I actually had the opportunity to talk with Tonni in depth about this pipe when I first saw it at the West Coast pipe show this year; he seemed particularly proud of it. And he should be, as the piece is at once wonderfully shaped, beautifully grained, and of an unfaltering line from rim to heel to button. It's utterly deserving of the carver's highest grade designation: Viking. What's especially interesting, Tonni says, is the mouthpiece. It's of a limited amount of very old stock of exceptionally remarkable Danish acrylic made to look like amber and it hasn't been produced in a generation or more. As you can plainly see, it's rather gorgeous, and detailed with warm swirling reds and yellows. It marvelously accents the bounty of grain to be found in the briar, both in hue and design.
-- Ted Swearingen