Doctor's: Smooth Bent Brandy with Bamboo and Black Ebony (Double Flash) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-630-0134

The usage of bamboo became commonplace during World War II, as briar was scarce, forcing carvers to find new ways to use less of the precious burl. Though the dense grass' inclusion into the canon of pipe making was brought on by scarcity and necessity, it has been redefined through the lens of artisan making as an organic and effective accent, with carvers such as Roman Kovalev of Doctor's Pipes using it to great effect in their work. Kovalev sets himself apart from others, however, not just in his ability to utilize dramatically curved lengths of the material, but in the way he drills their draft holes. His process isn't really drilling, however, as he specially shapes a length of thin metal rod, tempers it for strength, then heats it, rotating it in a lathe to slowly burn the hole through the bamboo millimeter by millimeter. This process can take many hours, but results in a smoother path and, thus, smoother airflow. He uses this technique for every bamboo fitment that adorns his pipes, including that of this bent Brandy.

I'm endlessly astounded by Roman's ability to craft pipes that are simultaneously robust and compact, as they aren't simply short and stout. They instead present with great substance at the bowl, keeping the shank and stem low-profile and sleek, though with compositional importance that is striking enough to balance the visual weight at the transition. Such is the case here, as the usage of bamboo creates a locus of immense visual and textural intrigue that draws the eye without detracting from the bowl's presence. Said bowl is fairly squat, rising to just over an inch and a half in height, and quite broad, taking on a slow taper to the rim from a low-set waistline. This waist serves the additional purpose of offering the fingers an indexing point for comfort in the hand, and this is aided by Kovalev's deft eye for and skill in carving subtle, supple curves. The shank proper is ovoid and extremely trim, meeting a band of jet-black vulcanite soon after it ebbs forth from the transition, meeting a compact stretch of bamboo almost immediately afterward. Despite the short length of this bamboo, we see a full three knuckles worth of natural rhythm in it, with each one flanked by organic nodules that enhance its textural appeal. Every one of these are embellished by seamlessly integrated black ebony wood, with the dark material here matching a flared disc at what would be the shank face, mirroring the expansion ring of the saddle stem. Dressing the stummel here is a warm mahogany stain that reveals wrapping flame and straight grain around the bowl, while the rim and underside showcase pinpricks of birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.35 in./110.49 mm.
  • Weight: 1.42 oz./40.37 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.83 in./46.48 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.87 in./22.10 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.71 in./43.43 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Brandy
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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