I know it’s not even Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. But trust me, you need this information now, while there’s still time to write Santa. This is the most spectacular Christmas pipe Peterson has released in the line’s six-year history, and the vagaries of the marketplace being what they are, I don’t want anyone to miss out on finding the shape he wants. Speaking for myself, I sent a FedEx overnight to the North Pole when I spotted the shape I wanted—the B35—because I just wasn’t seeing many of them out there.
It’s true the 2014 Peterson Christmas pipe began appearing in June or so, with an advance publicity photo out last February. I had thought this was (or has been) a U.S.-only release, but I’m looking at a 9mm version of the 220 on my desk, so there’s apparently hope for those of you across the Pond.*
The advance photo had me really excited—the domed-mount ferrules and army-push mounts seemed too good, too “Peterson,” to be true. Unfortunately, they were. The original line-up was to have included the 01, 106, 338 (aargggh!), X220 and XL02. As Conor Palmer recently told me, “the originals which ended up being photographed were created in an army style but by request of most of our customers we reverted to the classic style and simply forgot to amend the photography!” Who are these customers is what I want to know! Well, there’s always next year, right? And in the meantime there’s lots to be thankful for—including the B35.
The rustication technique—“acorn” as some of us call it—isn’t anything special, but put a matt red and black finish on it, add a nickel band with a laser-engraved sprig of holly and “2014” and then put on that amazing red acrylic stem and you’ve got Christmas Magic.
To appreciate the pipe you really have to see one in person. I’ve tried to capture some of the magic, but my photographs only hint at what your eye can see (click on the photos for a larger image). The stock photos at the various e-tailers don’t even come close to what this pipe has to offer. Depending on the piece of rod they’re cut from, the mouthpieces reflect the light in every which way, giving off a different glow depending on the available light.
The Peterson Christmas pipe was first issued in 2009, in a shape derived from The Rivers Collection—known as the Corrib in that collection. Bowls of identical high quality (and finishing, it looks to me) were used with a sterling band stamped with a Christmas tree. The shape became the beefy B33 setter, and has been released since as a rustic Kapet and in the Italian Rock of Cashel line). Kathy Kelly at Cupojoes.com still has a few in stock, incidentally. Jim Lilley has a lovely picture of his 2009 at his blog, which can be viewed at http://thepetersoncollector.blogspot.com/2011/12/peterson-christmas-pipes.html
I’ll let the photos below fill you in on the details of the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 models. To my mind, none of them holds a Christmas candle next to the 2014 in capturing the magic of the season.
E-tailing for about $103, the 2014 Christmas pipe is a wonderful, inexpensive way to celebrate the Season. While Peterson hasn’t boxed them in a “Twelve Days of Christmas Set,” there are 12 shapes on offer: 03, 107, B62, 01, 68, 69, 106, B35, B37, 221, 230 & X105:
Being the Peterson ephemera hound I am, I have to also mention that, beginning in 2010, the Christmas Pipe was released with a box sleeve.
*If you’re in the U.S. and can only find a 9mm in the shape you want, don’t hesitate. The “Flavor Inhibitor” (or filter) can simply be withdrawn and discarded. The mouthpiece is now opened up to specs even Rick Newcombe can appreciate.
As usual, thanks to Smokingpipes.com for the bulk of the photos, but also to the other fine purveyors of Peterson pipes for their images: James Fox, TobaccoPipes.com, and to Kathy Kelly at Cupojoes.com.