The Peterson Donegal Rocky is probably the most popular 'entry level' classic shape pipe that Peterson have ever produced. They have a huge Universal following amongst pipe enthusiasts who knowingly expect good quality,value for money and excellent smoking performance, relative to the price they pay. They are also a great introduction to Peterson's pipes for novice pipe smokers looking to buy their first Pete brand pipe and can be bought new for around $75.
It is a range of rugged rusticated pipes that is reputed to have originated in the 1930's. or 40's. I have tried to pin point their exact introduction and as usual find that the Peterson records for that period are very poor. The only certain catalogued reference that I can confirm, is from a very early 1960 catalogue that I have,which shows the complete Donegal Rocky range in various classic shapes.
Over the years they have changed .Originally the earlier specimens,which appear to have been of a black colour. Today's modern variants are more of a two-tone Cherry red and black colour. Some of the earlier pipes also appear to have been fitted with condensers,up until 1970.
Today's Donegal Rocky pipes are available in most of the Peterson Classic shapes and according to the latest Peterson retail catalogue,will come fitted with a sterling silver band ,when purchased with a P Lip or a Fishtail stem. Nickel bands come with Fishtail stems only. The confusion between the silver and nickel that this produces, and the subsequent wrong information and advice,can be quite amusing. It is a common topic of discussion on many pipe forums,with the usual cry,”where are the hallmarks on my sterling silver band”?
Donegal's can take a bit of time to break- in, but once it's done and a decent cake has started to form,they are fine smokers.
From my experience they are terrific work pipes,being rugged in finish and reasonably cheap to buy,they present a great case for everyday use. An added bonus is that the stem or whole pipe, are easily replaced if damaged. Or eaten by Dogs!!.
The following photos show some examples from my own collection.
First one is an elegant medium sized full bent shape 69.
Second, we have the very popular bent Rhodesian 999 shape.
Third ,is another elegant shape, from the newer 'B'series,a B11 Brandy.
The last one is my current favourite shape, another example of a Dublin or Calabash shaped B10.
Donegal Rocky B10 Plip.