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UNSMOKED 2004 Talbert Briar

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 Price: $395
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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!

And here we have some more of that "New and unsmoked". This pipe was made in 2004 in our French workshop and was aimed squarely at being a "working smoker"... That is, not a flashy shape, but rather a solid, practical one built for lots of use while needing very little maintenance. I gave it a bit of flash with that gentle, subtle shank arc that runs from bowl to bit, but otherwise, it might as well be a classic English shape. I'm surprised to find it still unsmoked and in brand-new condition after all these years, given how simple and functional it was meant to be (One could reasonably say that this was me doing Castello styling). It does have one unusual quality, though, that it shares with its #2004-2TB partner - a much larger bowl chamber than our norm. I typically stick to 1.8 to 2cm bowl chamber bit sizes, but we did a number of pipes back around this time with a large, round-nosed 2.4cm bit. It offered a couple of advantages - You could pack a LOT more tobacco into a given bowl size than it might initially seem, because the capacity was way up, and it made the bowls lighter as there was simply less wood. I ended up abandoning those larger drillings, however, because getting bigger on the inside meant I couldn't always sandblast as deep as I wanted to from the outside. I managed to get a nice sandblast out of this one AND keep the walls comfortably thick, but on some others it was frustrating not being able to carry a blast as deep into the rings as I might like for fear of making the walls too thin.

In any event, it's something of an oddity among our workshop output, despite its conventional appearance, and I'm glad it was sent back to me as I hope I can find an interested buyer/collector to whom this brief evolutionary offshoot might have interest and appeal. After a very LONG delay, it's finally back on sale again!