Okay, that word “last” may not strictly be true, considering all the little projects Peterson works on for their customers, but certainly the James Fox – Peterson “Sionnach” (pronounced shun-ock) was one of the very final lines produced in the Dublin Era (1991-2018), and one of the most distinctive. It slipped by me when it came out in late 2018, somehow, but I managed to catch it not long before Pipe Divan, the Dublin James Fox on-line presence, was rolled into the new site at www.jamesfox.ie this past August.
Yiorgos Manesis, manager at the James Fox Cigar and Whiskey Shop in Dublin (as it is now known), explains: “We came up with the design last summer  when we visited the factory in Sallynoggin. “Sionnach” is the word for fox in Irish, which we thought would be a fitting name for a Fox-exclusive run, and we chose a color to match the name. Like our previous releases with Peterson, we wanted a combination of stain/mouthpiece that hadn’t been used previously in their portfolio. Conor & Glen suggested the off-white marbled with pale green mouthpiece with an aluminum “P” and a thin nickel band with a red inlay and we were very pleased with the outcome.
As for shapes, we went with an 03, 107, 408, B10, X220 and the Large tankard [D19], with a small run of 60 pipes produced across all shapes.”
The James Fox (or J.J. Fox) store in London is a legend among the older generation of pipe smokers, to whom a trip to London would be incomplete without stopping in for tins of their legendary tobaccos—blends like Banker’s, Campanile, Provost and Old Year—and a long look at some of the finest pipes in the world.
But many pipe smokers don’t know that the James J. Fox store in London and the James Fox shop in Dublin are owned by the same family, or that the Dublin store opened in 1881, while the London opened in 1947.
Back in June, Yiorgos very kindly spent the good part of an afternoon with me and my wife talking about James Fox, its history and its collaborations with Peterson. In the next post I’ll share that interview and the four Fox-Peterson collaborations as the first in a series of oral histories we recorded on our Ireland trip, which include interviews with Glen Whelan (director of sales), Jonathan Field (factory manager), Jason Hinch (silversmith) and Martin O’Brien, (bowl stain craftsman).
For your Identification Guide:
Sionnach (2018) A James Fox small batch of 60 pipes in 6 shapes: 03, 107, 408, B10, D19 and X220. Dark ruby smooth finish with nickel and red acrylic sandwich band, white and light green marbled acrylic fishtail mouthpiece with aluminum P.
All photos by Yiorgos Manesis,
courtesy James Fox Cigar and Whiskey Store