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.


  1. Bryan Gesinger6 June 2012 at 05:49

    Now that the Plato pipes are to be discontinued, perhaps Peterson will introduce an Aristotle series.

  2. I've heard that aside from being enormous (they are), they are also wonderful smokers. Eric Josten at Cupojoes has presumably the last batch, most of them with plateau at bowl rim and stummel's end, with P-Lips, AND drilled as system pipes. There's also a few with the DeLuxe wear P-Lip stem. They've been around since the 1970s, so it's a shame to see them go. Chuck Wright tells me they couldn't source the huge blocks of briar necessary to continue.