Misc. Estates: Ping Zhan Smooth Chubby Blowfish Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-008-6030

Ping Zhan's Chubby Blowfish is one of my favorite renditions of the Tokutomi style of Blowfish. His balance of striking asymmetry, sharp lines, and plump curves — all in a relatively compact configuration — just works, and is simply recognizable from the first moment it touches the hand. While certainly a Zhan signature, Ping does lend each iteration its own individual character, as we can readily see in this latest example.

Featuring a touch less bend than we've seen previously, in this Blowfish the Chinese artisan has really emphasized the form's strong forward momentum, featuring a more drawn out S-curve with the upward flicking shank and downturned mouthpiece seemingly propelling the form forward at great speed. What's more, the overall asymmetry here is a bit more pronounced than it is in other iterations, I think, forgoing the Blowfish's typical disc-like panels in favor of a more convex plane along the left flank — that near Apple-like plumpness contrasting nicely with the harder, more defined fins created by the shape's paneled edges. Despite that plumpness to the left, as well as the shape's Chubby title, the overall proportions at play aren't exactly stubby or husky, but in fact quite lean — Ping having pared down extra briar pretty much everywhere else except for that aforementioned convex panel. And to great effect, too.

It's quite a dynamic form, no doubt, but all that complex shaping does more than create a striking silhouette; it offers a solid framework for showcasing this particular block's choice grain pattern, with a sea of dense birdseye covering the entire left panel, cross grain flowing down the center ridge, and a fiery display of 3/4 grain and more birdseye along the right. All in all, it's an excellent rendition of the Blowfish from Ping, and one I'm sure will be turning heads as soon as it hits the site.

- Andrew Wike
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Measurements & Other Details

Smoked, But Rather Clean

(Pipe maker's stamp)
  • Length: 4.30 in./109.22 mm.
  • Weight: 1.30 oz./36.85 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.09 in./27.69 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.43 in./36.32 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: China
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