Jess Chonowitsch: Sandblasted Billiard with Bamboo Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-367-0150

This long, svelte Billiard from Jess Chonowitsch is the kind of pipe to give real consideration. I know from experience that an investment like this is worthwhile, because I have a similar bamboo-shanked Chonowitsch Billiard that has been an absolute champ for the last 25 years and effortlessly endured everything I put it through. Mine has two knuckles of bamboo and is a little shorter in length, with a similar sandblast, and it's not only a visual delight every time it's removed from the pipe cabinet, but it's among only a handful in my collection that I know will perform admirably every single time I load it. It delivers consistently excellent smokes time after time, even when I smoke it every day or even two or three times a day. Jess is widely considered the best pipe maker alive, and the lines, proportions, and details of his pipes all attest to that probability. It's the kind of pipe that will provide superior satisfaction for decades.

The bowl is classically Danish and particularly recognizable as a Jess shape. In fact, this is a configuration that Jess has crafted many times, probably because it's such an efficient performer. The rounded heel provides a foundation from which the flanks rise in a slightly Brandy shape, and the smooth, ruby rim that Jess is known for presides over the consistent undulations of the growth rings from rim to heel. The long bamboo shank reduces the expected weight of the pipe, its three knuckles lithely separating the dark aspect of both the mouthpiece and the stummel, providing a nice bookend effect for the conservative color theme.

But for many who know Jess' pipes well, it's his precision in the shaping of his hand-cut mouthpieces that really supercharge his pipes' efficiency and smokability. The lip button is perfection itself, the internal engineering promotes a widening dispersal of smoke while providing airflow uninterrupted by turbulence, and the attractive shaping of the saddle configuration introduces one of the most comfortably flat bits found anywhere.

It's a big decision to purchase a Jess pipe because it's a substantial investment, but it's one that will pay off with consistent performance, and it's a pipe that just can't be bested. Every collection should one day include an example of the best possible, and Jess delivers in that respect. For a pipe that will satisfy throughout its owner's lifetime and will remain a favorite, this Billiard is likely to be the best investment possible.

- Chuck Stanion
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.00 in./152.40 mm.
  • Weight: 1.28 oz./36.29 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.69 in./42.93 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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