Beannachtai na Casca Oraibh!
Happy Easter to all!
The demi-churchwarden Bard will be released this Tuesday, 19th April at SPC, but also through Laudisi, so that it will be available worldwide. In concept, execution and usability I think it’s going to be welcomed by everyone in the hobby who’s looking for something fun, something just a bit different and something just a bit Hobbitish. *
I like the light tan stain on the stamping area of the rusticated finish—it gives a little surprise to the pipe you might not see online.
The stamps on the Heritage finish follow current protocol, with the beautiful, classic fork-tail Peterson’s over DUBLIN (arched) over BARD on the obverse of the shank.
I wanted to call attention to the nickel ferrule. Aside from the usual (since c. 1963 or so) K&P over PETERSON nickel-mount Maker’ Mark, if you look at the low-light photo above you can see that there is a hint of turn-down of the ferrule where it meets the mortise shank. I hadn’t noticed this before and perhaps this has been present for quite a while now, but I like it. It creates a cleaner transition to the briar.
Josh Burgess, Managing Director at K&P, told me a new stem was created for the Bard. For those who find the churchwarden too awkward or difficult to smoke (among whom, sadly, I must count myself), the Bard is a great size. Unbent, the acrylic F/T stem measures 135 mm or 5.25″. The slot in the button and the tenon opening are both well-executed. With extreme close-up photograph, you can see a bit of the tearaway fibers left after the stems are made. These are easily swept away with a bristle cleaner or your tube brush.
Adding the full-size 68 bowl lengthens the pipe to 184 mm / 7.25″ or to the 303 or 221 6.8″ / 172mm. That’s approximate, of course, depending on the stem bend. The greater the bend, of course, the less felt weight if you need to clench the pipe for a few moments. Clenching is quite possible because none of the three shapes is very heavy.
Every time a great new electronic Peterson poster like this comes out, the teenager in me
wants a big one to hang in my room.
With the last several line entries in the catalog, it’s becoming obvious that just as the Dublin era utilized geographical place names like Irish rivers and cities, the Laudisi era is turning to the Irish language. “Bard” in Irish (for poet) is actually bhard. Maybe K&P just didn’t want to go there with its distributors and the smoking public. Would Pete Geeks have minded? Hardly. We’ve all got our copies of the Foclóir Póca next to our pipe racks anyway, never knowing when we’ll need it to talk to our pipes.
Josh tells me the Bard is a larger release than the Iora and Rua Spigots, though still limited. MSRP is $120 for the 221 and 303 and $135 for the 68, so expect this to be quite affordable as well as a lot of fun to smoke.
The Phoenix, a special 9mm line for The Pipe Nook, appeared a few weeks ago now. Many thanks to PG Irregular Chris Lauer for spotting this one and forwarding it to me. Special lines made for pipe shops and internet retailers have always been something K&P does and I wish we saw more of them, but too often they go unnoticed and we end up without a record of them. I’ve been surprised at the inroads 9mm pipes have been making here in the US as well as other parts of the world. If you have any thoughts on its surging popularity in the US or other parts of the world (outside of Germany, where they still rule), please let everyone know in the comments section below.
Sherlock Junior. Stummels for the Baskerville and Watson from the Sherlock Holmes Junior Collection of the late 1980s and early 90s were discovered in the factory in late 2021 and released through SPC on January 28th, 2022 in very small numbers.
The SH Junior Collection, according to Paddy Larrigan at K&P, was made for distribution in markets where pipemen thought the SH pipes too large. The 1990s were a transitional era in pipe sizes, and as has been so often the case in Peterson history, the company was on the leading edge, pushing for larger pipes. Not wanting to lose out on all the Sherlock Holmes fans in Europe and elsewhere who didn’t enjoy such large bowls, Paddy resized each of the shapes in the Original Collection. We were extremely blessed in making the book that co-author Gary Malmberg had an extensive list of contacts. He found a boxed set of the SH Juniors in Argentina, of all places, and had it shipped to the US so that we could photograph it for the book.
Thanks to Andy, Kaz and Josh at Laudisi & K&P
for their help and photos.
* And don’t forget, there’s a new Tolkien series debuting this fall: The Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power debuts on Prime Video September 2nd. Bring your own pipe.
The text and illustrations for the new edition of Pipe Smoking in Middle Earth, I might add, are finished and have been passed along to my designer. She will begin typesetting and layout this week. It should be available by late May or early June, well before the new show debuts.
Молись за Україну
Pray for Ukraine