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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1726lb

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This pipe and #1725LB have a little story behind them - We have a lot of these stummels in roughed form in our stock, filling up several crates. We just brought them straight back from France without much digging, because straight Dublins of decent bowl size are always popular and good sellers & smokers. I wanted to do a few of these alongside some back orders I was working on, so I went out and did a bit of digging in one of the boxes, and found a small fraying bag buried under the bowls. Inside were maybe six or eight stummels like this, with perfect grain... I've mentioned before that usually I get perhaps 3-5 grade 5 pipes in a year, out of 150+ produced. If all of these bowls finish out as nice as they look now, every one will be a grade 5! I can only guess that the previous pipemaker had sorted and hand-selected these a couple decades ago, and put them in this bag to set them apart, but never got around to finishing them. Whatever the story, I now have a handful of matching, near-perfect straight Dublins to finish and post. I'm tempted to finish them all together and make a 7 day set from them, but I wasn't sure if there would be a buyer for that and August is always a slow month and I just flat don't have the time for a "project" right now, so I chose to start by finishing a pair:

They make a beautiful matched pair and if anyone buys both together, they'll get a $50 Paypal refund back from the total $468 cost, because that's how much I'd like them to stay together. They make an ideal contrast - One stained, one natural, one carbonized, one not, and both from the same briar with similar grain and matched French-handcut horn stems.

This one, the natural of the two, is nearly as "virgin" as the unfinished #1727LB sandblast, though it does have a light, satin-finish polish of carnuba wax on it. That will probably smoke off with the first bowl, leaving a gentle matte surface of bare briar to darken and contrast naturally over the years. The pristine grain and flawless finish on this is just stunning under close inspection - $234 may be at the top of the Ligne Bretagne grading scale, but if this were a Castello or a Dunhill, it would carry a $700+ price tag. At the same time, it's an ideal practical smoker - Short length, sturdy, clay-like styling, and a decent-sized bowl for a nice long smoke.