You are currently viewing 388. A Visual History of Peterson’s Bulldog Shape, Part 1: The Patent Era (1891-1919).

388. A Visual History of Peterson’s Bulldog Shape, Part 1: The Patent Era (1891-1919).

PSA: If you missed out on the mugs, flatcaps or tampers,
see the end of this post.

The quest for the perfect Peterson bulldog began for me with the first pipe I smoked, my Dad’s  Kaywoodie White Briar shape 12B, one of his two Kaywoodies. I knew nothing about pipes except that I wanted to be a pipe smoker, and I certainly had never heard of Peterson.  Because it was my first pipe, I suppose I’ve always held the bulldog shape in special regard, although there’s never been one in my rotation.

The Kaywoodie White Briar 12B (not my Dad’s, but same pipe)

While I’ve always felt the bulldog to be a quintessentially English shape, there’s no doubt that K&P made the shape its own right from the start, as we’ll see in this first installment dealing with the Patent era.  As I usually do with a shape history, I’ll begin with the famous chart from the old ASP shape history made by Bill Burney.

  

BULLDOG DESIGN LANGUAGE

Courtesy Bill Burney

“The classic bulldog,” writes Burney, “has a diamond shank, tapered stem and the bowl is canted forward a few degrees. The bowl is shaped somewhat like two cones joined at the bases, with the top cone truncated or cut off and the bottom cone blended into the shank.  Where the two cones join, there are traditionally two very small grooves cut around the bowl. . . . They are also available bent.” So the iconic design language looks like these two representatives from the workbench of Italian artisan Francisco Ganci:

Francisco Ganci Bulldogs (photos courtesy Al Pascia and Bollitopipe)

I would suggest the design language of a classic bulldog has six components:

  1. diamond shank
  2. tapered stem
  3. bowl canted forward a few degrees
  4. two small grooves where the top and bottom cone meet
  5. usually straight, can be bent
  6. conical or v-shaped chamber

You can’t get more of an English bulldog than Dunhill’s,
this being the 4104 Chestnut. Hmm—all those who cavil about
Peterson Heritage and Dark Smooth stains—see anything remotely familiar here? LOL
(Photo courtesy Blue Room Briars)

You’ll notice I’ve added a sixth to Burney’s list of five. I’m not a pipe maker, but I’ve read and seen diagrams that the chamber geometry of the bulldog is conical or v-shaped. I’ve peered into my dublin and bulldogs with a flashlight and poked my finger into them trying to make this determination, but really, it needs someone from the industry or an artisan pipe maker to confirm this. If you fall into either of those categories, your commentary would be most welcome.

If bulldogs really do have conical chambers, this may account for why so many pipemen don’t care for the shape while others are enthusiasts: the v-shaped chamber is (I’ve heard it said) the least popular among smokers. This is because it causes the flavors of the tobacco to intensify as the bowl is smoked down. One reason I like dublin shapes, in fact, is for this very reason. If Fletch, Professor John or anyone else in the know can comment, I’d really appreciate knowing for certain. With all this in mind, however, we’re ready at last to turn to ye olde Irish bulldogges.

 

Ye Olde Irish Bulldogge (the Canine Variety)

 

KAPP & PETERSON SHAPES IN THE PATENT ERA

1896 Catalog Shapes

From the Patent era, the earliest bulldogs in the K&P catalogs we know about are those in the 1896 catalog, shapes 34, 35 and 36, seen from smallest (top) to largest in this illustration:

 

As they are only illustrations, it’s difficult to know with certainty if all three have forward cants on their bowls, but there is one essential detail we ought to note: the beads between the small grooves where the top and bottom cones meet. These beads will return!

1906 Catalog Shapes

A decade later, the 1906 catalog follows up with an explosion of Irish bulldogges—the Coronation Cad, the 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205. You can judge the scale by the 1 : 1 ruler overlay in each of the following illustrations:

Coronation Cad and the 200

 

The 201 Variations

 

The 202 and 203

 

The 204 and 205

 

WHY “CORONATION CAD”?

K&P’s named shapes are few and far between and have always been among my favorites if only for that very reason.  Like Patrick McGoohan’s No. 6 in the old TV show The Prisoner, I seem to prefer names over numbers.  Usually with Peterson names just a little thought will unlock the reason for the name. But “Coronation Cad” was so unusual that a few years ago I called in my “little grey cells” (which are normally in hiberation) to help out.  I came up with the etymology for “Cad” a few years ago, but as it was discretely placed in a footnote, you may not recall what I wrote.  Here’s the story, taken Michael Quinion’s Worldwidewords.org:

“The word started life as cadet, either a military trainee or a member of a younger branch of a family. That developed into caddie, now solely a golfer’s bag carrier, but in the eighteenth century it meant any lad or man who hung about in the hope of getting casual work as an errand-boy, messenger or odd-job man. Both cadet and caddie were shortened to cad. . . . In 1895, George Augustus Sala commented in London Up to Date: ‘An omnibus conductor, nowadays, would, I suppose, were the epithet of cad applied to him, resent the appellation as a scandalous insult; and, indeed, cad has come to be considered a term of contempt, now extended to any mean, vulgar fellow of whatever social rank he may be.”  The shift seems to have happened at the University of Oxford. Lads from the town who hung about colleges in the hope of casual work of the caddie type were called “cads” by the undergraduates. It became a contemptuous way [for the undergrads] to describe townsmen, and by about 1840 it had achieved its full flowering as a term for a man whose behaviour was unacceptable.”

Tom Crean, age 25, smoking a K&P Coronation Cad
aboard the Discovery (photo taken September 30, 1902)

As I like to remind everyone from time to time, just because a shape appeared in a catalog which can be dated to a certain year doesn’t mean the shape first appeared in that year. Here we have a marvelous example: the photo above was taken on September 30, 1902. It’s our own Great Explorer Tom Crean, age 25 and looking like he stepped out of a 2024 men’s fashion magazine with his scrappy beard, windblown hair, Aran sweater and dog (notice how there’s always a dog in outdoor fashion photos these days? At least something is getting better in the world).

Of course, what I really want you to see is the K&P Coronation Cad in Crean’s mouth. If you study the photo and the catalog illlustrations long enough, I think you’ll see that the Coronation Cad offers the largest bowl of any of the 1906 bulldogs.  The photos for the K&P 1906 catalog were taken in 1905 , which means Crean’s pipe couldn’t have been made any later than about 1901, as the voyage to the Antarctic took about 10 months.

Playing off the “cad” = caddie idea, I suspect the Coronation Cad was meant as the very first Peterson “SPORTS” pipe because of its full-size bowl and short stem. It’s an amazing design by anyone’s standards and one of the greatest Petes not currently in the catalog. But why “Coronation”?

The unmounted Amber P-Lip 202 and 203 in the 1906 catalog

(Of course, it’s possible that Crean’s smoking a 202 or 203, but I’m going to go with Coronation Cad not just because I like it when K&P names their shapes, but because I’ve more to say about this particular shape.)   

A Note from the the secretary of His Majesty King Edward VII to Alfred Kapp
preserved in the Kapp & Peterson Archives

In 2013 on our big research expedition, Gigi found a photograph with the small two-page note seen above. Here’s a few annotations to help everyone not raised with a good English education or in the Emerald Isle (the Pete Geek’s spiritual home!) puzzle their way through it:

  • The note is written to Alfred Kapp, not from him.
  • The King referred to in the note was, of course, King Edward VII (r. 1901-1910).
  • “Her Majesty” was Queen Alexandra of Denmark.
  • “Princess Victoria” (1868-1935) was their fourth child and second daughter.

King Edward VII (1901-1910)

 

The beautiful Princess Victoria, daughter of King Edward VII

  • The “snapshots” were taken “during Their Majesties’ Visit to the Exhibition,” aka The Irish International Exhibition 1907, which was held in Herbert Park (in the Ballsbridge neighborhood of Dublin) from May through October.

View of the Exhibition from the Entrance

  • The Viceregal Lodge (Áras an Uachtaráin) was built in the 1750s and became the summer residence of the Chief Secretary of Ireland, viz., the head of British government in Ireland.

Vice Regal Lodge

I confess I can’t decipher the signature. I presume this lady or gentleman was a secretary of some sort to the royal family. If you’re familiar with the history of Ireland and Great Britain in these years, do leave a comment and let us know.

 

Alfred Kapp’s “Snap” from the Irish International Exhibition

Either we didn’t get away from Dublin with a good scan of Alfred Kapp’s snapshot in 2013, or the photo wasn’t very good to begin with, but you can see it’s the King from his beard and that it was taken at the exhibition by comparison of the half timbering in the building and the name over the entrance—“Irish Canada” or “Irish Canadians”? with the half timbering of some of the buildings at the exhibition.

Not everyone was excited about the Royal family’s visit, of course, as the following clipping from The Gaelic American reports. For Alfred Kapp and his uncle by marriage and business partner Charles Peterson, getting to spot the King and Queen, take a few snaps and then forward them to the Vice Regal Lodge was important.  Theirs was mostly an export business and depended heavily on sales to Commonwealth nations.

The Gaelic American – Vol. IV, No. 21, May 25, 1907, Whole Number 193.

To send the photos and receive a written reply saying King Edward “was very much pleased” by the Peterson pipes and that Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria wanted more copies doubtless exceeded Kapp’s expectations.  I’m left wondering which pipes were sent to the King–which was probably Charles Peterson’s call. How “regal” would the pipes be? Meerschaum or briar? Sterling or rose gold mounted? Engraved? With what legend–“To His Gracious Majesty King Edward VII”? Don’t forget that while Charles Peterson and Alfred Kapp were trying to build a successful export business, Charles was also quietly sympathetic to Home Rule and the Irish cause.  In any event, King Edward VII was a heavy cigar smoker.  I imagine those pipes are sitting–“New Old Stock”! in a box somewhere in the sub-basement of a sub-basement of a sub-basement and have never even been cataloged.

 

A 1903 Patent Bulldog 200S

Ken Sigel has sent me photos of a beautiful 1903 Patent Bulldog he’s recently acquired, one which readers of the Peterson book can see in the bottom right hand corner of p. 57. Whether it’s the Coronation Cad or a 202, I couldn’t say. I can say by looking at the bowl and the extended tenon that it must have been—and I’m sure still is—an incredible smoking pipe. To be smoked enough to color as it has and to have the amber stem in as good a condition as it is—evidence not only of its keeper’s love for it, but of how well it performs.

This screw-in tenon extension (remember this is a Patent System) is what draws me to it.
It must have smoked like a dream, given its coloring.

 

By way of conclusion, I want to bridge this post to the next bulldog installment with comments from any Pete Geek who companions a Peterson bulldog. Send me a photo and tell me what tobacco or tobaccos you smoke in it.  If you tried (and failed) to companion a Pete bulldog, I’m also very interested in hearing from you—just tell me which shape and the problem that led you to part with the pipe.  In return, I’ll add the Commentary Merit Badge to your CPG.

To be continued . . .

 

With thanks to Ken Sigel, CPG for photographs of his Patent Meerschaum 200S;
to K&P for archival materials on King Edward VII’s visit to Ireland;
and to Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist
at Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University,
for her marvelous post on the 1907 Irish International Exhibition
(check it out to see the giant water slide and other amusements on offer at that exhibition);
Dunhill Chestnut photo courtesy Blueroombriars.com.

 

THE CHICAGO SHOW IS ALMOST HERE!

Are you coming to the Chicago International Pipe & Tobacciana Show? It runs from Wednesday, April 10 through Sunday the 14th.  You can scroll down every day’s events and get a description of the offerings at the CPCC’s website.

The Pete Geeks will be meeting Saturday, April 13th, from 4:15 to 6:15 or so in conference room DFW A. Details can be found here: PETE GEEK CHICAGO MEET.

I’m giving a presentation on the contemplative aspects of pipe smoking as well as to launch my new novel, The X Pipe and Other Mystagogic Stories for Pipemen. The novel will be available at our table at the Buy Sell & Swap on Sunday from 3-5 as well as following my presentation Friday. Details on the presentation at THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN.

 

 

 

 

Massimo Genoni, CPG. SH Original, from 1987/88: I don’t remember exactly the year of purchase, but notice the peculiar hallmarks!

Mark: If you haven’t seen the hallmark to the right before which shows a weight scale with .925 on it, this is the hallmark of the Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals. Ireland participates in the Convention, as do many countries from around the globe. For inscrutable reasons known only the mysterious and secretive Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin, the Convention mark was often stamped on K&P’s sterling in certain years. Whether this was by accident or design, I couldn’t say but I might just write them and ask as the question has come up several times.

hallmarking-conventionorg-information-brochure

 

 

John M. Young, CPG.

 

John is smoking an “old, reliable friend,” an 86 Army Mount

 

Joe Gibson, CPG.

Joe asked me to remind everyone that St. Patrick’s Day is only a week away: “Are you prepared?”

 

PETE GEEK ACCESSORIES
Revised 12:00 CDT



UPDATE:
Flat Caps: None available at this time.
If you bought a flat cap and it’s TOO SMALL, please contact me for options.
Tampers: Only Red Classics are available
Mugs are all gone.
If you’re interested in the available flat caps or tampers,
email petegeek1896@gmail.com and she’ll send you a PayPal invoice.
And many thanks to everyone who has participated in these events!

 

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John Schantz, CPG
John Schantz, CPG
1 month ago

I love that Meerschaum and Amber Bulldog with silver band. If Peterson needs an idea for a new POY, a stubby and chubby system briar bulldog with a double beaded sterling band would be right up my alley. Pleas-o-please DO NOT bead the bowls, two thin lines are perfection. I only have a few Peterson Bulldogs, a Killarney 80s, a Kinsale XL15, and an SH Natural “Squire” XL15. The 80s was one of the first two new “real” pipes I purchased, and is a gurgling machine. It’s a bit better since I modified the shank airway, tenon, and stem airway.… Read more »

Ken Sigel
Ken Sigel
1 month ago

Good idea for a POY,.

John Schantz, CPG
John Schantz, CPG
1 month ago

Oops, typo
Francisco Ganci

John M Young
1 month ago

Another great post, Mark. Thank you. I only have a couple bulldogs, both beloved and bent, an Emerald 999 and an 80s Army. Both also sport p-lips. A POY bulldog bringing back the straight system would be a dream come true.

Jason Canady cpg
Jason Canady cpg
1 month ago

It’s hard to beat a bulldog. The classic bulbous shape with slanted top feels great to the fingers. The shape itself is manly in appearance and gives a classic look. I have a Peterson bulldog stamped Irish Free State. I’ll send a photo of it to you today. Speaking of bulldogs and English kings, years ago I remember a squat bulldog made by Kaywoodie on eBay the seller said belonged to and smoked by an English royalist -king. He had documents and photos of him smoking the very pipe. From 1920s or 30s I think. It had a starting bid… Read more »

Juri Bruggisser
Juri Bruggisser
1 month ago

Great post! I have a old Bakerstreet and a 1976 Dublin Castle 150s in my rotation. Both are good smokers!

disgruntled local
disgruntled local
1 month ago

thanks for the read. the 150 is one of the Petes I collect, I don’t have any older Petes like many here though. love a good bulldog.

Erik R
Erik R
1 month ago

Beautiful bulldogges if I may say so. I love these articles about the old shapes and now I’m hoping Peterson does one of these old bulldogs from the 200 range as the POY. I’ve got an older 493 “Sterling Silver” pre-republic era and it’s one of my favorites. The bulldog shape is just a classic pipe shape.
PS thanks for the opportunity to get a Dracula tamper, I’m excited to pair it up with my Dracula 127 and ’21 Halloween System!

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

Like that amber meerschaum bulldog very much. Tom Crean looks very cool. My favorites are bent pipes but when in my workshop I go for my 150 or a 120.

Al Jones
Al Jones
1 month ago

My first bulldog was a Dr Grabow, I still have it. Flat Cap update, unfortunately my size Large is a tad too small. If anyone would like to buy it from me for the selling price, message me. (or trade for an XL)

Scott Forrest
Scott Forrest
1 month ago

Massimo – I have a couple of Petes with that same combination of hallmarks. We thought it might have been a goof where they doubled up on the silver hallmarks and left out the date, but perhaps it was intentional?

Massimo genoni
Massimo genoni
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Forrest

 also have the sh watson with the same hallmark. As Mark says: “…For inscrutable reasons known only the mysterious and secretive Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin”.

Scott Forrest
Scott Forrest
1 month ago

Regarding the caps, mine is a medium 58 and is too small. If anyone picked up a large 60 that is too big, I’m up for a swap 🙂

Chris Tarman, CPG
Chris Tarman, CPG
1 month ago

I’ve also always thought the Bulldog was one of the quintessential English shapes, and I’ve admired them since long before I started smoking a pipe. My father had a few in his smallish rotation of pipes when I was growing up (I particularly remember a tall chunky GBD of his). I have maybe ten or so bulldogs of various makes (Dunhill, Ashton, Comoy, etc), but only two Petersons: an older Deluxe 155 and a 2021 Christmas Baker Street. I really like the Baker Street (the corresponding shape number escapes me at the moment). It’s a great size. I slightly prefer… Read more »

Josh S
Josh S
1 month ago

What a great article and given the title, I’m looking forward to the upcoming part 2. A bulldog is a personal favorite of mine and this article helped nudge me to smoke my 150 P-lip Iora I snagged late last year. Given the “English” shape, I reserve mine for English blends. And I’ll confirm that my 150 has a conical bowl shape.

I took would love to see a bulldog system pipe resurrected for a POY or other special event. Maybe a PPN POY? Could we be so lucky?

Thanks again for another great start to a Sunday!

Linwood
Linwood
1 month ago

Bulldogs! I must start this with my credo: Straight Squat Bulldogs (SSqBD) are things of beauty and joys forever. Ok, now you know my secret. And, I do have to mention, I’ve tried a few Peterson 493’s. They are lovelily shaped SSqBD’s, but the chamber just isn’t large enough to enjoy anywhere close to an hour’s smoke – a requirement (add that to the secret). IF Peterson were to craft a proper SSqBD, it would have to have an ODA’s chamber size, AND be properly squat. If tall, it’s just a short bulldog shape. OH, I’m sorry – we’re not… Read more »

Linwood
Linwood
1 month ago

And did y’all notice the 200/1 B? It’s 7″ long! and the 200/1 S is 8″!!!YES, the pipes gods (and Charles) recognized that some people don’t care for 4″ long pipes! Right up my alley! Please, K&P, make some that long for me and the few others that appreciate such! It brings an entirely new perspective on one’s pipe, and the tobaccos one is smoking!

Chris Streeper
Chris Streeper
1 month ago

Such a great article this morning. Mark. Thank you so much. The bulldog is without a doubt my most favorite shape in the entire catalog of pipes. In particular, I am very fond of the Peterson 150 of which I have several. Perhaps i can attribute my level bulldogs to my grandfather, whose pipes I inherited. Those pipes which were passed down to me, the set included several bulldogs, including a white Kaywoodie. (I’ll be sure to send you a few pics this week) Amongst my holy grail of Peterson pipes, are the short stubby Peterson system bulldog and the… Read more »

Douglas Owen
Douglas Owen
1 month ago

Thanks, Mark, for a great article on my favorite shape. As you say what is wrong with intensifying the flavors as the bowl progresses? I especially like the Tom Crean smoking the Coronation Cad with the dogs around him. My other obsession besides pipes is Springer Spaniels as my present Spaniel “Salty” will testify as she is spoiled rotten. On a side note, I hope you received my email on Paddy Larrigan’s 100th birthday? We all should demand a commemorative pipe by Peterson.

John Schantz, CPG
John Schantz, CPG
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas Owen

Dang, That would have been a proper commemorative, equal to a Mark Twain or SH. Maybe even more important to “Pete Geeks”.

Jonathan Gut
Jonathan Gut
1 month ago

I agree a Paddy Larrigan commemorative is a must. Great article Mark!

John Schantz, CPG
John Schantz, CPG
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan Gut

Paddy Larrigan, a pipe legend in his own time!

Nevaditude
Nevaditude
1 month ago

Thanks for the incredible post Mark. Amazing background as usual and the cast of Pete Geeks past, the King & Tom Crean continues to grow. Tampers are amazing, thanks Gary! 👍🏽I love them & have put them to work as of yesterday. The USPS says my hats ‘need attention’ and haven’t really moved for a while.😢 I am hopeful this changes as John M. Young, CPG is rocking the fashion I want to be wearing.😃

Nevaditude
Nevaditude
1 month ago
Reply to  Nevaditude

Oh, yeah,… I am in the process of trying to finalize my Chicago Pipe Show plans. I hope to meet many face to face there 😳.

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton
1 month ago
Reply to  Nevaditude

Get those plans finalized! Will be great to see you, and all the other “Pete Geeks” at this years show!

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton
1 month ago
Reply to  Nevaditude

Hey Mark, I’m so glad that you are enjoying the tampers!

Marlowe
Marlowe
1 month ago

Im not a straight stem guy. Even so the Bulldog is a handsome pipe. Id like a bent one.
Good read today Mark.

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton
1 month ago

Mark, Thank you for the wonderful post today, so much history to absorb. I know that it takes a lot of your time and dedication to research and publish these weekly posts, and on behalf of all the “Pete Geeks” world wide, we salute you! Wow, that Patent Meer 200s of Ken’s is most assuredly today’s “Best of Show”! Ken, such a great example of K&P’s Patent era work, truly outstanding. So, have you smoked it??? That Coronation Cad looks like a good candidate for either a Peterson POY or, dare I say, a contender for the next PPN commemorative… Read more »

Ken Sigel
Ken Sigel
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Hamilton

Thanks for the nice comments about my latest addition. I have not smoked it yet. My general rotation has kept me busy. It is such a special pipe that I am waiting for the right moment (beverage, enough contemplative time etc). Truth be told it will be a bit intimidating to light up a pristine pipe from 121 years ago. Will report back when I do.

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken Sigel

Ken, We will all be anxiously waiting for the follow up report on the “first smoke”…I know it will be grand!!!

Douglas Owen
Douglas Owen
1 month ago

So everybody, I have got everything at hand pictured in the photo for St. Patrick’s day but the Powers Irish Whisky. Is that the preferred spirit for the special day. Admittedly I do like Bushmills but it being an “orange” whisky from the north disqualifies it from any celebration. LOL

Chris Streeper
Chris Streeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas Owen

Powers is the number one selling brand of whiskey in Ireland. You really can’t go wrong with it.

Gary Hamilton
Gary Hamilton
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas Owen

It’s always been Jameson Irish Whiskey for me! Slainte!

Lance Dahl
Lance Dahl
1 month ago

Mark,
Thanks again for another wonderful blog post. The Bulldog in all its forms is my favorite pipe shape, easy to hold, a 1/8-1/4 bent is nice to clench. I am fortunate to have fifteen or so straight & bent versions. I will send a couple of photos of my two Patent era ones that I enjoy. Sláinte

Ken Sigel
Ken Sigel
1 month ago

Mark, what a great history of the bulldog. Lots to absorb. Thanks for featuring my new little treasure.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

I am absolutely prepared for St. Patrick`s Day. I will fire up my new 314 with some nutty irisch man.

Bob Cuccaro /TLIP
Bob Cuccaro /TLIP
20 days ago

I have a lot to catch up on!