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

Product Number: 002-630-0133

Bamboo is not a new material within pipe making, per se; however, how it's been used has evolved dramatically over the years, especially thanks to Roman Kovalev of Doctor's Pipes. The alternative material grew in prominence during WWII when turmoil across Europe led to a scarcity in briar. To compensate, pipe manufacturers would fashion pipes with bamboo shanks, saving on briar to allow for efficient use of each block. While born out of practical necessity, these bamboo-shanked pipes became a style all their own, like other bamboo-adorned items of the era.

That said, these early bamboo-accented pipes utilized the material in a mostly functional sense. It wasn't until the work of Sixten Ivarsson and the onset of artisan pipe making that carvers began considering how to more cohesively integrate bamboo and other accents into a pipe's overall compositional design, whether by continuing the bamboo knuckles' rhythm through the stem or balancing other elements against the bowl's shape. Still, though, pipe makers prioritized straight, uniform sections of bamboo. Kovalev was among the first to stray from this convention and consider how even gnarled and eccentric bamboo sections could be used to elevate a pipe's aesthetic.

Since then, numerous other makers have drifted toward using this style of gnarly bamboo, pieces that decades prior would have been thrown out for their disuniformity. Now, these bamboo pieces add individuality and distinction to pipes, furthering the industry's breadth of styles, thanks to Kovalev's pioneering innovation, creative prowess, and expert craftsmanship.

The Russian carver's portfolio is saturated with pipes like this Apple: playfully plump, conveniently compact, and bolstered by one-of-a-kind bamboo. As such, his pipes are immediately recognizable, and they combine distinctive aesthetics with preeminent engineering, and practical appeal. The bowl of this particular Apple is among the most spherical across Kovalev's various renditions, and it's voluptuous curves stand in stark contrast to the shank and stem's slender retreat. Said shank is mainly composed of a tight-knit bamboo ferrule whose knuckles are compressed, textured, and varying in color, evoking the look of an accordion.

To seal the bamboo's nodes, Kovalev has inset rounded nodules of boxwood, harmonizing the bamboo with the bowl's bulbous nature while maintaining a consistent color palette. Moreover, the end is capped by a boxwood disk whose edges expand to continue the bamboo knuckle's rhythm into the stem's expansion ring. Dressed in a smooth, honey-blonde finish, the bowl reveals 360 degrees of gorgeous vertical grain, unmarred and consistently spaced, and last of all, this pipe has earned Kovalev's Grand Flash grade, representing his finest work.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.46 in./113.28 mm.
  • Weight: 1.38 oz./39.01 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.38 in./35.05 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Apple
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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