Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A Unique Victorian Peterson Pipe.

A unique Victorian Peterson Pipe.

Occasionally I am amazed at the rare and unique Peterson pipes that surface on E-bay.
My old friend Chuck Wright recently drew my attention to a pipe which he had posted on his daily E-bay offerings in the International Peterson Pipe Club forum. Chuck knows that I have a particular weakness for the older Patent Pete's. The particular pipe that he had highlighted was rather unique.The seller had been very honest in regard to it's poor condition,having obviously been heavily used over the years. I considered that It was still worth a bid,even allowing for it's poor condition.So I went into my Shark mode and acquired it!.
When it arrived I gave it a thorough examination.
The hallmarks were English(Birmingham) and dated the pipe at 1893,(date letter T).I have seen a few patent Pete's over the years,however this example was a first for me.The most obvious characteristic was the magnificent silver fretwork which encased the briar bowl.Such skilled silverwork was typical Victorian high-end surface embellishment,typical of the time.It showed an intricate show stopping work of art through the antique floral and leaf decoration.
The stem was well worn and damaged and the case was a bit grubby.But hey! it is 119 years old!! I am happy with it, in that it is a very rare example of an art form, not normally associated with early Petersons and as such is a prime candidate for the Sandpiper Peterson Museum.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Great little pipe poem.

In my constant journey for interesting pipe smoking gems, I came across this wonderful poem.

"Smokers and Jokers"

I owe to smoking, more or less,
through life the whole of my success;
with trusty pipe I'm sage and wise:
without I'm dull as cloudy skies.
When smoking all my ideas soar;
when not they sink upon the floor.
The greatest men have all been smokers,
and so were all the greatest jokers.

Anon (1835).

To compliment the poem I thought this rather cheery, happy picture of a contented pipe smoker was appropriate.The picture (Pipe smoking man) was painted by a great Scot's artist Kevin Jackson.

PS. the gentleman in the picture Cedric,assures me that the pipe is in fact an adapted Pete!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Functional Choices.

I have reached the point in my assimilation of Peterson pipes where my criteria for choosing a new pipe is very simple.Does the pipe I am viewing full- fill my basic requirement for rotational function, or as an art object that typifies the genre, or is it of historical importance.
As a serious collector I now find that I require to differentiate. However, there is one constant through out the Peterson range and that is their wonderful classical style. It always amazes me how a Peterson pipe stands out from a gathering of others,they are so distinctive.This was recently brought home when the well worn question was put to me, "of all of your Peterson pipes, which would you rate the best"?
Now considering the criteria set out above and having to be applied to around a collection of 500 pipes, it would be no easy task. However if I stick to pure functionallity, it becomes somewhat easier to apply it on a personal level.
I love large bent tapered stems.Not fussy as to whether they are P-lip or Fishtail, either suits me, as I am also a habitual clencher.
To my mind the typical classical Peterson shape that rings my bell is the wonderful Mark Twain. It has the classic Peterson good looks and also smokes like a dream.For me however it has one flaw, it's size. I personally would class it of medium size. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy mine, but for a really good long smoke I have to have a larger variant. Fortunately for me this has come in the shape of a 1989/90 issue pipe ,especially commissioned for a large UK retailer, Bonds of Oxford St. London. A special giant classic bent pipe,with dimensions of, length 17cms, bowl height6.1cm, bowl chamber depth 5.5cms, internal bowl diameter 2.1cm. This classic shaped Peterson with hallmarked silver ferrule,was issued in smooth and rustic finishes,plus options of tapered and saddle stems. Kapp & Peterson made this giant,hand made classic full bent, pipe exclusively for Bonds of Oxford Street London.
I enjoy my two specimens for regular smoking rotation,they have large capacity bowls, thick walls that do not overheat, wonderful open draws and they hang well when clenched . They suit me very well and are just like larger versions of my beloved Mark Twains.

Here are some comparison shots of the two Bond specials and a Mark Twain.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

New Kapp & Peterson Book - Update.

As most regular Blog followers are aware, work is currently underway on the production of a completely new Kapp & Peterson Reference Book.
The editorial team involved in the books development had previously requested the assistance of Peterson pipe lovers the world over to provide suitable material, anecdotes, photos,catalogues etc.This has proven hugely successful and has necessitated additional time and effort to include as much as possible.We were tentatively looking to target 2014 for a completion date for publishing. However recent events have overtaken that original thinking.

We have just received some very good news from Tom Palmer (the Peterson CEO) this morning regarding the book:

1.  Peterson will buy the book at wholesale from the publishers, Briar Books Press, to distribute internationally.

2. In tandem with this Peterson will issue a commemorative pipe(s)/book combination set for the 150th anniversary of Kapp & Peterson in 2015.

I am that sure all serious fans of the brand will appreciate the timing and the pleasure that such a great reference will give to all who eventually have the opportunity to purchase.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Plato Freehands.

There was a recent post on the International Peterson Pipe Club forum, which referred to the Peterson range of freehand pipes. Called Plato in America, these huge pieces of Plateaux briar are cut from the outer layer of the burl, where the grain is tight with a striking texture. The rough surface of the burl (the "skin") is left on the top. Plateaux are used for freehands, straight grains and best quality standard pipes. Just as two handmade pipes are never alike, no two plateaux are either.

I have never really warmed to them as I considered them to be the aliens of the Peterson stable of classical design and shape. However I have always respected the beautiful grain which is in evidence.My example shown here, has a stunning straight grain which is enhanced by the scale of the huge chunk of briar.

Sadly, these giant specimens are now to be discontinued by Peterson and will no longer be made by them.
I often see references on general pipe forums as to the Plato's rarity,well if there was any dubiety before over these claims, then this cessation of their production will certainly ensure that remaining stock are definitely entitled to that tag. They are certainly 'unique' if nothing else.

Friday, 1 June 2012

June is busting out all over!

Just finished a great smoke outside enjoying Natures bounty.June is certainly bust-in out all over here in bonnie Scotland!

I find that my frequency of lighting up and my choice of tobacco is all over the place at this time of the year.Today however I decided to go with a Sherlock Holmes 'Hopkins',stuffed full with Peterson's Nutty Cut.

Today is dry and sunny and is typical of the recent good spell of weather which we have been enjoying. We are very fortunate and privileged to be residing here in a beautiful rural environment. As I was puffing and sipping slowly on my trusty Pete, I could partake in better visual and hearing experiences than those on the un-holy monster that is television.
I think we take for granted things like Swallows zooming frantically nest building and feeding,Crickets chattering in long grass, Bees buzzing and the erratic flight of Butterflies.Not forgetting the olfactory delights of scented shrubs and flowers.

It's a wonderful world,enjoy it while you can.