Doctor's: Sandblasted Tomato with Bamboo and Boxwood (Double Flash) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-630-0130

I once described Roman Kovalev, the Russian artisan behind Doctor's pipes, as a "shockingly accomplished individual," and that is something I would like to reiterate, as it is truly astounding just how much he has achieved. Just to name a few things, Kovalev is an actual doctor, working as a pediatric neurologist for 16 years, a distiller, a race car driver (and builder), and a supplier of fine coffee making supplies. Considering all this, it's almost natural that he is also an immensely talented pipe maker. His approach is nothing short of painstaking, and he seeks nothing less than perfection in every pipe he crafts, going so far as to invent his own proprietary method of sandblasting when he was dissatisfied with blasting machines available on the open market. Not only this, but his treatment of bamboo involves the slow burning through of the dense grass with a bent and heated metal rod over the course of many hours, making for the smoothest draft hole possible and allowing for the use of wildly shaped lengths of the material.

It's wonderfully appropriate, then, that this Tomato makes use of both of the aforementioned techniques, being fitted with a trim, four-knuckle stretch of the pale grass and treated with a beautiful sandblast. Outside of these elements, I'm immediately struck by just how small this pipe is, coming in at under four and a half inches long and weighing just 36 grams. Despite this, there is a great deal of substance here, and plenty to appreciate, as Roman's experienced hands have managed to render the bowl with incredibly supple curves throughout its expanse. Said bowl sits atop a lifted heel, thrusting it further into prominence and insuring that its presence must be noticed, the smooth rounding of all of its edges creating consistent arcs from the base to the rim. The waistline here is appropriately low-set, but it sits at a bit of an angle, rising higher on the aft than the fore. This pushes the rim forward a bit, lending a subtle bit of dynamism to the composition that keeps things interesting, but keeps the feeling in hand natural and comfortable.

A wide transition gives plenty of room to drape a thumb, ensuring that as many digits as possible can appreciate the supple curvature of the bowl and leading to an extremely trim shank. Said shank ebbs out to meet a band of black vulcanite, followed immediately by the aforementioned four knuckles of bamboo, the natural ridges packed extremely close together and interrupted by bulbous nodes. As we near the stem, we see that this fitment has been adorned with a flared ring of boxwood, its expansion matching the base of the stem while the negative space between the two wrests a bit of the visual weight away from the bowl. There's a delightful compositional balance here that keeps the eye engaged all the way through this piece, ensuring that every bit of Roman's work is appreciated. The sandblast of the stummel reveals concentric ring grain cascading down through the bowl beneath a warm auburn stain, the bamboo and boxwood providing lovely contrast with their pale hues.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.30 in./109.22 mm.
  • Weight: 1.28 oz./36.29 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.26 in./32.00 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia