Grechukhin: Smooth Long Shank Blowfish with Walrus Bone (G)

Product Number: 002-497-0104

This Grechukhin is difficult to describe. Part of that is because things shift around so much, from so many different angles, making for at times quite dramatic changes. The other part is that however much things appear to change, the shape as whole, viewed this way or that, still remains beautifully composed. So instead of writing I keep flipping through the photos, or picking the pipe up to have a look at it from viewpoints we didn't photograph. Here the bowl rolls into an upward lift, and the shank chops down with a sweep; here the bowl twists while the shank swings in a counter-rotation. Here the lines appear calm; here everything is in motion. Here the shank is broad and fanning; here it is vanishingly slim.

For a relatively simple example of how much is going on in this design, take the likewise simple directly-overhead and directly-underneath views we've photographed. In each we have much the same relationship between shank and bowl: the latter twists or rotates in one direction, while the former suggest broader circular motion in the opposite. Yet the styles in which this relationship is rendered appear completely different, with the overhead view showing sharp and precise, like a single, yet complex-in-form machine-part designed to fulfill several internal tasks simultaneously, while the underside view is, in complete contrast, wholly naturalistic and organic in appearance.

In the end I have two things to say about this pipe. Firstly, that this is the most fascinating and multi-faceted design I've ever seen by Vladimir Grechukhin. Secondly, that it is one of the most fascinating and multifaceted designs I've seen by anyone, period. If some museum or another asked for my opinion regarding an exhibit on modern pipe design, my first recommendation would a gallery of photographs of this pipe. For other shapes by other artisans, I'd have to pick through our archives to make a decision on other recommendations. But not here.

- Eric N. Squires

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.83 in./173.48 mm.
  • Weight: 2.30 oz./65.20 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.95 in./49.53 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.64 in./41.66 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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