American Estates: Alex Florov Smooth Blowfish (2019) (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-17228

Alex Florov emigrated from Russia to the United States and enjoyed a successful career as an industrial designer before transitioning into pipe making in 2004. In the intervening years, Florov has become one of the world's premier carvers, with his work being sought after by many discerning collectors. Florov's distinctive style is often quite sculpture, as he is one of the few carvers to utilize hand chisels when shaping, allowing him to fashion extra-crisp ridgelines and panels. This Blowfish demonstrates Florov's immense talent and the precision of his craftsmanship.

Florov leans hard into the inherent asymmetry of the Blowfish shape with this interpretation. The rounded panels on either flank of the bowl are unequal in size, with one side rising high above the other when viewed head-on. Furthermore, while the shank is shaped to mirror the appearance of the bowl, possessing the same lopsided proportions and circular curvature, it fishtails away from the bowl before giving way to a saddle stem that, then, arcs in the direction opposite of the shank. This continuous re-angling gives the design a sense of dynamism, as if the shape is constantly adjusting the direction of its travel.

A warm, chestnut-hued smooth finish dresses the stummel and highlights the constellations of birdseye across either flank and the cross grain that wraps around the top. Dark, craggy patches of plateau adorn one side of the stummel, adding an intriguing texture to the composition as well as a sense of organicism. In a breath-taking design choice that marries shaping, finishing, and artistry together, Florav has left the brass used to reinforce the mortise exposed, creating a visual motif that blends the architectural elements of the design with the naturalistic qualities of the briar's plateau. Miraculously, this piece remains unsmoked.

--Davin Hylton
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Measurements & Other Details


  • Length: 5.43 in./137.92 mm.
  • Weight: 1.66 oz./47.17 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.56 in./39.62 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.31 in./33.27 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.68 in./17.27 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.41 in./35.81 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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