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.