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Collecting Peterson Pipes: 3 things to consider

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With 149 years worth of choices, adding to your collection of Peterson pipes can be an exercise in analysis paralysis. The current portfolio is enough to keep you sorting through choices for months. Add estate considerations and, although not really infinite, the choices begin to feel that way.

Adding to your Peterson pipe collection

Before we try logic, a word on emotional response.

Well-made tobacco pipes, even factory-made varieties like Peterson, are art pieces. Just like viewing a painting, occasionally your response to a particular pipe is completely illogical, driven by an emotional connection to the piece that can’t be quantified. In those cases, we always encourage you to throw the “rules” out the window and buy what moves you.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are some logical things to consider:

1. Is the pipe for artistic value or practicality?

Nearly all Peterson pipes are practical smokers. That is the number one reason smokers buy factory-made pipes--reliability. However, there are distinct differences in styles and user personalities within the Peterson family that make some pieces more practical than others. For instance, if you like to smoke a bowl while you’re working, we wouldn’t recommend choosing a Churchwarden.

2. Do you have past experiences with the particular shape or series? If so, what do they tell you?

This question won’t always help with estate pipes, but it will when it comes to current shapes and series. With a few notable exceptions, Peterson pipes are made in classic styles and the characteristics of the shape hold true across most series. A great example is the ever-popular Authors. While the individual dimensions vary a bit, they are similar enough that if you already know you like the Author in the Donegal Rocky series, it’s safe to assume you’ll like it in the Killarney series too.

Peterson Donegal Rocky Author Shape

Conversely, if your collection is already well-acquainted with a particular shape, it might be time to branch out a little and try something new.

3. What value does the pipe add to your rotation, given your current collection?

The answer to this question will be vastly different for new pipe collectors versus long-term aficionados. If you are just starting out, your initial aim will probably be to acquire enough practical pipes to complete a rotation (typically four to seven, but it varies by usage habits).

If you are a collector with an established core set, you may be looking for pieces with historical significance or which you believe may have historical significance in the future. For instance, many of our customers collect the limited edition pipes, despite their reputation as “beginner” pipes, with an eye to the future.

Sit back, smoke a bowl and consider your collection before indulging in your next Peterson pipe purchase. Then you can enjoy the process of choosing almost as much as owning. 

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