The Peterson Comet
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03 January 2011

The Peterson Comet
 unique grain pattern

For me, ‘pipe shape’ wins over ‘pipe grain’ nearly every time. Still, I thoroughly enjoy seeing beautiful grain on a Preben Holm Collector or dense birdseye on some ‘no-name’ piece. I have come across many-a-pipe that had beautiful grain with a lovely shape just begging to be released from its clunky prison. And other pieces that matched the grain perfectly to the point that very wild, wispy facets were carved on the briar. For many of these reasons, a well carved briar on the rack usually finds the admiration of others.

There are straight-grain hounds and cross grain aficionados. Some collectors drool over perfect ring-grain patterns on a sandblasted billiard or freehand. Some, like me, find the front to back linear grain of an elephant’s foot the most interesting. This last pattern looks stunning to me on a classic shape because it gives the piece so much movement and was rarely done in favor of the other patterns.

While inspecting a fresh batch of Peterson pipes today, I stumbled across something new to me: a rather unassuming Killarney 69 red bent billiard. The grain is nothing to write home about. It's rather bald with birdseye as tight as an oil puddle, though the growth rings do give it a time-warping sense of movement. What this pipe does have, though, is a comet streaking across the side. Putting my nasal snuff down to get a second opinion, I found others marveled as well. If this particularly interesting tid-bit of grain has the same regularity as the Hale-Bopp comet from 1996, someone can expect to encounter this again in 2,389 years.

Posted by adam at 4:57 PM | Link | 3 comments

Re: The Peterson Comet
I admit the 'comet' is awesome and even more exciting is the face I see at the top of the comet head as well as a 'fairy' suspended above all that, near the rim.

Nice pipe!

Posted by kathleen on January 4, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Re: The Peterson Comet
It does look like some sort of figure above the comet! With a little imagination, I can see a face, hair, head, wings, and even limbs. After you mentioned this, Kathleen, I immediately thought of the angels in El Greco's "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" (1586).

Posted by adam on January 4, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Re: The Peterson Comet
We're getting dangerously close to seeing Elvis in a pipe here, Adam...if that happens, you need to leave the office, go home and spend the day not looking at pipes...

Posted by sykes on January 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

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