Adam Davidson: Smooth Figu with Boxwood Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-437-0124

Hybrid shapes aren't exceptionally rare in the pipemaking world. A Brandy bowl fitted on the end of a Lovat's shank and stem combination; a Dublin with a flattened heel like that of a Poker; the diamond shank of a Bulldog paired to a robust Apple bowl. Each of these examples, though, while a combination of two shapes, are fairly tame, the various elements simply added onto a standard shape. In this Figu, Adam Davidson presents something utterly unique and innovative.

Debuted at the 2018 West Coast Pipe Show, this Figu is the very first we've received from the American carver. The design is aptly named, as Adam combines elements of the Fugu with his signature Fig shape. Unlike the aforementioned hybrids this brand new shape, isn't merely a shape chart standard altered slightly by the characteristics of another. The Figu is a seamless marriage between two individually iconic, artisan shapes: Hiroyuki Tokutomi's Fugu and Davidson's Fig. And instead of taking a Fig and accenting it with Fugu-like flourishes, or vice versa, Adam has created a piece that, when taken as a whole, makes it seem like he's taken one half of each shape and melded them together.

Divided by an undergirding ridgeline that curls ever-so-slightly from shank-end to the right fore of the rim, each flank resembles either the Fig or Fugu when viewed in profile. On the right, a crisp line streaks across the shank before suddenly pulling out and curling up to the rim to form the Fugu's characteristic "fin" at the transition. Consider the left flank, though, and you'll notice the ridgelines of the right side substituted for an affably plump form, defined by the Fig's protruding foot just ahead of the transition.

Yet despite each side's striking differences, the piece is a display of beautiful visual and tactile balance. The corresponding "fin" and foot are symmetrically oriented, and the in hand feel is naturally comfortable in either hand. While other renditions have featured a partial sandblast, further emphasizing the form's dichotomy, this one here wears a consistent finish: a warm, walnut stain contrasted by a pale ferrule of boxwood. The presentation marries the piece as a whole and highlights a gorgeous cross-cut pattern and birdseye. Collectors of Adam's work ought to fawn over this new piece, imbued with his plump and muscular aesthetic and boasting the carver's creative genius.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.66 in./143.76 mm.
  • Weight: 2.21 oz./62.60 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.73 in./43.94 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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