78. First Look: The 2018 Peterson Pipe of the Year

I never thought we’d see the day when the Pipe of the Year was actually on the world market and available, at least with those with eyes to see, before January 1st. But so it is—the 2018 POTY is slowly rolling out, and true to the sea change at Peterson, it’s out on time. Those who’ve been Pete Nuts for years expect the POTY here in the US around the second week of June. This was because, traditionally, the company wanted to have the hallmark stamp bear the year of the pipe’s issue, and getting the Assay Office in Dublin Castle to get the sterling marked meant the pipes wouldn’t get on pods to cross the ocean until May. And that thinking surely helped with dating issues.

What this means for newer Peterson pipes is that the hallmark may actually predate the pipe–something new in the company’s 150+ years history. The POTYs I’ve seen recently all have a G for 2017 and not H for 2018 (and the same can be said for early releases of the St. Patrick’s Day 2018 commemorative). But as the pipe itself is plainly laser-engraved with the date, all this will mean is that companioners will know with a little more accuracy in what part of the issue of 500 pieces their pipe was made.

If you follow the Pipe of the Year, you know there was a change in direction when Conor Palmer became Commercial Director (click here for a visual history of the POTY). His strategy since he began with the company in 2014, he told me, is simple: “we like to try and vary the shapes each year. And this year we decided to settle on a bent shape at the outset.” If you look at the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 pipes, you’ll see this pendulum swing: from the large straight army-mount in 2014 to the 2015 Oom Paul Founder’s Edition, then the straight fat-pencil tubular modern chimney of 2016 followed by the homage to the short, chubby vintage “Jap from the 1906 catalog in 2017.

As for the design itself, Conor writes, “I personally like diamond or oval shaped shanks, so that was something we were trying to flesh out from the beginning. This one was modeled on a rough sample we pulled out of the archives.”

Archives, indeed. The pipe can now be reasonably be said to be part of an emerging Peterson shape group, but to define it we need to step back and look at its predecessors.

(I)

The first appearance of a shape like this was the “Hansom” from the Return of Sherlock Holmes series (1997), which later appeared as the XL26 in the Kinsale line. I’ve read it described as a “combination acorn, bulldog, and calabash.” I can see all three of these shapes, but I wonder if “stack bent bulldog” isn’t more visually to the point? When I first saw this shape, I was almost repelled by it (“Nope! I’ll skip that one,” I remember saying). But it slowly and inexorably cast its spell on me, perhaps because there is something iconically Victorian about this shape and I have always loved both Dickens and Doyle. I had never seen anything like it. Its conical or v-shaped chamber also makes it a standout in my rotation, making for some of my happiest VaPer and virginia smoking experiences.

Return of Sherlock Holmes Hansom (1997)

Length: 5.64 in./143.18 mm.
Weight: 2.10 oz./59.39 g.
Bowl Height: 2.47 in./62.64 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.87 in./47.62 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.91 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.71 in./43.55 mm.

(II)

In 2012, Peterson released the Iceberg 1912 Collection “Bow,” (B60), which some e-tailers have mistaken for the Hansom. Apparently, they can’t see the round shank of the Bow, which actually makes it (to speak of it again as a hybrid) a “combination acorn, bulldog, and calabash.” “Stack bent rhodesian” is easier to visualize.

Actually the Bow has a different frazing, related to the Hansom but not identical. Look at the difference in the crowns at the rim, for instance: the Hansom has a taller and more steeply inclined cone above the double beads than the Bow. If you take the time to compare the measurements from several examples of each, you’ll also find that the Hansom routinely has a slightly smaller chamber diameter, is heavier in the hand, and most importantly, has an average of 5mm extra depth in its chamber. It’s a reasonable mistake, but at least in my experience, the pipes make for much different smoking experiences.

 Iceberg 1912 Collection Bow (2012)

Length: 5.50 in./139.70 mm.
Weight: 1.90 oz./53.86 gr.
Bowl Height: 2.35 in./59.69 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.68 in./42.67 mm.

(III)

Behind the new POTY, the Bow and the Hansom there is at least one early briar shape to which all three bear a distinct family resemblance: Comoy’s “Quebec” from 1911. If Neil Archer Roan’s A Passion for Pipes blog were still online you could read all about this remarkable piece. As things stand, you can at least take a look at it in an illustration of one of the fourteen reproductions Roan had made for his blog’s 2014 Pipe of the Year.

It lacks the more conically-articulated head of the Bow and Hansom, but its hefty shank and stem look like something that might have (but did not, in fact) come from Kapp & Peterson. Hmm.

Vollmer & Nillson’s Comoy’s “Quebec” (1911 / 2014)

Length: 4.99 in./126.75 mm.
Weight: 1.80 oz./51.03 gr.
Bowl Height: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.

And now Peterson has a third shape, resembling yet not identical to the previous two. “I guess for me,” says Conor, “the oval shank, domed top and tapered chamber all make for what will hopefully be an eye catching and interesting piece.” The almost swan-neck effect of the oval shank is, indeed, one of the loveliest features of the pipe, one that will might be missed by anyone who sees only obverse / reverse profile shots of the pipe. The long neck is also pertinent given 2017’s exquisite Waterford long-necks, another first in the Peterson design aesthetic. As much as I love still photography, it’s certainly worth a minute of your time to look at the Al Pascia video to get the pipe in motion:

“Believe it or not,” said Conor, “the silver work is much trickier for the guys to complete on oval or diamond shanks as it is harder to ‘turn over.’ But we felt it was worth pursuing in the interest of creating a unique shape this year.” Which indeed they have.

I’m looking forward to a first smoke and expect marvelous things from this pipe’s 19mm x 50mm conical, v-shaped chamber. This is not a chamber size you can find from most pipe-makers these days, and more’s the pity. I also appreciate the wide mouthpiece and its 4.57mm thickness, both of which will make it easy to clinch. And either the acrylic is getting softer, or I’m growing used to it.

The pipe comes in one of the new snap-hinge hardshell boxes (pictured at top) we’ve seen on the Amber Spigots—a real upgrade for ephemera lovers and the best box and a great improvement over the XL black box of recent years.

Incidentally, Joe Kenny, factory manager, told me the rustic version (for which I do not have an illustration) will feature the same red over black stain as seen on the sandblast.

Putting the three pipes together like I’ve done here makes it obvious that Peterson has claimed a new shape for its chart. But with oval, diamond, and round shanks, what should it be called? Their double-beaded crown precludes a straight identification with the acorn shape as it has come to be understood within the hobby:

They actually bear a much closer resemblance to the classic acorn street light globe:

But the Hansom, as I said earlier, has always seemed to say something Victorian. I’ve thought about the shape on and off in the years since the pipe became part of my rotation but could never quite put my finger on it. The stars finally lined up one night when I was smoking the pipe and watching Jeremy Brett in one of the BBC / Granada adaptations: it looks like a Victorian gaslight.

With the acorn shape name already taken, maybe “gaslight” works. I doubt  it will inspire an avalanche of imitators like the Devil Anse, acorn, or volcano of past years. But that’s all right. Pete Nuts seem to march to the drum of a different pipe band.* So just between us—although feel free to throw the name around—I think I’ll call it a gaslight, as in, “Oh, that’s a Peterson gaslight shape, isn’t it?”
Pipe of the Year 2018

Length: 5.57 in.  / 143 mm.
Weight: 1.88 oz. / 54 gr,
Bowl Height: 2.28 in. / 58 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.96 in. / 50 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in. / 19 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.64 in. / 42 mm.
Mouthpiece Width: 0.735 in. / 18.68 mm.
Mouthpiece Thickness: 0.18 in. / 4.57 mm.
Mouthpiece: Acrylic

Many Thanks:
Conor Palmer at Peterson
Al Pascia

Bollito Pipes
Smokingpipes.com
Charles Mundungus

*Sorry, just can’t help myself. From Wikipedia: The most common form of pipe band, the Scottish/Irish pipe band, consists of a section of pipers playing the great highland bagpipe, a section of snare drummers (often referred to as ‘side drummers’), several tenor drummers and usually one, though occasionally two, bass drummers. The entire drum section is known collectively as the drum corps. The tenor drummers and bass drummer are referred to collectively as the ‘bass section’ (or in North America as the ‘midsection’). The band follows the direction of the pipe major; when on parade the band may be led by a drum major, who directs the band with a mace. Standard instrumentation for a pipe band involves 6 to 25 pipers, 3 to 10 side drummers, 1 to 6 tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer. Occasionally this instrumentation is augmented to include additional instruments (such as additional percussion instruments or keyboard instruments), but this is typically done only in concert settings.

Pipe bands are a long-standing tradition in other areas with Celtic roots, such as the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria in Northern Spain and Brittany in Western France, as well as other regions with Celtic influence in other parts of Europe. The tradition is also long-standing in the British Commonwealth of Nations countries and former British colonies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Pipe bands have also been established in countries with few Scottish or Celtic connections such as Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.”

 

72. The New Arklow Custom Line from Smokingpipes

As we discuss in the book, Peterson has a long-standing tradition of customization and design collaboration that stretches back to the first decades of the company. This could be anything from a short run of a single pipe, like the 307 System sandblast currently available for pre-order from Cupojoes.com for the Pipe Smokers of Ireland Facebook club, to a commemorative like the 135 numbered pieces produced for the James Fox 135th Anniversary last year, to a full-fledged line for a large retailer like Laudisi (Smokingpipes.com). These special edition pipes are of great interest to Pete Nuts, and I always enjoy hearing about them and how they came about.

A few weeks back, one of the finest examples I’ve seen in a long time of a custom-line collaboration appeared at Smokingpipes, one that just begs to be seen all in one place. So I got in touch with Sykes Wilford at Smokingpipes and Conor Palmer at Peterson, who both modestly demurred that it was just part of the routine, but as you look at these pipes, I think you may find the Arklow line that came out of their collaboration is anything but.

According to Sykes, the 2011 sandblast Wicklow was the first Peterson-Laudisi collaboration. From the Smokingpipes website, it looks like the line underwent two or three iterations in color and finish before coming to a close around 2014. At some point since then, Laudisi also commissioned two further sandblast custom lines, the Aran sandblast and the Kildare sandblast. The latter was a collaborative effort between Sykes, Michael Walters (of Ashton Cigar) and Tom Palmer at Peterson and as you can see, is moving toward what would become the Arklow.

Earlier Smokingpipes – Peterson Sandblasts (left to right):
Wicklow, Aran, Kilare

But for the fourth round of Smokingpipes – Peterson sandblasts, the idiom seems to have switched from Shakespeare to Oz: Sykes may have gone in as usual for “a horse of that color” (Twelfth Night, 2:3), but I think he went out with “a horse of a different color” altogether, as they say in The Wizard of Oz.

1.

A little over a year ago, Sykes and Conor began talking about a new line for Smokingpipes that would reflect Laudisi’s commitment to the uniqueness of each pipe as a functional work of art. Each pipe the company sells (as you already know) is photographed so “the pipe you see is the pipe you receive,” as their slogan goes.

The first change on the bells was that Smokingpipes wanted breadth in shape selection for the line, something not usually seen in a custom line, nor in Peterson’s annual commemoratives like the St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas pipes. These usually top out at a dozen shapes, one of which is often a collectible coming down through one of the higher, more limited production series or specials. Then, of course, the Derry Rustic line happened, and with it, the dam seems to have burst.

The B60 (Bow), curiously mis-stamped
for the Arklow line as the XL26 (Hansom)

In any event, the best way for Conor to achieve the catalog breadth Sykes wanted was through sandblasted shapes, which are more readily available than smooths. Like the Derry before it, the Arklow seems to be conceived to allow virtually any shape from the catalog to come and go. Cool idea.

The original idea, Sykes continued, was to have the pipes silver-mounted (like the Lubinski Italian lines), but in the end that pushed costs higher than was thought feasible for the line, so a nickel-mount was decided upon.

2.

Then came the issue of stains. Samples were made up in both a dark ruby and a brown, but it was a toss-up: everyone liked both. Conor brilliantly suggested they go half red and half brown, thereby diversifying the line even more.

The D20 (POY 2016) Arklow in red and brown

3.

But as the final design concept began to come together, the real coup-de-grace occurred when Jonathan Fields in the workshop suggested the crowns be finished with a smooth deep bevel and stained with a lighter shade of ruby for the red and honey for the brown finish. You can see the penultimate visual design (without the contrasting top color) in the deeply-blasted sample of the B58 below (the Starboard from the original Iceberg series).  “But wait,” as they used to say in the old late-night TV ads, “There’s more!”

4.

Finally, Jonathan had the idea that some of shapes be slightly “topped” or shortened, about 2mm to 4mm, it looks like to me. Not all the shapes, just enough to make a Pete Nut’s jaw drop in surprise. This is the first time in the company’s history that anything like this has been done–to consciously alter an established shape. One of the most dramatic examples is the plump brandy transformation of shape 68, seen here.

68 in the Royal Irish (top) and brown Arklow (bottom)

 

The intense chubby effect produced on the XL90:
pure Peterson muscle

The shape-shifting effect is immediately evident to aficionados, in some cases being quite dramatic. Of course, the smooth sanding of a bottom portion of the bowl to accommodate the laser-stamping – a long-standing Peterson practice – also effects produces some of the shape change, as we’ve seen before in earlier blast lines. Here’s another of my favorite shape-shifters from the first release, the XL20 (Rathbone):

The XL20 (Rathbone) in its Arklow “red” dress

5.

The shorter acrylic fishtail stems with hot foil P also deserve mention, because they’re a departure from classic Peterson house style, some with only a very slight bend and an upward cant at the button. And I have to compliment the button on these acrylics, with their taller shelves, as much easier to clinch than what was being made in the previous generation of acrylic mouthpieces.

The XL23, already stout, is just plain PHAT in its Arklow “red” dress

Sykes told me Smokingpipes has initially received 170 pieces in the Arklow line, and they’re proving very popular. It’s easy to see why. If you see a shape you like, give it some thought, because you might not see it again. When I first saw my beloved XL339 (the 309) shape, I resisted as long as I could – it must have been two, maybe three days (!). When I could stand it no longer, I found it had been sold. When it appeared again the following week, I knew my duty and did it, as you can see in the photo at the bottom.

 

 

Thanks to F. Sykes Wilford of Smokingpipes
and Conor Palmer at Peterson
(Photos courtesy Smokingpipes.com & Chas. Mundgunus)

 

 

61. The 2017 Peterson Pipe of the Year

Here it is, at last — the 21st annual Peterson Pipe of the Year! Formerly known as the “Limited Edition,” and extending back 1997, if I’m counting right, this is the 22nd pipe to be released in this series (since Y2000 was a pair).

Just a little background to give some context to this year’s pipe: Peterson “shifted gears” back in 2014, as some of you know, so this is the 4th new-generation POTY.

The 2014 POTY was the first to be available only with an acrylic stem, and to bring a slightly different aesthetic than the 1997 – 2013 pipes. 2014 was also the last year the POTY was offered in a numbered series of 1000.

2015 was Peterson’s celebration year, so a bit of a time-out for the POTY, being the year of the Founder’s Edition and a return to the grander visions of earlier POTYs. It was made available in vulcanite P-Lip and fishtail acrylic, with a beautiful gift box and in an edition of 1865 pieces, to celebrate the earliest documented date of Kapp & Peterson. The large number has had the side-benefit of the pipe still being issued in small numbers – in fact, I just recently found my own smooth P-Lip after a long search.

2016 was the first year the line was reduced to 500 pieces, making it scarcer – which is sort of the idea behind a POTY, isn’t it? More importantly, it was the first time the POTY was issued in a non-XL size and without a gift box. But I’m not complaining, as it’s among the most original of all the POTY shapes, and a personal favorite in my rotation.

So here we are at 2017, and as the catalog says, the canted-egg shape takes its inspiration from one of the company’s earliest shapes, the “Large Jap” found in the 1906 catalog. One advantage of the 1906 catalog is that shapes were reproduced full size, which means you can lay the actual pipe on top of the illustration, as I’ve done in the photo below. The 2017 bowl shape and size is an exact reproduction of the original.  (And, if anyone’s asking, the variants of the “Devil Anse” shape so popular a short time ago are very close in size and shape to Peterson’s original.)

There appears to be greater thickness to the 2017 POTY chamber walls as well as a beveled rim – both improvements over the original, to my mind. The 2017 also has a very slightly longer shank. The stems of the two pipes are the same length. The wide saddle bit is quite comfortable, as I knew it would be from smoking Italian chubbies of similar dimensions, making the acrylic a decided plus for me, as I won’t have to keep after it with Obsidian oil to keep it black.

The 1906 original, of course, has a Patent-Lip “B” or tapered stem, something the current market simply won’t accommodate (despite my constant whining). But Pete fans will eventually change all that, as distributors begin hearing from tobacconists that the guys who smoke these pipes want the original graduted bore P-Lip mouthpieces. In the meantime, as you can see in the photo below, Peterson has an excellent deep-slotted, wide-grip comfortable mouthpiece. (This is one of the new-gen mouthpieces I’ve been seeing on all Peterson’s acrylic-stemmed pipes, by the way.)

This year’s pipe is laser-stamped on the bottom, with only the smooth bowls being numbered, as has been Peterson’s practice on all the POTYs (aside from the Founder’s Edition).

The pipe feels good in the hand, but do take notice of the forward-cant of the bowl. It’s not a problem for me, but you should know you won’t be able to see the flame light the tobacco. If you smoke a B35 (the antique Kaffir reproduction) or the 268 Bent Albert (what Pete Freeks call the zulu shape), this won’t be a problem.

The chamber geometry is a steep V or cone, what some called “triangular,” much more so than my Peterson Dublin 120s. I haven’t smoked this pipe enough to tell you how it performs, although that always varies quite a bit from user to user.  I will say that after the 309, my next favorite Pete bowl shape is the 120, as it requires very few relights as compared to a traditional billiard, so that I’m hoping for something similar from the new POTY.

Smooth Measurements
Length: 127 mm. / 5.00 in.
Weight: 48 gr. / 1.70 oz.
Bowl Height: 48.97 mm. / 1.92 in.
Chamber Depth: 41.07 mm. / 1.61 in.
Chamber Diameter: 18.59 mm. / 0.73 in.
Outside Diameter: 39.43 mm. / 1.56 in.
Stem Material: Acrylic
Logo: Embedded Aluminum P
Filter: None
Shape: Canted Egg / “Large Jap” (c. 1906)

Sandblast Measurements
Length: 127 mm. / 5.00 in.
Weight: 47 gr. / 1.65 oz.
Bowl Height: 48.97 mm. / 1.92 in.
Chamber Depth: 41.07 mm. / 1.61 in.
Chamber Diameter: 18.28 mm. / 0.71 in.
Outside Diameter: 38.75 mm. / 1.52 in.
Stem Material: Acrylic
Logo: Embedded Aluminum P
Filter: None
Shape: Canted Egg / “Large Jap” (c. 1906)

Rustic Measurements
Length: 127 mm. / 5.00 in.
Weight: 46 gr. / 1.60 oz.
Bowl Height: 48.61 mm. / 1.91 in.
Chamber Depth: 41.07 mm. / 1.61 in.
Chamber Diameter: 18.43 mm. 0.72 in.
Outside Diameter: 40.23 mm. / 1.58 in.
Stem Material: Acrylic
Logo: Embedded Aluminum P
Filter: None
Shape: Canted Egg / “Large Jap” (c. 1906)

Photographs by Charles Mundungus

Pax in Fumare

 

 

Coda

While you’re waiting for the right 2017 POTY to appear in your mailbox, here’s something else to think about: an 18K gold cap and band rustic 307! Kris told me about it over at Black Swan in Surrey, and I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. It’s a one-off unlike anything you’re ever likely to see in the world of Peterson pipes.

The 307 is shape 9 from Charles Peterson’s original Charles Peterson Patent designs in the 1896 catalog, in production for over 120 years. Kris is a deep-down lover of all things Peterson, as you know if you read the last blog on the Peterson Plato shape. You can read the story of this pipe’s creation at the link below. At the time of this posting, it is still available, should you decide to add it to your collection. Tell Kris you saw it here!

http://www.thebackyshop.co.uk/products/rare-stunning-custom-peterson-standard-system-rustic-307-18k-gold-mount-and-cap

 

60. Peterson 2017 Product Catalog & A Well-Kept Secret

2017 Peterson Pipe Collection

And here it is – the 2017 Peterson Pipe Collection catalog! Download it, save it, pass it along to other Pete Nuts—that’s what it’s for. You’ve seen official photos of most of the new lines a few blogs back, although I’ve been told there will be minor adjustments made to the final finish on the Clontarf and Summertime lines.

If you’re particularly anxious to own one of the pipes in the catalog above, Yiorgos Manesis at James Fox / PipeDivan has the following in stock, although not all of them will be listed on the website until Monday:

2017 POTY Smooth (filter or no filter) – €211.38
2017 POTY Rustic (No filter) – €178.86
2017 Summertime B10 (No filter) – €113.82
Newgrange Spigot XL02, 87, 999 (no filter) and XL90, 106, XL11 (filter) – €187
Waterford XL22 (Filter) – €113.82

Let me caution you that one or two may be gone, as Tom Carrolan wrote Friday morning asking me to pass along his benediction:  “In the spirit and tradition that (apparently) has made America Great Again — Go ahead, I’ve got mine (paid for and shipped)!”

You can get in touch with Yiorgos at yiorgos@jamesfox.ie .

In the next few blogs, I’ll be taking a close-up look at the individual lines beginning with the POTY, but for now, take a look at the catalog, then proceed.

You looked at the catalog, right?

The 2017 Peterson Products catalog is the first-ever ephemera appearance of the Peterson plateaux free hand pipe.  Some might say this is not a “classic” Peterson shape. In a sense, they’re right. But it is, nevertheless, historic Peterson, and we’re going to tell you all about it in The Peterson Pipe Book.

For now, I’ll only say that it first appeared over forty years ago, and is the only Peterson pipe to be made from plateaux briar. Ever.

Okay, so I’ll tell you just a little more. While it’s called the “Plateau” range in the new catalog, the shape has had two names over the years. Here in the U.S. and in the U.K., it’s usually called a “Plato,” but in Italy and some parts of Europe it’s known as the “Barktop.” The former is a pun, the latter a description.

While each pipe is one-of-a-kind and hand-turned, most of them share house-pipe proportions, with routine chamber diameters stretching from 22 to 24 mm. They are typically seen in a high-grade natural finish and one or two lower grades with darker finishes.

P-Lip vulcanite mouthpieces were the rule until the last generation of these pipes, when a few were seen with acrylic fishtails. While most have the imbedded aluminum (or sometimes brass on the natural) P on the mouthpiece, some of the dark pipes are hot foil P stamped.There has never been a shape number stamp on this range, only the arched forktail PETERSON’S over DUBLIN.

Usually the uncut burl is exposed at both rim and shank, although there have been a smaller number of pipes with a sterling band at the shank and burl only on the rim, and the new Plateau range will include these as well.

There have been so few of these pipes over the years that Peterson has never felt the need to advertise them, kind of like the Straight Grain range, which wasn’t mentioned in Peterson ephemera until 1997, although it had been around since the 1940s.

Right now, Kris at Black Swan Shoppe Ltd in North Yorkshire, Surrey (www.thebackyshop.co.uk ) has almost 30 of these rarities in stock at really good prices. Strange to think, but he probably has the world’s largest cache of Peterson Platos. “I absolutely love the Platos,” he wrote me yesterday, “which is why we have so many. I have to order them over a year in advance so I tend to go a bit daft!”* Kathy over at Cupojoes also has a reputation in the past for carrying these pipes, so you might look for them at her site as well in the coming months.

The ones Kris has in stock are not the new generation, which will all feature the newly-designed acrylic P-Lip and fishtail mouthpieces. What this means is that Kris has the largest inventory of Platos with vulcanite mouthpieces we’ll ever see again. I’ve included a few photos here (all the ones with the Peterson pipe tool are Kris’s), but I strongly urge you to check them out for yourself, and if you’re an Old Boy with a passion for the vulcanite, now is your chance.

While everyone’s smoking experience is unique, I have companioned a natural Plato, P-Lip, for several years. I like to smoke all evening and don’t like to reload my pipe, which isn’t a problem with a Virginia flake. But for a two to three-hour Balkan smoke, I have to turn to much larger chambers, and the plateaux free hand delivers: cool, dry, full-flavored. My Plato (a last generation) also has a System reservoir, although I don’t think most do. Kris can tell you if any of his are bored with a System reservoir.

Highly recommended for those looking for a large-chamber Peterson smoking experience.

 

The Thinking Man Smokes A Plato Pipe

 

Photo Credits:
Courtesy Kris at Black Swan Shoppe, Ltd.
Yiorgos at James Fox
AlPascia.it
Smokingpipes.com

 

*If you’re in the U.S. and want to buy a pipe from Black Swan, don’t get confused by the somewhat difficult checkout instructions. You can just use your credit card.