Il Duca: Sandblasted Elephant's Foot with Bamboo (B) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-427-0642

Through the tireless study of a great many shaping styles and the examination of as many pipes as he could get his hands on, Max Rimensi of Il Duca pipes has arrived at a singular design outlook that fuses specific aspects of nearly every school with his own unique sensibilities for a portfolio that's as diverse as it is impressive. The Elephant's Foot is a seldom-seen shape from Rimensi, and was originally conceived by Bo Nordh, with this example being a stylized take on the now iconic profile. There are a few immediate differences between this and Nordh's original design, the most obvious being that the shank here is remarkably trim and has been extended by two knuckles of dark bamboo, not only increasing its reach, but introducing a striking bit of organic detail to appreciate. This added detail balances out the visual weight of the bowl quite well, drawing the eye toward the transition through the shape alone without adding a great deal of contrast to the color palette, keeping the look of this piece cohesive overall. The stem takes on a demure undercurve for an elegant posture and, beneath, continues a natural divot in the bamboo thanks to Rimensi's expert carving.

The second thing that stands out to me as being different from Nordh's original design is the shaping of the bowl, as it still retains the separation into two halves that make the shape iconic, though it does this via a single ridgeline that runs directly down the middle. Rather than using two ridges and creating a panel at the midsection, this clean bisection of the briar lends this piece a slightly gentler feel in hand, though still offering extra texture and accentuating the contours of the walls. Sitting atop a pointed heel brought into the forefront by the aforementioned ridge, these walls flare out toward a mid-set waistline before tapering to the rim, the fore rising higher than the aft to provide a locus of visual interest right at the front. Dressed in a crisp, inky sandblast, the stummel of this pipe showcases rippling growth rings that surround basins of birdseye on either face of the bowl, the rim left smooth and stained a lighter hue to offer a touch of visual contrast.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.98 in./151.89 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.24 in./56.90 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Italy
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