The second annual Halloween pipe is here. Per Andy Wike, Marketing Director at Laudisi, “they’ll be available for retail sale Wednesday, September 28th starting at 6:00 p.m. ET.”
After last year’s fright-fest Halloween System, with its Dracula line-inspired red and black acrylic P-Lip, this year’s nickel-mount black blast army mount with its pumpkin acrylic F/T—by way of contrast—offers a quieter but nonetheless welcome autumnal take on Halloween.
I’ve loved “leaf peeping” since I was a boy and we’d attend the Maple Leaf Festival in the little Missouri town of Carthage where my parents grew up. In Finland, it’s called ruska in, as friend Gilbert Ludwig can tell you, or momijigari as my old neighbor Totoro in Japan would say. By whatever name, the season is one of our deepest affirmations that impermanence and letting go are part of who we are. Celebrating the turning of the year and a less hectic, cooler climate (here in the northern hemisphere) seems ideal for a late night smoke on under starry nights, and what better to do it with than a Peterson?
This year’s army mount follows the custom established at K&P, with stamps gathered together on the smooth under shank. The stem color in my photos and the studio shots is very friendly to the camera and in this case what you see on your screen is what you’ll see in real life—a beautiful shade matching the orange of fall foliage perfectly. As usual, these are all in the standard sandblast grade, although a few shapes, like the 999 I looked at, are quite nice.
There are a number of shapes on offer running the gamut of the catalog and including three of the XL / SH shapes: the XL11 Original, the XL17 Watson and the XL16 Professor. Other shape include the 01 short dutch, 03 small bent apple, 05 calabash, 65 bent billiard, 80s, bent bulldog, 86 apple, 102 small billiard, 106 medium billiard, 124 small dublin, 127 bent dublin, 150 bulldog, 221 and 230 bent billiards, 306 large setter, 338 small dutch, 406 small prince, 606 small pot, 701 tankard, 999 rhodesian, B10 rhodesian and B42 bent brandy—the SPC lineup.
I noticed that on the Christmas pipes, SPEu dropped an additional shape not seen in the initial SPC release (the 338 small dutch), so there may be an additional surprise shape or two from them. Like Daniel said in the comments below, an XL02 would be a terrifically “pumpkinesque” addition. I’d love to see it in either the ball or the fat-bottom version!!
If you want a truly Irish Halloween smoke, you can’t go wrong with any from the Irish Quartet seen above. From the bottom up, first the vastly underappreciated and quintessentially Peterson 306 “Beer Barrel Pub Sitter,” designed by Paddy Larrigan back in the 1980s. Then the 124, the slim dublin used on the original 1947 churchwarden release. Above that, the Speciality Tankard, also from the 1940s, and at top the small apple 406 which was also originally seen on the 1940s churchwardens. And these top three, as I like say, show the True Irish design language, “where straight is always a little bent.”
X221, 80s, 406
There are, as most of us know, four established annuals in the Kapp & Peterson lineup. At the top and least in numbers is the POY or Pipe of the Year (1998— ), the most expensive and most limited in number. Next in prestige comes the Christmas pipe (2009— ), produced in the greatest numbers. After that, the moderately priced St. Patrick’s Day (1998— ), probably in about the same numbers. And finally, in the smallest numbers apart from the POY, the Halloween pipe (only 850 last year). I don’t know if K&P is planning on continuing the Carroll of Carrollton as a kind of July 4th limited edition, but if so, it certainly ranks up next the POY as a higher grade and in even smaller numbers. K&P has experimented with a number of annuals over the years, and while the POY, Christmas and SPD have entrenched themselves, others like the Father’s Day, July 4th and Samháin (the original Halloween) were tried and let go.
The “Cobra” 03 (Prof. Schantz’s great nick-name for the new version of the 03)
I suspect the Halloween pipe may be around for a few years, as the holiday has become steadily more important, a black mirror of Christmas in some ways, at least here in the US. It’s odd, but from a sociological viewpoint, I kind of get it: we balance our fear of decay, loss and death (Halloween) with our hope of new life, light and regeneration (Christmas).
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Available now at SPC’s The Daily Blog
Found in the vicinity of Deansgrange, near Dublin,
typical examples of the Irish Strobilus Kapp-Blaszczak Smokimus
“Throughout the span of recorded human history,
pinecones have been a symbol of human enlightenment,
resurrection, eternal life and regeneration.” —Sarah Greenman