When tobacco first made its way to Europe in the sixteenth century, the most common smoking instrument was a clay pipe. In fact our earliest image of a European smoking tobacco shows an Englishman holding a small clay Cutty, which would come to be known as a tavern pipe. Tobacco prices at the time were simply too exorbitant to accommodate the larger bowls favored by many smokers today. In America, where tobacco was more plentiful, European settlers often resorted to more rustic and natural materials to “sip” the mystical weed. The most common pipe was a thin reed attached to a walnut shell.
I can’t help but see this Bruce Weaver pipe as an homage to those early smoking instruments. In this piece we find a the traditional Cutty shape's spur-less Belge variation, combined beautifully with a rustic, organic style. This would be the perfect choice for a Virginia flake, a cordial of rum, and a bit of light reading, perhaps King James I’s A Counterblaste to Tobacco, if you happen to be the contrary sort.