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A Íosa Fuair
Not long ago Ryan Thibodeau, a Canadian restorationist who goes by “Lunting Bear” at his website and in his eBay store, had three interesting Petes, all from K&P’s Canadian market. Ryan also writes a fine blog and has some great Pete posts, one on a Dublin 120, another on a Classic Range Dunmore and a third on one of the early Belgiques with the V.P.B. (vulcanite push bit). He’s a fellow with a good command of the English language as well—I had to look up “lunting,” which I discovered is a word that all pipemen should have at their disposal, since it means smoking while walking. Pretty cool, huh?
We’ve looked at Peterson’s Genin, Trudeau & Co. Canadian shape chart a few times before on the blog (Post #140 and #280), but this morning I want to share three pipes Lunting Bear offered from the 200 shape group: a 213 billiard, a 205 Dublin and a 206 Dublin.
The 200 shape group from the c. 1955 GT&C pipe box brochure
The 213 Billiard
I adore the 107 Chubby Billiard and appreciate how well billiards function, but as you know, while they’re the industry-standard for generations of pipemen, they’re not usually my cup of coffee. Nevertheless, it’s fun to see a Canadian-market straight billiard from K&P.
Where oh where has all the grain gone? I wanted to show this detail photo not only for the gorgeous birdseye and rings of vertical grain running up the shank but for you to see another beautiful example of great tenon engineering from back in the day.
The 205 Dublin
The 205 gets my award for the most peculiar stem. When you look at the pipe box brochure you don’t really notice the strange hybrid form of the stem: it’s flat, it’s tapered and it’s got a saddle. Can you see the very subtle saddle? If you enlarge the photo (right-click), you realize just how flat this stem is: the shank stamps are on the top, not the side.
Ryan also provided an important photo of the COM stamp: while made for the Canadian market, this pipe was made in Dublin. Most of the Canadian-market pipes I’ve seen were made in London.
The 206 Dublin
This is the only one of the three Petes that Ryan had up simultaneously that I felt I had to look at in person, and it’s a beauty.
The stamps aren’t very clear on the band, but comparing them to the London hallmark chart (also available at the HALLMARKS tab across the top of the blog), it’s obvious we’re seeing a “T,” making this a 1954 production pipe.
I’m sure my co-author documented one (and it’s probably in the Peterson book’s orange-tabbed Identification Guide), but I’ve never noticed a K&P over LONDON MADE obverse shank stamp before, especially fun with the redundancy of the reverse shank-stamp’s MADE IN ENGLAND.
Sterling-clad Petes from the London factory on White Lion Street (just above the eel pie shop) don’t show up very often on the estate market. That’s probably because sterling bands weren’t popular when the factory was in operation (1937-1963), and because production there was only about a fifth of its St. Stephen’s Green counterpart in Dublin. When you do find a London-made sterling, however, it’s easy to date, since hallmarking never lapsed there.
The tenon-mortise gap is something worth mentioning, as it’s only 3mm, far smaller than any production Pete in the last many decades. The mortise is quite deep—20mm—and the tenon is a step-down with graduated bore. What this means is that, for a molded vulcanite stem, you’ve got what is by today’s lapsed standards an amazing feat of engineering. The air turbulence on such a design is next to nothing and when combined with the lack of tenon-mortise gap and P-Lip means there will be no moisture and no gurgle.
Dublin shapes from the 1955 Dublin & London catalog
As for the shape itself, I believe the cross-reference is the 1955 Dublin & London catalog’s 120. Notice this shape—as 120 and 206—is quite different from the 120 we know.
- first, if you go and look at the Dublin Shapes History post, you’ll see that this 120 is virtually a ringer for the 1906 catalog’s 121 Medium.
- Next, that when this 206 / 120 shape was altered to accommodate a reservoir in the late 1950s, it took on lines descended from the 1896 catalog’s 28, 29 and 30 and the 1906 catalog’s 31 and 32.
- The later version ought to be designated the 120b as it is altogether more boxy and less elegant than its predecessor. That’s not to say I don’t like the newer shape. I was raised on it as a pipeman. But it doesn’t have the sexiness of the forward-canted bowl and the smooth taper of the 120a’s P-Lip, either.
- Like the 53 and some of the other Classic Range shapes, in recent years the 120’s chamber has grown progressively wider, which is great for English/Oriental users, but doesn’t provide the universal application of K&P’s old classic bowl geometries which rarely exceeded 19-20 mm and usually boasted a ratio 2 : 1, depth by width.
- Finally, I believe we can now date with certainty that the 120b dates from the entrance of the 120b System.
1954 120 2023 120
Period: Early Republic (London HM 1954) Laudisi PSB
Length: 5.25 in / 133 mm 5.89 in / 149.61 mm
Weight: 1.35 oz / 37 gr 1.50 oz / 42.52 gr
Bowl Height: 1.96 in / 50mm 1.92 in / 48.77 mm
Chamber Depth: 1.62 in / 41.2 mm 1.67 in / 42.42 mm
Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in / 19.5 mm 0.85 in /21.59 mm
Outside Diameter: 1.35 in / 34.3 mm 1.44 in / 36.58 mm
Stem: P-Lip Vulcanite. Step-down molded P-Lip vulcanite, chamfered molded
Tenon: 0.80 in / 20mm
Mortise: 0.90 in / 23mm (3mm gap)
CPG THINKING MAN T-SHIRT: Larry Gosser’s fabulous Charles Peterson PETE GEEK T-Shirt will be shipping out directly from Larry on Monday and Tuesday this week. It looks great and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with him on Of Pipes & Men.
CPG 2023 COMMEMORATIVE PIPE:
If you already know you want one (and 90 is the total #) you can fill out the Google Form now. This gets you a time-stamped place in line. Here’s what I can tell you so far:
- The PPN Pipe of the Year 2023 design has been approved and is in the queue at K&P.
- The pipe will be a sandblast DeLuxe System, limited and serially-numbered 1 to 90.
- As a DeLuxe System, it will again feature a vulcanite tapered or ‘B’ stem with P-Lip with sterling mount, aluminum tenon extension and impressed aluminum P on the vulcanite stem.
- A 9mm version will be available if a sufficient number are ordered.
- Shank stamps will include PPN2023, Deluxe System and the serial number of the pipe.
- The price is unknown at this time.
- The pipe will be issued late Summer or Fall 2023.
- A sample pipe will be photographed for the blog when it is ready.
- Watch the blog for more information.
- When the pipes are ready for distribution LATER THIS YEAR payment will be made through Smokingpipes.com or Smokingpipes.eu.
- Questions? Send email to email@example.com
CPG MAN CAVE POSTER
The CPG MAN CAVE posters are ordered and on track. Update to follow next week.
CHICAGO PIPE SHOW PETE GEEK MEET
I don’t know the time or room yet, but the good folks at the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club have extended a formal invitation for us to have our own event at the Chicago International Pipe & Tobacciana Show, April 27-30th, similar to that hosted by the Charatan pipe collectors for many years past. I’ve already heard from a few PGs that they’re bringing some fantastic Show & Tells. Merit badges as well the Official PG metal lapel / pipe back / hat / vest button seen above will be awarded to all attendees.
LIGHTING THE WAY ACROSS THE GLOBE
Tom Cuffee, CPG (Ireland)
Raphaël Foesser, CPG (France)
Michael Mikropoulos, CPG (Greece)
Lee Skiver, CPG (United States)