Friday, 30 April 2010

Another old Peterson...

Just arrived today, my latest Peterson system pipe, an old sandblasted System Premier 313. The hallmark on the silver band is very worn but appears to be the G for 1974.

The stem is rather chewed but it should clean up just fine and the bowl seems to be in excellent condition. The job for the bank holiday weekend will be to give this pipe a good spiffing. Once that is done I expect it will smoke as well as my smooth System Premier 313.

Update: I've replaced the stem with suitable system standard stem (and stored the original away in a labelled bag). The pipe sits much more comfortably in the mouth now.

This brings my set of 313s to four, a Standard smooth, a Standard rustic, a Premier smooth (my birth year pipe - 1956) and the new Premier sandblast. The two Standards are both "Early Replublic", dating from between 1949 and 1963 judging by the faux hallmarks on the nickel band.

I guess a System Deluxe 8s will complete the job. One like the one on the left will do nicely.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Wilson's of Sharrow's New Web Site

Founded in the early 18th century, Wilson's of Sharrow, the famous Sheffield snuff maker, has now firmly joined the 21st century with the launching of their new online shop.

I shall miss the phone calls to the mill to order snuff (the staff have always been so friendly and helpful) but I have to say that it will be a lot easier ordering my Wilson's snuff in future. The new site seems very easy to navigate and all the various options are there, though I have to admit to being a little baffled by their way of categorising their snuffs. I wouldn't have expected to find Irish High Toast (No. 22) under SP Snuffs for instance. Not that the quirks are a major problem of course, more of a minor niggle. I have noticed that not all the products listed in the paper catalogue are in the online shop (yet) but that catalogue is available on the site as a PDF download.

Now we just have to hope that Samuel Gawith and Gawith Hoggarth follow suit with equally useful online shops.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

A Peterson Patent 181 B (Short)

This Peterson Patent 181 B (Short) is my latest Peterson acquisition and quite a gem it is. It dates from 1908, judging by the Dublin hallmark on the silver band and the screw in amber(oid) stem fits and lines up perfectly. The bowl looks like it has hardly been smoked. All that for just £45. Definitely my lucky day!

Having had a look through the various Peterson catalogues available online, I have concluded that the model is almost certainly a 181 B (Short), as shown on page 69 of the 1896 catalogue, though that only mentions vulcanite stems. I guess stem possibilities changed between 1896 and 1908. "B" refers to the style of the stem and "Short" also refers to the stem, which has a screw thread rather than a push fit. I'm not sure how to determine whether the stem is amber or ambroid. Maybe someone can suggest a way to tell the difference between them?

While the shape is similar to the Sherlock Holmes Milverton and the Kinsale XL24, the 181 is a much smaller pipe. Maximum length is 11.5cm (4.5"), bowl height is 48mm (1 7/8"), bowl diameter is 30mm (1 3/8"). Internally, chamber depth is 42mm (1 5/8") and the bore is 19mm (3/4"). Not quite a nose-warmer but definitely a pipe designed for use outside the home.

The rigid leather case isn't in bad condition for its age and it appears to have done a great job of protecting the pipe over the years.

Note: I have found a definition of amberoid. It is "a synthetic form of amber made by heating and compressing valueless small pieces of amber with other resins." Peterson's catalogues seem to use the variant spelling "ambroid".