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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1720lb

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The most pleasantly startling thing about this pipe is that it's our second Grade 5 Ligne Bretagne for 2017, and I even have another bowl that's nearly a mirror of this one waiting to be finished! 2017 is a banner year for high-end Ligne Bretagnes, it seems, since our usual ratio is one grade 5 for every 50-100 pipes finished. I knew it was going to be an impressive piece even when it was totally rough, and it stayed "briar-perfect" right through drilling and shaping and finishing - I never had to worry about uncovering a surprise pit or flaw because there just weren't any. It was ridiculously pristine, the sort of briar quality I'd normally expect in a $900 pipe or better. I can only hope that its twin, still undrilled, will turn out as nicely. I'd have loved to have saved it and put the two of them for sale as a matched set, but the money needs of our last five months of elder-care didn't give me that option so here it is now.

The stem ring is olivewood - I wanted something that was a natural & harmonious counterpart to the gently contrast-stained bowl. I used an old technique to naturally darken the grain, then sanded and finished with a tint of translucent golden yellow. A stunner. Be sure and click on the upside-down photo of the pipe above, just to see how centered the 360 degree straight grain span is. It looks like someone sat down and drew on the grain with a Sharpie and a ruler!