Poul Ilsted is not well known among today's generation of pipe makers, and not nearly as highly thought of as he deserves to be. He's been carefully producing a very tiny annual production of pipes for the past 30 years now - his vast portfolio consisting of the most elegantly designed pieces, of excruciatingly meticulous detail - and I believe we need to start a petition or something.
Take this little jewel of briar, bearing some of the most beautifully defined birdseye I've ever seen - in a perfectly executed, neoclassical Brandy of firm proportions; which is a bit unusual for the maker, Poul Ilsted often referred to as the "Panel Master" or "Mr. Bulldog", nearly all of his production either Panels or Bulldogs (that was easy). The stem is a bit of an oddity, not just for the fact that it is cumberland, a material rarely used by the artisan, and it's in mount form, but also because of its very unique pattern, that faintly resembles that of a silk-screen print. But, though Poul is treading on some very unfamiliar territory here, he never falters the shape. The new generation of pipemakers should take note.