Chris Asteriou: Sandblasted Strawberry with Silver (42/20) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-540-0141

Chris Asteriou's Strawberry design has become one of the Greek artisan's signature shapes in recent years and is characterized by a flaring, often bulbous Acorn-like bowl as well as the form's defining heel spur below the transition. While Asteriou is renowned for his interpretations of timeless shape chart standards, he's also exceptionally talented at crafting organically inclined Freehands as evidenced here. In the past, Chris has delivered various variations of the Strawberry shape, tweaking the scale, proportions, and finish of each one in such a way that no two examples are ever identical. This particular rendition is certainly a standout piece among Asteriou's portfolio in regards to the finish and accent work.

The slightly-tucked transition places further emphasis and visual weight on the poised, high-waisted bowl not to mention contouring the bowl so that it conforms to the hand quite naturally. The shape's characteristic heel spur is present in profile but is extremely subtle and reserved compared to other examples where it tends to be more pronounced. The sandblast is particularly craggy on this example, with undulating grain patterns climbing the bowl and seamlessly blending with the dimpled plateau that lines the top of the rim. Smooth briar lines the innermost portion of the rim, which has been chamfered and stained a lovely, ruby hue that pairs nicely with the stummel's dark stain.

What impresses me most is the beautiful silver accent that adorns the shank end and how it has been crafted to complement the organic shaping of the stummel. Working with silver on pipes is incredibly difficult and time consuming, and to apply it like Chris has done here is truly captivating. Though it initially appears to be a single piece of silver, the fitment is actually comprised of four separate pieces. Each piece was individually turned and then fit together over a piece of briar. The domed aspect of the precious metal mirrors the bowl's curvaceousness, while the stem's expansion echoes the beadlines etched into the silver before the mouthpiece ends in a gentle downturn for balance. From the shaping to the finish and silverwork, this piece leaves nothing to be desired and provides ample evidence of Asteriou's ability to challenge himself and deliver a unique rendition of a familiar shape.

- Jeffery Sitts
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.65 in./143.51 mm.
  • Weight: 1.80 oz./51.03 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.58 in./40.13 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.24 in./31.50 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.04 in./51.82 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Greece