Peterson Premiere Selection 9BC

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.

Peteson_9BC_Before (1)

Peteson_9BC_Before (3)

Peteson_9BC_Before (2)


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.


Peterson_9BC_Finish (3)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (1)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (2)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (7)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (1)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (4)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (3)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (10)

Peterson_9BC_Finish (11)

5 thoughts on “Peterson Premiere Selection 9BC

  1. Dave

    Thanks Al, for the excellent post. You have a great pipe. I have a couple of the same vintage, and style. You are going to love this pipe, and I doubt that you will part with it. Well done.

  2. upshallfan Post author

    Mark: Thanks for the feedback and information. The pipe definitely has a system-like sump that will take some care to keep clean. I’ll try smoking it with and without the chimney. I’m thrilled to have found not only a 9BC, but a nice grade to boot. It sure does have a wonderful “feel” to it.

  3. Mark Irwin

    One more thought–if you’re willing to cut a nick in the chimney (I wouldn’t be!), down deep you’d find it to be white–assuming it is bone, and not wood. When I’ve drilled out fused bone chimneys in the past, the innermost parts of the chips are white.

  4. Mark Irwin

    Al–Beautiful post. The “stinger” is actually a tenon extension, called a “chimney” by the artisans at the factory. It is not wood, but made of bone, stained by the tobacco over time. It’s part of the System pipe, as this is what I call in the forthcoming book a “sub-System.” There should be a reservoir in your pipe, and it should smoke like a Peterson System, which means that the pipe should rest in an upright position until it cools, and then you’ll want to remove the stem and swab out the reservoir with a tissue twist, or the moisture will spill into the bowl. The pipe will smoke alright without it, but my experience has been that it will smoke even better with it. This means additional cleaning, of course, as you have to screw out the chimney to properly clean the stem, which is a graduated bore, like all System stems. It’s not really too much bother–and that’s what we like about smoking pipes anyway, isn’t it? A little ritual?

    Now what really puzzles me is the inlaid “P.” I haven’t seen one in a pipe of this vintage, and until now I’ve thought they weren’t done until the 1970s or so. But the bone tenons were replaced with aluminum ones (which is what the “P” is made of, or at least what they’re made of now) in the early 1960s. I believe the bone, while more fragile (and in really old pipes is often broken or split or simply fused into the stem), actually works better than the aluminum.


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