With over 150 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, a Churchwarden might not be the best option if you like to smoke a bowl while you’re working, but it would be a great experience to wind down with at night..
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.
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.
4. There are special event pipes. How can they benefit your collection?
Along with all of the regular pipes manufactured, Peterson also releases special edition pipes to commemorate times of the year and other special occasions. Being an Irish company, one of the more fitting special event pipes has to be their St. Patrick’s Day annual lines.
These pipes, colored a vibrant green, will stand out amongst any collection, whether you are just starting out or have hundreds of pipes already. Another annual line they produce is for Christmas. The 2020 editions are elegant pipes that have a crisp, black finish with a brilliant brass ring separating bowl from stem. These can be a fun collector’s piece, especially if you like to have one from each year.
Speaking of years, the Peterson Pipe of the Year has been made since 1997, and has a limited run of supply for each year. Each pipe is numbered so you will know it and comes in a specialty box for your collection.
It’s not just calendar events that gets the special Peterson touch. Lines of pipes have been made to pay homage to notable books and fictional characters. These lines, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Sherlock Holmes each can hold a special place amongst your collection for both their looks and why they were made.
The Dracula line of pipes come in both smooth and sandblasted finishes, allowing you to have your choice if you have a preferred look. These pipes have a black bowl and a very intriguing stem, red with black swirls. Truly a pipe to see and be seen with.
Speaking of pipes to see, the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde pipes are truly different. In fitting with the namesake character this pipe is almost two in one. One half of the bowl is smooth and the other half is sandblasted, creating a vastly different look to any pipe you’re likely to have seen before.
Finally, we get to the Sherlock Holmes line. This line has enough pipes in it to have a collection all its own. Amongst them are the Baskerville model, one a smooth ebony model lovingly crafted with a sterling silver ring stamped with the titular character’s profile, the others having a sandblasted finish and a third with a rustic finish that would be fitting for the actual era of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary masterpiece.
Another pipe in the Holmes line pays homage to the character’s home with the Baker Street pipe.
Again having the three finish types, the Baker Street pipe has an ebony variant as well, but primarily comes in an amber color. The smooth variant of the pipe shows off the grain of the wood spectacularly, with a great sterling silver ring separating the bowl from the stem.
Displaying your collection
For both established collectors and those beginning their Peterson journey, having the right pipes is only as good as making sure you have the right way to show them off. You should make sure people can get the best view of your prizes by having the right pipe stands that will hold them with care. After all, what’s the point of having a collection if you’re not going to be able to enjoy them?
So 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.