Thursday, 30 September 2010

“Jim's notes/musings from the Pete Bog” 1.

“Jim's notes/musings from the Pete Bog” 1.

I am very happy with the reception and responses that this blog has received since its launch at the end of July this year. Currently we are heading rapidly toward achieving the 2000 hits/site visits mark, which is very encouraging and certainly makes it all worth while.
In an effort to continually improve the content and add some more general non - Peterson specific interest, I have decided to add a new regular 'light' addition to the current blog format. I hope it does not appear to detract from the main Blog and is seen as being complimentary to it.

Welcome to my 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!

Autumn in Scotland - The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Arbroath Angus Scotland - autumn, fall, Forest, Nature

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
(Extract from “To Autumn” by John Keats.)

Well, we’re now past the autumnal equinox, one of the two times of the year when the sun crosses the plane of the equator and day and night are equal. Make that “almost
equal.” This year the equinox took place on Wednesday, Sept. 22. A full moon was visible on that day. Traditionally the “harvest moon” is the full moon closest to the equinox and, since it happened on the same day, that is about as close as you can get!
However, because of other factors, the day when the hours of daylight and night are equal come a little before the vernal (spring) equinox and a little after the fall equinox. (However on those days the sun does rise due east and sets due west.)

A Scotsman having a 'wee blaw' on the pipes. - Here in Scotland we love to play with our pipes first thing in the morning, it impresses the neighbours!!
Unfortunately the guy in the picture grabbed the wrong pipes. His excuse was that he had been celebrating the previous evening and got confused.

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

The Trevor Barton collection of unusual pipes.
‘The Pipe Man’. That is how the locals of Portobello and Bermondsey market referred to the man who regularly trawled the Saturday stalls for a new addition to his ever-growing collection. Trevor Barton owned what was arguably the finest, most wide-ranging collection of pipes and smoking memorabilia in the world. This month’s Masters & Makers sale includes a selection from that fantastic collection, reflecting over fifty years of passionate pipe collecting.
Spending much of his life working abroad, Trevor Barton’s pipes come from all over the world. Having so much to offer he was a valuable member of the exclusive Academie Internationale de la Pipe. Synonymous with likes of Sherlock Homes, Einstein and Harold Wilson, pipes it seems, are quite the debonair accessory. This remarkable collection includes many pipes that possess huge ornamental flair. Whether you are an aspiring collector, or drawn in by the character of one particular piece, this collection is bound to persuade you to pipe up and bid.

I hope that the link above works for you all, it has not turned the usual blue colour!

Bog link of interest – Here is another link in association with the previous article/factoid on the Trevor Barton collection of pipes. Great little piece from the WPA film library.

Pipe Poem

'Sweet Smoking Pipe'.

Sweet smoking pipe; bright glowing stove,
Companion still of my retreat,
Thou dost my gloomy thoughts remove,
And purge my brain with gentle heat.
Tobacco, charmer of my mind,
When, like the meteor's transient gleam.
Thy substance gone to air I find,
I think, alas, my life's the same!
What else but lighted dust am I?
Then shew'st me what my fate will be;
And when thy sinking ashes die,
I learn that I must end like thee”.

Useful Things – Spotted this nice little pewter pipe holder on Esterval's site.
It is made by Pinder Bros of Sheffield and priced at around $40.

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.


Monday, 27 September 2010

Peterson Summer Time 2010 Blend.

Peterson Summer Time 2010 Blend.

“Black Cavendish,combined with golden and dark Virginia in different cuts and a large proportion of hand rubbed Virginia flake,make this a wonderful blend. Experience the summer on your palate with this superb pipe tobacco offering a rich aroma of delicious peach and a hint of vanilla and juicy melons. This blend has a lovely mellow taste and a very pleasant room note.”

I was recently reminded by my good friend Chuck ,that he was enjoying this blend, which both of us had purchased earlier in the year. I for one had not got round to trying it. Bearing in mind also that the summer was almost over,I thought it was time to indulge in this luxury 'special' blend.

Peterson have been coming up with some great tin art recently for their limited edition blends. This one is another in the production line, successfully evoking the summertime through both colour and image.

I love opening these specials, as you are hit right in the olfactory system. You are immediately opening the door to the joys of discerning the various elements in the marvellous cornucopia of blended ingredients. Appearance in the package inside its special tin is just beautiful and gives off an aroma like an expensive fruit tea. This one, in my opinion, is very similar to another great blend by Peterson, their Special Reserve limited edition 2003.

The cut of the tobacco, which is relatively large, will smoke differently in a large bowl pipe. I chose an older system XL302. Sometimes the lighter tobaccos will dominate for a bit, then the flavour will change. This happened a lot less when I used a pipe with a bigger bowl. The first few minutes of the smoke were very pleasant, with a pronounced sweetness that may not be to all tastes, but certainly was as advertised on the tin. Good friend Chuck reckoned that there was a hint of citric fruits,I would not argue,however would think more orange than lemon. Reminded me also of grass and hay The room note according to my wife, was exceptional,she thought it smelled of herbs!!. Then it began to burn hot for a bit, so I had to slow it down, and from about the middle of the pipe on down, the burning qualities were as good as any I've experienced. The blend had extra sweetness with a lot less casing than the usual Peterson aromatic. The tobacco taste and strength was minimal, it is essentially an aromatic, and so those who prefer English blends will find this probably a bit thin and lacking in fullness.
However to get down to basics, I would say that as a good change of pace aromatic blend, it certainly personifies the bold statement on the tin and does conjure up images and the ambience of the wonderful summertime months of 2010.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bryan's Museum 'Piece'.

Bryan's Museum 'Piece'.

If there is one single aspect above all others that I enjoy about smoking a pipe,it is the world wide bond that we pipesters share with each other. The enthusiasm for all things pipe orientated is amazingly infectious.
This was brought home to me recently, when a fellow Peterson pipe enthusiast,Bryan Gesinger from California, contacted me. He explained that he had composed a poem to honour the father of the Peterson pipe,Charles Peterson. The poem is currently on view in Peterson's Dublin museum (photo above) .

The Peterson museum houses many Peterson artefacts which helps outline to the visitor to Sallynoggin, the Peterson story and history. 

Here is a copy of the initial e-mail that Bryan sent me, it better summarises the amazing events that led to Bryan's Poem getting the major recognition it rightly deserves.

Hi, Jim,
About a year ago, I was prompted by my admiration of a newly acquired Peterson System pipe to compose a little poem in appreciation of Charles Peterson's achievement. I worked on it over a weekend, and the next week I sent Angela Fortune an e-mail inquiring whether the company might be interested in my tribute. Two or three days later I received a reply from Angela: Peterson was indeed interested, and if they liked it well enough, they might even send me a new System pipe for my effort! While I wasn't expecting any remuneration for the poem, I was certainly honored. I sent them the poem via e-mail, and shortly thereafter I received another reply: They liked it so well that they wanted my permission to display it in their Museum in Sallynoggin! This was mind-boggling. Of course I replied, By all means you have my permission! They also asked me to specify my preferences in a Peterson System pipe: size, shape, mouthpiece type.
About 10 days later I received a package from Sallynoggin, County Dublin (Peterson House). Inside was a beautiful System Standard and some tobacco samples. Some time later I asked Angela to send me some photos of the Museum display, which she did. I have them framed on my living room wall, along with a beautiful print of Mr. Heinrich Kapp's portrait that I recently acquired.
Here is the text of my poem”:

"My Peterson System Pipe"

Warm, season'd briar evokes the Em'rald Isle
Bespeaks the land of Jameson's and Guinness.
Mystique pervades the ingenious design
Of Charles Peterson's crowning achievement.
The natural, pure essence of tobacco
Its well-form'd bowl of aged briar yields.
Reflection turns my mind to County Dublin---
In Sallynoggin does my heart repose.

--Bryan J. P. Gesinger

Well done Bryan! maybe one day I will meet you and get your autograph.Your poem is quite inspirational.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Royal Irish.

A Pair of Peterson 'Royal Irish' beauties.

The Royal Irish series of Peterson pipes are one of their lesser known issues.As high grades,probably because of the price range that they sell for and being at the top of the $300 - $400 range.
I have long admired them as they epitomise the elegant style and quality of briar that I find particularly attractive.
Initially I was drawn to a XL90 shape and then a XL02,both among my favourite shapes.Dressed up in their 'royal finery' they are nothing short of spectacular in my opinion.

Peterson's web site describes them as:-
“Only about 5% of our bowls are good enough to make this selection of pipes. These special pipes, all of which are silver mounted, are rare and a limited number are available each year. Shapes can vary depending on availability of suitable raw materials”.

I know how scarce these are from having waited six months for mine to be made by Peterson.
 The first photo is the XL90. Second the XL02.

Some new Peterson Pipe accessories.

New Pipe accessories.

Good to see that Peterson are continually updating and bringing out new pipe accessories as well as pipes and tobacco.
Here are two new items which are just about to be launched for all of us Pete nuts.
First is a new single ceramic pipe holder complete with the Peterson logo.Neat.

Second is a new impressive pewter Pipe tamper in the image of our old friend Sherlock Holmes .I do like this one.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Pipe Focus-The 7 Sherlock Holmes 'Original' pipes.

Pipe Focus-The 7 Sherlock Holmes 'Original' pipes.

The subject for this pipe focus is the 'original'issue of the Sherlock Holmes pipes.
I realise that I had previously touched on the series albeit briefly, in an expansive and general sense,however lets look more closely at the individual pipes in more detail.
Probably the most successful series of pipes ever introduced by Peterson in terms of numbers. They were first issued in 1987 to honour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous fictitious detective character, Sherlock Holmes.
The initial issue was in the form of a 7 day set and included a wooden rack for the complete set. The pipes were made from selected briar. These were made available in meerschaum, smooth, ebony, rustic and some sandblast. All are extra large bowls.with a hallmarked Sterling silver band,with the options of the Peterson lip and fishtail mouthpiece.

Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the most famous pipe smoking character in fiction. He is reputed to have kept a selection of favourite pipes – from plain black clay to richly grained briar – to which he frequently resorted to for inspiration,while unravelling a mystery, or solving a knotty problem. For solace, after bringing a difficult case to successful conclusion, and always for pleasure. A man who kept his tobacco in a Persian slipper has to be something of a character, and a colourful one to boot, as indeed was Mr. Holmes of 221B Baker Street, London.

The pipes are crafted in Ireland from selected Mediterranean sourced briar, and are made to honour the novels original characters,places and items encountered by Sherlock Holmes in his various adventures. Each pipe is mounted with a genuine Hallmarked Sterling Silver band and Sherlock Holmes profile stamp, specially struck to honour the Great Detective.
Peterson offer the same range of pipe shapes as second grades, in the issue known as the 'Kinsale'.I appreciate that this allows prospective smokers the opportunity to own the same range of shapes at budget prices. However as in most things in life ,cheaper doesn't always mean as good as. These 'seconds' have bowls of a lesser quality and finish and do not have the hallmarked silver SH bands. I find the acrylic coating quite off putting and in my opinion, contributes substantially to increased overheating of the pipe bowls.
Please also appreciate that my comments are my personal opinion and may not be representative of,or held by others.It is based on many years ownership and experience of smoking the complete Sherlock Holmes series.
It is so easy to be drawn into the romance and mystique of such a well known issue of pipes and lose the subjective focus,so here are my thoughts on this iconic series of Peterson pipes,warts and all.
In general terms I find the Sherlock Holmes series appealing to the eye,but failing in quality and value for money. There is room for improvement in the quality of finish and the basic engineering to make these much improved smoking pipes.

The first pipe in the series is named 'The Original',and is a typical Calabash shape which has long been associated with Holmes himself. It is the bent urn Peterson shape XL11.
My own personal thoughts and experience of this shape I have to admit, have not been that positive. As well as not scoring highly with me in terms of both looks and functionality, I find that it tends to overheat quickly. Even when deliberately controlling my smoking cadence and maintaining a deliberate sipping technique, it continues to burn hot. On a scale of 0-10 I would score it at 7.0.


Next pipe is ' The Baskerville'.I have to admit a soft spot for this one ,as it was my first ever Peterson pipe. To me it had it all ,the looks,plus charisma and was a large bent. A clenchers delight. It is a full bent and is Peterson shape XL12.I would score this one at 7.5.


Third is 'The Baker Street',a large bulldog, Peterson shape XL13.Again I find this both an appealing shape and a very tactile and comfortable pipe to smoke.It has an excellent draw.Scoring 7.5.


Fourth pipe is 'The Deerstalker' a quarter bent bulldog,Peterson shape XL14.To my mind this shape just oozes classic Peterson charisma and elegance.It is a favourite shape,again one that I find very tactile and a wonderful smoker.I would score this one an 8.0.


Next is 'The Squire,another bulldog,one that I would call a large quarter bent Rhodesian.Very elegant and comfortable in the hand..Peterson shape XL15.Scoring 7.5.


The sixth pipe is 'The Professor',a large half bent brandy shape. Another shape that I am drawn to,superb in the hand and an excellent smoker.This is Peterson shape XL16.I would score this one 7.5.


The final pipe is 'The Watson' the largest and to my mind the best of all.A full bent Rhodesian.Tailor made for me,it is a clenchers delight to smoke.Peterson shape XL17.Scoring a worthy 8.5.


Saturday, 18 September 2010

'Red Darwin'

'Red' Darwin

As most of you regular Blog followers know, I have a particular fascination for the new Darwin series.Peterson lists only four Darwin variants on their official web site,Deluxe,Premier,Rustic and Smooth.However I have managed to source several more variants in an attempt to make up a seven pipe rotation/set.These are a Sandblast,Ebony and finally a 'Red'.The 'Red' arrived today to complete the set.It is a premier quality briar with a silver ferrule. Here is a photo of it and one of the complete set,apologies for using a Sherlock Holmes rack .


Monday, 13 September 2010

PIPE FOCUS – Peterson Deluxe Systems.

PIPE FOCUS – Peterson Deluxe Systems.

The pipe choice for our focus is one of Peterson's more recognisable series, the handsome and very distinctive Deluxe system pipes. These pipes are at the top of the 'system' series in terms of quality and finish.

Construction/engineering/workmanship: Outstanding,well carved , drilled and aligned. Silver work excellent, finish very good, and the often maligned briar is outstanding.

Design: Apart from the Darwin,the balance can be stem heavy, bit is thick and chunky,especially in the larger versions.

Smoking quality : Excellent,dry and cool. Flavor and draw is great in new pipes.
Aesthetics and ergonomics : I find some shapes much more attractive than others.Favourites for me are the 1s,2s,3s,the Mark Twains and the Darwin deluxe.As a clencher most are very good to hang,except the beautiful Darwin which is more of a 'hand holder.'
Finish: The modern orange/golden colour is, in my opinion less attractive than that found in the older Walnut finish of the eighties.
Value/cost: Given the excellent quality finish these are competitivly priced at around $135 to $250 depending on size and briar grade.

Conclusion: For what it is worth,I reckon the Deluxes are probaly the best value range that Peterson produce, both in funcionality and value. There's not a thing wrong with these pipes. Those who malign the brand because they're made by the hundreds using machines, are very wrong, IMHO. I like them a lot and the bang for the buck is the best I've ever seen for new pipes of this quality.

Here are a few examples of mine,smallest to largest.first is a 3s then a1s,next is a Mark Twain,followed by a 2s and finally a Darwin.The example in the top photo is an 11s.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Peterson 's new Christmas Tobacco.

Just spotted this on the Peterson web site, their new Holiday Season(Christmas) Tobacco 2010.I look forward to their annual limited edition blends,it makes a complete change to my staple Virginia rotation.Order being placed as I type!!
PS also a sucker for that great tin art.

Red and golden Virginia tobaccos from the US and Africa are the basis of this wonderful mixture.

They are blended with double fermented, broad cut Black Cavendish as well as a hint of roasted Burley, refined with a delicious aroma of cookies and cream and a touch of espresso.
The result is an irresistible pleasure for both your palate as well as your environment

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Peterson “Blackrock” B11.

Peterson “Blackrock” B11.

I have always admired the B11 shape, but never actually settled for one in a series to try it,until now.
As usual I love to window shop ,one of my regular places on the web to look at Peterson 'eye candy' is the Italian site Alpascia.On a recent visit there I spotted a series that has always intigued me ,the ”Blackrock”.I seem to find this series more on European sites than on North American ones.It has always caught my interest, with its almost jet black mineral appearance.
I spotted a B11 in this finish and decided to pull the trigger.Again this is for purely scientiffic interest and research it has nothing to do with my weakness!! If successful I may commission the shape in a silver spigot high grade, as I think the B11 looks stunning in that form.
So have a look at the photo,it is on it's way and following arrival I will keep you all posted on it's performance.

This is a photo of the beautiful B11 Silver Spigot that I now have on order.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Peterson Special.

Peterson Special Extra Large Bent Smooth Fishtail.

Well it's confession time again,my PAD (pipe acquisition disorder) is still not cured.I just had to pull the trigger on my latest purchase,which I had been lusting after for some time.
In the early 1990s Kapp & Peterson made this giant, classic full bent, smooth pipe exclusively for Bonds of Oxford Street London.
The pipe is 16.5cms long,bowl height 6.1cms,with a bowl depth  of 5.5 cms and internal bowl diameter of 2.1cms.
Bonds seem to have an endless source of NOS Peterson pipes,(new old stock pipes).
I am always intrigued by these pipes when they arrive by post. Inevitably they come in their original packaging and to my mind are a window back in time.I enjoy the box and contents as much as the pipe.
I had seen this pipe on many occassions when I had previously visited Bonds e-bay site.I have always been attracted to it and admired the classic shape ,size and finish.They were offering the same pipe in various finishes and stem fittings.However I preferred the smooth fishtail.I am a sucker for large bent Petes.Just my taste,however it was not cheap at around $355. So I kept putting it on mental hold since it was always on the site for “buy it now,or best offer”.
Well I placed an offer and it was accepted,hopefully it will arrive to-morrow.I will be leaving this post open ended to allow an update.So watch this space!

Having had the opportunity to see the pipe 'in the flesh', I am amazed at the quality,feel,looks and the smoking performance.Yes you heard right I smoked it!Normally with the newer un-smoked high grades that come into my collection,they remain un-smoked.However I made an exception with this beauty and boy it was worth it.I realise that it is not possible with just one smoke to give a balanced fair assessment ,however it is obvious that there is great potential for this pipe to become my new best friend.

Friday, 3 September 2010

English Made Peterson Pipes.

English made Peterson pipes actually spanned between the pre-Republic and Republic eras. In 1895, Peterson opened a shop in London England that lasted until the late 1960s. So the English Era, for a simplified date, will be from 1895 through to around1970. The stamps Peterson used in London and that we have seen are:
Made in England - block format
Made in England - circle format
Made in London
Made in London England
Simply, London England
Great Britain
Note. If the pipe is stamped Dublin and London, it is a Dublin made pipe. If the stamping is London and Dublin, it was made in London.
Though there are a couple of more, the above will give one the general idea. We believe the earliest stamp of this era was the "Made in England" in a block format since Peterson was using the "Made in Ireland" block format at about the same time on their Irish production pipes. The "Made in England" circle format was used during the same time frame as the "Made in Eire" and "Made in Ireland" circle formats.
As one can see this is pretty straightforward but there have been inconsistencies within this method of stamping. Peterson was never very energetic in removing their old stamps from the work stations so the older stamps can and did cross-over into the newer Era's.

Some Peterson smokers in the know prefer the smoking quality of the Peterson London factory pipes over those produced in Dublin.

The London office and Factory was located at 74/77 White Lion Street.There is some speculation as to when it may have closed and stopped production. I have copies of two English Peterson pipe catalogues,one is dated 1962 and the later one is dated 1965.
Here are some sample pages from those.

Here are a few of my London made Peterson pipes.

First one is a beautiful elegant shaped 1940 'Kapet' Rhodesian bent bulldog.

Second is an unsmoked premier 150 shape bulldog.

Next an unsmoked 440 premier 1950

Another unsmoked 1950 premier X105.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Peterson Pre Republic Pipes

Peterson Pre Republic Pipes.

Pre-republic era (Before 1949)

The pre-republic Peterson's are often considered to be 'special'.They hark back to a time when quality briar was in abundance and craftsmanship was of the highest level.
Like all collecting desirables, pre-republic pipes now are relatively hard to come by, with availability declining with each passing year. The amazing thing that I find with pre-Republic's is the consistently high smoking qualities that they show,regardless of being a high or low grade issue.
No it is not that I am looking through rose tinted glasses and being sentimental,they really were very well made.I base my judgement on owning and smoking quite a few of them.

For the purpose of this exercise,and bearing in mind the eccentric vagaries of Peterson nomenclature,I am suggesting that an acceptable criteria or starting point of when the Pre Republic era begins and ends,requires a short historical resume.:-

The Irish Free State came into being in December 1922. The British sovereign, as King of Ireland, was nominal head of state, but Ireland was a republic in all but name.
An entirely new constitution was voted by the Irish people in 1937, with provision for a President Of Ireland as head of state. Therefore, Ireland became a republic in 1937, but was not called that. It was called simply EIRE (Ireland in Irish.)
When, in 1945, the British government inquired of prime minister Eamon de Valera weather he intended to proclaim a republic, his answer was: "we
are a republic", having refused to say so before for eight years. This was news to the British: when George VI ascended the British throne in 1936, he had been crowned King of Ireland, as well, little knowing that there no longer was a Kingdom of Ireland!

Republic of Ireland Act of 1948 officially changed the name of the country to The Republic of Ireland.

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history,something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records.The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949.
Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson's Dublin on the band. After 1921/22,If it is stamped "MADE IN IRELAND" and the "Made in" is stacked over "Ireland" or "MADE IN EIRE" or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938. A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped "Irish Free State". From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped "Made in Ireland"." If the stamp reads "MADE IN IRELAND" in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all "pre-republic" pipes. I can tell you that the mark "Irish Free State" was adopted in 1922;and replaced by "Eire" in 1937 and then by "Republic of Ireland" in 1949.
Phew! So there you have it.easy and straight forward,eh yeah!

Peterson initially graded their mass -produced System pipes, i.e., regular catalogue pipes (in descending order) "Deluxe," "First Quality," "0" grade, "2nd grade," and "3rd grade."
You will also find old Peterson Systems stamped System 4 or System 5. The shape number is also indicative of briar quality; for example,- 364 is Peterson's 3rd quality shape number (the 2nd quality sister pipe is a 314.)

Somwhere in the 1940s they introduced the "Premier" and "Standard" stampings. The "Premier" falling just under the "Deluxe," and the "Standard" becoming the former "2nd grade" quality.

The stampings on the silver bands are "faux" hallmarks and are just decorative symbols of Ireland ... a Shamrock,a wolfhound , and a castle or tower.

In regard to the silver and nickel markings of this period,well nuff said,it is a blooming minefield.
Here is some additional information from my old friends,fellow Pete nuts, ChuckW and Ed Mac, that may help clarify.

Hallmarks are only required on precious metals not nickel. Also a pipe made in England must meet english requirements which now (and for a number of years)are only 925 for sterling. This is an EU standard I believe. The shamrock, wolfhound and tower are not hallmarks. Dublin hallmarks for sterling are hibernia, lyre and a letter denoting the year. They are still required for silver and gold in Ireland.
On the faux "hallmarks" vs Dublin silver hallmarks. There are many Peterson pipes with sterling silver bands that do not have hallmarks though, even some in the Premier and Deluxe grades.

I have many, many Petersons stamped "sterling silver" on the band that lack hallmarks. There is no question about it. I don't know if it is silver-plated and still stamped sterling silver or what. I have a pipe that is a System Premier stamped "sterling silver" but without hallmarks. I am looking at it with a 15X loupe, and it never had any hallmarks. I have found if they have the "K" & "P" in shields on the band, they often lack hallmarks.
it was my understanding that the sheets and tubes of silver were purchased by Peterson, stamped with the maker's mark, and then sent to the assay office. The assay office then would return the hallmarked tubes and sheets for the Peterson silversmiths to use.

Ed quote:- “I am only talking about Pre-Republic pipes made in Ireland; all of the Petersons made in England I have with silver bands have London hallmarks on them.

Peterson knows very little about the history of their pipes; I have spoken at length to Tom Palmer of Peterson, and they just do not have records, or really much knowledge, about Peterson pipes prior to 1980.

I own about 250 hallmarked Petersons dated between 1890 and 1939, and I have probably another 50 Pre-republic pieces that are stamped "Sterling Silver" but never had hallmarks. Oddly, almost all of the old, hallmarked Petersons I own are not stamped "Sterling Silver." I also have maybe 100 Republic pieces that bear Dublin hallmarks, and just a few that are stamped 'Sterling Silver" but have no hallmarks. Many of these are unsmoked, so there is no chance the hallmarks have worn off. I think the inconsistency has something to do with the "Sterling Silver" stamp; I have an idea of someone who will know the answer to this question.

You are correct about inconsistency being more the rule than the exception regarding pipe nomenclature and stamping. I have been working on a guide for old Peterson pipes for several years, and they changed their stampings and grading systems often, and offered many special pieces and oddball lines, even in the old days. It is part of the joy of collecting”.

Here are some examples from my humble collection of pre Republics.I hope you enjoy the view.

An O grade(highest) 1934 Deluxe.

A standard system 307 Eire 1938.

A standard system 358 made in Eire 1938.

A standard system356 made in Ireland.

An 02 Oom Paul 1946

I hope that the above has given a taster for acquiring these great pipes.I love them.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

'Genesis'- Charles Peterson.

'Genesis' - Charles Peterson.

The Nurnberg brothers Friedrich and Heinrich Kapp, whose elegant Dublin tobacconist first opened for business in 1865 on Grafton Street, Dublin could scarcely have dreamt that they would participate in the birth of a legend.
Friedrich & Heinrich, who christened their shop simply 'Kapp Brothers', soon made a name for themselves making and selling quality Meerschaum and Briar Root pipes.
It was not long before Charles Peterson, a large young Latvian immigrant from Riga, walked into Kapp Brothers Grafton Street premises with a revolutionary pipe and ambitious plans for the future.declaring that he could make better pipes than they could.Armed with an imaginative flair for pipes and a craftsman's background. There and then, Peterson suggested that the brothers go into partnership with him to turn his pipe dream into the world's dream pipe. They agreed and Peterson not only proved himself correct, but became the third partner in the fledgling firm.The company was renamed Kapp & Peterson.
Kapp and Peterson went on to become Dublin's most fashionable and respected manufacturer and purveyors of fine smoking products. Pipe and cigar smokers would stroll down to the elegant premises for professional advice on the subtle nuances that determine a good handmade cigar or pipe. The Peterson brand was embraced by politicians, business leaders, sportsmen, artists and writers.
Thereafter not much more background information is known about Charles,how his business progressed,his family life if any,when did he retire,where and when did he die?
There are few if any historical references, other than the famous quote he wrote on his favourite pipe.The original pipe is on display in the Peterson Museum in Dublin and the silver band is engraved with the message: “When stolen, please return to 55, Grafton Street. C. Peterson”. He obviously had a great sense of humour.
Shown here is Peterson’s own pipe. This is a well-used pipe, and it is obvious that Charles valued it very much. It is a large thick-walled pipe, with a bowl that tapers internally.
Charles was a big man, with proportionately large hands, so this pipe would have fitted them well.

My great friend Six Dollar Dave has just completed some very interesting genealogical background research on Charles and his family.This has been most helpful, in filling in some of the historical, blank missing pieces.Thank you for a job well done Dave,it is much appreciated.
I do however realise that this is still work in progress and that David will continue to research Charles Peterson's family history.We will update any information that is relevant to the project.

Dave writes:-
For the year 1901, I"ve found a Charles Peterson living at 126 Rock Road in Dublin. His birth place is listed as Russia. His age is listed as 47(?). He's a widower and lists his occupation as pipe maker. I'm guessing this is our Mr. Peterson. Also a woman by the name of Mary O'Regan, who is listed as married and his landlady, lives at this address. She will show up again, later.”

Jump to 1911. I find a Charles Peterson living at 144 Leinster Road, Dublin. His age is 60 years, birth place is listed as Riga. Again his occupation is listed as pipe maker. But now he is married, it looks like to Annie Peterson, age 34. They have been married for 9 years and have two living children. I believe their children are a son, Conrad Peterson, age 7, and a daughter, Isolde Peterson, age 2 months. One other child was born to them but has died. The year of birth and death are not given. Again I find Mary O'Regan listed as living in the household, but as his sister-in-law. Her sister is married to Charles. No mention is made of her husband although she is listed as married and head of household. I also find a John Peterson, age 45, whose birth place is Riga, living with them. He is listed as a lodger and his occupation is pipe maker, and he is single. Possibly a brother to Charles, or at least a close relative. Also in the house is another Conrad Peterson, age 21, whose birth place is also Riga. He is listed as a student and a visitor in the house. A young woman by the name of Agnes Geoghean is listed as a children's nurse and Kathleen Dornt is listed a as general servant, both single and both living in the house”.

It is also interesting to note that the family members included a children's nurse and a general servant living with them.This would appear to indicate that Charles's business was doing well financially.
As yet we have no information on where and when Charles died.