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 '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999

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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:56 am

This pipe came up for trade on another pipe forum. I offered a trade for a Charatan After Hours billiard that while a lovely pipe, it was straight and I just didn't smoke it much.

The owner purchased the pipe and box unsmoked. The fishtail stem sold me pretty quickly and my trade was accepted. That gentleman said his search revealed it was made in the 1950's. I've always admired the 999 shape, but had not yet encountered an older model that was in my budget.

I know very little about Peterson pipes, so I inquired with a few knowledgeable brand members on the Smokers Forum. A thread there on the pipe stumped all of those folks, which astounded me. The puzzling aspect of the pipe was the "Sterling Silver" band that bore no dating hallmarks. No one knew why.

My Vancouver pipe restorer buddy, Steven Laug reached out to Dr. Mark Irwin for more info on my behalf. Dr. Irwin is writing the new Peterson book that is detailed in the recent issue of Pipe Smoker Unleashed and had all the answers. Info on the book is here in the August issue:
http://www.pipesmokerunleashed.com/index.php?pageid=psu_magazine

From my first request to Chuck W, a Peterson expert who is also collaborating on the book with Dr. Irwin:

Quote :
Unfortunately, I can't help with the dating without actual hallmarks except to say the pipe was cut sometime after March 16, 1949, when Ireland finally declared itself a Republic. The K&P you see in the shields is the company logo and they still use it on silver mounts to this day. Peterson has told me that the lack of hallmarks "must have just slipped through the stamping process." I have my own opinion about that.
You are right about the condenser (stinger) being abandoned in the 1970's as was the brown finish. It's black now. Personally, I prefer the brown finish to the black.
I wish I could have been more help.

Steve then put me in touch with Mark Irwin, who with Chuck and a few others (Steve, the Second Hand Smoker guy, the head of the IPPC) are collaborating on a Peterson coffee table book. There is an article about the book on the new edition of “The Pipe Smoker Unleashed” . You can read and/or download it from their website:
http://www.pipesmokerunleashed.com/index.php?pageid=psu_magazine

I sent Mark some pictures of the pipe, box and pamphlet. As mentioned, the puzzling thing about the pipe is the band is marked Sterling Silver, but has no dating hallmarks. Mark said the pipe is a Rogers import pipe which were distributed only in the US. The date hallmarks, required in Ireland, weren’t required here. According to Mark, the pamphlet was introduced in 1955 and the box design was used until 1961, when it was changed. So, Mark says the pipe is definitely from the ’55 – ’61 era. He suspects due to the stinger design in the late 50’s, but he has nothing concrete to back up that hunch. ’55 to ’61 is close enough for me. I shared this with Chuck W and he agrees with Mark. Mark added this was a “Sterling” line of US Petersons, and he doesn't encounter many, certainly not in that nearly unsmoked condition. Having the box and Peterson pamphlet to help date the pipe were certainly rare and important factors.

Mark asked me to take some better pictures of the pipe, which I tried, but could not. I just don’t have the correct lighting and skills. Mark asked if I would be willing to send him the pipe/box and let them take professional quality pictures. He would like to include it in the book as the example of the 999 shape and listed "From the collection of Al Jones". Of course I was thrilled and agreed. I will ship him the pipe in two weeks, when he sets up a photo session. I’m a little nervous about shipping it back and forth, but it would be a shame not to include it in this book. I won’t smoke it anymore until it has been properly photographed. I did smoke two bowls of Chelsea Morning in it, with the stinger removed. It smoked well, but should improve with some more cake built. I’ve also read that Rocky Donegals take some time to break-in properly.

It was fascinating to learn this information about the pipe, which will be a cherished pipe on my rack.











The pipe was delivered to me on my 51st birthday and I was born in '61, so this might be as close as I get to a birth year pipe.


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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:47 am

Very cool story, and a good looking pipe.
I really like the box and inserts as well.
It'll be nice to have the original ephemera to go along with the photos in the upcoming book.
Excellent score.


Last edited by Harlock999 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BriarBrad



Age : 42
Location : Central PA
Registration date : 2012-07-16

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:38 am

Looks sharp. Good find, I hope it smokes great. I am sure it will.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:51 am

Neat that you aquired a US only Pete ! After looking closely at my early 70's Rocky 999 the differences btwn these two models are very apperant. Though the older Rocky's are blasted as yours is, they had the red base stain w/black over which rubs off with time and smoking and the red comes through and yours is brown. and the Sterling band is not only wider, front to back but it is tapered as is the stem and bit so that if put side/side yours has a thicker stem and the bit/stem junction is much "squarer" so to speak. Nice, Nice catch Razz I do have two "birthday" Petes, both pre-Republic's that my father bought in London in '46 Razz
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:31 pm

monbla256 wrote:
Neat that you aquired a US only Pete ! After looking closely at my early 70's Rocky 999 the differences btwn these two models are very apperant. Though the older Rocky's are blasted as yours is, they had the red base stain w/black over which rubs off with time and smoking and the red comes through and yours is brown. and the Sterling band is not only wider, front to back but it is tapered as is the stem and bit so that if put side/side yours has a thicker stem and the bit/stem junction is much "squarer" so to speak. Nice, Nice catch Razz I do have two "birthday" Petes, both pre-Republic's that my father bought in London in '46 Razz

Pop up a picture of your pipes if you don't mind, it would be interesting to contrast the era styles.
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plumbernater

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Age : 58
Location : Huntsville Alabama
Registration date : 2011-02-26

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:48 pm

Very nice pipe you have gotten. I find some of the older pipes I have picked up are good smokers.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:03 am

I also emailed Peterson about the pipe as well, and three weeks later they respond with this. Not much of an effort. "What is a stinger".....better keep Angela just answering phones....

Quote :
Dear Sir

The location of the Hallmarks were originally stamped to the left side of the words “Sterling Silver” and having examined the images that you sent to us, it appears that they have completely worn away.

Hallmarks are the most reliable way of dating a pipe and so we cannot confirm the date of manufacture.

I don’t understand what you mean by stinger?

Kind regards
Angela Fortune

Kapp & Peterson Limited
T/A Peterson of Dublin
Peterson House
Sallynoggin
Co. Dublin
Ireland

Telephone: +353-1-2851011
Fax: +353-1-2856593
Web: www.peterson.ie

Company Registration Number 32027
Registered in Dublin/Ireland

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sorringowl

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Location : The City of Angels
Registration date : 2010-08-08

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:35 pm

Very sweet pipe! Great story behind it. I have really been getting into bent bulldogs (ever since someone walked into my pipe club with a stubby Caminetto--bugger) and the Pete 999 is one of my favorite. Got outbid on an older, all black, Donegal Rocky 999 a few weeks ago, and now, of course, I really want one.

Enjoy that one. She's a beauty!
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Jers

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Location : Ireland
Registration date : 2012-07-14

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:24 pm

Lovely pipe and a great read - thanks for sharing. Very Happy

Fraternally

Jers
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:29 pm

Good sleuthing, RR. Very cool pipe, neat box and a prize pamphlet. I'm amazed at the detail and dedication the true Peterson collectors are able to give to their hobby--it makes those of us just curious to be informed on a whim, which is also cool!

Cool
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:20 pm

Great looking pipe riff, one of my favorite styles too. You scored big time!

cheers



Cheers,

RR
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:29 pm

The Peterson rep did email me back and was glad I found out more info. She said they were very much aware of Dr. Irwin and his upcoming Peterson book. She said they were glad to have such a knowledgeable and passionate fan base.
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:34 pm

That is an absolutely beautiful bulldog.
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Boulder

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Age : 61
Location : Northern New Jersey
Registration date : 2011-08-29

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:59 pm


Great story and pipe Al, Best of Luck... study

John..
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CygnusXII

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Age : 51
Location : South Carolina
Registration date : 2012-03-22

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:11 am

What a wonderful read. I admire your hard work tracking down the information. That Pete is beautiful.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:14 am

The pipe has been photographed and is heading back to me. Mark Irwin was really impressed with it and the box, one of the nicest older boxes he's seen. I guess I'm now buying a Peterson book next year....
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GuitarMyFriend

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Age : 24
Location : Ludington, MI
Registration date : 2012-02-23

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:52 am

Man what a gorgeous Pipe. No such thing as an ugly Peterson anyhow...
Zach
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:23 pm

Here are some pix Mark sent me:




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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:31 pm

THAT's one DAMN NICE 999 !!! My Rocky has the same type of blast but is nowhere near as nice as your 999 !! Peterson makes the nicest proportioned Bent Rhodesian of any I've seen ! Be sure and let us know how that old wood Pete smokes Razz
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: '55-'61 Peterson Rocky Donegal 999   Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:57 pm

That's a sexy pipe. Those that say otherwise are blind or jerks.

Cool
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