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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #02yulelb2

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The quick story - I've recently gotten hold of a large cache of my older pipes as part of a generous gift to help us pay my wife's cancer surgery expenses. Over the next weeks, I'll be gradually posting them as I get them cleaned, inspected, etc. Many of these pipes are NEW and UNSMOKED and have been part of a display collection, sometimes for as much as 20 years!

This is another of those unsmoked treasure finds. Back in 2002, we'd just moved to France that summer, and we found ourselves quickly barreling in towards Christmas in an unfamiliar workshop full of unfamiliar tools. Prior to that year, every Yule Pipe had been a handmade Talbert Briar. However, it was obvious that we were in no shape to design and make a set of matching Talberts in the time that we had, so we discussed it and decided to try something different, and do a Ligne Bretagne version instead. Ligne Bretagne was brand new at that point, we were working hard to establish it as a quality brand, and I realized that while we couldn't do anything as fancy as the Talbert Yules of prior years, we did have one major advantage and that was that we had a sizable quantity of bowls that we could hunt through to find the most pristine examples. This ALSO was born of need because at that point, we didn't have our sandblaster set up yet! We were still struggling with the French electrical company and their interminable foot-dragging delays, and it was a very tough period where we could only make and sell smooths and anything that turned up any flaws got relegated to the "Blast this when we have a sandblaster" box.

We discovered quickly that this particular bowl shape seemed to "run good"... That is, the bowls had consistently high quality grain and most of them could be finished as smooths. It was the obvious choice for a Yule set so we combined bowl shape and horn stem and that was our first Yule Pipe in France. This one is hand-inscribed "Yule 1", meaning it's the very first of the set for 2002, but I don't recall how many there were... 20, I think.