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


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


51. Sneak Peak: 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Pipes

spd-65-69-xl90Every once in a while Conor Palmer, Commercial Director at Peterson, lands back in Sallynoggin long enough that we manage to exchange an email or two before he’s back on the road, and not long ago he offered to send me some of the SPD 2017 samples to review for the blog, so here they are!

I’m smoking my SPD 2016 L Tankard as I write this, in part to highlight the contrast between the 2016 and the 2017 pipes.* Last year’s SPD all about traditional styling and finish. If you chose your pipe carefully, you got a really nice piece of briar at an outstanding price. The downside, according to Conor report from his distributors anyway, was that they didn’t shout St. Patrick’s Day. They weren’t green. They’ve got a point, I think, and Peterson has responded with the finest green SPD pipe they’ve ever produced — and that’s saying something in the history of this collectible!

spd-xl02However, it also leads me ask: is “the green thing” also a generational thing? I’m asking, because I don’t honestly know. Are Millennials more interested in non-traditional stain colors (that is, not shades of brown, red or orange)? I know Tom Palmer has said more than once that System pipes and high-grade Petes (with their brown and orange stains) are something mostly Baby Boomers and stodgy Gen X’s like myself are still smoking, but I’m not convinced that’s entirely accurate. High-grade Petes, after all, are still only moderately priced when compared to most artisan pipes.

spd-150-606-106Anyway, Huzzah! for the wearing of the green on the 2017 SPDs —  what better place could there be? My photographs do fair justice to their high-gloss (lacquered?) eye candy. I say “fair,” because when the pipes aren’t under the photographer’s light, they’re darker to the eye, not green-black, not as dark as the 2016 Christmas Army maroon matte pipes, but dark green. Grain on the 2017 SPDs is visible under daylight conditions, if not under most artificial indoor lighting. And I say “eye candy” because the laser-engraved nickel bands with their Celtic knot design and shamrock, pop nicely. I would prefer a stamped band, but I realize this not only a matter of taste from my end, but probably one of economics from Peterson’s end. Stamped bands seem to appear only on sterling mounts, but even they are sometimes laser-engraved (the Writer’s Collection comes to mind).

spd-shamrock-and-hotfoil-pAfter all the acrylic-stemmed 2016 army-mounts, it’s great to see a “Navy” (flush) vulcanite mount as well – “Navy” being Peterson’s old term for the flush mount stem. The mouthpieces seem to be the same rod quality and cut as last year’s, so no degradation there. The P is hot-foil stamped, which means you need to be a little picky about the pipe you choose, as sometimes the silver foil stamping isn’t as clean as it might be. This is annoying, because I know other pipe manufacturers have been able to figure out a way to stamp their logo (or implant it) so that it won’t flake off the first time the stem needs deoxidizing.

spd-celtic-band-engravingI am pleased with the great job Peterson has done on the laser-engraving as well. They’ve included the line, the year and the shape number. Collectors want all this information, and some of it has been lacking in earlier laser-engraved releases.

spd-x220From the dozen shapes chosen this year all are standard issue aside from the one collector’s piece: the incredible B56, taken from the 2011 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sylvius. This is what I’d call a short-stack billiard, although it’s probably a bit shorter than most pipemen’s definition. The shape itself is a meatier, or perhaps more voluptuous, older sibling of the 2016 Limited Edition. You can see the original Sylvius below, as well as the B56.


b56Sylvius Measurements:
Length: 5.90 in./149.86 mm.
Weight: 2.00 oz./56.70 g.
Bowl Height: 2.15 in./54.61 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.48 in./37.59 mm.

And finally, here’s the PDF flyer — pass it on and spread the word. March 17 is just around the corner . . . almost!



*And A Note on the Large Tankard / D19

This shape has been given a number! It had only been known as the LT or Large Tankard since its introduction in the 2010 Mark Twain set, but it appears that shortly before the 2016 Limited Edition appeared it was given the D19 number. It has appeared in three lines that I know of so far—all in Italy: the Killarney, the Aran and the Wicklow. Check out that P-Lip on the Wicklow below!

wicklow-d19-p-lipWickow P-Lip D19

d19-killarney-ebonyKillarney Ebony D19

d19-killarney-aranAran D19

Photos courtesy Charles Mundungus, Bolittopipe.it and Smokingpipes.com

Lá Altaithe Sona Daoibh!
Happy Thanksgiving to You All!

46. The Derry Rustic Line: “Now You See It. . .”

now-you-see-itWhen the Peterson new lines for 2016 were announced last April, I enthused about seeing all the “Killer B” shapes together in one place – the Derry Rustic line. Hard-to-find B shapes, Peterson’s trademark military-mount, rusticated two-tone finish, milk chocolate swirl acrylic mouthpiece – what’s not to like? They began trickling in at U.S. etailers in mid-August, and while several Peterson sites still don’t offer them, I’ve sited 15 of the 25 announced shapes and thought the time might be right to take a closer look.

From the start I thought the line might be “hard-wired to . . . self-destruct” – to borrow the title from Metallica’s upcoming album. I say this because for many years Peterson has routinely taken their leftover B shape bowls – what’s left from special collections and Limited Editions –and channeled them into Mario Lubinski projects for Italy (the Kapp-Royal high-grades, Kapreis and Rock of Cashel sterling military mounts) and the St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, and the old July 4th annual editions throughout the rest of the world.  What a fantastic idea.

derry-rusticWe saw it first in a big way in the Sherlock Holmes collections when Peterson issued an entire line – the Kinsale – to accommodate bowls that weren’t up to the SH quality specifications. More recently we saw it in the release of the 2010 Mark Twain Collection’s Large Tankard in a smooth finish, vulcanite F/T for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day line.

I spoke with factory manager Tony Whelan a few weeks ago, and he confirmed my hunch: the Derry Rustic was introduced specifically to accommodate the use of discontinued bowls, especially the remaining Limited Edition / POYs. From a collector’s standpoint, it’s pretty sweet to be able to pick up some of these almost-gone shapes at less than half their original cost. Sure, they aren’t smooth finishes, but by now most pipemen know the therapeutic value of a good rustic or blast rolled between thumb and fingers is often preferred at the end of a difficult day.

A Closer Look

While the Derry line is unified in the stain treatment, nickel mount and acrylic stem color, by the nature of what it’s designed to do (use up discontinued bowls), if you look closely at the individual pipes (see below) you’ll notice the rustification treatment varies from shape to shape: some are fairly craggy, others have the more machined, “pine cone” rustification that gives dimensionality and visual interest but little hand-feel.

rustication-b35B35 Rustification: True Hand-Feel

rustication-b60B60 Rustification: Visual Density

There is also wide variance in the rod patterns, which lends a certain unique character to each piece. My Dad wanted a B35 for his birthday, and the more of them I saw, the more I hesitated, looking for just the right swirl pattern. You can see the two extremes in these B35 and B60 stem comparisons:

stem-detail-top-b60stem-detail-top-b35The laser-engraved COMs are getting better. I didn’t get the light quite right on these, but with the naked eye they’re crisp and give all the vital information: PETERSON (in script) over small caps OF DUBLIN over Derry Rustic with the shape number to its side.  It’s got a nice look, and after buying a high-end Royal Irish 120 with a botched hand-stamping, I’d have to say I prefer something clean and crisp over double-stamped and blurred any day.
com-b60com-b35The nickel mounts still preserve the 1895 K&P maker’s mark over PETERSON, but as you can see from the photo, they need a bit of polishing. I realize it’s only nickel, but any DIY-er knows you can really make it sparkle with just a second or two on the buffer. Would it really cost more to have them machined at a higher gloss?
b35-ferrule-makers-markThe mortises are free of stain, and quite open, being made for military mounts,  as you can see.

End of the Bs?

So when all these glorious bowls from the B series are used up does that spell the end of Derry line? Turns out the answer is – no.  Peterson has already slated a number of bowls into the line. Here’s the list of bowls currently in the Derry works from Tony as of last week: 01, A1, XL02, 03, 05, 31 Straight System, X61, 68, 87, XL90, 107, X220, 221, 408, 502, 606, 999, B7, B8, B10, B37, B41, B50, B51, B53, B55, B56, B62, B63, B64, B65, Junior Watson and the Junior Baskerville.

I know all these numbers won’t mean a lot to most readers, and I promise I’ll get on a B shapes illustrated catalog for the blog later  this year. Many of the shapes from Tony’s spreadsheet are perennial Classic Line shapes to keep the line going—the 01, XL02, XL90, 408, B10 and 999. Others, however, are on the Endangered Bowls list. Here’s some favorite almost-goner shapes:

  • The X61–a large billiard reproduction of a Patent Lip shape from the 1906 catalog released as the P-Lip Celebration pipe in 1998;
  • The B41–a pinched-shank beauty from the 2009 LE–but as a military mount? have to see that one;
  • The B50–aka The Professor [Moriarity] from the Sherlock Holmes series;
  • The B51–aka Hopkins, an elephantine Magritte-inspired setter from the SH series.

My advice, as always, is if you see a B shape in the line you like, don’t wait too long. I never did find my XL339. At around $100, the design language – shapes, stain, finish and stem – make the Derry one of Peterson’s most remarkable and affordable lines.  Some of them surpass their original versions. Now you see them . . . now you don’t.


Going, Going, Gone

Here’s what I’ve spotted on the internet, some of them from as far away as Czechoslovakia, some across the pond, some still around, some already gone:


This is one of the oldest and most admired of the Bs. I haven’t been able to track where it originally appeared, or why, or in what line. It’s one of those rarities that people talk about on the forums. It was released (or re-released) in the 2002 St. Patrick’s Day series. If anyone has any more information, please let me know so I can add it to this entry.

Length: 6.09 in./154.80 mm.
Weight: 1.71 oz./48.57 g.
Bowl Height: 1.66 in./42.05 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.39 in./35.32 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.95 mm.
Outside Diameter: 2.03 in./51.45 mm.


The B8 is another early shape I haven’t been able to place. I do know it was issued in the Limerick line at some point, and made an appearance in the 2002 St. Patrick’s Day series. Again, maybe someone reading the blog can fill us in?

Length: 5.93 in./150.62 mm.
Weight: 1.80 oz./51.03 g.
Bowl Height: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.59 in./40.39 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.


The B27 is a magnificent panel that debuted as LE (Limited Edition) 2007, and a bit later in the Italian Rock of Cashel line, a rusticated military mount with a marmalade acrylic stem. Like the B7, it looks incredible in the Derry line — better than the original.

Length: 6.25 in./158.73 mm.
Weight: 1.80 oz./50.98 g.
Bowl Height: 2.06 in./52.30 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.65 in./41.98 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./20.97 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.44 in./36.64 mm.


The B33, a big-chambered setter, was first released as the Corrib in the huge six-pipe 2007 Rivers Collection. It was subsequently released as a Kapet rustic (vulcanite stem) and the Italian Rock of Cashel line. This is by far its best presentation.

Length: 5.41 in./137.41 mm.
Weight: 1.90 oz./53.95 g.
Bowl Height: 2.31 in./58.59 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.92 in./48.73 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.85 in./21.66 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.61 in./40.78 mm.


One of my favorite Pete shapes, the B35 / Kaffir, has seen a long and distinguished service career. It began as the Antique Special Collection 2009’s Kaffir (B35), then appeared as the Italian Rock of Cashel rustic, military mount. Following that, it was issued as a gorgeous smooth-grade vulcanite F/T pipe for 2014’s Christmas pipe, which was followed by a rustic mount with cinnamon-swirl acrylic F/T for the 2015 Christmas pipe. And now it’s come almost full circle to its 1906 roots as a military-mount rustic in the Derry line.

Length: 6.55 in./166.28 mm.
Weight: 1.29 oz./36.70 g.
Bowl Height: 1.99 in./50.57 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.67 in./42.35 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.88 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.37 in./34.69 mm.


The B36 was first released as the Malahide, a seldom-seen barrel setter from the 2009 four-pipe Castle Collection. Again, this version (to my taste) is preferable to the original.

Length: 6.04 in./153.48 mm.
Weight: 1.81 oz./51.41 g.
Bowl Height: 1.93 in./49.11 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.53 in./38.84 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.46 in./37.18 mm.


The B37 is the other half of the 2009 Antique Collection, a reproduction of an elegant bent billiard from the 1906 catalog. It’s been featured in two or three of Peterson’s Italian lines for Mario Lubinski.

Length: 132 mm / 5.15 in
Height: 50 mm / 1.96 in
Outside Diameter: 38 mm / 1.48 in
Chamber Diameter: 19 mm / 0.74 in
Chamber Depth: 43 mm / 1.68 in
Weight: 44 gr / 1.54 oz


A remarkably fine bowl for Virginia lovers, the B49 has had an illustrious career, first appearing as the 2004 LE, then reappearing as the 2008 LE, followed by the 2011 Gregson from the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It also appeared in the Kapreis line from Italy as a sterling military mount. It is way beyond cool in this military mount and short stem.

Length: 5.81 in./147.57 mm.
Weight: 2.50 oz./70.87 g.
Bowl Height: 2.44 in./61.98 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.98 in./50.29 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.69 in./42.93 mm.


The B50 is an evil pipe—well, it was named after Professor Moriarty in its original issue in the Sherlock Holmes line, anyway. My own Moriarty has always lived up to its namesake’s genius, if not his unspeakable life of crime. The ferrule on the Derry version foreshortens the effect of the original so much that at first I believed this was the bent billiard from the Molly Malone collection.

Length: 5.30 in./134.62 mm.
Weight: 2.10 oz./59.53 g.
Bowl Height: 1.94 in./49.28 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.


The B51 first appeared in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes set as the gigantic, whimsical Hopkins in 2011, although it has since appeared Italian Kapreis line with sandblast finish and sterling military mount. At almost 77 grams, it’s a whopper, an ideal setter for a night of serious attention to your favorite craft brew.

Length: 5.90 in./149.86 mm.
Weight: 2.70 oz./76.54 g.
Bowl Height: 2.40 in./60.96 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.


The B55 is the straight bulldog from the 2011 Molly Malone collection. I’ve seen it in a sterling mount Kapp Royal, but this one scores over it, if not as classy as the original issue.

Length: 160 mm / 6.24 in
Height: 52 mm / 2.02 in
Outside Diameter: 42 mm / 1.64 in
Chamber Diameter: 19 mm / 0.74 in
Chamber Depth: 42 mm / 1.64 in
Weight: 52 gr / 1.82 oz


Here’s one of my favorites, The Bow from the 2012 Iceberg Collection that appeared to celebrate the centenary of the building of the Titanic in the Belfast shipyard. It was subsequently released for the 2013 SPD line in a smooth finish with a vulcanite mouthpiece. It’s quite similar to the 1997 Hansom, from the Return of Sherlock Holmes collection, albeit with a round rather than diamond shank.

Length: 5.61 in./142.49 mm.
Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
Bowl Height: 2.42 in./61.47 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.83 in./46.48 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.71 in./43.43 mm.


The B62 was first released as the LE 2013, one of the best brandy shapes Peterson has ever released. It was subsequently released as one of the prize catches from the 2014 Christmas line.

Length: 6.12 in./155.53 mm.
Weight: 2.19 oz./62.20 g.
Bowl Height: 2.05 in./52.13 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.66 in./42.26 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.79 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.85 in./46.91 mm.


The B65 was first released as the LE for 2014, a massive homage to the straight-walled early Patent Systems. It was released the following year as a rustic, sterling military mount in Italy.

Length: 6.17 in./156.84 mm.
Weight: 1.91 oz./54.25 g.
Bowl Height: 2.20 in./55.88 mm.
Chamber Depth: 1.86 in./47.16 mm.
Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.71 mm.
Outside Diameter: 1.56 in./39.68 m



Rah De ort!

Thanks to Smokingpipes.com for several of the Derry images.
“Now You See It . . .” image at top courtesy Charles Mundungus