American Estates: Brian Ruthenberg Sandblasted Bent Brandy with Silver (for Russian Pipe Club) (2008) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-18252

Try as I might, I cannot seem to find any evidence that indicates that Brian Ruthenberg is still active in the artisan pipe craft, though there is much to suggest that he is retired: something that is an absolute shame given the quality of his work, but necessary given health concerns which precipitated his exit from the pipe world. That said, estates are now the only way to acquire his work, work such as this gently bent Brandy. Said gentle bend results almost entirely from the demurely curved cumberland stem, though it's certainly aided by the soft upturn of the shank from the wide transition. The resulting profile is that of almost pure elegance, with the modern meeting the classic in stunning fashion, the stem's tapering shape creating a consistent undercurve through to the heel, with the only interruption being that of the carved ring of silver at the junction. At the bowl there's a distinctive sense of refined posture, owed to its solid, firm heel and nearly straight fore wall, with the aft's coming in a bit and lending it the iconic taper that the profile is known for, additionally widening the transition for easy draping of a thumb. Dressing the briar here is a beautiful sandblast that is tantalizingly crisp, Ruthenberg having stained it a warm auburn-mahogany which adds plenty of definition to the dense, concentric ripples of growth rings that cascade down its surfaces, many of which are striated by visual flame grain. This piece is especially unique in that it was part of a limited run of personalized pipes made for members of the Russian Pipe Club in 2008, bearing the name of one of the members on the nomenclature panel.

-John McElheny

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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Darkening Light Oxidation

(Russian Pipe Club Name Stamp)
  • Length: 5.27 in./133.86 mm.
  • Weight: 1.38 oz./39.01 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.56 in./39.62 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Brandy
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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