Gallery Our Blog About Us Contact Us 

Ligne Bretagne Pipe #18C9lb

Click the thumbnails above for larger views

Currency Conversion

Click the currency icon at left to calculate estimated price in your currency. Taxes and shipping costs will be calculated during the check-out process. Non-US buyers are responsible for all customs fees incurred in their country. "Out of Stock" messages during check-out mean that the pipe has already sold, but I have not yet updated the catalog page to reflect its "Sold" status.

Wow. Yes, it's radical. That doesn't mean it's compromised, however, though I do want to open with a suggestion - This is not a pipe for a novice smoker. Often on pipe boards you'll see guys claiming that one bowl type or another is just innately superior, or that only a certain size is a proper pipe, etc etc. Most of this, in my own opinion, is incorrect. The reality is that pipe bowl chambers can vary widely and all still deliver an excellent smoking experience... IF the smoker has the skill and knowledge and willingness to find the proper tobacco for that particular bowl type. For instance, if one filled this pipe with a moist aromatic ribbon tobacco, they'd very likely experience a poor smoke - The excessive moisture that many aromatics produce would accumulate in the tapering lower half of the bowl and lead to a wetter smoke that would just taste progressively more bitter as the moisture and sugars burned off with smoking. On the other hand, pack in an extra-strong flake or rope blend (Something like my favorite 1792, for instance, or Gawith Bracken Flake or Irish XX or Happy Bogie), and the experience will be drastically superior and probably downright potent, as the burn gradually concentrates down the taper of the chamber. Smoking a bowl of Black XX in a chamber this size might leave one unconscious for a couple days, but it would be one heck of an enjoyable smoke! I'm halfway hoping it doesn't sell, because I'd love to fill it with some 1792 and just slowly smoke it over a whole evening of double-feature movie watching. In my experience, a great deal of the time when someone complains that a particular pipe doesn't smoke well, the real problem is that they simply haven't found the right tobacco and type of cut for it.

So, now that my somewhat cautionary commentary about the design is out of the way, let's get to the pipe itself. Why NOT make a briar MacArthur? The briar just really called out for some sort of long, tapered, elegant design like this... Something that would harmonize ideally with the long handcut natural horn stem and its caramel coloration. All through finishing this thing I was on edge, just waiting for the flaw to appear that would require it to be stained or blasted, but it was perfect right to the end, and so clear that if it had a Dunhill or Castello stamp it would be $900+. I gave it the subtlest bit of color tweaking via a single rub of oil which was allowed to penetrate and then sanded back at the surface to leave just the faintest bit of extra contrast and warmer color to the briar... color that would help it better match the natural grain and tones of the horn stem.

My idea for the overall shape was actually less MacArthur and more something that would echo the classical clay pipes I love, but rendered in briar and at an eye-popping scale and style. I think it's more than a little bit Elvish in look, at least in the graceful style of Tolkien elves instead of the more traditional Wee Folk. If I were still naming pipes I'd probably dub it the Elrond or the Celeborn, something like that, as it does seem quite Elrond-ish in style. Just the thing for an evening in Rivendell!