Blog Entry by Al Jones
Several weeks ago, Steve Laug reposted a “Peterson Pipes Notes” blog entry on the Shape 9BC, a chubby bent billiard. It was written by Peterson authority, Mark Irwin. In the past, Mark had been a helpful to me in identifying an older 999 shape and I always enjoy reading his blog updates.
While I’m not necessarily a Peterson collector, the shape was immediately appealing to me, and I added it to my “Holy Grail” pipe list. In fact, that was my comment on Marks blog. I was quite surprised a few days later to stumble onto the eBay auction for this pipe. It was listed as a Peterson’s “Premiere Selection Pipe” and the shape was not clearly identified. I could see by the “Made in Ireland” Country of Manufacture stamp, that it was a pre-Republic era pipe and made prior to 1949. The shape looked like the 9BC but I couldn’t clearly identify the shape number. I like the shape so I took a shot and won the auction. Later, in communication with the seller, I learned the shape stamp was indeed the 9BC. Dating non-hallmarked Petersons is never a sure thing, but from the nomenclature, I believe the pipe was made in the 1947-1949 era.
I didn’t know much about the “Premiere Selection” grade, but later learned it was just under the Deluxe in the Peterson grading system.
The pipe as it was delivered. It was in excellent condition. The bowl interior was clean, the finish just slightly dulled with very good nomenclature. The stem was lightly oxidized and only had one small tooth mark. Stem fitment was excellent.
The bowl was very clean, but I gave it my usual soak with 91% isopropyl alcohol and sea salt. The shank has a sump like area that needed attention. After the soak, I cleaned that area thoroughly with a series of brushes and pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol.
The stem was lightly oxidized and had one small tooth mark. That lifted out nicely with some heat from a flame. I removed the first layer of oxidation with 800 grit wet paper and then moved to 1500 and the 2000 grades. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and then Meguiars Plastic Polish.
There were a few dings on the bowl, which lifted out with heat from an iron and a wet cloth. I then buffed the briar with white diamond to bring up the shine, being careful to stay away from the nomenclature. The briar then received several coats of carnuba wax.
I’m thrilled with this one and can’t wait to smoke it. The size of pipe was also a surprise. I was expecting a diminutive Peterson, but this is truly a chubby pipe at 70 grams.
Below is the finished pipe.