The Grafton Series:- Peterson state that “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 only a limited number are available each year. Shapes can vary depending on availability of suitable raw materials”.
I have rarely seen this series of pipes for sale previously, it has been a complete mystery as to the quality of briar, finish and smoking qualities. Rarely is it mentioned on pipe forums.
So as is my want, I set out to acquire a couple.
The Grafton is rated by Peterson as one of their Higher Grades along with the Royal Irish and the Rosslare Royal Irish. I would also place it along with that other higher grade rarity the Celtic series.
My first impression of them is that the briar quality is superb,with gorgeous graining. The pipes are not what I would call stand out stunner's, they ooze quality and are reservedly handsome,enhanced by the acrylic Cumberland stem. The bowl finish is tending toward a matt finish and not shiny like the recent trend. The natural Walnut finish harkens back to the comparable pre-Republic bowls. The bottom pipe an 03 shape ,looks darker in real life!The Dublin bent is more typical of the darker stain.