Sometimes Mario Grandi makes simple, traditional Italian designs, more often, he makes pipes with a good dose of freehand flourish, and then, every once in while, he makes something really out there. This, as you can, see, is briar very much of the latter-most category. The bowl is a big one, and rather unusual in style, sporting a flattened cross-section more typically found on freehand meerschaums. In both scale and novelty, however, the bowl pales in comparison to the extra, extra, extra-long shank, crisply squared and rather architectural, yet also terminating in a very floral briar accent-piece.
- Eric N. Squires