Rev. 12/28/2022. WHOOPS! The original Rua Spigot of October 2021 was not the first of the CP Collection. It was not stamped.
UPDATE 5/13/2023. The Sherlock Holmes Iora Sandblast CP was released 02/24/23. See photo at end of post.
Back in March of this year, Chuck Stanion reported the introduction of The Charles Peterson Collection for SPC’s Daily Blog and how it came about with Giacomo Penzo’s experiments in contrast staining on the Rua Spigot. The Collection was officially launched with the Rua Spigot’s immediate sequel, the Barley Spigot. And now, just a little over two weeks ago, Smokingpipes has dropped their latest small-batch in the Charles Peterson Collection, as indicated by the “CP” shank stamp.
Today’s release is the fourth in the collection, as Prof. John Schantz so wisely and kindly reminded me in the original comments for this post. Chronologically the CP Collection therefore includes (1) the Barley Spigot (December 2021), (2) the Iora (March 2022), (3) the SH Rua Spigot P-Lip (July 2022) and now (4), the new Deluxe Natural Rusticated System.
For System geeks, this is an important release marking the first time a Deluxe System has been released as a vergin in Natural and rusticated finish.
Of the 13 shapes currently in the System range, all are represented in this release aside from two of the smallest, the 8 / 313 and the 12 ½ / 317.
I was late to this party but nevertheless found a spectacular XL5 with the “boomerang bend,” probably my favorite System bend (seen above). The drilling is spot-on, right at 12 o’clock. The reservoir is quite deep. No tear-away in the shank’s airway. The wear-gap isn’t as narrow as a few recent issues, but still appreciably narrower than my Deluxe Systems from a few years back. Stem bend is great, dropping the bowl at that historically-informed tilt that tells everyone within viewing that a Peterson bent is in the house.
The shape of the calabash 305 and XL5S sometimes looses its flare even in smooth releases, but on this rustication it’s been preserved quite nicely around the rim. Bowl and shank are also well done.
The stamps on my XL5S are gathered nicely, quite deep as you can see:
Half of the shapes in this collection (the XL02, XL5, 9, 11, 11FB and B42) utilize vulcanite P-Lips, and a word I think should be said about these. The articulation of the P-Lip is razor-sharp (look at the 02 Fat Bottom in the photo below). I am guessing (but don’t know) that a new generation of stems has arrived at the factory.
Look at the gloss on these vulcanite stems: their shine is as high as the acrylic stems, which isn’t something one normally associates with Peterson’s vulcanite. Looking at the wear-gap, I can’t tell whether this is something that the craftsmen are doing by way of finishing in the factory or not, but it’s a wonderful incremental step.
Is the chamfering of the Deluxe wear-gap between the stem’s end and the threads of the tenon extension also new? If not, I don’t remember it. If you’ve acquired a new Deluxe within the last year or so, take a look and please comment. Gary Hamilton and a few others will I hope be able to comment on what this signifies for the engineering.
02 Fat Bottom
I asked Josh Burgess, Managing Director at K&P, about the way this Natural has been finished, in comparison with other natural releases like the Rogha, Burren, Supreme Sandblast and Special rusticated House Pipe.* Here’s what I learned:
Mark: How many of the Deluxe System Natural Rustics were made for this CP Collection release?
Josh: We actually produced just under 150.
Mark: Looking back at previous natural releases, what kind of bowls can be / are used for these kind of projects? I think the last factory bowl grading sheet I saw was 2019, but I’m wondering how bowls are selected for any of the naturals, including the Supreme Sandblast. As I scrolled through the available Deluxe Natural Rustics at SPC and SPE on release day, I didn’t see the kind of blemishes that common on the Burren (which the Pete community actually quite liked, despite the “flaws”). These all looked super clean, some with a bit more wax, but just a smidge.
Josh: For a normal rusticated pipe, we have one round of grading. The bowl gets designated as a rustic due to the presence of flaws or the absence of a good grain structure. I always feel it important to say that this doesn’t bear upon the smoking quality of the pipe. I have, for example, two Sherlock Holmes Professors, one a rusticated, the other a lushly-grained smooth. The rusticated pipe has outperformed the smooth from day one.
Mark: I think that’s something most of the pipe community has finally come to understand, thanks to the efforts of folks like Fred Hannah, Shane Ireland, Rick Newcombe and others.
Josh: When our pipes are rusticated, you’ll usually still see a few spots of discoloration before they are stained, as you observed on the Burren. But for a Natural Rustic (in distinction from the Burren), we’ll do a second round of grading after they’re rusticated and only select bowls that are really clean and suitable to be left natural. There’s no special grade, as you can’t really judge this level of cleanness before rusticating. It’s just an additional selection process.
Mark: Let me ask about the Natural House Billiard Spigot. Was it a tanshell? The ones I saw seemed a little darker than this release.
Josh: It really depends on how you’re defining “tanshell.” Neither the Natural House Billiard* nor the Deluxe Natural Rusticated employed stain, but we did use a different finishing technique to achieve a different look for those pipes.
Mark: The mystery of the tanshell continues! LOL. For readers unfamiliar with it, it was Dunhill’s fourth finish, introduced in 1952, which was not simply naked briar but involved the kind alchemical wizardry than pipe companies necessarily safeguard.
So about the carnauba wax on the Naturals: I notice on my Supreme Sandblast 9s that the very light wax coating is creating a beautiful, consistent patination or darkening which is quite even and consistent. It’s not like the earlier Rogha Natural sandblast. That pipe and the Burren line which came in its wake have no finish whatsoever, which means the darkening is due to oils in the fingers and dust, bringing up the blast lines quickly but in a dark grey-brown. A different kind of thing.
Josh: Our initial thought was that the wax simply helped the pipe look more attractive, but it does have the added benefit that you’ve noticed, as I can attest. We were testing in the factory and I ended up smoking a sandblasted pipe with no finish at all, like the Burren and Rogha. I’ve kept the pipe, and while it has darkened it has a lot of handling marks. I think the wax on the Deluxe Natural Rustic and the Supreme Sandblast helps minimize helps this and distributes the color more evenly, as you note.
Mark: One last question. How is the current rustication being received, in terms of sales and customer response?
Josh: Based on sales, I think most customers have responded better to the sort of rustication that we’re doing now versus the old pineapple style rustication or the shallow rustication. Those pipes just weren’t very interesting—either visually or texturally. I think the trick is to be careful on some of the smaller shapes. I don’t think we always get that balance just right, but we’re certainly striving for a depth that’s proportional to the shape. Our rustics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think what we’re doing now is much more in keeping with Peterson tradition.
Mark: Thanks, Josh!
As I wrote back in April, the Charles Peterson Collection is similar in its aim but broader in scope than the Craftsman Series of 2014-16, which was a collaboration with Ashton, K&P’s then-distributor in the US. The purpose then and now (it seems to me) is to showcase the skills and artisanry of K&P’s craft folk with a single-issue small-batch collectible. The CPC releases seem to be running somewhere between 120 and 180 or so pipes, making it more accessible than the infuriatingly scarce earlier series, but if you got back and look at those pipes, the new series is also at a consistently higher level. The attention to what the artisans can do has been heightened, or so it seems to me, pushing each release to achieve something that hasn’t been done before.
CHARLES PETERSON COLLECTION: THE POSTER GALLERY
#5: The Sherlock Holmes Iora CP, edition of 47 pipes, was released 02/24/2023.
Many thanks to Josh Burgess, Andy Wike and Kapp & Peterson
Media materials and most photography courtesy Smokingpipes.com
Additional photos courtesy C. Mundungus
…and I really like this ornament, courtesy Tom Cuffe:
* The House Pipe Billiard Natural Rustic was not part of the CP Collection. Josh Burgess told me ” it would have probably been included in the CP collection had it occurred to us at the time as it would definitely fit within its ethos.”
THIS PIPE TOOL COULD KEEP YOU OUT OF COURT
So this is a true story. A few weeks ago I was summon yet again for jury duty. For those of you who still work, you will be unable to conceive how getting up and being somewhere at 8 am is one of the Seven Abominations of Retired Men, but it is.
I made it, somehow, and managed to get there in time to stand outside in a very long queue in what was, for Texas, a fairly bitter wind. Somewhere after 8 the doors were unlocked and we we trailed in, standing this time in a kind of chute where all the cold wind blew down our necks.
An hour or a day or a few minutes later, the line began moving. Eventually I made it up to the front, deposited my keys, Sig-Sauer P320 and portable rocket launcher (back pocket) into the greasy plastic bins. Made it to the other side and a nice fella in a blue uniform asked me to step out of line.
He held up my keys and pointed his index finger at the Rockwell tool you see in the photo above, a custom job made for me by Prof. John Schantz. “You can’t bring this in here,” he said.
“It’s a pipe tool,” I said. “No blade,” I said.
“Sorry sir,” he said. “You can’t bring this in here. I can dispose of it for you, or you can return it to your vehicle.”
By this point of the morning I had finally said, “Not my will, Lord, but Yours,” with the full conviction that I would be selected for a two-to-three week criminal trial involving the the illegal smuggling of pipe tobacco across state lines in an 18 wheeler full of 100% legal cannabis.
So I walked out into the bitter wind, feeling better about carrying my Cross and now knowing where this day was headed. Made it to the vehicle across the busy street and into the labyrinth of the parking garage without getting run over. Removed said customized Rockwell pipe tool. Returned to the court building.
Got the front of the line and the nice fella in the blue uniform said, “Stop here, please.”
I was expecting this and unbuckled my belt to drop my shorts for a full cavity search.
Instead the nice fella in the blue uniform raised his voice and said, “All you folks in line, we’ve filled our quota. We don’t need anyone else today. You’re free to go home.”
“The blast is awesome. It’s # 83 which happens to be my birth year as well which is icing on the cake.”
Jury Duty; the most fickle mistress there is. That’s a fine story though. I once had to surrender a Swiss Army knife to get a passport photo taken. The guard was sympathetic and allowed me to put the knife on top of a file cabinet for later retrieval. Must’ve been smiled upon that day as it was still there in the lobby after an hour. I like the Rockwell tool.
You’re welcome Mark, I’m glad to see it’s part of your EDC.😉 I have served on two juries, so far. I didn’t mind it, it just doesn’t pay well. It also floored me the way some jurors think. All jurors agreed that the accident was not caused by the defendant, but the plaintiff. One juror however, who also thought that the person accused of causing the vehicle accident was not at fault and agreed the plaintiff was at fault instead, wondered who would pay for the “supposedly injured” plaintiff’s medical bills, so she voted the defendant “at fault” yes…even though… Read more »
Hi John, I feel your pain with the green SPD’s. Ric at Briarville does a superb job at restoring the green stain to these faded SPD’s. I think they look better than the original. He is currently running a $25 pipe restoration special through the end of the year (maybe $10-$15 more to restore a stain).
Hey John. Yes, I liike that initialism which I had to look up: EDC. I emended the text with a footnote: Josh says the House Pipe was not included in the CP but only because they hadn’t thought to do so. You can read his words.
Well, that’s good for me. So I DO have at least one CP pipe from each edition. Except, the Original Rua Spigot’s we’re not marked CP either. At least mine is not.
You may be right here as well, John. I may have misread what Josh wrote to me. 🙁
By the way, Kendall’s PPN #83 has an enviable blast. If the obverse is similar, I think it reigns supreme. AND a birth year to boot, awesome.
SmokingPipes EU still has four left, including a 3
I ordered an 11S from the European site as soon as I saw the drop, not realizing that they would also be available on the American site. So when they hit the other site, I ordered a 2S, my first in that shape (or any of its other numbers). I’m a sucker for virgin finishes, and also for Deluxe Systems. The 2 was darker than the 11 before they were smoked (the smooth nomenclature patch almost looks like it had a light stain, actually), and after two bowls, it’s showing more patina than the 11 is after three bowls. It’s… Read more »
Okay, now I do know some of these–as I have one–did NOT receive the CP stamp. Just an oversight at the factory. But maddening, of course.
If I ever make it to Ireland, I’ll take it with me and demand that they stamp it properly! 😄
Hey Mark, I really enjoyed the post today! That was a very informative interview with Josh regarding the finishes. Those are some nice looking pipes, and I’m glad to see that your Peterson Acquisition Disorder (PAD) is still very much active, LOL! Very interesting on the amount of chamfering on the threaded tenon for the extension. I do not recall ever seeing chamfering to this degree on previous tenons, especially those threaded for the aluminum extension. Typically in the manufacturing process, regarding threading, one would make only a very light chamfer for the purpose of cleaning up the start of… Read more »
Remind me to fill my pockets if I ever get called up for Jury duty! That quote above is a good summation from Josh, I like that direction for Petersons future product lines!
I just think the carved finish is Ugly
No well made pipe is ugly, some are just not as attractive as others.
Mark, I really enjoyed the post and I was able to secure an 11, b42, and xl5. I already tested out the 11 and it smoked great, and it will
Become my travel pipe. It seems my collection has grown after becoming a member of this group….
Another great article and story Mark. It is always a good day when you can get out of jury duty. Once the defense realizes I have been an LEO for 37 years they just send me home. BTW, nice choice of sidearm, although I am still a revolver kind of guy.
Hey Chris, while a fiction, yeah, I guess I read too many of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. While I am opposed to starting physical violence and will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid it, I don’t have a theological problem with using lethal force on someone who is out to murder or maim others or myself. LOL.
I totally missed this offering of Deluxe Natural systems, which is probably just as well with Christmas coming and a trip south of the boarder to see my son. Also, I need to off load some pipes, (non Pete’s) before adding more but even though I haven’t smoked them they are hard to part with for some reason. Mark, it always surprises me, even as a retired police officer of nearly 30 years, to hear accounts like yours of civilians carrying side arms as casually as they would a pocket knife , (or a pipe). Just can’t get used to… Read more »
Marlowe, the pistol and the rocket-launcher were just there for comic effect. The pipe tool was real. In fact, aside from comic exaggeration, it was a true story. I didn’t have to do jury duty and the pipe tool did give me back my day. Having said that, yes, in Texas it is legal to openly carry side arms. I’ve only seen two or three people in as many years do so. Two were bikers. One might have been a security guard–it was hard to tell.
Montana. Open carry without any special permit is ok and has been for over 50 years, probably more….even in bars and saloons…as long as the establishment is not “posted” against it, and the person is legal to own a firearm. Recently passed concealed carry without a permit is also ok as long as you are legal to own a firearm. Carrying concealed while imbibing alcohol, even one is a big no-no. Open carry is allowed even while drinking alcohol….but not very wise. There are places where firearms are not allowed, but very few, such as public schools, and school grounds,… Read more »
I missed out on this pipe, which is a shame, because I love natural wood pipes. I also love the sandblasting and rustication Peterson is doing lately is top notch! I’m not bummer, but it’s a pipe I’d have liked to added to the collection for sure.
Sidnote: Remind me to tell you my pipetool vs. TSA at LAX story sometime. It happened not too long after 9/11. 😮💨
Chris, yes, email me! We’d all love to hear this.
SPeu still has a 2s 9mm on their site as of Monday, noon, your time.
I picked up one of the 2s one the day of release. Smokes great and is a pleasure to behold.
The last time I was on an airplane, I was carrying my 3.75” bladed Benchmade Elishewitz Sentinel 875 BT (no serrations-my preference) in my pocket, no worries getting on the plane with it then. I have carried it daily since I purchased it back in ~1998 It might be a problem now😬.
I can understand the pipe tool not being allowed in the courthouse. The tamper part is no problem, but that tool has a corkscrew and a pretty substantial pick, both of which would make pretty handy weapons. I would not have wanted to run into either of them during my time as a correctional officer!
Chris, actually John replaced the corkscrew with a cigar cutter (the little tube with the sharpened end. But yeah, I see your point.
Awesome article Mark! I was able to snag an 11s in this line, which I was kinda hesitant on as I’m not the biggest fan of Petersons new rustication. It does seem they’ve toned it down tough recently and have managed to maintain shape integrity better. The natural color I think helps this as well. As to your question regarding the chamfer in the stem, I have a new Natural System Deluxe 9s that is chamfered and I believe my POY 2020 and the PPN pipes are that way as well. Thanks John Schantz for the compliment on my PPN!… Read more »
Thanks for the intel, Kendall. Glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, they’re constantly striving to up their game in maintaining shape in these rustications (and in blasting as well).
It still sounds like it is about as good as it gets for the PPN run.
Have to say the Darwin is awesome- great addition to the others 🙂 I ran just about every type of tobacco through it and have decide if I want to dedicate a type to the pipe. Great review of the release Mark
Bob, If I hadn’t just plunked all my change on a Premier B42 at the Texas pipe show, I think this might have been a second choice for me. It’s outstanding, isn’t it? So glad you got one!!
Mark, Thanks for another interesting read. I know there is beauty in many things, but I just don’t find it in the rusticated naturals; I suppose they look unfinished to me. On another note, “Half of the shapes in this collection (the XL02, XL5, 9, 11, 11FB and B42) utilize vulcanite P-Lips, and a word I think should be said about these. The articulation of the P-Lip is razor-sharp (look at the 02 Fat Bottom in the photo below). I am guessing (but don’t know) that a new generation of stems has arrived at the factory.” I have the same… Read more »
This was a superlative release in every regard. As mentioned, the drilling on my B42 is spot-on and I also noticed the narrowed wear-gap, which improves the lines significantly. The rustication too seems tighter and more refined here; less asteroid/honeycomb and more suggestive of natural ring-grain. Something I noticed that is not present on my other Laudisi-era Deluxe System (2S) is a slight curvature at the top of the sterling mount -a small detail that really adds a touch of elegance. Add that this all came at a price that was less than a regular sandblasted Deluxe System and this… Read more »
McJ, Yes, the top of the ferrule on my XL5 has the same slight curvature. I agree, quite elegant and something new!
The ferrule on my Rua Spigot XL02 has the “Hinch” dome, the Iora Spigot XL02 is just slightly domed, the ferrule on my Deluxe Natural Rusticated XL02 is flat 🙁
P.S. I really line the lines of the “Hinch” dome.
“…a two-to-three week criminal trial involving the the illegal smuggling of pipe tobacco across state lines in an 18 wheeler full of 100% legal cannabis.”
As a Californian who can find over 100 legal cannabis dealers and two (2!) pipe shops in the Sacramento area due 100% to laws both enabling the former while separate laws inhibit the latter, this line hit the very center of the bullseye.
Another Batch of Iora´s was released on friday exclusiv on the EU-site.