Doctor's: Smooth Tomato with Bamboo and Boxwood (Grand Flash) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-630-0121

Russian carver Roman Kovalev came to artisan pipe making with the same drive and determination that led to his success as a race car builder, distillery owner, and pediatric neurologist. Before starting Doctor's Pipes, aptly named as a nod to one of his former careers, Kovalev was simply a passionate collector and hobbyist who smoked hundreds of different pipes from artisans around the world. His thorough examination of a diverse range of pipes, with their varying shaping styles, finishes, and smoking qualities, inspired Kovalev to undertake the craft for himself. The Russian artisan often showcases a penchant for compact, organic shapes, and he pioneered the integration of craggy, nonuniform sections of bamboo as a focal point in a pipe's composition.

In typical Kovalev style, this bent Tomato is a compact design under five inches in total length. Inherently lightweight, this piece features a broad, rotund bowl that's paired to an incredibly trim shank-and-stem arrangement. The disproportionately large bowl could almost overshadow the svelte shank, but as is often the case of Kovalev's work, his utilization of bamboo as a shank extension immediately draws the eye, the gnarled knuckles stacking off the abbreviated shank and growing in size before terminating at the gently downturned saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite. The elegant flaring of the shank, with its gentle upward curvature, provides an appropriate amount of negative space between bowl and the knuckles of bamboo, allowing both to breath, so to speak, in the composition and not distract from one another.

Of course, this being a Kovalev pipe, the most striking bit about this piece may be the fine, hair-like strands of flame grain that flow across all sides of the bowl. The luminescent licks of grain reach from the wide, birdseye-adorned heel to the rim, all underneath a glossy smooth finish and honey-blonde stain. The warmth of the stummel is complemented perfectly by the light color of the bamboo and jet-black of the mouthpiece for a continuously evolving, yet cohesive palette. Aesthetically rich, masterfully executed, and infinitely charming, this piece makes it seem self-evident why Kovalev chose to bestow it with his Grand Flash designation, his highest, and most rarely seen, honor.

--Davin Hylton
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.57 in./116.08 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.53 in./38.86 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.26 in./32.00 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.93 in./49.02 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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