Thursday, 26 August 2010

Irish Seconds.

Irish Seconds!

A few years ago I acquired an Irish Seconds, no not a Peterson Shamrock, Kinsale, Captain Pete or any of the other sub group entry level Petersons which are also widely reffered to as 'seconds'.
The stamping never included the Petersons brand name,simply “Irish Second” made in the Republic of Ireland. This was a large half-bent model, which felt right at home in my hand. It proved to be an absolute delight from the first puff.
Irish Seconds were started at the Peterson's workshop in Dublin, but were rejected when a flaw was found in the briar. As seconds, they were finished roughly, and given a standard vulcanite stem instead of the Peterson System, "P-Lip" stem. Their natural, aged briar was usually light in color, and looked very good, despite a few sandpits. These pipes smoked great for the price, from the first bowl and with minimal break-in period.

I still have that pipe and smoke it regularly. All of them had a natural briar finish with no stain.I stained mine a dark walnut which has darkened even more over the years.It is as good as almost any mid-grade Pete. I am not bothered with the minor visual imperfections, plus the substantial feel in the hand and in the mouth, are a source of joy any time I sit down for an undisturbed hour of contemplative puffing.

Unfortunately, true Irish Seconds have become difficult to find as new pipes.I acquired mine new on e-bay, though the supply of estate pipe examples more than satisfies .

Their affordable price, in the range of $30-40 when I last bought it new , makes them accessible to people who have never smoked a pipe before and who are intrigued, but not committed and therefore don't want to spend $50 - 100 for an "experiment" that might not work out for them.

This is a photo of my pipe.


  1. It seems I gain a bit of knowledge everytime I drop by your blog, Jim. Well done, sir!

  2. That is a handsome pipe with that stain. I may have to reconsider them.


  3. There's one it two on eBay now or 35 if anyone was interested

  4. I am looking at an Irish Seconds pipe in a local antique/junk store that is an Oom Paul style. Looks like it would need some professional cleaning; what would be a good price? The lady has it priced in a group; the Irish Seconds,(4)Dr. Grabows (well used), and a stand for $49.95. I was going to try and talk her out of just the Irish.

  5. I've just bought one. Is there a special way to remove the stem? this one is not moving and I'm not forcing.

    Thank you Gene

    1. Put pipe in a ziplock bag and place in freezer for 15 minutes- if it doesn't twist, try again for periods of 15 minute intervals until it will twist off.

  6. I know very little about pipes but have become the owner of 8. One is an Irish Seconds and it is the only pipe without a stem attached. It is the same design as your picture with the tobacco can but the color is lighter without any red. It is so smooth to the touch that I hate to toss it but wonder if there is any resale value in it where it has no stem. Please advise. Gratefully, Marcie

  7. i have a sweet irish second, kind of like a bari "squash"

  8. what pipe is the exact pipe on the top of the page

  9. Brother Philip19 May 2013 at 02:00

    i also have a "Erica" peterson system second, very nice

  10. Beautiful Jim, nice stain job- I love the one I have, just like your pictured pipe except for the color- I bored open my tenon to accept a 6mm. filter because the nice thick diameter would allow that- It smokes great!
    Here's hoping you feel well in 2015- Thanks for this fine resource- Tom in Chicago

  11. I just acquired an Irish Second estate pipe. I have yet to smoke it but I do love the shape and can't wait to break it in.

  12. I just acquired an Irish Second estate pipe. I have yet to smoke it but I do love the shape and can't wait to break it in.

  13. HI I have a quantity of pipes a lot of them shamrock made in IRELAND some are silver plated.