This charming number by J. Alan does the trick on a few accounts. First, its proportions are heavenly. Having complemented the short, concisely forged bowl with a rather wide oval shaped shank balances the feel of the piece; though of modest stature, the pipe doesn't feel it, which I don't think would have been the case had the pipe been cut with a circular shank, even a 'chubby' one. Second, the surface of this thing is just impeccable. It's handsomely grained, awash with flame grain and bird's eye alike, it's beautifully stained in a warm amber walnut hue, and is brilliantly accented in a sharp piece of exceptionally detailed ivory. Indeed another winner from Jeff Gracik.
-- Ted Swearingen