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Estate 2000 Talbert Briar Billiard, #2000-1TB 

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 Price: $SOLD
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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!

Here's one from way back, a barely-smoked year 2000 Talbert Briar billiard sandblast with a knockout ring grain blasting finish. Back then - I can't believe it's already 18 years ago now - pipes like this were my bread & butter pipes, before Ligne Bretagne came along and took over as our "grocery money" pipes. That is to say, every carver needs to produce a lot of basic, reliable classical pipes to keep the bills paid and support the time and risk of doing the more exotic or unusual pieces. In the early 2000's, I did this via making a substantial number of Talbert Briars in the basic traditional shapes like billiards and bulldogs, because those could be relied on to quickly turn into grocery money. As we built up the popularity and sales of Ligne Bretagne, the LBs gradually took the place of the classical-shape Talbert Briars, to the point that today I very rarely do any Talbert Briars in classical designs anymore... TBs today are almost exclusively more unusual, high-end freehands instead. This one is a nice piece of history for anyone looking for a Talbert Briar in a more traditional shape instead.

It's been smoked, but again, just barely - There's a bit of rim darkening but there wasn't even a cake built up in the bowl and the mortise interior is nearly new. I've cleaned the hole thing out with alcohol, re-carbonized the bowl, and done some interior reworking of the airflow of the stem. The stem, BTW, is black acrylic instead of ebonite, so no worries about fading.

The finish stain was an early technique I worked out, where I'd blast, stain, carefully reblast- stain, and repeat the create a nicely detailed "contrast stain" of the bowl grain that left the outer edges in highlight. It produces a pretty dramatic result, as can be seen in the close-ups above. All in all, a very nice piece that would probably cost $550-600+ new today.