A Closer look at the Peterson House Pipes

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By Jim Lilley

A trio of House Pipes, Jim Lilley collection

Another popular Peterson system pipe variant, is the huge House Pipe. I believe the term house pipe, has come from the fact that they are just too big to carry around and

too heavy to hold in one's mouth. The pipes are so large that you'll want to smoke them at home, settled into a comfortable chair for a very long session with a good book! I remember seeing them referred to as 'systems on steroids'!

These large hand made pipes normally retail for around $200 $ 400 depending on shape and finish. Varying from Smooth,Sandblast and Rustic finishes and Straight Billiard and Bent shapes. Extra large bowls. All with sterling silver bands. Finishes include terracotta and oak colours.

Over the years there have been a few large System pipes Produced by Peterson which could be considered to be included as 'House' pipes.
In the early Peterson catalogues, circa 1900,they were advertising XXL systems which were similar in size to the modern 'House' pipes.

Around 1990 Peterson were asked by a large UK retailer, i.e. Bonds of Oxford St. London, to commission the making of a special giant classic bent pipe,with dimensions of, length 17cms, bowl height6.1cm, bowl chamber depth 5.5cms, internal bowl diameter 2.1cm. This is a classic shaped Peterson with hallmarked silver ferrule in smooth and rustic finishes,plus options of tapered and saddle stems. In the early 1990s Kapp & Peterson made this giant, classic full bent, smooth pipe exclusively for Bonds of Oxford Street London.

Bonds seem to have an endless source of NOS Peterson pipes, (new old stock pipes). I am always intrigued by these pipes when they arrive by post. Inevitably they come in their original packaging and to my mind, are a window back in time. I enjoy the box and contents as much as the pipe.
I had seen this pipe on many occasions when I had previously visited Bonds ebay site. I have always been attracted to it and admired the classic shape ,size and finish. They were offering the same pipe in various finishes and stem fittings. However I preferred the smooth fishtail. I am a sucker for large bent Pete s. Just my taste,however it was not cheap at around $355.
Having had the opportunity to see the pipe 'in the flesh', I am amazed at the quality,feel,looks and the smoking performance. Yes you heard right I smoked it! Normally with the newer unsmoked high grades that come into my collection,they remain unsmoked. However I made an exception with this beauty and boy it was worth it.

I have included some photos of examples of House pipes from my own collection.

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