – B65 includes pipes from the third Sherlock Holmes collection (2011), the Molly Malone collection (2011), the Iceberg 1912 collection (2012), the fourth Antique Collection (2013), and several Limited Edition shapes (now simply known as “Pipe of the Year”) in between.

The B shapes are central to understanding the Dublin Era of Peterson pipes (1991 – Present), showing how Peterson’s house style evolved in what may be called “the age of the collectible pipe.”  As a shape-group, they are as distinctive in their own right as the original Patent shapes and the post-Great War shapes of the Irish Free State and Eire eras were in theirs.

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2011)

Shapes B49, B51, B53, and B56 are all from the third Sherlock Holmes series, released in 2011 (and all bearing XL shape numbers as well as B numbers). I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and of Peterson’s three commemorative series, which you will find well-documented in The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson. I’ve had spectacular success smoking the Sylvius and the Gregson, and am still trying to break in my Hopkins. At some point, I’d like to find a Moran as well.

 

B49 Ashford

Here’s the B49, one of the greatest of the B shapes, making a final bow. It appeared first as the Gregson in 2011’s Adventures quartet, then as an XL30 in the Kinsale line, which was created especially for SH shapes. As the B49, the most recent appearance of this almost-stack proportioned bent brandy is in the Derry Rustic nickel-mounted line, although it has previously appeared in the sterling-mount Italian-market Ashford and Kapreis lines.**

 

Molly Malone Cockels & Mussels (2011)

What an awesome set. Usually a set looks better in smooth than rustic, but not here. Maybe it’s the shapes; maybe it’s the faux-bone colored acrylic stems, but I like them. I’m going to try not and dwell on this, because if I do, I’m certain to get a case of P.A.D.

B50 Rock of Cashel

The lovely and curvaceous B50 is, appropriately, part of the Molly Malone duet from 2011.  It has appeared in the three standard sterling-mount Italian lines: the Kapp-Royal, the Kapreis, and the Rock of Cashel. In Europe, it also appeared in last year’s Derry Rustic nickel-mount line.

 

B51 Ashford

The B51 poker – cherrywood hybrid, originally appearing as the Hopkins in 2011’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, is for my money the most outrageous shape in the entire B shapes catalog and deserves a place in the serious Peterson companioner’s rack if only for its outlandish design. It’s an unwieldy behemoth, difficult to hold, heavy as a brick, and looks like it escaped from a Magritte cartoon. I love it. Its first reissue was as shape XL27, in the Kinsale line. Subsequently, it appeared in the Kapreis and Ashford sterling-mount Italian lines, followed last year by its nickel-mount dress as a Derry Rustic. For those with a whimsical bent, not to be missed.

 

B-52 “BUFF” Stratofortress

No stock number exists for the B52 shape number, per Tony Whelan, Jr., at the factory. I’d like to imagine this was because it would be inappropriate (for an entire theological dictionary of reasons) to give a pipe – the emblem of peace – the same number as the long-range B-52 Stratofortress, or BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker), as it’s usually called.

 

B53 (unmounted) Aran

The muscular Moran, the diamond-shanked bent billiard from the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, appeared as the XL28 in the Kinsale line before its appearance in the Lubinski Kapreis line, the unmounted (mostly European) Aran line, and the Derry Rustic.

 

B54 Kapreis

The B54 originated as the marvelous Limited Edition 2011 panel. Seeming to take its cue from the B53, the B54 transforms that diamond-shanked bent billiard into a paneled shape, where it appeared in a number of lines European lines: the Lubinski Kapreis (as both an army-mount and a navy-push), Rock of Cashel, Blackrock, and Kapp Royal, as well as the 9mm Dublin Castle. Last but certainly not least, it appeared in last year’s Roundstone Spigot collection.

 

B55 Kapp Royal

I like the unusual slightly rounded crown and round shank of the B55 bulldog. It seems very old-fashioned, somehow. It first appeared as the other half of the Molly Malone collection in 2011 (which may account for its, *ahem,* full-figured shaping). As fetching as it is in both smooth and rustic finishes in the original, this is one B shape that doesn’t lose much of its allure when transferred to the army-mount Kapp Royal, Kapreis, and Derry Rustic lines.

 

B56 St. Patrick’s Day 2017

This nuanced billiard of near-stack proportions made its first appearance as the Sylvius in the 2011 SH series, and as a matter of course was given shape number XL29 for the little-sister Kinsale line. It has appeared as the B56 in the extremely limited Royal Irish line and then more generally as the collectible-within-the collectible in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day issue.

 

The B57 – B60 are all the from the Iceberg 1912 collection, which was released to celebrate the centenary of the Titanic in 2012. That year also witnessed the opening of the amazing Titanic Belfast museum, located on the site of the old Harland & Wolff shipyard where the RMS Titanic was built. When we visited in the summer of 2013, the museum was still getting its sea-legs and some of the most interesting looking rides and exhibits were having a few difficulties. But gauging from current reviews, everything’s now smooth sailing.

I had wished at the time that the Iceberg Collection might have used the Titanic name so that more people immediately recognized what was being commemorated, but apparently there are licensing fees that made that a prohibitive undertaking. Nevertheless, as one of Peterson’s final special collections (at least in the foreseeable future), there’s some wonderful work here.

 

B57 (unmounted) Aran

The B57 dublin shape was issued as the Port from the Iceberg Collection. With a slight forward cant and bell at the crown, it’s one of a handful of updates on the classic Peterson dublin 120 shape that have been made during the Dublin Era (1991 – Present) that I want to explore in an up-coming blog. It has appeared in the fetchingly unmounted European Aran line as well as Lubinski’s sterling army-mount Kapreis.

 

B58 Kapreis

The B58, the Starboard of the Iceberg Collection, is easily my favorite of the pieces in this set, making a billiard – poker hybrid that is so intuitively iconic you’d think it’s been around for a hundred years. What makes it even better is that, from a technical standpoint, it’s also a kind of rocking “setter” (and should have been included in that earlier blog), making it a great sit-down companion when both hands are needed. It was the darling of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day release, and has also appeared in the unmounted Aran line and with an amazing Cumberland acrylic stem in the Kapreis line.

 

B59 Roundstone Spigot

The B59, the third shape from the Iceberg Collection’s Stern, is for fans of the straight pot, which I imagine are legion. It appeared in the elusive Kapp Royal line for Lubinski, then disappeared until it resurfaced in last year’s Roundstone Spigot line.

 

B60 St. Patrick’s Day 2013

The B60 is taken from the Bow, another charmer from the Iceberg collection. It is sometimes mistakenly said to be the same shape as the Hansom (XL26) from the Return of Sherlock Holmes series (1992-1997). It is not, of course, but is very like. The Hansom is a diamond-shank stack rhodesian, while the Bow is a round-shank stack rhodesian. On average, the chamber of the Hansom also seems to be about 5mm deeper than the Bow, but I could be mistaken in thinking the Hansom has a deeper chamber. Like the B58, the B60 appeared in the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day (such a bargain in both cases), as well as the James Fox exclusive navy-mount Black Sandblast line and last year’s nickel army-mount Derry Rustic.

 

B61 Dublin Castle

The B61 first appeared as the Limited Edition 2012. It also appeared in the upscale, sterling-mount marmalade-stemmed Kapp Royal line for Mario Lubinski, and in the 9mm Dublin Castle pictured above, a great sterling-mount high-quality European blast line, with a P-Lip! My Dad smokes the Kapp Royal variant and loves it, not least because it’s another “setter,” and he can put it down whenever the need arises.

 

B62 Christmas 2014

This beautiful big brandy derives from the 2013 Limited Edition. It’s a great looker and has since appeared in a number of lines. The Derry Rustic, Christmas 2014, and Donegal Rocky versions all feature identical machine “pineapple” rustication, probably seen to its best advantage in the warm tones of the Christmas 2014 variation. It’s also appeared in the entry-grade Killarney line.

 

B63 Killarney

 

Antique Collection 2013

In 2013, Peterson released their fourth Antique Collection set, this time the full-bowled, short-stemmed pocket pipes known as “Pats” in the 1906 catalog. The B63 is the straight billiard from the 2013 Antique Collection, and as I happen to own and smoke one, I can tell you it’s a great little P-Lip wonder, one of Peterson’s finest reproductions. It has appeared since in the entry-grade Killarney, mid-grade Derry Rustic, and high-grade Roundstone Spigot lines.  None of them, of course, captures the original spirit of the B63, but there you have it.

B64 Dublin Castle (9mm)

The B64 is the other pocket-charmer from the 2013 Antique Collection. It has since appeared in the European 9mm sterling-mount Dublin Castle, the Killarney, and most recently, Derry Rustic lines.

 

B65 Orange Army

This massive billiard seems to be the final B shape, taken from the 2014 Limited Edition, which was a kind of homage to the early straight-sided Patent Systems, unfortunately sans System, sans P-Lip, sans vulcanite mouthpiece (ouch). I think it has actually fared better in its subsequent multiple-line releases, which include the Killarney, Derry Rustic army mount, Rock of Cashel, Dublin Castle 9mm, Orange Army, and even in a Silver Cap natural. As an army-mount, I think my favorite is the Orange.

 

*The B Shapes:

Part 1 (October 3, 2016): https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/petersons-b-shapes-a-visual-encyclopedia-b1-b11/

Part 2 (October 17, 2016): https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/the-b-shapes-part-2-b12-b21/

Part 3 (November 21, 2016): https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/the-b-shapes-part-3-b22-b34/

Part 4 (March 6, 2017): https://petersonpipenotes.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/57-peterson-b-shapes-part-4-b35-b48/v

 

** In case you missed Jim Frenken’s comments back in February and March, he believes there are two bowls with this shape, one larger and one slightly smaller. The B21 is the smaller POTY 2004, while the B28 and B49 derive from the the larger POTY 2008. Jim’s measurements of his own POTY 2004 and POTY 2008, seem to bear out there is a difference between these two shapes (the black sandblast is the POTY 2004, the smooth is the POTY 2008). His top photo below gives a visual referent.

POTY 2004:

Bowl inner depth: 44 mm
Bowl inner width: 20 mm
Bowl outer height: 60 mm
Bowl outer width: 38 mm
Width bowl at rim: 31 mm
Pipe overall length: 147 mm
Pipe overall height: 75 mm

POTY 2008:

Bowl inner depth: 52 mm
Bowl inner width: 20 mm
Bowl outer height: 63 mm
Bowl outer width: 40 mm
Width bowl at rim: 34 mm
Pipe overall length: 150 mm
Pipe overall height: 85 mm

 

Pictured at top: B50 Kapp Royal

Photos courtesy
Smokingpipes.com,
AlPascia.it,
Haddockspipeshop.com,
&

Tabaccheriaguzzi.it