Tonino began his pipe making career in 1981, with his father-in-law; who owned a mill and performed the drilling, in Calabria. By 1983, the fledgling artisan relocated to Marche, Jesi, roughly a long toss from Pesaro, and set up a tiny shop in his home. From the onset, Jacono had two goals from which he never wavered: produce excellent smoking instruments, and do so at extremely fair prices. In many ways Signor Jacono remains 'old school', in the most charming sense of the phrase. He still works in that tiny shop and employs very few of the modern power tools that we would normally associate with modern pipe making, and he still coats the interior of his bowls with a dab of honey from his region. Tradition addressed, Tonino's never-ending quest to provide you with the finest briars possible has led to a recent innovation in shaping; a subtle reduction in size in favor more graceful and elegant forms. Also worth noting is that he obtains his briar from the same source as Claudio Cavicchi, and then seasons it for an additional three years before crafting it into an exceptionally grained pipe.

Tonino's grading system follows the relative piece values, as they relate to the game of chess (with one exception): Knight (rusticated), Pawn (new, sandblasted), Rook, Jack (contrary to some sources on the net, 'Jack' has nothing to do with poker. In Italy a Bishop is known as an "Alfiere", which can either be a Bishop or a subaltern military rank on par with a Jack, manservant to particularly exalted nobility), Queen and King. An 'E' stamp, which is being phased out, represents a half step between grades, and a 'Checkmate' indicates a briar of exceptional size.

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