Graceful of line, elegant of composition, and of pristine, really superlative balance, this Blowfish from the J. Alan studio is as exquisite and errorless as you might expect one of Jeff's pipes to be. And that's certainly what we've all come to expect from a carver that many consider to be foremost of the American pipe makers. Besides epitomizing the kind of stylish curves and fins that attract so many fans to the form (I include myself here), this piece offers up a few distinct details that ought not get lost in the overall power of the shape; notably, the parallel, diagonally oriented panels that run the length of the shank and transition perfectly with their corresponding parts. Also, the cross-grain, which is such an integral component of the Blowfish is here crisp, cut clean along the lines, with the only bleed to be found on the right side of the piece near the stem. This is a tremendous example of Jeff's talent and definitely a testament to his wild popularity. As you can plainly see, J. Alan pipes don't sit on the site for very long, so don't take too much time to consider whether or not this belongs in your collection.
-- Ted Swearingen