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!

 

 

 

 

80. Sweet Petes: The Language of Pipes

One part of the joy of pipe-smoking has to do with the “language” of pipes: how is it that a shape, texture, and color combine in a particular piece of briar (or other medium) to say something significant, something important, something magical to the smoker?

How form and function synergize to create meaning is an endless mystery that never loses its fascination for me. And one of the chapters I’m proudest of in the book discusses just this topic—the Peterson house style. So while we wait for the book to be completed, let me show you some of the most interesting pipes that have spoken to me over the past year, sharing stories of new lines and old, antique, entry-level, obscure and high-grade.

Shape D21 as Amber Spigot

At the top of my list is the reappearance of a shape from 1906, the 2017 POTY, shape D21, which scores for me on many levels. I confess it was love at first sight back when I first saw it in the 1906 catalog. Later I learned I wasn’t alone in my admiration – Chuck Wright was another devoted admirer, and we’d tell anyone who would listen about these shapes. He finally acquired a set for a while, one in briar and one in meerschaum, which he gifted at his death to Tom Palmer a few years ago. But it’s more than a shape—it’s one of the great smokers in my rotation, and the proof for me of any pipe is in the end how it smokes. But the proof of the shape is in the smoking, and it has established itself in my rotation with its great conical chamber, always delivering an effortless, flavorful smoke.

 

 

Shape D18 as De Luxe System

A second favorite, now trickling its way down (or out of) the POY series, is 2015’s shape D18, the Founder’s Edition. I have been hoping my body chemistry would revert to its old latakia-loving ways, and while it’s recovered somewhat from the traumas of recent years, I still don’t turn to big chambers like this very often. That being said, I had the D18 De Luxe System in my cart at Smokingpipes long enough to have someone else scoop it out from under me. When a second one came up on their site the following week, I was just strong enough to resist the urge, realizing I wouldn’t smoke it enough to justify putting it in the rack. I did write Joe Kenny at the factory, however, asking if the D18 would be a permanent addition to the System lineup, as its shape is spot-on perfect for the System reservoir. He said that no, it wasn’t, these were just one-off whimsies.

D18 Kapp-Royal: Amazing Grain

Just as beautiful, though not a System, is the Kapp-Royal version for the Italian market. I sometimes wish Peterson would release a few of the POY as naturals, or super-high grades.

 

 

Here’s a shape from Marc Brosseau’s collection that I think Peterson ought to consider re-releasing: the 36, which was originally (as seen) a small straight System.  This amber-stemmed meer, hallmarked for 1901, is proof that amber isn’t as delicate as some people think. What makes it so amazing is the chubby effect achieved by the short stem. Mark’s version seems to be the shortest that was offered, as per the 1906 catalog.

Shape 36 from the 1906 catalog. Notice it was available
in even shorter mouthpiece lengths!

 

 

This Sherlock Holmes “Original” is hallmarked N for 1900, and was up on Mike Gluckler’s Briar Blues site for a while. It’s the only time I’ve seen the 05 given a precious metal rim treatment, and it makes a fabulous calabash, don’t you think? It’s the kind of rugged-looking smoking instrument one can envision the Great Detective picking up for an evening’s ruminations.

 

 

Going out beyond the stars (at least for me) was 2017’s Master Craftsmen series, ten Amber Spigots in a custom leather presentation package designed by Claudio Albieri. The last time Peterson did something on this level of extravagance was in the mid-1990s. I read a lot of harsh criticism about the MC on one of the forums, which was fascinating. Peterson seems to attract more than its share of negative criticism, and it sometimes seems like their pipes are never what some folks want them to be: their low end isn’t high enough, their high end isn’t good enough, their grain is never flawless enough.

My two visual picks from the Makers Series, although the chambers in both are larger than I normally smoke, would be the B65 (2014’s POY) straight-grain and the B42 contrast-stained sandblast. The B42 I’ve long admired as one of the strangest shapes Peterson has ever released, and here it looks positively organic and handmade.

The B65, 2014’s POY, my least favorite of all the POYs, but in the MC treatment it Peterson’s language comes to life: massive, masculine, full of sunlight. You can check out the Smokingpipes video and notes here.

 

 

Coming back closer to my realm of pipe-possibilities is the Ebony Tank Spigot, shape D19, from the 2010 Mark Twain collection. This unique realization, with its sterling spigot and rim cap, is surprising and even a little startling, and gives off a kind of steampunk aura to me, like it’s ready for some serious mind-bending adventures.

 

 

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the LT Ebony Spigot comes this exquisite high-grade Dublin & London B10. We haven’t seen many pipes from this 2016 line because of the high-quality grain requirements, but when they are released, they are always something to behold.

 

 

This 124 cutty shape is a scarce and unusual entry in the Peterson shape catalog. Its first appearance is seen in the 1950 Briars by Peterson’s White Catalog. It then appears in a 1973 shape chart from Associated Imports (see below, fourth row down). It also appeared in the 1996 Old English Collection and has been seen in the churchwarden releases of recent years. The chamber is too small for me, but the lines on this Flame Grain with its stretch acrylic marmalade mouthpiece, are beautiful.

 

This House Pipe, purportedly used in an Alfred Hitchcock film, is one of those outrageous pipes that used to have a prominent place in any truly respectable tobacconist’s shop. This one looks like it could have been made anywhere from the late 1950s through the 1980s, but I couldn’t get any information on whether it had a hallmark or not.

 

Shape 68 Cork

The Cork is another seldom-seen line, this pipe from the collection of the Snowy Owl, Thomas Carrollan. The glossary in the Peterson book gives this information:

Cork  c. 2000 –  Higher-grade orange stain line, no band, 9mm filter, with amber-colored acrylic fishtail stem and aluminum P. European-market only.

It’s also one of the earliest (if not the earliest) of Peterson acrylic mouthpieces. I’ve just recently discovered this shape on my own: the 68 is a real chunk, a handful of solid briar. It may not look it in the picture, but it’s a big, solid piece of smoking furniture, as big or bigger than the 307 / XL90, but cut not for System use but for an army or navy-mount. I’ll talk more about it in another blog.

 

 

The B5 was the earliest of the B shapes to find a lasting place in the shape chart, back in the early 1990s. This gold-band Supreme, hallmarked for 1998, shows us why: it’s just a classic. It’s from Al Jones’s collection.

 

 

Here’s another line we won’t see here in the US, Mario Lubinski’s Rugby, a matte green finish with a white striated acrylic mouthpiece and hot foil P, with, of course, the obligatory Lubinski sterling mount. Many of the ferrules, as you can see in the 05 and XL20 above, feature the Hinch mount.

 

 

And I’ll end with what is surely the finest small batch line Peterson has ever made, in collaboration with Laudisi (Smokingpipes.com): the Arklow. As the B10 just recently appeared, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

And of course,
I can’t end without a shot of my favorite
Peterson shape – where are they getting these XL339s? –
in its Arklow dress:

Seen at top: Makers Series 1 of 10, shape B42
(Courtesy Smokingpipes.com)

Thanks to all the usual folks for use of their photos–
they’re all listed in the Blogroll.

Fumare in pace

 

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.”

 

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