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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #1765lb

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Click the currency icon at left to calculate estimated price in your currency. Taxes and shipping costs will be calculated during the check-out process. Non-US buyers are responsible for all customs fees incurred in their country. "Out of Stock" messages during check-out mean that the pipe has already sold, but I have not yet updated the catalog page to reflect its "Sold" status.

Recently Emily and I have embarked on a laborious cataloging of all the Ligne Bretagne stummels and blocks we have in storage. Some of these crates haven't been opened since we moved back here from France in 2009 - When we moved, we were so pressed for time that often we were simply shoveling bags of bowls into shipping boxes in jumbles, so we're long overdue to get these sorted out better and organized enough to be more efficient to produce. This project has produced some intriguing discoveries, and these four billiards (1762lb through 1765lb) are exemplary of that. They came from a crate that was largely filled with small bowls of various shapes, but quite a lot of them were roughed-out billiards like this... Bowl heights of around 1 1/4" and roughly 5.5" long. I wasn't sure I wanted to finish any of them for several reasons - Most buyers seem to prefer bigger pipes, a lot of people hold the unfortunate and inaccurate assumption that "Small=Cheap", the pencil shanks would be a pain to drill and stem on a Ligne Bretagne budget, and the bowl sizes are extremely unforgiving. There's just enough briar on these to wrap around the airhole and make the bowl, so ANY flaw means a bowl discard - I had to drill six to get these four, and the other two went in the trash due to flaws revealed in blasting.

With these various strikes against them, I was tempted to simply write them all off as rejects but conversations with various pipe friends convinced me to finish a few of them as a trial. Rather than "cheap out", I decided to finish them as well as anything else in Ligne Bretagne, and essentially make the very best small pipes I could of them. They'll be IDEAL for flake tobaccos, and they've got a lot of advantages as well... The bowl chambers themselves are actually decently-sized, with a chamber capacity nearly equal to the average cob, and the elfin styling of the pipes helps them achieve terrific light weight numbers. They're featherweights!

Now for the big question - Are there enough fans of small pipes out there to make these worth making in an ongoing way? The sales will show!



I mentioned in the other sandblast's description that these were a special case for blasting, but I'll repeat it here - The challenge is that with pencil shanks and small bowls like this, one needs a very steady and very careful hand on the blaster gun because ANY deformation will totally throw the shape off... There's no "recovering" from an error by shape tweaking, and they also have zero tolerance for flaws as any pit will open right up and cause the bowl to be discarded. This pipe shows off some nice expanding age rings and also some great blasted bird's-eye on the lefthand side of the bowl - All those tiny circles are the field of bird's-eye in relief. I gave it a similar finish to #1763lb but with a deeper golden walnut understain to produce a final color that's a bit darker and more reddish-tinted.