Il Duca: Sandblasted Cherrywood with Boxwood (B) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-427-0594

Max Rimensi, the enigmatic figure behind Il Duca pipes, began his pipe making career in his uncle's woodworking workshop, carving his first piece there and falling in love with the craft itself, years after already being enamored with the final product. After this, Rimensi set out to expand his knowledge base, visiting tobacco shops, briar mills, and pipe makers, all in search of broader horizons. During this time, Rimensi was sketching designs for pipes, flexing his imagination to conceive of striking, singular profiles such as this Cherrywood. Max's shaping style is one that I could best describe as "Becker-esque," in that many of his works strike me as being inspired by the work of Paolo and Fritz Becker, though each is very much his own, not constrained by anyone design tradition and adhering only to his own personal creativity.

In this pipe, for instance, we see a decidedly bowl-centric build that is absent the solidly cylindrical travel to the rim we see on most other Cherrywood renditions, favoring instead a gentle taper to the rim, with the entirety of the bowl itself curving forward slightly. It is rare to see this kind of easy flow and relative softness in Cherrywoods, something exemplified by the shank, transitioning near the bottom of the bowl and flaring as it rises in a sweeping arc which poises the stem for easy smoking. There's an incredibly organic element about this piece, and it works in concert wonderfully with the contrast-stained sandblast that dresses the stummel, the growth rings it unveils appearing like texture on a tree beneath the vivid stain. A trim ring of boxwood at the shank end emphasizes the colors of the briar and vulcanite stem, creating some nice extra contrast that really brightens things up without being too flashy. It's no wonder that this shape has become one of Rimensi's signatures, as it combines elements of harmonious naturalistic composition with more playful and whimsical stylistic cues, giving us some insight into the Italian artisan's imaginative mind.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.73 in./120.14 mm.
  • Weight: 0.90 oz./25.51 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.97 in./50.04 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.89 in./48.01 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.20 in./30.48 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Poker
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Italy
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