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2006 Talbert Briar Volcanopoker, UNSMOKED 

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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!

And... Here we have an excellent example of that "unsmoked" category! As with so many of these, there's a bit of backstory. In 2006, I hadn't yet been making pipes for ten years and we'd been living in France for four. I was there at the founding of the French pipe club Fumeurs de Pipe and they very graciously asked me to do their group's Pipe of the Year that year. Now, POTY's generally have to be made to a low price point to keep them at least within the spending ballpark of large groups of members, so there wasn't going to be any Talbert Briar set of full handmades, but we did design a nice little Ligne Bretagne bent volcano shape that was like a 2/3rds-size version of this, with simpler detailing. We sold a bunch of them and it was a fun project, but by the end of it I was curious to see how the FdP shape would translate if I "upsized" it and gave it a bit more flair, as well as a handcut stem, further boiling, A++ briar, and all the other extras that go into Talbert Briars.

This pipe was the result - A very large, curving volcano/poker design made expressly for those folks who like really BIG pipes. It's not one of those fist-size monsters you sometimes see but it's larger than my group 5 Dunhill and everything about it is built stout. Thick walls, sturdy base for sitting, and a really unusual (but beautiful, IMO) acrylic stem handcut from some custom rod I'd picked up in Germany. It was just a really impressive thing all around, and a nice example of my fondness for taking classic shapes and gradually tweaking them slightly. What's fun about this is that from a 2018 perspective, I can clearly see here the stylistic origins of the "Bouncy Poker" shapes I've been enjoying making over the past couple of years. They're much more extreme in rendition and movement, but the foundation of those modern day pipes can be clearly observed here in this.

 

PS - This pipe and #2006-2TB would make a wonderful set. They look perfect sitting here on my desk together, being so similar in shape, to the point that I'm willing to offer a $150 refund/rebate to anyone who buys both together, just to keep them together. Purchase both pipes and as soon as I receive the payment, I'll spin $150 back around back to you. Just think of the tobacco comparison fun to be had between the different materials!