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Estate 1999 Talbert Briar Bamboo-shank 

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 Price: $325
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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 either the first or the second bamboo-shank pipe I ever did, I can't recall for certain. It is, however, a delight to see that it's held up so well for 19 years of smoking! It makes me happy that the joins have lasted and remained strong, and it's definitely had plenty of use. When it arrived here as a donation for our fundraiser, it looked like this:

 

 

It had obviously seen plenty of smoking. I reamed out the bamboo and briar airhole, took the cake down to briar, cleaned the whole thing with alcohol, applied a new bowl carbonizing, cleaned and polished the smooth bowl rim, and polished and cleaned the cumberland stem. The result is the pipe in the photos above, brought back as close as I could to "Like New" condition. It still has some faint teeth marking on the bit and I didn't get out all of the flame darkening around the rim as that would have required sanding it and re-staining it, and I wanted to keep this one pretty close to original condition. I did some widening and deepening of the bit V slot, but that's it as far as "modernizing" the pipe.

A lot of my early pipes tend to look a little Dunhill-like - I was definitely heavily influenced by the classics but was trying to make slightly wilder versions of same. This one has a specific history - Back when Nikos Levin was selling estates via those monthly packages of photographs, I snagged a 50's bamboo-shank Dunhill billiard from him. It looked quite a bit like this but the bowl was more upright and didn't have my bit of "knuckle carving" that joins the stem and the bamboo. That Dunhill turned out to be a great smoker and I enjoyed it for many years till I eventually had to sell it to help finance our move to France. When I was getting started in the biz, I made this pipe in my second year as my own little homage to that 50's Dunhill, just tweaking the shape a bit to add my own stamp. It's funny that it now resembles a bamboo-shanked version of those "Devil Anse" shapes that are popular today, twenty years later.

The real star here is the sandblasting, though - Check out the close-ups of the bowl even if it's not a pipe you're interested in, as they're a wonderful example of an almost anatomical look at briar structure. The bird's-eye sides are just amazing. This pipe is going to make a marvelous and highly practical pipe for someone looking for a classical shape that deviates just a bit from the norm.