When this stunning saddle-Billiard first arrived, Josh brought it to me (index finger conveniently crooked over the bit inlay), and we started to play our version of "Name that carver". It only took me a split second (along with my devastatingly exhaustive knowledge of pipe shapes & carvers) to declare, "Castello: Collection Occhio de Pernice - I would say at least a 3, probably 4K". "Close - try Satou-san." This declaration called out for a rejoinder of some sort, "Why, of course it is and I'm Catherine the Great. By the way, how's my husband faring in his cell in Ropsha?" Josh then handed me this briar. Crikey! The pointy-headed academic was right!
While Satou's shapes are often considered the most formal/traditional of the carving masters hailing from the Nihon archipelago, here we have a downright Western neoclassical take on the world's most beloved shape. Though this Billiard’s exterior is fashioned in the Western manner, the engineering, accessorizing material and painstaking attention to detail is pure Satou – and therein we find all the difference in the world. If you are a fan of the high grade, traditional Billiard, I am not sure you will ever run across a better package than the one now before you.
-- R. ‘Bear’ Graves