301. SPECIAL BULLETIN: Christmas Commemorative 2022 Comin’ Down the Chimney Tuesday, 9/13, 6pm ET
PPN / CPG PIPE UPDATE
Thanks to all the Pete Geeks who made the CPGs’ PPN 2022 pipe a reality and to the K&P production team Glen Whelan, Sykes Wilford and Jonathan Fields who did all the heavy lifting to make it come true. Production began this past Friday, September 9th.
Alternates—this is your notification that, as of now, all the slots are filled. I’m sure there will be at least a few who don’t claim their pipes in early November, at which time I will begin reaching out to some of you to see if you remain interested.
CPGS and Pete Geeks—If you were notified as CONFIRMED in an email from me, you’ll receive another email with the information to complete checkout for your pipe through SPC or SPEu. K&P said they were very happy with the project, so I’m hoping we can do this again, perhaps as soon as next year.
The 2022 Christmas Pipe is almost here! Per a Prominent K&P Elf at Smokingpipes.com: “These will go live next Tuesday, September 13th at 6:00 p.m. ET.” I could wish Christmas were nearly here as well, but we’ll have to wait nearly another four months for that blessed event. In the meantime, K&P has been cooking up Yuletide goodies in their new Deansgrange kitchen that will help pass the time. Math isn’t my strong suit, but I think there may be as many as sixty different combinations of classic copper mountings and the dark red chocolate stain on both Heritage and Rusticated finishes.
Very exciting is K&P’s very first copper spigot, the brainchild of Glen Whelan, to whom my hat is off. It’s simply stunning.*
There are four configurations of the 2022 Christmas commemorative across most of the Classic Range shapes: (1) Heritage (spigot), (2) Heritage (army mount), Rusticated (spigot) and Rusticated (army mount).
Shapes include 03, 05, 103, 104, 106, 124, 127, 128, 221, 230, 304, 306, 406, 408, 6, 606, 65, 68, 69, 701, 80s, 85, 87, 999, B10, B42, D17, X105, XL02, XL11 and XL90.
It appears that it’s the smaller shapes that will have the AB or tapered army mount. Two caught my eye with their seriously “Patent” bends, a 230 and a 304:
For fans of Patent-style AB bends
I’m a sucker for the copper / dark brown combination, first seen on last year’s amazing SH Christmas pipes, and to see some of my favorite shapes in army mounts and copper spigot mounts—well, I expect you know how I’m feeling just about now.
As far as the color of the Heritage stain goes, here’s an outdoor-light example for those who don’t companion this finish or haven’t seen it in person:
The 124 AB. Note that slight “Irish Bend,” fellas. It’s the Real Deal for Irish pipes, where straight is always just a little bent.
While SPC’s studio lighting turns up the cinnamon and hues making the stain look almost “syrup” (see below), my own guerilla (or is that gorilla) studio lights make the Heritage stain seem “brown,” (see below) or if we’re going to be a little more artistic, burnt umber. Looking at the stain in daylight, even inside, is really what the color chart below calls “chocolate.” In any case, it isn’t what I’m seeing with my eyes.
This image of one of my favorite configurations of the Christmas 2022—I thought it might be the 68 AB brandy or an XL90 AB but Jon in the comments below says “if you’d just zoom in on the photo you can see the 221 stamp” [D’oh!]—is also a little deceptive (to me): you probably won’t see this much grain through the Heritage finish, at least on most examples. On the 124 in the outdoor photo, if you right-click and enlarge it to your fill your monitor, you can see some grain, and if seeing the grain is important in this finish, just keep shopping through the shapes you want until you see one you like.
If it seems like I’m belaboring the smooth finish here, it’s not because I don’t like the Heritage. I really do. It’s because I’d rather you have a little more knowledge before you buy so you won’t be disappointed. We’ve all bought pipes online where someone’s done a stellar job with photos and description and we’re quite pleased, because we already knew it had a little fill or a nick or whatever. Contrariwise, when a pipe shows up and it’s way smaller (or bigger) or lighter or darker, we can feel let down and sometimes (I’m mentioning no names) even pissed with either the seller (for what we feel was false representation) or ourselves (for not paying more attention to the description).
From bottom left, clockwise: 701, 128, D17, 127. The “Irish Bend” on the 701, 124 & D17 knocks me out. You’ll also find it on the 406 apple.
It looks like K&P is headed for smaller shapes in the Classic Range, but I’m not sure whether that’s actually the case or not. I know the addition of the 104, 124, 127, 128, 701 and D17 has certainly shifted the catalog and I know there is a strong contingent favoring smaller bowls and shorter shapes. Sophisticated smokers (among whom I am sadly not one, although I try to be) who know the basics of breath smoking (which keeps the bowl cooler as well as the temperature of the tobacco lower) will doubtless have a field day with these shapes.
But there’s plenty of Irish muscle on display here as well, like the XL90, XL11 and XL02 seen above.
Rusticated pipes are not every PG’s cuppa, but sometimes a shape can find a new expression when it’s rusticated, sandblasted, given a different mount or simply given a different stain. Last year’s SH Christmas Rathbone and POY 4AB did that for me, taking me totally by surprise. I love the Kapp-Rough experience anyway and the Blaszczak Brothers technique certainly reinvented those shapes for me.
The now-familiar and much-loved old-time nickel-mount marks are on all the ferrules once again for this Christmas release. For the smooth finishes, the obverse features the cursive Peterson over DUBLIN stamp over CHRISTMAS over 2022. The reverse shank has the Laudisi-era oval MADE IN IRELAND and shape number.
The rusticated shapes have all the shank stamps clustered together. In the really small shapes it looks like the oval MADE IN IRELAND didn’t make it, simply for space reasons.
The Christmas commemorative began in 2009 and has been part of the Pete Geek Christmas Experience ever since. If last year was any indication (and of course it may not be), if you have a particular shape, mount and finish in mind, remember that every shape may not roll out at the SPC drop. There will be the SPE drop (of course) as well as several other points-of-sale, and restocking will occur at regular intervals between now and Christmas, I expect. Oh, and if you’ve got a complete, or nearly complete set of Christmas commemoratives, do drop me a line. I know we’d all love to see your collection in a holiday post.
Christmas (2009–) Annual collectible in different shapes depending on year. Original release in shape B33 only, a bent setter shape from the Rivers Collection, with sterling band inscribed with fir tree. Thereafter in varying finishes and shapes (including SH), nickel, brass, acrylic, copper bands, navy, army or spigot (copper) mount, vulcanite or acrylic F/T stems, with presentation sleeves 2009–2022, metal-engraved or bowl-stamped with year.
B42 Spigot Heritage: If you spot one of these, it has escaped from my rack. Send it to me immediately & I’ll reimburse you the postage. Same goes for the Shape 68 Army Heritage seen in the Facebook K&P page, which I suppose must have been a sample or (dare I hope?) only available at the SPEu site.
Many thanks to Josh Burgess and Andy Wike
AND TO GLEN WHELAN
Stock photos courtesy Laudisi Enterprises & K&P
* [No I didn’t ask for a Copper System Spigot, for next year, but *well* that’s an idea!]
SYSTEM WEEK 2022: ONE LAST GLANCE
I hope everyone had a good System Week. We have grown into quite a community. I could tell from the stats that folks enjoyed taking their time over the course of the week to look at the magnificent Petes in each other’s custodianship. Here’s one last entry, from Chuck, that I know you’ll enjoy:
Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area, Apache Junction, Arizona
“A place to really enjoy a Peterson pipe in solitude” —Bill, CPG.