It's been quite some time since I last had the pleasure of describing Satou pipes for the website. And this is a particularly lovely pipe to kick it off with. Interestingly, there are components to the shape, especially the shank, that strike me as something of a departure for Satou. The long, subtly flaring shank strikes me as a little more Danish than we normally see from him. The Egg shaped bowl is all Satou, of course, as is the beautifully executed saddle stem.
I like the darker contrast stain he employed on this piece. Most of his smooth pipes are a fairly light color and I think the slightly darker color is quite elegant, especially when paired with the multi-hued tsuishu ring in the stem. The grain is excellent, with highly vertical straight grain running right the way around the bowl.
Tsuishu, something of a signature for Satou at this point, is a very special material made by layering colored Japanese lacquer in extremely thin coats. The effect is created by cutting it cross-wise, bringing out the edges of all of those super-fine slices of color.
-- Sykes Wilford