Pipe Portrait … 2011: Peterson of Dublin “Birr Castle”

The Birr Castle is my favourite
of any Peterson pipe since 1985.

A very ‘solid’ piece of briar,
I had used extensively both at sea
and sitting atop a dry stone wall
to enjoy the sights and sounds of
the Scottish Border scenery.

After two years of care and appreciation,
it was retired to – after being
thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned
– sit behind the glass doors of my desk,
where I could simply enjoy looking at it.

What will be evident in the photograph
is that, prior to the cleaning process,
great care was taken to gently remove
and discard the silver band,

which had never been to my taste
due to its enlarged, childish,
‘crown’ motif which seemed to fairly
leap out from the silver band.

Beautifully rubbed down with mineral oil
(massaged for a half-hour or so between
cupped hands – much like one would a
activate a wet bar of soap),

looking at it brings back fond memories
of quiet times …

P Livingstone
traditional methods of pipe and tobacco
philiplivingstone.org