Starkov: Smooth Asymmetric Cake with Ebonized Oak Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-650-0007

Boris Starkov is one of those artisans who sticks to a low annual production, in order to better focus on the quality of each pipe produced. That said, given just how many inventive designs he comes up with, I can't help but wonder if he spends a lot of time shaping stummels that never become finished pipes, and/or sketching and re-sketching shapes over and over again. The reason, specifically, is because when a new shape or variation appears in his portfolio, it always seems to have that polished and perfected look of shape x rendition number ten or twenty.

That said, in the case of the Cake shape, we're actually looking at a design-theme Boris was working on as far back as 2011. The earliest version of it that I could find was very sound as a design, yet it is quite clear he thought there was more to do; a lot has changed from that rendition to this one. For one thing, everything has a slimmer and finer look about it now, despite the fact that the bowl (and for that matter, the shank) doesn't appear to have lost any breadth compared to the sturdy-looking 2011 predecessor. Curves, lifts, bevels. these have all been tweaked to produce a version of the Cake still very recognizably related to the earlier shape, yet which is downright lithe in profile, and that plays far more with negative space.

- Eric N. Squires

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.55 in./140.97 mm.
  • Weight: 1.20 oz./34.02 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.25 in./31.75 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.50 in./38.10 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia