Chris Asteriou: Smooth Asymmetric Tomato with Curly Birch Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-540-0161

Chris Asteriou is no stranger to refined design, beginning his professional life as an architect and industrial designer in Athens, Greece, before shifting his focus to crafting high quality artisan pipes. Asteriou is known for his renditions of classic Anglo-French profiles, though with proportions that are unique to his own style. That being said, he also creates pieces that are far more contemporary, with elements indicative of the Danish school, such as this long shanked Tomato, a pipe with a pleasing, subtle asymmetry and a sleek, fluid sense of line that gingerly urges the eye forward as it is viewed.

The stem is trim and demurely bent, distinguished by an expansion ring at its base for a hint of structural rigidity before tapering to the shank end, where lies a trim band of curly birch wood. As it travels toward the transition, the shank tapers gradually, meeting the bowl with a supple arc that hints at cheeking, though its nebulous definition bridges the gap between it and the more traditional style while maintaining a softness that accentuates the form's curves. On the underside a gentle curvature is maintained from the shank end to the rim, lifting the heel and posturing the bowl handsomely. Though its shank is not quite as lengthy as previous iterations from the Grecian artisan, this example is my favorite of his renderings, and it preserves a svelte, graceful demeanor which exudes a sense of genteel poise.

The bowl is voluptuous and hearty in hand, but this aspect is balanced expertly by the shank, the flare toward the end expanded just enough to ensure that focus is centered on the bowl while not detracting from the rest of the composition. This, combined with the aforementioned qualities of the shank, provide the piece with an immediately recognizable balance, one which harmonizes with the bowl's asymmetry. This asymmetrical quality is understated and seen best when viewed aerially: Though it is softly inflated on all sides, the left flank is slightly more bulbous, making the shank look to be further right. This meshes extremely well with the chamber drilling, as Asteriou has opted to, instead of placing it centered in the bowl, cant it more forward, exemplifying a sense of urgent forward momentum. Dressed in a beautiful glossy mahogany, the grain is defined very well by the stain, with birdseye present in droves on the underside that wraps around the left flank and dense flame grain on the right. The hues are contrasted handsomely by the curly birch accent and black vulcanite stem, making for a pipe with stunning looks in every aspect.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.70 in./144.78 mm.
  • Weight: 1.84 oz./52.16 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.62 in./41.15 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.28 in./32.51 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Greece
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