Though stamped as pipe number 79 of 388, this Dunhill Zodiac is in fact number 79 of 333. The number four, you see, is considered profoundly unlucky throughout much of China, and as such all numbers including that inauspicious digit were skipped. The 2012 and 2013 Zodiac pipes (year of the Dragon and year of the Snake, respectively), admittedly left some of us scratching heads: they were all Group 4s. For 2014 and the year of the Horse, however, we find a more sensible Group 3 shape - a pocket-sized bent Billiard that's classic in style, handy, and charmingly languid in profile.
This particular Bruyere example, I should note, contains a good cross-cut pattern with plenty of birdseye lurking under the dark, subtle finish.
- Eric N. Squires