Japanese Estates: Takeo Arita Smooth Freehand with Mammoth (209) (Z) (2009) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-007-1072

More than anything, this piece makes me think of a fish exploding upwards out the of the water, mouth open in pursuit of fleeing prey. Takeo Arita's work has always held vibrant movement at its core. Takeo's pipes look like they're ready to spring, speed, topple, tear, careen or otherwise move violently from wherever they happen to be. The Japanese artisan hasn't made a pipe since 2010, but his later work was more organic, with rounder forms and more natural elements, as evidenced by this 2009 piece.

It's still within the same stylistic oeuvre, though. These are stylized representations of various aesthetic ideas: the lips of the fish here have the same Japanese brushstroke feel that edges on many of his pipes do, alternatively evoking classical Japanese martial, organic natural, or modernist stylistic themes. The grain, as is the care with any truly great composition, emphasizes that sense of movement. Flame grain radiates forward, terminating into birdseye at the clean visual break created by the ridge that runs vertically near the center of the bowl.

Arita's work is highly sought-after by collectors, and with the carver rarely producing new pieces, the estate market is one of the only avenues to find a Takeo pipe. It should be noted that this one doesn't take a pipe cleaner easily and only if the stem is removed.

- Sykes Wilford
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Measurements & Other Details

Rim Darkening Chamber Carbonizing Charring Around The Airway See Description

  • Length: 4.78 in./121.41 mm.
  • Weight: 2.53 oz./71.67 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.72 in./69.09 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.68 in./42.67 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.90 in./48.26 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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