Ping Zhan: Sandblasted Tulip Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-654-0058

Ping Zhan began his professional life as a software engineer, all the while dreaming of a fulfilling career as an artist until, after taking notice of pipes and pipe smoking, he found a way to express himself. He began carving in 2011 and is completely self-taught, taking inspiration from the Japanese and Danish schools of design, with this Tulip stylistically reflecting the Danish school in particular thanks to its subtle shaping and understated asymmetry.

The Tulip is an uncommon shape, seldom seen in both artisan works and more serially-made pipes, and it's one that's taken on a number of different forms depending on its maker. Here, Zhan has taken the shape in a more floral direction, defining the lines of the bowl's silhouette with a defined pinch at the waistline and a subdued flare to the rim at the fore, contrasted by the aft side's arcing taper upward. The rim itself is dipped at both sides of the bowl, but more so on the left flank, and lifts at the fore and aft: creating a plumpness that readily reflects the look of a flower's bulb held at the end of a branch. The lower bowl is delightfully round and supple, offering comfort in the hand and enhancing the organic feel of the composition. When viewed from the fore, the pipe's asymmetrical construction reveals itself more fully, the left wall showcasing the waist's pinch and expanding toward the rim, while the right is more thoroughly rounded and tapers slightly near the top. This build makes for a pipe rich with detail, and it enhances the effect of the shank's own asymmetry. Said shank curls out of a wide transition with an ovoid shaping seen at the top, and it's from this perspective that one can see the shank curve very slightly to the left as it reaches the stem. The ovoid shaping actually defines a more teardrop-like shape, with the right flank's more rounded build tapering to the left flank and terminating in a firm ridgeline that's easier to feel than see. The stem is a sleek saddle of black vulcanite whose base flares out toward the bit, with the base continuing the leftward curve of the shank while the bit straightens out the smoking posture. Extremely complex in its understated asymmetry, this Tulip is finished in a crisp, inky sandblast for a serious dressing, one that reveals a wealth of rippling ring grain flowing through the bowl.

-John McElheny
Loading the player ...


Your Price

Not so fast! In the "Choose one" section below, Pick an options before adding to your cart.

Ask a question about this product.

Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.78 in./172.21 mm.
  • Weight: 1.24 oz./35.16 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.53 in./38.86 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.32 in./33.53 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.71 in./18.03 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.39 in./35.31 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: China
Similar Pipes