Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Mysterious Peterson B-Shapes.

The Mysterious Peterson B-Shapes.

I have for some time been fascinated with the Peterson B designation on their shape charts. To my simple mind I found that they were confusing!!!Having said that I am a big fan of them,particularly the B42,B10 and the B11.
I set out to research the background and thought that some of you may be interested to read these brief notes.

The following are some Internet quotes that I gleaned from others on the subject.:-

“Ah, the Peterson "B" pipes, a series which serves as Peterson's super-secret testing grounds for new and unheard-of shapes.”

“Peterson's 'B' shapes are supposed to indicate a design idea more obtuse than we might see ordinarily in their roundup. Now, I've seen some 'B' shapes that certainly fit this bill and I've seen some that don't. This shape is most definitely the latter. That's probably why it's the most popular 'B' shape in Peterson's line; it's well balanced, nicely proportioned, and not really at odds with the general pipe shape aesthetic”.

“The "B5" shape is an interesting take on the classic bent Bulldog. Peterson has a few bent Bulldog shapes, most famous of which is the "80S". The "B5", however, sports decidedly different proportions, from the ratio of the area above the double beading to the area below it to, the size of the shank relative to the bowl”.

“The B10 is an interesting Calabash-Dublin hybrid, resulting in a fluid shape than the traditional Dublin, and a more solid aesthetic than the often whimsical Calabash”.

“Half bent Brandy, half Volcano sitter, the "B11" stands out even by Peterson's often eccentric shaping standards”.

“I have a Shamrock smooth B12, (like a Pete 150 with a brandy bowl). Smokes like a Peterson with slightly less attention to detail on the finish which I love the natural color of. Fairly nice grain and fit seems on par with his brothers.To state that Peterson "B" shape is unusual is something of a redundancy; in this family, the odd is the norm. Here we have a full-bodied, bent brandy matched to a wide, tapering diamond shank. It's composition is a marriage of hard edges and soft curves, and it is pulled off with excellence”.

“A newer Peterson B shape, the B26 is a tall poker sporting a low-slung shank and transition, making for a rather conspicuous profile. It also happens to make for a pretty nice sitter, a fit comfortable in hand, and a pipe with plenty of chamber.”

“A Peterson St. Patricks Day (2010) in shape B-30. It's a nice thick-walled dublin but surprisingly lightweight. The thick walls of the bowl make it an incredibly cool smoke, and it's a very comfortable shape. The only problem is that the shape B-30 seems unique to the 2010 St Patrick's day series .
There's a few subtle, interesting hints of Danish shaping going on in the new B30, a shape that seems to have made its d├ębut in the 2010 St. Patrick's Day pipes.”

I have seen only one example of a B40,which was recently on display on the Alpascia website. It is in the form of a Kapp Royal. Similar in shape to the Darwins(B42).However Alpascia list it as a medium size pipe??.

I wrote to Peterson's asking for clarification on the B designation in their shape numbers, here is their response, (June 2011).

1.Question - What does the B stand for?. – Answer “It is a reference only”.
2. Question - When (which year) did you first start using them?. – Answer
“Circa 1998”
Question - How many are there in the series?.- Answer “We started with 7 pieces and this has now been reduced to just 3”.
. Question - What are the numbers,e.g.B5,B10,B11,B42? etc. - Answer “Our B Series numbers were B1 – B2 - B5 - B7- B8 – B10 and B11, only B5 - B10 and B11 remain.”

Note: We use the letter “B” as a stock reference for all new shapes e.g. The Darwin series is a B42 but they are not classed as the “B” Series.

Clear? OK. Or still confused?


  1. To "B" or not to "B": That is the question!

  2. Good one Bryan!very appropriate.LOL.

  3. I really wish they would come out with the B30 again. That is the most beautiful shaped dublin I've ever seen.

  4. Hey! Have you ever noticed, have your writting skills gone any better so far?