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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1810lb

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Here's a beauty! Also, good heavens, I managed to get another good photo of one of these very pale horn stems, I think my camera must have broken in a good way. It always used to seem like any time I tried to photo one up close, it would just be a big bright glare. The close-up shot of stem and shank above, however, does a great job of showing the very fine grain of the natural horn, and this one is quite Yin-Yang - The material has a strong dark stripe running up through it from shank to bit to give it a bit of pizzazz on the left side. This is why I love horn stems, the material pretty much defines "natural" in that no two are alike.

Color matching these paler stems is a bit tricky, though, as they only look good with a few finishes - Solid black, natural, this color of vibrant red/orange, and a few bleached variations. I really like this particular combo, though, as the pale stem really makes the intensity of the bowl color "pop". Gives it a somewhat Danish look, I think. Actually this particular pipe reminds me a lot of a more classical version of one of the higher end Stanwells from some years back. Whatever happened to Stanwell, anyway? Their virtual disappearance from the pipe scene makes me sad, as I always enjoyed their pipes. In any event, this one showcases some truly dramatic crosscut grain, with a strong side-to-side pattern, concentrated bird's-eye on one side and flaring bird's-eye on the other. These long-stemmed Bing-style shapes are a lot of fun, I hope to make a lot more of them this year.