214. The 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Commemoratives

214. The 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Commemoratives

For the 23rd annual release of the St. Patrick’s Day commemorative and for the first time in three years, K&P has brought out a traditional “navy mount” pipe. The in-house caramel-over-dark brown rustication is complemented this year by a green acrylic fishtail mouthpiece and introduces to the SPD a very bright, very shiny nickel band with Peterson (in script) over OF DUBLIN encircling the classic Peterson “P” which I have seen on the Aran nickel-mounts. In several of the shapes (as seen below) the mouthpiece is extended—not to the extent of the Waterford pipes, but long enough to make a distinct difference in the shape’s aesthetic and overall look. This is always delightful to me, to see just how many changes K&P can ring on a particular bowl—which is, of course, a practice they’ve used since 1891!

The super-cool thing about this year’s release, as you can see in the photo above, is a special green leather pipe holder, embossed with the Peterson logo and a shamrock. For the Pete Geeks I know, this is going to be a must-have or at least a “must want,” as so many of us have specialized collecting interests that don’t normally include the SPD. You can only get this lovely by buying one of the SPD 2021 pipes. I know because I asked (and if the author of the IPPY gold-medal winning The Peterson Pipe: the Story of Kapp & Peterson can’t get one without making an SPD2021 purchase and you can—I don’t wanna hear about it! Bruce W., call the waaambulance.)

During K&P’s big production era—say from 1891 through 1984, when they turned bowls in-house—the work on the factory floor was measured by rendering in the dozens, as in, “‘Hey, Jonathan, how many dozens you got?’ ‘I’ve almost got my first gross, Glen.’” The practice of counting by the dozen (base 12), seems to go back to the beginning of human history, although today we mostly think of its use in analog clock-time (and doughnuts, if you live in the US). Of course, we still use a 12-month calendar based on approximately twelve cycles of the moon for every cycle of the sun. But in ancient cultures (Chaldean, Egyptian, Celtic) it was natural to count as the earth itself counts. For me, it’s another reason to celebrate Kapp & Peterson as one of the last vestiges of Celtic sensibility.

I don’t know whether current factory crafts folk still count by the dozens, but the idea carried over into the Dublin era’s (1981-2018) commemorative issues like the Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day pipe, when twelve shapes were selected. For the Pete Geek during that era, there was the additional delight waiting to see what the “special special issue” pipe would be—meaning a shape drawn from a recent Pipe of the Year, special collection or special issue.

In the Laudisi era, the American-directed company has been consistently expanding the number of shapes for commemorative issues to virtually anything on hand in the Classic Range. So far for this year, 26 shapes have been made—although I’m told more are quite possible. Here’s the first-issue roster: 01, 03, 05, 6, 15, 65, 68, 69, 80s, 86, 106, 150, 221, 230, 264, 268, 306, 338, 406, 608, 999, B10, XL02, XL90, X220 and the XL 11. (If you are unfamiliar with any of these shape numbers, simply type in “Peterson SHAPE Smokingpipes.com” as in “Peterson 608 Smokingpipes.com” and you can bring them to your remembrance.) Here are some of my favorites:

01

15

68

80s (although really it’s a taper and should be stamped 80b, but that’s a long story)

86

150

264

268

406

608

B10

X220

XL11

 

XF-Ubar 

(This experimental shape didn’t make the cut.
I applaud the thick shank and stem, but the bowl seems a little wonky.)

That makes it difficult not to find a shape you like, although you will undoubtedly find some bowls more interesting than others against the wide acrylic fishtail. The acrylic stem is, as best I can see, pine green (hex #01796f). It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but then that’s what the commemoratives are all about, isn’t it? Not dissimilar to limited boutique blends released by our favorite tobacconists.

The nickel band, as I said earlier, is quite bright and well-made:

The stamps are gathered together on the bottom of the pipe:

I didn’t see any real tear-away on the three samples I looked at, so maybe this issue has been addressed at the factory.

MSRP is $120, and it looks like online prices hover around $90. They are out now, and most seem to be available, aside from the 268. If you don’t find the shape you want, don’t despair. I’m sure there will be updates before St. Patrick’s Day. And if you get one and don’t know what to do with that little green leather loopy-thing, drop me a line. I’ll take care of it for you.

 

Many thanks to Laudisi
for photography samples!

IPSD (International Peterson *er* Pipe Smoking Day) is Coming!
THOUGHT EXPERIMENT for IPSD 2021 (Sat. Feb 20th):
After considering Philip Booth’s “Provisions,”*
send
a selfie with pipe (or just photo of the pipe)  and answer this question:
What single Pete would you select? Why? What single tin of tobacco?

 

*PROVISIONS

The paperback somebody left on the plane
tells what you’ll need to carry on your person:
immune seeds in a shielded packet, something of value
to barter, a hardener to refill your own teeth.
The book suggests what weapon to take against
your own kind. And the canteen of water from
pipes still safe; salve for your skin;
a drug, at any cost, against immediate pain.
You already know you won’t want for matches;
you will have thought, long since, of boots
with impervious soles, fit for the distance;
repellent clothes, a balaclava, or thick-brimmed
hat, toward whatever the season may be.
Proud flesh will be your least of crises,
but take curved scissors for what you’ll need
to debride. And yes, dried food, for twice as long
as you think. The book says, Go, leave objects behind.
That much is true. Leave the book first of all;
it forgets to say what you cannot forget: that there’s
no place to go. Whether or not you go or stay, make
an eyeshield, a pocket next to your heart whatever
poems you might now think to copy, keep with you
what’s left of Thoreau. And since no one
but Bach can hold in mind all the Bach
one is bound to need, you might well practice
carrying his simplest tune: the small dance in G
that Anna Magdalena every morning sang
to ease her firstborn son. Carry that music, always,
in your head. What memory you have is all you’ll have left;
in whatever mornings there are, you’ll have for as long
as you possibly can simply to hum to yourself.

PHILIP BOOTH

 

 

 

 

 

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Martin
Martin
4 months ago

Nice Blog entery, I will buy one. Why is it called navy Mount again?

EBaggs
EBaggs
4 months ago

Mark, I have one bent Peterson, a 999; in order to get a pipe cleaner through it I have to put a kink in the end and twist it when it enters the mortise. Is that a common occurrence with most bent Petes? I have my eyes on either an 03 or a 69 when these SPD pipes come out. I’m just wondering what to expect when it comes time to clean my new pipe.

Steven Hersey
Steven Hersey
4 months ago
Reply to  EBaggs

I have a 999. I usually separate shank and stem for cleaners. I found they simply couldn’t go through when the two are joined, and always seem to stop about a centimetre or two outside the shank end! No problem really, though other pipes do seem to pass the cleaner test!

John Schantz
John Schantz
4 months ago

Dang, no smooth finishes🙁. I guess they have to get rid of the borderline firewood somehow🤔. The leather pipe rest is not going to sway me either, no matter how much I want to add one to my collection. I’m with Mark though, anyone that feels a need to be shed of one for a paltry sum, send me a shout out….after Mark’s first dibs of course🙂

DavidF
DavidF
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

It was 2019. In other words, about half an eternity ago. Or does it just seem that way?

Linwood
Linwood
4 months ago

It must be the fact that we’ve been isolated for so long that I’m getting kind of nuts – but I REALLY LIKE the green stem!!! And – (shown are) TAPERED stems! And the bowl colouring just makes it appealing! (as you know, I’m usually very conservative about everything…). So, I will grab some of THIS special offering. So much for ‘my I don’t need to buy more pipes’ thing, huh. I hope that some will be of a goodly size/capacity! Thanks for the prelim notice – you enabler 😉

Steven Hersey
Steven Hersey
4 months ago

I’ve never been a fan of strong colours in a pipe and, although the bowl rustication looks great, the stem green does tend to jar a little, for me at least. I must admit reacting somewhat to the distorted stem and mouthpiece in the ‘wonky’ bowl shot…how strange that looked.
The tear away was also a bit rum, I felt, not quite up to scratch?
Still, these Specials are, as you say, in line with all those one-off offers and limited editions and they will form a part of someone’s collection. Probably not mine, though…
Good wishes,
S

John Schantz
John Schantz
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

I’m thinking that “wonky” pipe would burn through the front of the bowl on the first light😬

Linwood
Linwood
4 months ago

Darn tootin’ they should! I’ll lobby for it.

Jason Canady
Jason Canady
4 months ago

Hi Mark, thanks for the write-up. As a collector of the SPD line I’m looking forward to this one. I really like the rustication/stain and stem color combo this year. I have collected one from each year since 1998 and I’m only missing the 2000 model. I’m looking forward to adding this one to my collection.

Jason Canady
Jason Canady
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

Since posting this I have acquired the 2000 model (XL21) and have completed the collection! That was quite a feat and took patience. My main goal is to get each shape Peterson offered in the initial 1998 line up. I don’t think anyone knows which shapes they offered during the first release. Over the years if I laid eyes on a shape with that wonderful Irish-colored band, I’d write it down documenting the shape existed. Then I’d search for it and once acquired, scratch it off my list. I currently have 8 shapes of the original SPD pipes and only… Read more »

Troy L
Troy L
4 months ago

Would have loved to see an X105. Wonder why the shape was omitted. Wonder if I should hold off to wait and see if they make it later on. Great article!

Cody M
Cody M
4 months ago

So what is the “special SPD” for 2021?

Cody M
Cody M
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

Well then it will go into what I don’t have model then. I only allow myself one pipe a year and it’s been the SPD since 2013. Would be one of those people then. With a one expectation while in Italy to get G. Penzo Pipe. Thanks for the help then. I’m going to lean to the 150.

Jason Canady
Jason Canady
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Irwin

As far as the special pipe within the special edition, to my observation this is the first time Peterson has introduced the Xl11 in the spd line. In my spd collecting opinion that’s noteworthy. The xl11 is the one I snagged when they were released and they went quickly.

DavidF
DavidF
4 months ago
Reply to  Cody M

My votes would go to the 264 Canadian and the 268 Bent Albert. I don’t recall either of these shapes in a commemorative line before.

Mark? What do your records show?

DavidF
DavidF
4 months ago

Continuing the discussion of which pipes count as the “specials” in each commemorative line, I’ll offer up a suggestion that on the next line (perhaps Christmas 2021 Elf Army) that the special pipe be a churchwarden!

Wouldn’t that be jolly? Keep the tankard as one of the standard shapes, and simply make some available with a churchwarden stem.

DavidF
DavidF
4 months ago

Mark, I wonder if you have any statistical information on the actual number of individual pipes Peterson has been producing for their commemorative lines. It seems to me (and I repeat “seems” because I don’t have any actual data on this) that in the last (ooh, say, maybe) two years or so, there seems to be more pipes available for each commemorative line than there might have been in the past. Let’s just say that 5 years ago, I wanted a Christmas 05. I had to search far and wide to find it, then grab it quickly before they all… Read more »

Big john
Big john
4 months ago

Not so fast , I like the green , my apple is on its way !!