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.