Tag Archives: Peterson’s Late Republic Pipes

New Life for a Peterson’s System Standard 312 with Great Grain


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I removed from box of Peterson’s Pipes that I have to work on was a Peterson’s System Standard pipe. It was purchased from an online auction on 09/12/2019 in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. It had a smooth finish. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) and under that was the shape number 312. The nickel ferrule was in great condition and was stamped K&P [over] three Faux Hallmarks followed by Peterson. There was a thick coat of lava in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner rim had some darkening and is damaged and slightly out of round. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also a hole in the underside of the stem so a decision would need to be made whether to replace it. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the thick cake in the bowl and the light lava on the rim top. He also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. On the left side it reads Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 312.  The nickel ferrule stamping is very readable and undamaged.  He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the sensational grain on this pipe. It is a real beauty that has a shape that follows the grain. I have included the information on the shape number on this pipe that I picked up on researching the other pipes. It is a Peterson’s System Standard pipe with a 312 shape number. I started my hunt for information by turning to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Standard pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have put a red box around the 312 shown in the catalogue page shown below. That should give a clear picture of the size and shape of the pipe.I am also including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Pipedia also included a section of information on the System pipes including a diagram of the sytems look (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#Republic_Era_Pipes). I quote a section of the article in part and include a link to another article on Pipedia on the System pipe.

The Peterson System pipes are the standard bearers of the Peterson pipe family, famous for the excellent smoking pleasure they provide. Often imitated but never equaled, the Peterson System smokes dry, cool and sweet, thanks to the scientific effectiveness of the original design. The heart of the System is the unique graduated bore in the mouthpiece. This makes the suction applied by the smoker 15 times weaker by the time it reaches the tobacco chamber. The result is that all the moisture flows into the reservoir and, thus cannot reach the smoker’s mouth. The Peterson Lip further enhances the effectiveness of the graduated bore by directing the flow of smoke upwards and away from the tongue. This achieves a uniquely even distribution of smoke and virtually eliminates any chance of tonguebite or bitterness. Furthermore, the shape is contoured so that the tongue rests comfortably in the depression under the opening. Each “PLip” mouthpiece is made from Vulcanite. For the Peterson System pipes to work properly, the stem/tenon has to have an extension, the tip of which will pass by the draft hole from the bowl and into the sump. Upon the smoker drawing in smoke, this extension then directs the smoke down and around the sump to dispense a lot of the moisture before the smoke enters the extension and stem. On the System Standards and other less expensive systems, this extension with be made of Vulcanite turned integrally with the stem. On the more expensive System pipes this extension will be made of metal which screws into the Vulcanite stem. This extension on the earlier pipes will be of brass and the newer pipes will be of aluminium. Most smokers not knowing this function of the metal extension, assumes that it is a condenser/stinger and will remove it as they do with the metal condensers of Kaywoodie, etc. Should you have a System pipe with this metal extension, do not remove it for it will make the System function properly and give you a dryer smoke (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe).

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Late Republic Era between 1950 and the present day. Personally I think this is probably a 60s-70s pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. The hole in the stem was big enough that I chose not to keep it. Fortunately last weekend I was gifted some new replacement stems for Peterson’s pipes that came from the factory. I had the perfect stem that was the same size, shape and style, a veritable twin of the damaged stem so I replaced the stem with a hole. I took photos of the pipe and the new stem before I started to work on it.  I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the new stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening, remaining lava and damage on the rim top and the inner edge. The new stem is in perfect condition and will only need to be polished. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and the nickel ferrule. All are clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking. I decided to start my work on this one by reworking the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to try and bring it back into round and smooth out the rim top and edges.I wiped off the varnish coat with acetone and a cotton pad to remove the spotty finish and to also blend in the sanded rim top. I polished the briar and the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. You can see a few of the flaws in the sides of the bowl and shank in the photos below. The bowl looks great though. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This nice looking Peterson’s System Standard 312 and a classic Peterson’s P-lip vulcanite stem looks much better now that it has been restored and restemmed. The rim top and edges cleaned up very well. The rich brown stain on the bowl came alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. The polished nickel ferrule looked great. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 312 is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 61grams/2.15 ounces. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipemakers Section soon. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

New Life for a Republic Era Peterson’s Special 87S Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen is smooth finished Peterson’s saddle stem Apple pipe. This smooth Apple has a rich coloured finish around the bowl sides and shank. It also came to us from the estate of Anglican minister that was a great friend of mine here in Canada. The contrast of the brown stains makes the mixed grain really pop. It was stamped on the  left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] Special. It was stamped to the right of the shank and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) with the shape number 87S next to the bowl. It was filthy when he brought it to the table. The finish was dirty with grime ground into the finish around the sides and rim. There was a thick cake in the bowl and light spattering of lava on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The rim top showed some darkening on the crowned top. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. They tell the story and give a glimpse of the promise that we see in this pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have some light lava overflow and some darkening. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.  Jeff took a photo of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above.   I am including the link to the Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson).

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s System Line. On page 313 it had the following information.

Special Model Name on shank (1975) High grade, very rare, unmounted smooth, walnut stain, P-Lip or fishtail mouthpiece, stamped PETERSON’S over SPECIAL (in script). Brass P in the stem occurs often, but seen on pipes in companion cases earlier in the twentieth century.

Judging from the description above I believe that I am working on one of these high grade rare pipe. It is a late Republic Era Classic Shaped pipe with a walnut finish and a P-Lip stem. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better when it arrived.     I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top looked to be in good condition with some darkening on the back side and some damage to the inner at that point as well. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the surface near the button.  I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above.   I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to have a look at the parts and overall look.I decided to address the damage to the back edge of the bowl and the rim top first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the bowl a slight bevel to accommodate the burned areas and blend them into the surrounding briar. I also worked over the darkening on the rim top with the sandpaper.    I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.    I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process.  I touched up the stamped “P” on the top of the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I pressed it into the stamping with a tooth pick and buffed it off with a soft cloth. It looks much better that when I started.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem and button surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. It worked amazingly well and I was able to lift most of them completely or significantly. I sanded what remained with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem by wet sanding it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine.  I am excited to finish this Peterson’s Special 87S Apple. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful flame grain all around it. Added to that the polished Sterling Silver band and the black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This smooth Classic Peterson’s Special 87S Apple is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 39grams/1.38oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that I will be putting on the rebornpipes store shortly. It will be in the Irish Pipe Maker Section on the store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Late Republic Era Peterson’s Sherlock Holmes Rathbone Bent Tall Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from an online auction from Hermann, Missouri, USA. It is a rusticated Peterson’s Sherlock Holmes line pipe with a tapered vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over] Sherlock Holmes [over] Rathbone. That is followed by the stamping Made in the Republic of Ireland. This is a nicer piece of briar than I have seen on some of the firsts I have worked on. The finish had a lot of grime ground into the rusticated finish on the bowl. The bowl was heavily caked and there was a lava coat and the inner edge of the rim. The edges looked okay but we would know more after the cleanup. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There a silver P glued onto the left side of the taper stem. The Sterling Silver Band is stamped with the profile of Sherlock Holmes with Sterling Silver above and below the profile. Under that it has three hallmarks that will identify the year the pipe was made. The pipe showed promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.   He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the condition of the rim top and edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and chatter and tooth marks.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. It is a craggy and rugged rustication.    He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the Sterling Silver band. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. You can also see the Silver P on the side of the stem. It appears to be loose and lifted from the stem surface. The Sterling Silver band on the shank had the classic Peterson’s Hallmarks. The first mark was the seated Hibernia with her arm on a harp representing Ireland as the country of manufacture. The second mark was a crowned harp used to identify the quality of the silver. The third mark was a slanted capital M that gave the date the pipe was made. I turned to a Peterson’s Hallmark chart that I had on rebornpipes to see if I could identify the date the pipe was made (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). The slanted letter “M” is the stamp for 1998. That tells me the pipe was made in 1998.I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

I turned to Pipedia to see if I could find some specific information on the Sherlock Holmes Series (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#Peterson_Pipe_Collections). The site gave this following information on the series

The Sherlock Holmes Series: Probably the most popular and successful series of pipes ever produced by Peterson. Including the Meerschaum version of the seven day sets. Both briar and Meers can be purchased either as individual pipes or complete seven day sets and stands. Expect to pay around $250 for briars and $300 for individual Meerschaums. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes runs around $1000 for a 4 pipe boxed set. Complete 7 day sets and stands can be up to $1500 – $2000.

That was followed by the second series the Return of Sherlock Holmes.

I turned to the article on dating Peterson pipes on Pipedia to see if I define the time frame of the Return of Sherlock Holmes Series and it dated it at approximately 1991 (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_Peterson_Dating_Guide;_A_Rule_of_Thumb#Silver_Band_Dating). That fit this pipe well as it is dated 1998. It clearly links it to the Second or Return of Sherlock Holmes series,

I turned to the catalogue I had on a blog on rebornpipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have copied the page from the catalogue on the Sherlock Holmes Original Collection. From that page it appears that the Rathbone was part of the second series of Sherlock Holmes pipes – The Return of Sherlock Holmes.I knew that I was dealing with a Republic Era pipe made between 1950-and the present – a Late Republic pipe. It was a rusticated bent billiard that came out as part of the Return of the Sherlock Holmes Series in 1998. The finish was stained with a combination of brown and black stains. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it.  (The plastic bag in the bowl contains the silver P which fell off in the clean up.) The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good with a bit of damage on the inner bevel of the rim surface. The stem surface looked very good with some remaining oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.     I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. The second photo shows the spot were the silver P was inset into the vulcanite. I would need to reset the P.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is tapered. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the loose P logo that needed to be reset in the stem surface. You can see where someone tried to reset it with heat and damaged the vulcanite around the P. I daubed the surface of the P stamp with all clear CA glue and pressed the P into the shape on the stem surface. I set the stem aside while I worked on the bowl. I cleaned up the darkened and damaged beveled inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once I had the bevel finished I polished it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads and wiped off the dust. I restained it with a Walnut Stain pen to match the rest of the bowl finish.  With the rim cleaned up the bowl was in good condition. I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and worked it into the nooks and crannies of the rustication with a horsehair shoebrush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I smoothed out the damage to the vulcanite around the P with a new 1500 grit micromesh pad. I was able to remove the damage and the stem looked good.  I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This Return of Sherlock Holmes Series Rathbone Bent Tall Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rugged rustication feels great in the hand and should only feel better as the pipe is smoked. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch being careful around the silver P and gentle on the rusticated briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sherlock Holmes Rathbone fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 53gr/1.87oz. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!