Doctor's: Sandblasted Brandy with Bamboo and Dogwood (Double Flash)

Product Number: 002-630-0116

Roman Kovalev consistently pushes the boundaries of what is possible in pipe making, with unique aesthetic choices, functional design characteristics, and non-standard use of materials. A pipe connoisseur who owned and smoked hundreds of fine pipes from artisans the world over during his 16 years as a pediatric neurologist, Roman became obsessed with every detail that can improve a pipe. He now works tirelessly to perfect his pipes and his craft, and the lofty heights of his progression are plain to see. From Siberia, he was influenced most directly by his Russian contemporaries, and Danish design cues are also clearly evident in much of his work. However, Dr. Kovalev has long since developed a style of his own, and for the last 15 years has become increasingly influential on pipe makers worldwide.

This straight Brandy showcases several of the attributes that make Roman's work so unique and collectible, starting without question with his use of bamboo. The majority of Doctor's pipes incorporate bamboo, and his skill and creativity with the medium are perhaps unparalleled, evidenced here with tight knuckles of bamboo embedded with dogwood accents. All of his bamboo shank extensions are internally sleeved with briar and exquisitely crafted inside and out. Often he chooses gnarly bent pieces of bamboo many other artisans would discard, putting in countless hours of extra work to build a pipe around their characteristics. A more standard, straight element is used in this piece, framed between a thin black ring near the transition and a dogwood accent at the shank end. The bamboo section's steady rhythm continued by the dogwood at the end for a seamless, wave-like profile.

Roman has developed his own proprietary blasting technique, a trade secret he puts to good use here to accentuate tight stacks of grain around the bowl. Typically growth rings will be blasted to appear to climb the bowl, but Roman's sharp eye saw a Brandy shape in this block and oriented the grain upside down to take full advantage of the natural expansion. The resultant effect is like ripples of wax or ridges of icicles dripping down, instead of craggy ridges climbing up, and perfectly fits the sloped sides of this Brandy. A softly inflated rim crowns a surprisingly capacious bowl and is left smooth for a nice contrast, unified in this aspect with the abbreviated shank. The fit and finish of Doctor's pipes cannot be overstated, with concealed details like his hand-turned brass tenons adding countless hours of labor to an already exquisite pipe. Roman loves his work, though, and every hour he puts into a pipe means an improvement in beauty, elite smoking properties, and durability. A truly exemplary pipe that has earned Roman's second-highest Double Flash grade to show how happy he is with how it came out, this will make a fine centerpiece to any collection.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.98 in./126.49 mm.
  • Weight: 1.20 oz./34.02 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.59 in./40.39 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.83 in./21.08 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Brandy
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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