Davide Iafisco: Smooth Bent Dublin Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-702-0124

Davide Iafisco's design principles are among the most artistically inclined as any I have ever seen in the world of pipe making, and I find this appropriate given his incredibly philosophical, almost spiritual approach to medium, something which I both appreciate and empathize with. His start in this journey was sparked by an appreciation for classic, traditional shapes and the longstanding tradition of carving among the various Anglo-French marques, as well as the, relatively, more recent rise in Italy's pipe making. Inspired along the way by the work of Teddy Knudsen, Jeff Gracik, and Adam Davidson, Iafisco's own offerings became more Danish-inspired and organically inclined and certainly more strikingly stylized. Speaking to this change is this bent Dublin, a pipe that displays an almost Horn-like leaning and a balance to its composition that keeps each part of its construction in harmony with the rest.

A large, forward-urging bowl leads this piece onward with a decided gestural flow, the slanted rim's rounded, dome-like top pushing it slightly upward as it emerges from its perch atop the lifted heel. This development of momentum is palpable, imbuing the pipe with a good deal of dynamism, especially at the fore, something which is accentuated by Iafisco's use of ridgelines that sweep up into the bowl from their start at the lenticular shank end. Said ridgelines give the visual implication of pushing the bowl upward, working in tandem with the lifted heel to add an element of verticality to this piece without exaggerating the actual present height. The transition is nearly parabolic, though the aft end pushes out a touch thanks to the expansive rim, creating a good deal of eye-drawing negative space that allows the eye to appreciate the construction of the entire piece. This feature falls in line with the flaring shank, its own expansion proportional with that of the rim, giving the transition a basin-like quality and allows for a structured harmony to exist here. At the face of the shank we see that it is both domed and softly inflated, pushing out in an arc while its ginger upturn angles the trim saddle stem in a sculptural posture.

The finish here is incredible, with the briar being dressed in a warm mahogany contrast stain, highlighting striations of flame grain that travel from one point of the shank end to the other, with the bowl being wrapped in a shroud of straight grain which further emphasizes its height and flare. When looking at the rim, however, one sees one of the most extensive oceans of birdseye I have ever seen, kissed with natural plateau near the aft of the rim, adding texture to the smooth surface. There is even dense birdseye present on the shank face, framing the inlaid brass ring that reinforces the stem's mount, and another vast swathe on the underside which makes this an incredible feat of both pipe-making prowess and technical mastery from one of Italy's best artisans.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.62 in./142.75 mm.
  • Weight: 2.60 oz./73.71 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.23 in./31.24 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.37 in./60.20 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Dublin
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Italy