Monday, 23 April 2012

Out of Africa.

I recently acquired an interesting Peterson 1989 System African Meerschaum, complete with a steel wind-cap. It is a 312 shape with sterling silver collar and P-lip mouthpiece. What caught my attention other than the wind-cap,was the beautiful honey colouration.
They used to make pipes from meerschaum from Africa,Tanzania. This source run out some 10 years ago, the company closed around 2002. These pipes where made with a slightly different technique than the higher quality Turkish Meerschaum. They where dipped in a hardening oil to make it much more resilient to knocks and everyday use. African Block is heavier and doesn’t have the same degree of absorptive properties as Turkish.
Some photos below of the new addition.





Sunday, 22 April 2012

Moving with the times 2.

The other new issue mentioned in the previous post was The Iceberg 1912 Collection which will consist of a four pipe boxed set due to be issued in May of this year.They are being offered in Smooth,Ebony,Sandblast and Rustic finish.With Fishtail mouthpiece.
I suspect that they will probably become available through time as individual pipes.

Shown below is a selection of smooth new shapes.Starting with the 'Bow' shape.


Next is the 'Port'.

This one is the 'Starboard'.

Finally to complete the set the 'Stern'.

Moving with the times.

Peterson were kind enough to include me in a sneak preview of their new products for the coming season.
I have to applaud them on their current strategy of producing new progressive pipe series each year,thus maintaining keen global interest in the brand.It is all the more remarkable in the face of current world wide anti-smoking campaigns and adverse media attention.Unfortunately Pipe smoking tends to be included with cigarette's in this negative onslaught.However there are definite signs of a world wide pipe renaissance and Peterson is putting the brand at the forefront of a positive campaign to take advantage of this.
Having viewed the new seasons pipe offerings I asked Tom Palmer for some background on two of the issues in particular which I have noticed are receiving mixed comments and reviews on several Pipe community The Dracula and Iceberg issues.
This was his reply. 
"We always try to associate some Irish place or person , where possible, and link it with our pipes. Iceberg Collection is obvious as the ship  was made in Belfast.
However what may not be so obvious is the Irish connection with Dracula. The author, Bram Stoker , was a Dubliner and 2012 is the 100th anniversary of his death. Currently there is a little controversy in the city as some people want to buy the home of his birth and convert it into a museum. The house is in Clontarf on the north side of the city.
All of the pipes are classic shapes and the little difference is the colour of the mouthpiece---red/black!!
At Frankfurt fair in February and with visits from some of my biggest distributors, the Dracula series is proving to be the most popular of all the new pipes we have introduced in 2012 !!"

The Dracula pipes are due for sale around September of this year and will be available in selected shapes - X105, 221, 03, 999, 68 and 69 with fishtail mouthpiece only.

Here in the 03 shape.


Next is a shape 221.


 This one is shape XL105.


Friday, 6 April 2012


As a collector of Peterson pipes I get a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction in bringing older examples of the brand back to life.I have a particular affinity with those pipes from the Patent period. I never miss the opportunity to acquire any examples that interest me,even when they may be damaged or minus a stem.
For some time now I have had a couple of patent 'House Pipe' and XXL size bowls which have needed replacement stems.Not something that can be bought off the shelf!!
Following a recent acquisition,a magnificent 1908 Silver Cap XXL House Pipe bowl. 

I decided to contact the magicians at Peterson of Dublin to ask them if it was possible to make some suitable stems as illustrated in this old Patent catalogue.

 True to form, they decided to give it a go and refurbish three of my stemless Patents.
Here are some shots of the results, first the 1908 Silver Cap.

 Next is a photo of all three examples,1908 Silver Cap(bottom) 1901 Magnum(centre) plus a huge 1900 XXL(top), all complete with new stems.The small 303 system pipe is to illustrate size and scale.

 I am very pleased with the resurrected pipes and the great service from Peterson's craftsmen.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Peterson Clay Pipes

I am often asked about Clay pipes made by Peterson and why they are so rare and few.

Peterson made clay pipes during the Patent Era with two shapes being depicted as can be seen in their 1905 Patent Pipe catalogue. It shows shape numbers 8A and 12A. During this period their clay pipes were stamped “Peterson Patent” and could be purchased with either a silver or nickel band. During the second World War, Peterson again started making clay pipes, due to the shortage of briar. The clays of this period are stamped “Peterson System” and were only offered with nickel bands. They continued making their clays until their London shop finally closed in the 1960s. Examples of which can be seen on page 9 of the 1962 &1965 catalogues, priced seven shillings and six pence!!.
 As to why they are few in number,I suspect that the brittle nature of the clay meant that mortalities would be high.
The photo below shows a recent acquisition, an early Patent glazed shape 8A bent Clay system in remarkably good condition.