Brighton James: Smooth Valkyrie with Musk Ox Horn Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-973-0002

American artisan Brighton James de los Santos works within a singularly expressive, highly artistic oeuvre that often results in works of highly complex, functional, modern sculpture, with this Valkyrie being a good example. This pipe is one whose silhouette immediately commands one's attention, not thanks to any impressively emphasized size or muscularity, but for its remarkably willowy arrangement of features. Additionally, this piece's construction comprises three disparate segments made from different materials: the bowl made from briar, the stem made from black vulcanite, and the shank rendered from a segment of musk ox horn. This trio of mediums affords the pipe an even more commanding visual presence thanks to its richly contrasting combination of colors and visual textures.

The briar bowl stands on an extremely sharp heel, taking on a lively flare out to the rim, its build possessed of a straighter look at the fore compared to the aft side's more pronounced outward push. This build contributes to a subtly asymmetrical look and is framed by twin ridges at the flanks and another surrounding the rim, with the flanks' pair descending through to the heel. These ridges create a stylistic separation between the bowl's fore and aft, where the aft side showcases a slight hollow-carving near the edges that makes for ample smoothness, especially at the transition. Said transition is wide and curved, and much thicker than the lower bowl and shank, with the shank taking on a slight taper toward its end, where the pale material is carved with another pair of ridgelines. These ridges flow through the flanks of the shank and stem and create a collared look right before the stem itself, where they curl toward the underside and sharpen the underside of the shank toward the heel. A sturdy, metal reverse tenon connects the shank and stem, keeping this pipe sturdy and reliable while maintaining the delightfully slender profile of this piece well. The heel acts as the basin for this piece's quartet of ridges through the shank and bowl, and all four meet at its pronounced point, centering the visual weight of the pipe in stunning fashion. The briar is dressed in a warm, rich, chestnut-hued stain, revealing a wealth of dense birdseye across the fore and aft of the bowl, while the ridges at the flanks and aft of the rim are lined with cross grain.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.85 in./173.99 mm.
  • Weight: 1.20 oz./34.02 g.
  • Bowl Height: 3.71 in./94.23 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.08 in./27.43 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.71 in./18.03 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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