While not wanting to delve into the absurd, as Voltaire indirectly defined it, I am certain that this Stokkebye smooth bent Brandy was carved by Jorgen Larsen — his carving signatures are all over this beauty. For 30 years Larsen worked as a carver for Peter Stokkebye (as an aside, he also worked at one time or another as the technical director of both Kriswill and Stanwell). Jorgen is a perfectionist of the first rank, close to 40% of all the pipes that he began wound up heating his home in Almind, Denmark via the fireplace, and his annual completed production almost never exceeded 100. Another reason behind J. Larsen's lower production numbers is that Jorgen developed an allergy to briar dust (not the greatest thing, when one carves briar for a living). In order to keep Larsen, Peter Stokkebye (rest his soul), set up a clean room operation for his carver's labor. This Stokkebye bent Brandy is a bit different in that few featured this deep of a bent configuration. It is also merely rated a J, a tad low in my opinion: the shape is impeccable (no deduction there) and just take a peak at the grain.
R. Bear Graves
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