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Unsmoked 2007 Talbert Briar Bamboo Dog 

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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 speaking of new and unsmoked... Here's another pipe from 2007, one of our last years in the French workshop. It sold that year and has been sitting in a collection ever since, and has NEVER been smoked. I've gone over it and given it a fresh polish and wax, bringing it back to a "brand new" state. It's an interesting look back for me in several ways. For one, though it was just 11 years ago, this was still before the time when those super-thin bamboo shanks with 25 knuckles crammed on had become popular. Before that style came in, most bamboo-shank pipes derived from Dunhill's bamboo style, which was essentially this - a longer, thicker, sturdier bamboo shank with just two knuckles, usually. It's a bit funny because we pipe people love telling ourselves how we're always classical, and not beholden to styles and trends of the day... and yet pipe styles really do come and go just like anything else. At the time I made this, the Elephant's Foot/Rameses was THE hot pipe shape and I had about a hundred orders for them, but I don't think anyone has asked for one of those shapes in at least a year or two, now.

I dubbed this one "Bamboo Dog" because, well, bulldog + bamboo. I'm not sure I'd ever seen a bamboo-shanked bulldog before - It's inherently not a shape that adapts easily to bamboo, but I hope I at least rendered it in an interesting way.

It has a few other differences from the techniques I use today. In 2007 I was using a glossier wax for sandblasts like this, and the sandblasted lower bowl half is quite shiny and polished compared to today, where I've gradually shifted towards a more satin look to finished blasts. I've done some internal work on the bit to widen it and bring it more into line with the pipes I make today, in a functional sense. It also has a unique feature in that it was impossible to drill a straight airhole through the bamboo shank and into the bowl due to the bowl's canted bottom - The airhole in the briar bowl has to tilt up a bit to allow the pipe to sit properly. It connects easy and passes a pipecleaner smoothly, but would not pas a drill bit for reaming. I always try to make my pipes longterm-serviceable, so I solved that potential issue by making the bamboo shank removable as well - For cleaning and future reaming, the entire bamboo section can be removed from the briar bowl, as well as removing the stem from the bamboo shank. It's always good when a little engineering can enable more creative design, as long as the overall function is not compromised.

The handcut stem is from the old-style cumberland, darker and more intricately grained than a lot of the new cumberland rod I've seen on the market now. I think I've got about 6-8 rods of this stuff left and I'm going to be sad when it's gone, as it is beautiful material.

All in all, it's another intriguing piece of Talbert Workshop history, available to you today direct from 2007, in brand-new condition!