100. The 2018 System Spigot Line

For System fans, there is cause for rejoicing in this year’s new sterling Spigot System line, officially stamped with a Peterson (script) over SYSTEM and engineered with a System reservoir and P-Lip mouthpiece with graduated bore, the 3 requirements for any Peterson to be an authentic System.

I asked Conor Palmer if this meant that a spigot was finally being introduced officially into the System lineup, remarking that I didn’t see a SPIGOT stamp below or next to the SYSTEM stamp. I have been hoping Peterson was going to commit to a System Spigot since the appearance of some “picking stock” acrylic P-Lip System Spigots at the 2016 IPCPR.

Alas, no. The 2018 line is the successor to previous years’ spigot lines, the 2015 Nickel Spigot, the 2016 Roundstone Spigot and the 2017 Newgrange Spigot. Practically speaking, this means (if Peterson releases continue as they have over the past several years), that the System Spigot will be on the market until next year’s Spigot line appears.

It is nice to see the line with the hand-stamping, which includes the reverse side hand-stamped shape number.

The bowl’s inner  rim has been beveled, another indication of a mid to upper-grade Pete, giving it a classy look, as always. The gloss stain is officially dubbed “walnut,” but seems warmer to me, and looking at it with the naked eye in real life and natural light I’d call it mahogany red (Hex color #400303 for those so inclined) and one of the great things about the new line.

The vulcanite mouthpieces are both a blessing and a bit of a curse, at least to me. On the one hand, it’s great to have vulcanite. On the other, the current generation of vulcanite P-Lips are not comfortable and nearly impossible to clinch, especially in large sizes like the XL315 and 307 shown here. Conor and I actually had a long discussion about the degradation of the mouthpiece with its rounded top and lack of a clinching wall, and as usual with the good folks at Peterson, once it was understood that this was something that could be remedied and improved upon by using the available acrylic P-Lips (which are superb), Conor said that later in the year we should see the line with the improved acrylic mouthpiece. At that point, you’ll find me looking for this “big apple” 03, a Pete classic since 1979 (if I can hold out that long):

The hallmarks, as you can see (above), are clear and crisp. Notice the · before the 925 has been removed by the Goldsmiths of Dublin. I think this is something new in 2018, but I’ll have to go back and check to make sure. The hallmarking is placed on the bottom of the ferrule, centered quite nicely, with the Peterson’s script over DUBLIN stamps atop the ferrule, also quite nicely centered (shown below). The mount itself is not what I described on earlier sterling-mounts as a “Hinch mount”—a snub-nosed bullet shape—but a softly squared affair. For reasons known to the Assay office in Dublin, only two of the three hallmarks seem to be required on the spigot.

I know die-hard System freeks will be on the lookout for these, and those looking for a 9mm version are in luck this year, as the line is also available in 9mm. Price looks to be about $170 or so in the US.

Peterson chose a pretty decent cross-section of shapes, as you can see above, although I wish that instead of issuing both the extra-small shapes (the 314 and even tinier 317), they’d opted for the 312, which after the demise of the 309 has become one of my all-time favorites in recent years–it’s a Charles Peterson patent shape, of course, but it’s also just so incredibly versatile, handling any tobacco you can think of with ease and excellent smoking properties.

With thanks for Conor Palmer, as always,
and to Chas. Mundungus
and Smokingpipes.com

 

 

Subversive Tin Talk #3*
(download and spread the word: pipe-smoking is
 good thing)

 

 

 

 

 

*TIN TALK is a service of Petersonpipenotes:
“Stick it to the man.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

66. The Newgrange Line

The Newgrange Spigots will be arriving on our shores in the next few months, and like so much of the great work out of Sallynoggin, you’ve really got to hold one in your hands to appreciate what the Peterson artisans have done.

This was forcefully driven home to me on my first Peterson pilgrimage in 2009, when John Dromgoole at the old Grafton Street store asked if I would be interested in one of the new LEs, just then in the shop. I’d seen photos of it on the internet, but only from the side, so to me it just looked like another quarter-bent billiard. But when I held it in my hands and turned it over, the magic revealed itself. It had a wonderfully pinched stem that couldn’t be seen from its sideview.

The LE 2009: Case in Point

So it is that I wanted to present the Newgrange pipes from angles and with lighting that would allow you to appreciate the careful flow of the brown-and-black gloss accent rims to the matching acrylic mouthpieces and the force of the “Facing”-mount spigots.

X220 Newgrange

The flat-top mount used, called a “Facing” mount in the 1906 catalog, originally appeared on System pipes, Patent-Lip pipes, and spigots, and when Peterson re-introduced its spigot line in the late 1970s, they brought it back in very limited numbers, but usually with a smooth tenon spigot instead of the beaded one (used on the Newgrange), which I much prefer. It’s not a mount you see very often on a Peterson, which may be why I like it so much.

301 Newgrange

On the pieces I examined, the Peterson stamping on the sterling mount was uniformly aligned on the top of the shank. The hallmarking was centered on the bottom, as you can see if you click on the picture below. The acrylic at the airhold of the spigot tenon is chamfered and clean, and should provide a smooth airflow. I want to mention this, because the standard Peterson acrylic fishtail army-mounts are not chamfered, and I suspect this is one reason they smoke hotter. Of course, a P-Lip would make airflow even better, but I suspect I’m voicing a minority opinion here!

The line takes its name, as students of megalithic structures know, from the incredible passage tomb in the Boyne Valley which archeologists believe dates to about 3,200 BCE. When we toured the tomb — and visitors go in single file — someone behind us (not me, thankfully!) got claustrophobic and everyone behind him had to do a backwards shuffle.

408 Newgrange

According to Conor Palmer at Peterson, as the Newgrange is phased in, last year’s Roundstone Spigot line will be phased out. The Roundstone is a particularly beautiful line with its Hinch mount, dark brown blast finish and tan-and-pearl faux-tortoise shell acrylic stem. Most of the shapes are still available, “while supplies last,” as the saying goes! Like the Roundstone, the Newgrange will probably retail at about $180 or so.

302 Newgrange

XL11 Newgrange

68 Newgrange

 

LE 2009 photos courtesy Smokingpipes.com

Fumare in pax!