Big Beefy Peterson 302 Sterling Silver
I found this pipe on Ebay. Having cleaned up a Peterson 302 for a friend, I decided I had to have one. His was a standard system 302, a very nice model in itself, but the bowl is the thing that got me. It is delightfully round and big enough to sit well in my large hand. The standard 302 has the usual sculptured stem that seems to personify a Peterson but I wasn’t able to find precisely that anywhere. Then this one turned up. A 302 bowl but in the Sterling Silver range. The stem is nicely fitted through a big silver ring and I like the beefy appearance of the Sterlings. This one was listed as a Peterson Dublin.
I understand why when I look at the pipe. The silver band has a lot of markings! It is inscribed with “Peterson’s Dublin” which pretty much identifies it. It is also stamped “Sterling Silver” and bears the traditional hallmarks. The year mark is hard to read but I believe it is the 1975 stamp. Those more knowledgeable will doubtless correct me if my assumptions are wrong.
The bowl is also stamped with the “02” which denotes the size, beside “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. Turn the bowl around and one can see another stamp, “Peterson’s” over “Dublin & London”. Strangely, there is no Peterson “P” on the stem.
Unfortunately, the previous owner, or perhaps the seller, had been a tad over zealous with a reamer and the bowl was very slightly out of round at the top near the stem side of the bowl. I gently rounded it up again with a little high grade sandpaper and the damage is no longer noticeable. I needed to clean up the outside of the pipe and the airways were not exactly clean either, but with an hours care and attention the bowl turned out looking like new. There is a little area of cross grain on the front of the bowl but otherwise, this is a picture full of birdseye. The stem appeared black in normal light but in the sunlight one could clearly see signs of oxidisation. I decided to give it the full monty. I soaked the stem overnight in chlorine and then buffed it back to smooth the following day. The result was stunning. The pipe shone like new from end to end.
Smoking this pipe is also an experience I enjoy. It is large enough to take a generous portion of my favourite mixture and it smokes effortlessly to the bottom of the bowl, which probably says more about the engineering of the pipe than my smoking capabilities! It is comfortable to hold in both hand and mouth and is a well balanced pipe. I’m thoroughly pleased with this addition to my growing collection.
The price? Almost embarrassing; I only paid $41.00 for it.