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

Product Number: 002-630-0146

Doctor Roman Kovalev is a shockingly accomplished individual, not just in his pipe making ability, but in his life achievements as a whole. Not only is he an actual doctor, a pediatric neurologist, but he is a polyglot, a racecar builder and driver, a distiller, and a distributor of fine coffee supplies. All of this and he is an incredible pipe maker. His approach to his craft is nothing short of scientific, utilizing a slow-burn process of heating and bending metal rods to bore through bent bamboo as smoothly as humanly possible, which takes many hours, and even building his own proprietary sandblasting equipment when he was dissatisfied with those on the market. Kovalev has been an avid pipe smoker for much of his life, and it was only natural that, at some point, he would gravitate toward making them, and the degree of effort that he puts into them is immense, something which can be seen in this Pot.

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 appropriately 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. Despite the beautiful rounding of this bowl, Roman has situated a broad, textural swath of plateau directly underneath the chamber, affording the feel in hand a bit of tactive intrigue. The shank proper is extremely trim, featuring an ovoid shape that meets a band of jet-black vulcanite soon after it ebbs forth from the transition, after which the bamboo takes hold. Despite the short length of this bamboo, the three knuckles it presents are rather tightly-packed, each retaining some especially prominent nodules on either the left of right flank. Each of these are embellished by seamlessly integrated boxwood, with the pale wood here matching a flared disc at what would be the shank face, matching the expansion ring of the saddle stem. Rich with contrast and delightful in the hand, this pipe is an excellent example of Kovalev's style, its rotund bowl acting as a beautiful canvas for the rich mahogany stain of the stummel, revealing wrapping flame grain throughout the bowl's circumference and a smattering of birdseye at the rim: its incredible shaping and grain earning it Doctor's coveted Grand Flash grade.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.74 in./120.40 mm.
  • Weight: 1.55 oz./44.00 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.36 in./34.54 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.89 in./22.61 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Pot
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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