Thursday, 23 December 2010

Irish Bog Oak (Morta)Pipes?

Irish Bog Oak (Morta)Pipes?

I have watched these pipes with interest for some time,often seeing them being auctioned on e-bay.
Mike Leverette also highlighted them in his article "A Peterson Dating Guide".
Mike referred to them as follows-
"Also during World War II, Peterson again made bog oak pipes and again, this was due to the shortage of briar. They had previously ceased production of bog oak pipes in the 1930s during the Irish Free State Era. On the subject of bog oak pipes, Peterson's bog oaks will always have a metal band with either an amber (early production only) or vulcanite stems and will have the appropriate COM stamp. As with their clay pipes, Peterson offered a silver or nickel band on their early bog oak pipes of the Patent Era and just a nickel band on their WWII bog oak pipes".
It has been suggested that the type of Bog Oak similar to the one in my photo was produced  in association with Peterson as a contracted out cottage industry.Hence no collar adornments of silver or nickle.
I am not convinced,as I believe that the recent specimens for sale on e-bay, purporting to be Victorian are more likely to be modern replicas.
The carvings appear to be too good to be true in their crispness,after 100 years even if only lightly smoked I doubt that they would be in such good condition.Other than the carvings which are the usual Irish tourist symbol's,there are no other identifying marks.Here are also some examples of similar Tourist wares,a 'Cauldron pot' and a 'Pen holder'.I leave you to make up your own mind?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Contemplating Natures Beauty on a Winter Morn.

Contemplating Natures Beauty on a Winter Morn.

Recent freezing weather here in Scotland has proven extremely problematic for the population at large,bringing chaos to road rail and air links.
However living in a rural area,I consider that there is a good side to all of this,particularly on a sunny morning.Looking out and seeing Mother Nature at her best I just had to sit and contemplate this stunning view.It was one of those moments that demanded time -out for a good bowl of something nice in a favourite Peterson pipe.
I would like to share this mornings beauty on this, the shortest day of the year.The view from the 'Pete Bog'.

Monday, 20 December 2010

"Variety is the spice of Life"

"Variety is The Spice of Life"

In my opinion Peterson provides it in bucket loads.I never fail to be amazed or surprised by the sheer diversity of pipe series and shapes that Peterson keep producing.I realise that over the years they have catered for different national and International tastes by selecting to sell those that are most popular in each country,however as a collector it can be difficult to apply definitive parameters to the vast range that is currently available.I suppose it is another sign of Petersons unusual,eccentric and quirky approach to marketing.
I was recently surfing the web for Peterson stuff and came across some new to me Peterson pipe series,some, like the Golf, I have only heard of.The Blackrock is one that I do have in my collection(a B11)I thought I would share these with you for interest.
The first example is a real strange one,an interchangeable twin stemmed Deluxe 20s. Showing it with the usual black tapered stem but also with an unusual Amber alternative.


 Here is one I had never come across before,an Ashford.

 I had heard of the Golf collection but know very little about them.Unusual freehand shapes.

This one, a Blackrock 220 is a handsome pipe IMHO.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

"A Merry Christmas to us all"

To all of 'The Peterson Pipe Collectors' regular followers,my very best wishes. Thank you all for your interest and support.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tiny Tim said, "A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!""
Author: Charles Dickens

Friday, 10 December 2010

Musings on Pipe Collection Storage and Presentation

Musings on Pipe Collection Storage and Presentation- A tale for Christmas.

Having such a large collection of pipes presents it's own problems when it comes to display and or storage.
I was recently reminded by my good lady wife that the pipes were taking over.Why did I need to have any more?she asked. I told her that I had an urgent call and needed to be elsewhere!
Being assertive and a coward I knew that the time had come to reassess my current arrangements,to just leave them lying around or have them easily to hand in their rotation racks.Just like most people do right?

I needed a cunning plan to survive this unreasonable abuse of the wonderful comfortable status-quo.
During one of my web sorties hunting for Pete stuff,I came across the latest Peterson catalogue which appeared to provide a simple solution.It was a simple and economically priced 12 pipe case.The brain went into overdrive and I contacted my nearest Peterson supplier and ordered a case of five of them to start with.

I have since started to clean and store sixty of my pipes which are now neatly stored in these presentation cases.
I am deciding on how to catalogue these in a systematic fashion,in preparation for the rest of the collection requirements.
So Blog followers just think of me during the holiday period, compelled to this evil task by a ruthless woman!

Have a good holiday!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Harp Pipe Series.

The Harp Pipe Series.

One of the basic entry Peterson pipes that I admire are those of the Harp series.
I would always suggest this 'safe' range to those that are new to Peterson pipes.To my mind they offer excellent value, coupled to handsome looks and good smoking qualities.They are one of the few series at this level that seem to avoid petty criticism.

The symbol of Ireland, the harp adorns the silver band on this series. The brown/red finish on the bowl is complimented with the lovely Cumberland mouthpiece. They are available in selected classic shapes.

I just had to show this magnificent B11.

 Next is a gorgeous 68.

Another great shape,the 69.

Peterson Special and Limited Edition Tobacco Blends.

Peterson Special Xmas,Holiday and Limited Edition Tobacco Blends.

As most of the Blog followers know I recently spotlighted the new Peterson Holiday 2010 tobacco blend.
Appended below is a brief personal review of the tobacco.

Brand: Peterson
Blend: Holiday Season Tobacco 2010.
Tin Description: Red and Golden Virginia blended and double fermented with broad cut Black Cavendish and a hint of roasted burly.
Country: Ireland
Cure: Air cured
Cut: Ribbon
Tobaccos: Virginia,Cavendish and some Burly.
Packaging: Rectangular Tin
Strength: Mild to Medium
Taste: Mild to Medium
Room Note: Very pleasant.

I managed to acquire a tin of this shortly after it was first advertised. I have now had the opportunity to smoke it several times,always in the same pipe,a Darwin Ebony.
Peterson have to be congratulated on their packaging for this one, a beautiful red Christmas theme, without even a mention of the word Christmas,very politically correct !
On opening the tobacco, one finds that it is packaged in a clear cellophane type re-usable bag. My immediate thought/concern was how effective this might be for long term storage. The smell from the blend is of a pure aromatic,first impressions of Christmas pudding mixture and baking,giving a sense of olfactory pleasures to come.
It was quite moist and I wrongly did not allow it to dry for my initial smoke, which required several relights. However I learned from that and consequently allowed a short period to dry the next time, this proved less problematic.

Over the years I have become acquainted with Peterson 'special' annual blends, this was very similar to many of the previous ones which I have smoked,so much so, that I found it difficult to distinguish from many of the others. My main criticism was that It lacked strength,was very sweet and sickly and was too mild. Unfortunately an annual trend now that these tobaccos are being blended in Europe for Peterson.
I think that these type of aromatic blends on offer by Peterson are more 'novelty blends' and not for the long time more experienced smokers. It will appeal to new pipe initiates and those that regularly smoke aromatics .
The one person in my family that is a fan ,is my good lady wife, who thoroughly enjoyed “the marvellous Xmas room note”.

Would I buy it again , possibly not. 


Sunday, 5 December 2010

More of the XL 23 shape pipe.

More of the XL 23 shape pipe.

The Peterson XL23 pipe shape which I reviewed in October featured the large, wonderfully spherical bowl shaped pipes which are a firm favourite of mine. The full bent configuration makes this a contender for the best,most comfortable 'dangler' pipe,with which to hang from the jaw, despite the pipe's substantial size.

The XL23 shape is best known as the Le Strade shape from the 'Return of Sherlock Holmes' series from Peterson. Inspector Le Strade, as we all know, was with Scotland Yard and was featured repeatedly in Conan Doyle's stories.

The Peterson Kinsale series draws its shapes from those used for the Sherlock Holmes series. However be warned ,although much cheaper than the SH pipes, Kinsales have the sort of very narrow brass rings that are found on the Killarny and Emerald series. When the stem is pulled out for maintenance, you may discover that these rings can work loose, and even more annoying, discover that the bit of briar that holds the ring is literally paper-thin.

That being, said I love looking at the various examples of the XL23 shape from my collection in it's different guises and I hope that the Blog followers do to! Because I am indulging myself, by posting more photos of this great Pete. Enjoy!

Le-strade Sandblast Fishtail Tapered stem .

Red Le-Strade.

Rustic Le-Strade.

XL23 Straight Grain.

Kinsale XL23 Rustic.

Kinsale XL23 Smooth.

Sherlock Holmes Le-Strade smooth.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Peterson "Old English Collection"

The Peterson "Old English Collection".

The old English Collection featured a set of 12 pipes, recreated using original designs from the 1930s and 1940s. Each pipe is handmade and mounted with gold-plated sterling silver bands.

I remember coming across one of these handsome desirable boxed sets several years ago, on a well known German Pipe site.I was mightily impressed with the quality and variety of pipe shapes.However the asking price was beyond my pipe budget at the time.I very rarely saw any further reference to them after that.
However there had been recent discussion on the Smokers Forum in regard to the series, which prompted me to go hunting for any,well I managed to strike gold on my favourite Italian site Alpascia.Here is a brand new 265 billiard,which is currently making its way to me.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Popular Shape 999

The Popular Shape 999

 This Rhodesian shape, the Peterson 999 , is probably the best selling Peterson shape across all of their lines. I don't know if it's the best-selling shape for Peterson, but I do know it's in the top two or three. And it's for great reasons that this shape does so is, quite simply, a classic interpretation of the shape, beautifully proportioned and superbly designed.I have to admit to having a soft spot for the Pre Republic versions,which were referred to as 'Chubby'.They had much thicker, more substantial stems.

 Above is a 1946 Shamrock chubby 999
Above is a 1946 Pre-Republic Chubby 999.

Above is a Rosslare Royal Irish 999

A Harp 999

 A selection of modern classic 999 shapes.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas Comes.

Christmas comes but once a year!

Last year 2009, saw the introduction of Petersons first Christmas pipe.It was a specially commissioned limited edition smooth sitter, for US retailer Cup O' Joes.I was fortunate enough to acquire one.

 This year my wife has/will give me the new 2010 Chistmas pipe in a B11 shape.

 Although the pipe will be placed under the Christmas tree until the great day.I hope to give a review on it, along with the new 2010 Holiday special tobacco blend.

So , all being well ,this Christmas should be a good one for experiencing some new Peterson goodies.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa.

At this time of year we all start to think of Christmas presents,both giving and receiving.Both give a nice warm glow!

Now is the time for all good Peterson collector/smokers to do a little hopeful fantasizing.This time I am going off the scale and lusting after this beauty,a XL02 Silvercap hinged-lid.Oh my! please Santa,please.

An XL02 silver lid.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

“Jim's notes/musings from the Pete Bog” 2.

Jim's notes/musings from the Pete Bog” 2.

Welcome to my latest edition of new 'Notes from the Pete Bog'. I hope you enjoy the experience.
These frequent brief notes are my personal ramblings,musings,anecdotes,news items and stuff. Primarily intended as a light-hearted look at all things Celtic. Mixed in with pipe/tobacco and general interesting related topics, which may be of interest to you Pete Nuts.
Health warning, not to be taken too seriously!

Late Fall in Scotland - The Calm before the Storm.

Bog factoid (a note or article of general interest ).-

I recently posted the following in a popular Pipe forum to explain that I hoped that my passion for Peterson pipes was not perceived by others to be pipe 'snobbery'.
This was initiated because I have noticed recently,that there are a few Peterson detractors who post regularly on forums and express their biased views on the brand. I do however appreciate that everyone should be allowed to express their opinion, good or bad.
Sometimes though, it would appear that they cannot quite comprehend why the brand has such a loyal and vociferous following and in my particular case, why I like Petersons exclusively.

I often cringe at some of the negative comments made on popular pipe forums, in regard to the quality and finish of Peterson pipes. Inevitably it is the old story of a lack of experience or ownership of the extensive and varied choices in the range of pipes presented by Peterson. Often the negative comments are based on the writers very limited experience of owning one or two basic entry level pipes. Thereafter they condemn all Peterson pipes, based on that poor experience.
I am privileged in that I have a good variety of both entry and higher grade Peterson Pipes within my collection. In my humble opinion, Peterson have been consistent throughout their production of pipes, in replicating a tradition of Celtic quality, at very reasonable prices. Particularly so when you consider the huge numbers of pipes that are produced annually. There are bound to be some that do not pass muster or are just not to that particular smokers taste.
Believe me when I say that I do not feel the need to defend or justify the Peterson brand,there are thousands of satisfied pipe smokers throughout the world that will do that for me.
If I come across as a Pete fanatic,then I apologise for my weakness. Snob, no, what you see is an all consuming passion and interest that borders on an obsession for a brand which I have chosen over many others.
So after all this long winded post, what am I saying,well it is this, please be tolerant of my obsession, which I thoroughly enjoy sharing with other pipesters”.

Bog link of interest – This is the link to a new to me UK tobacconist, A E Lloyd & Son. Their Peterson page has the Peterson official video, this one being of excellent viewing quality.

Poem - 'November' by Robert Bridges

The lonely season in lonely lands, when fled
are half the birds, and mists lie low, and the sun
is rarely seen, nor strayeth far from his bed;
The short days pass unwelcomed one by one.

Useful Things – Spotted this nice Walnut 6 pipe cabinet, on Esterval's site.
It is made by Guy Janot and priced at around $220. Very nice.

Please look out for the next edition of 'notes from the Pete Bog' and to all of you loyal blog followers, “Lang may yer Lum reek”, an old Scot's farewell greeting, which in essence, hoped that the person receiving the greeting, always had smoke coming from their house chimney fire and enjoyed a long life.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Peterson Commemorative Patent System Pipe 1890-1990 Limited Edition No. 12393.

Peterson Commemorative Patent System Pipe 1890-1990 Limited Edition
No. 12393.

At the beginning of the 1990's Peterson issued a pair of commemorative pipes. These were sold individually as boxed limited editions, to celebrate the issue of their original Patent System Pipe. These were a bent Oom Paul and a straight Billiard shape, with smooth or rustic finishes and sterling silver ferrules.
Each box contained certificates and relevant literature with the following quote from Charles Peterson.

The importance of producing as perfect a pipe as possible is evident, when we realise how universally smoking has affected modern thought in Art, Science, Literature, Politics, and even the Pulpit: how it has influenced the best wit of our time, and brought relief and solace to over-taxed energies.“
- The thoughts of Chairman Charles Peterson, inventor of the Patent System Pipe in 1890. 
The Oom paul is a striking  and impressively large shape. Although I have found it less than comfortable to smoke, the stem mouthpiece being to fine for my large mouth!, it just does not feel right. Although it looked at first glance potentially to be a great clencher, just me!
Here are a couple of photos showing examples of each.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Another Old Timer for the Sandpiper Museum.

Another Old Timer for the Sandpiper  Museum.

One of my passions is hunting out Patent and Pre Republic hidden treasure on E-bay. It gives me great  pleasure to spot one with potential,then battle to win it and then closely exam it when it arrives, to see if it is treasure trove.
I recently bid and won this one for the princely sum of $67.The sellers description was very brief and basic. Other than an indication that it was an old Pete from around 1920.
It duly arrived and I had an opportunity to exam it in detail. I can now confirm that the hallmarks do indeed date it to 1920,it is a model/shape 8b,2nd grade.
Following a good spiff and clean up, it is in my opinion now a little cracker. It can be seen in the following photo.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

International Peterson Pipe Club is now Launched!

International Peterson Pipe Club *** STOP PRESS - GREAT NEWS!

I recently posed the following question. - "With the demise of the official Peterson Smokers guild,what interest if any would there be to the formation of such an international group.
In response to  any substantial demand, it may be that we could create an exclusive  club for smokers and  connoisseurs  who appreciate the  standards of  craftsmanship and  quality which  distinguish the Peterson brand".

Well the good news is, we now have a launch site for trial,please look at the Links on the right of the page, for 'The International Peterson Pipe Club'. Please click on the link and register to join in.

*** LATEST UPDATE :- Peterson have now officially  approved 'The International Peterson Pipe Club' replacing the former Smokers Guild and have put the links to the newly launched IPPC on their web site. The club has really taken off now,we are heading to-wards fifty members who have now registered and joined the new fledgling club.Every one a Pete Nut!! The future is looking bright for the new club.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Supremely Satisfied!

Supremely Satisfied!

I have just taken delivery of an exquisite top of the range,hand made, Peterson Gold Mounted Supreme Straight Grain XL02 P-Lip.

Typifying the classic Peterson design, the XL02 shape, with its stout stem and wide apple bowl, shows excellent visual harmony at the slender angle of the tapered stem. With a  beautiful flame grain, this particular pipe is all the more pleasing  by being brought together with the tasteful soft stain and gold band, which is indicative of the classic Peterson's Supreme Straight Grain series.

 The briar is carefully examined for imperfections and selected from briar of exceptional grain. Straight grains, are carefully stored, waiting to be specially carved by hand . The hand crafted straight grain pipe and the increasingly rare skill required to make it, is unique. Peterson raftsmen shape, turn, sand and polish the 150 year old root of the Erica arborea tree,which is something quite special. Only a very limited quantity of straight grains are available in any twelve month period.

I consider myself very fortunate to have acquired such a rare and exquisite hand made piece.

Contrary to some pipe connoisseurs, who believe that all Peterson pipes are factory made and of a lesser quality, this is an example of Peterson craftsmanship at its supreme best. Not a fill or flaw in sight !

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A Labour of Love.

A Labour of Love.

As reported earlier in the Blog, I was previously invited to provide an article on the Peterson Pipe for the Pipedia web resource.

I decide to pull together my various writings on Peterson pipes and compile my interpretation of a meaningful reference,which could be used by new pipe smokers and experienced collectors. Bearing in mind the popularity of the brand and the huge numbers of pipe smokers that own and collect Petersons,it was quite a daunting task to undertake.

I have now reached the stage where I am reasonably satisfied with my efforts and hope that others will find the finished article both useful and helpful in understanding the vagaries of the Peterson brand since its inception.

Coupled to my previous writings I have incorporated many photographic examples from my large collection of Peterson pipes, to assist in the graphic interpretation of the many aspects and reference points discussed in the article.

I am confident that the finished product is worthy of becoming a standard reference work for the Peterson brand. I do hope that you will take the time to read the main paper and the five separate in depth specialist ones that accompany it.

To me it was a labour of love, for which I am extremely proud.

(The Pipedia page link can be accessed in the links section on the right side of this page)

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Peterson Spigot

The Peterson Spigot is characterised by a sterling silver covering on the tapered end of the mouthpiece which compliments the sterling silver band of the pipe. The Spigot style evolved from the practice of soldiers in earlier centuries who repaired broken pipes by sliding a used cartridge case over the shank and reinserting the mouthpiece. In this unique spigot finished pipe, Peterson craftsmanship perfect the union of finest quality briar and precious metals. The silver or gold is spun to shape and then fitted to the pipe".
The spigot allows the pipe to be taken apart while still hot and stored away quickly,there is little if any problems with expansion.

Rather than being useful to me on the battlefield,my take is purely its aesthetic appeal. As an obsessive Peterson nut,I have to be very careful when viewing certain on line Pipe sites.
I am very weak and succumb easily to beautiful silverware. I spotted this 'Red' B11 Silver Spigot and just could not help myself. I am doomed.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Hidden Treasure.

I recently had some luck on e-bay,when spotting this fine example of a Peterson's Patent. It comes with it's original factory fitted case, and features a rare factory amber stem. The amber is in perfect condition and still has it's bone fitting on the inboard side of the stem. It is a 1901 birth date, having been lightly smoked and well cared for it is in beautiful condition. Both briar and amber are in excellent condition. A group 4 sized pipe, the dimensions are as follows: The overall length is 5-1/2 inches, the bowl height is 1-3/4 inches and the inside diameter of the bowl is 3/4 of an inch. The stamping is very clear, and complete, it reads as follows: The briar is marked Peterson's Patent, and the silver carries the Dublin Hallmarks for 1901-2' K&P and Peterson's Patent. I consider this a fine historic piece, of Museum quality.

Monday, 25 October 2010

International Peterson Pipe Collector/Smokers Club?

International Peterson Pipe Collector/Smokers Club?

With the demise of the official Peterson Smokers guild,what interest if any would there be to the formation of such an international group.
In response to  any substantial demand, it may be that we could create an exclusive  club for smokers and  connoisseurs  who appreciate the  standards of  craftsmanship and  quality which  distinguish the  Peterson brand.

What do you think,is it feasible. Would you join, what would you wish from it?
Please give your thoughts,for or against.Thank you.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Peterson Link to Pipedia.

Links to Pipedia.

Most of you regular Blog followers will be aware of that great pipe web source, Pipedia.
 Pipedia has the potential to be an even greater resource. The site is constantly upgrading and evolving with historical and current information about the entire scope of the world of tobacco pipes.
The current specialist Peterson page, has been attempting to accumulate and publish articles on the pipes origins and history. Until now the main page was fairly lean on Peterson facts and meaningful historical material.
I was invited by the site's custodian Scott Thile,to contribute to the Peterson pages. I was very flattered to be asked and gratefully accepted the opportunity to add to the pages development.
Following discussion with Scott it was decided to publish my paper titled “An Introduction to the Peterson Pipe”.The paper is really a compilation of most of the facts and interesting material which I had previously used in this Blog,drawing it together in a more compact readable form, suitable for purpose.
I hope you will enjoy the paper,it is a work in progress.

The site can be accessed from the blog links column on the right side of this page.

Monday, 18 October 2010

New Peterson 2010 Catalogue

The New Peterson 2010 Catalogue.

 Peterson staff at the Sallynoggin factory,Dublin.

You will see that I have added a new link to the new Peterson 2010 Catalogue on the links column on the right side of the Blog page.
This is a welcome addition to the Peterson literature and is very professionally done .Good detailed photos of Petersons comprehensive selection of pipes and tobacco products.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Pipe Focus - The New Mark Twain Collection

The New Mark Twain Collection -

The New Mark Twain Collection -

Since the issue of the original Mark Twain series of pipes in the 1980's, Peterson's became victims of their own success and were constantly under pressure from world-wide collectors to resurrect that successful series. The original pipes gained a cult following, mainly on the back of the Mark Twain legend, plus their handsome looks and excellent smoking qualities. In recent months Peterson's has issued a twin pipe set in honour of Mark Twain and to commemorate the 100 years since the great man's passing in 1910.

The first pipe in the two pipe boxed set is a smooth bent with a P-lip similar to the first issue pipe of the 80's. The second pipe in the set is a poker shape with a fishtail stem, related to the Corn cob pipe that Huckleberry Finn used to smoke. The pipes are available in four finishes, Smooth, Sandblast, Rustic and Ebony.

Samuel L Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. One of Americas most famous authors, had a very sharp wit, he was socio-critical, had a great analytical mind - and was an enthusiastic pipe smoker.
Ernest Hemingway, another great author said of him: “All of American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn - There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”

I have a fair size collection of the original bent Mark Twain's (13) and was particularly interested in comparing these two new pipes, in this latest collection, to be given the honour of his name.
I recently took delivery of a pair of new boxed MT smooth pipes, photo below.
Having had the opportunity to put the pipes through their paces since arriving, I feel that I can now give a reasonable review and assessment of them.

On closer inspection the pipes are quite stunning to look at and in my opinion a great match of the original MT shape. Coupled with a rare choice of poker shape from Peterson, to tie-in with the Hucklberry Finn storyline.
Size: Large. I would even suggest that the new issue bent is marginally bigger than the older, original ones. The Poker too, is a large pipe.

Design: A full bent, the classic Peterson shape, designed to hang comfortably from the mouth and a large tactile straight Poker for southern comfort! Just like a big cob.

Aesthetics: Absolutely gorgeous, both have the elegant classic Peterson lines.

Fit/Finish: P-lip tapered stem,with hallmarked silver collar in the bent and fishtail stem for the poker. Available in choices of smooth,sandblast and rustic finish.
The shiny finish and colouring of the smooth has proven to be somewhat controversial with some collectors/smokers .Personally I do not entirely agree with the criticisms which have been made, in respect of this. I am willing to give it time and quite like the new finish. Of course to those who do not like the smooths, there is always an alternative choice from the other finishes that are available.

Engineering: Typical Deluxe system quality,with none of the fills and spills in evidence in the lower entry Petersons.

Smoking Qualities: Legendary high quality with good draw and excellent smoking,particularly with Virginia and flake blends. Peterson at it's best.

Cost : around $350 - $450 plus, depending on which finish.

Availability: After initial production and distribution hiccups, they are now widely available throughout Europe and North America.

Sandpipers score rating 9.5 out of 10, nearly perfect!
If customers had been given more choices , particularly in alternative smooth finishes and not had the Poker imposed along with the bent as a set, it would have been the magic 10 score. I still think that if they were good enough for old Samuel,they are sure nuff good for me,the Legend lives on. 

Here is my new MT bent. 

The new MT Poker.