Mike Sebastian Bay: Rusticated Billiard with Musk Ox Horn Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-820-0175

Mike Sebastian Bay's journey into the world of pipe making began by chance when, in an effort to find someone who could restore his father's pipes, he came across legendary artisan Tom Eltang. The pair began to talk and, as they did, they bonded, and Eltang took Bay in as an apprentice. There are precious few in the pipe making world who can lay claim to a start as fortunate as this, and Bay is one of them, with Tom teaching him fundamentals and techniques of artisan pipe making. This act of providence gave Bay an incredible amount of practiced skill, and this Billiard is a good example of his shaping style, being a piece that is quintessentially Danish, refined, and deceptively straightforward.

The bowl here is pert and upright, its overall dimensions reflective of Bay's balanced style, and its build marked by an understated softness that make it quite comfortable in the hand. A low-set waist centers the bowl's visual weight near the heel, with said heel's easy rounding informing the subsequent arcing taper of the walls to the rim, a staple feature in Danish Billiard renditions. The rim overlooks a respectable chamber and is domed at its peak, sloping inward to allow easy loading of tobacco and further highlighting the subtle curves of the bowl's walls. A wide transition out back pairs the bowl to a sleekly tapering shank, its gradual diminishing leading to a similarly tapered stem of black vulcanite which has been accented at the base with a band of pale musk ox horn. While not a lengthy pipe, the slender construction of the aft side emphasizes the reach of the shank and stem, and the pair's gradual reduction to the button pushes the visual weight more toward the transition: the bowl's stature keeping things looking balanced. Bay is one of few individuals to which Eltang has taught his signature rustication style, and that supremely craggy style of carving is seen across the stummel of this piece, its surfaces stained a warm auburn hue which contrasts richly with the horn accent and smooth sections at the rim and shank end.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.65 in./143.51 mm.
  • Weight: 1.09 oz./30.84 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.78 in./45.21 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.70 in./17.78 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.37 in./34.80 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Rusticated
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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