Peterson’s System 4130

Today’s article is about an old Peterson’s System pipe whose rim was scorched badly with the briar burned down on 2 sides. It has a Sterling silver cap marked K&P Sterling Silver,  Peterson’s Dublin. There are no hallmarks, I think that means it was meant for export. The bowl is stamped Peterson’s System, 4130 on the other side. The nomenclature is so faded, it can only be seen with magnification. I want to say a Pre-Republic but at the time of this writing, I can’t make out any COM in this light. Maybe the shape number can date it? I think it has the Made in England circle format.
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As can be seen from the pic, the sterling silver cap was partially split and the lip was pulled up. The previous owner must of had trouble with the stem, because the cap was split and the briar was cracked beneath it. I put the bowl in a jar of alcohol for an overnight soak. When I pulled it out and reamed it, the extent of damage could be seen.
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Both inner and outer edges were charred. I topped it lightly, I would have had to take a 1/4″ off to get to a flat burn free surface. But that was unacceptable because I needed to preserve the profile as much as possible. I rounded both sides of the rim with files and sandpapers.
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I also patched a hairline crack in the bend of the bowl/shank junction.
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Then I pulled the cap off. Several cracks were discovered and filled with CA and briar “chips”. These are made when dremelling a pipe, they are a little rougher than the dust created from topping a bowl. I think these chips don’t turn jet black like the dust does.

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I made a model of the briar end under the cap with a 7 / 8 ” dowel.

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Then I put the cap on that and tapped out the dents and rounded the lip back down. I consider the next part a failure by not soldering the cap with silver. I would have had to take it to a jewelry repair and it probably would have cost too much. So I mixed some J-B weld and put some on the inside of the cap.

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When dry, I sanded down and used CA to reattach it to the briar after making sure the opening was round enough to fit the stem in. Sanded down the stummel and stained dark brown, then wiped down with alcohol to lighten it a little. Buffed with abrasive pads and carnuba and a clean flannel buff.

The stem was cleaned, filed and sanded until new looking. No pics, sorry.

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Maybe I will get the cap soldered correctly one day, it looks easy on YouTube. The split is still visible but solid.
But for now it will take its place in my rotation. Thanks for looking!

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4 thoughts on “Peterson’s System 4130

  1. Mark Irwin says:

    Okay, I only saw the AFTER pictures when I was talking to Mark about dating this pipe — and this morning I see the BEFORE. That’s a true labor of love, friend, and an excellent restoration. Mark and I are agreed that weird number may be an after-market number, as it doesn’t jive with anything in the Peterson catalogs. This is the classic 9 / 307 shape, and what I love about this restoration is that it reveals how incredibly rugged a System pipe is. Most people don’t get it–but look at how the army-mount absorbed all that shock, and the sterling ferrule made it possible to just keep on smoking the pipe despite the split! Very cool.

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  2. Mark Irwin says:

    Reblogged this on peterson pipe notes and commented:

    In the past thirty years or so the System has lost its place as the flagship in the Peterson catalog. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is that the public—and perhaps Peterson—has forgotten exactly what these pipes can do, and how they do it. One of my goals in writing The Peterson Pipe is to re-establish the System as the incredible pipe it is by re-educating the public. I can’t tip my hat with text from the book, but I can share Mark Domingues’s restoration of this classic vintage System 307, which is an education for those with eyes to see.

    Throughout much of the twentieth-century, but especially in the first half when this pipe was made, a pipe-smoker might only own one or two pipes. If it was a System, that would have been enough. Notice the extreme punishment this pipe was put through, and how it was able to withstand it because of the sterling cap, which held the split briar together long after a traditionally-mounted pipe would have been thrown away.

    Note also the silver-soldering of the early pipes: these ferrules were made from hand-cut sheets of sterling, which were soldered, of course, by hand. David Blake, Peterson’s former silversmith recently retired, will take you through each of the steps involved in how these were made.

    Finally notice that even though the bowl is partially split, it was sufficiently strong to hold the stem in place. The bowl crown’s charring also gives evidence of the smoking practices of another, more rugged days.

    Mark’s restoration is a true labor of love and proof of what a System can take. The “4130” number is a mystery to me—Mark rightly suggested to me in an email it might have been some kind of after-market stamp. The ferrule design and stamping and the circular COM plus the stem-bend give me the feeling it was made sometime in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but why there was no “307” stamp on it is a mystery.

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  3. upshallfan says:

    Mark D, I thought that Mark Irwin would have interest about this pipe. Fantastic work on a well loved pipe. I’ve done a little silver soldering, if you make an attempt, but sure to use a low temp soldering iron used for circuit boards. But, I suspect the JB Weld fix will hold up just fine.

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