American Estates: Rolando Negoita Walnut Carved Freehand with Silver (2008) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-18395

Rolando Negoita was born, not in America, but in Transylvania, a region of Romania perhaps bent known for being the setting of Bram Stoker's Dracula, though with a long tradition of artisan craftsmanship, something to which Negoita was born into. A graduate of the Romanian Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Rolando began carving in Romania: With briar essentially being unobtainable and tobacco needing to be smuggled in to smoke, he was forced to experiment with both woods and shapes, something he took to readily, giving him a deeper appreciation for natural mediums, and something that affected his future work's shaping until his untimely death in early 2021. His artistic background imbued in him the ideal to craft his pipes as "functional sculptures", something that this Freehand piece quite readily displays. While we've seen freehand pieces from Negoita in the past, each of them are extremely distinctive, and this is no exception, pairing a stylized bowl dressed in his striking Walnut finish to a Hawkbill-esque shank and stem combination. This shank and stem lift and flow out from a slightly mid-set transition that leaves plenty of room to drape a thumb, taking on an aquiline arc and consistent taper through to the button as they do. Not only does this offer a comfortable smoking posture, but the angle of the duo's travel works to accentuate the curves of the bowl, especially at the aft side. This side's slow upward rounding to the rim, though not quite the same as the shank and stem's outline, acts to highlight the undercurve that lifts out of the pronounced heel and follows the underside of the shank, providing the composition with an agile gracefulness. The bowl here as a whole is interestingly shaped, with a mid-set waistline that pinches near the rim before flaring out again slightly, similar to the Cauldron, though because of the unique nature of this finish, it has been split down the middle in a curved cleft. The briar near the very edge of this cleft pushes out, lending it greater dimension, with the center's smooth surfaces contrasting the craggy rustication that dresses the rest of the stummel. Additionally, the junction here has been adorned with a relief-carved silver band that adds further playfulness to the piece through its twisting, vine-like pattern.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Charring Chamber Slightly Out Of Round Tooth Marks

  • Length: 5.67 in./144.02 mm.
  • Weight: 1.41 oz./39.92 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.40 in./35.56 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Carved
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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