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

Product Number: 002-630-0128

Adorning pipes with bamboo is not a new phenomenon; however, its style has progressed greatly over the decades. First utilized by pipe makers during WWII, bamboo extended the shanks of many classic shapes as a means of rationing briar. Briar had become scarce during the turmoil of war, with many of its source countries ravaged by conflict and its cutters supporting the war effort, so the less briar that factories could use on a given pipe, the more pipes they could make. Dunhill was one such example, and the English workshop's bamboo-adorned pipes were called "Whangees" — the same title used for bamboo canes. In this era, though, bamboo was incorporated as a means to an end, its focus practical and utilitarian, not particularly stylistic or aesthetic. That approach changed, however, in later years, particularly with the onset of Sixten Ivarsson and the artisan pipe-making movement. These pipe makers saw bamboo and other accenting materials as an extension of a pipe's aesthetic composition, not merely a practical means of saving briar. In the decades since, numerous artisans have furthered the evolution of bamboo and other materials used in pipe making, and Roman Kovalev of Doctor's Pipes in particular has advanced the usage of bamboo, prioritizing disuniform sections that in years past would have been discarded for their gnarly nature and the difficult craftsmanship required to incorporate them into a pipe.

This bent Ball and its bamboo shank extensions testify to Roman's artistry and engineering. The bamboo section is not particularly asymmetrical or eccentric, but its extra-slender nature requires a deft craftsman's had to drill and mount. To accentuate the bamboo's sleek demeanor, Kovalev has paired it to a comparatively robust and bulbous Ball bowl, the rounded walls and plump shaping seemingly inflating from out of the tight transition. Such shaping and disparate proportions provide a substantial in-hand feel, while the entire pipe retains a balanced and light weight for comfortable smoking. The bamboo is further embellished by boxwood nodules along the accent's nodes, and the end is adorned with a flaring boxwood fitment, secured with a brass ring around the mortise. For stability and strength, Roman has fitted the hand-cut vulcanite stem with a stainless steel tenon, and this pipe has received the carver's superlative Grand Flash grade, as witnessed by the bowl's smooth finish and stunning flame grain.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.67 in./118.62 mm.
  • Weight: 1.41 oz./39.92 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.58 in./40.13 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.29 in./32.77 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Ball
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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