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UNSMOKED 2006 Talbert Briar Sandblast #2006-3TB 

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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!

I've been holding this one off till near the end of the older pipe postings, partly because it was worth saving till the last and also because I wanted to do a bit of internal reworking to it. Like a few of the others I've posted, it is unsmoked - Since it was first sold in 2006, it's never seen a match and is still a new pipe, albeit a 13 year old new pipe! The only external fix-up I had to do was to replace the chipped original bowl coating with the newer and better mix I use now. I did do some functional improvements though, by slimming the stem buttons down, thinning the bit slightly, and widening the airhole V slot for smoother flow.

As for why it's a good pipe, well... This is another of the pipes I think of as "perfect working smokers". It may not have the exotic stylistic flash of some of my wilder freehands, but in terms of pure function as married to aesthetics, it's the sort of pipe I consider ideal. It's a big pipe, for starters, with thick walls and a deep, craggy blast that should keep it comfortable to hold. It's so balanced and centered in weight that even though the pipe has a round bottom, you can set it down on a flat surface and it will sit balanced upright, like a Weeble. The age ring pattern is possibly my favorite of all, a forward-radiating fan of age rings that expands across the bowl to a front face of dense bird's-eye points.

The stem is handcut tortoiseshell acrylic, with a smoky amber coloring that marries well with the caramel and gold swirled acrylic stem ring. That ring section came from a rod we bought in Cuxhaven, Germany, at the Rheinbach pipe show. It's beautiful material and I've been meaning to order more of it for the past 13 years, but never have remembered when I was able to put together a big enough international order to be worthwhile importing.

The pipe is also unstained, which helped a lot in verifying that it was really unsmoked since it's just about impossible to disguise smoking evidence on a natural pipe. A beautiful, durable, ODA-sized workhorse that still shows enough artistry and detail to look good in a gallery!