Nikolay Kozyrev: Smooth Lumberman with Boxwood Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-773-0029

I've always enjoyed Russian culture, and am particularly fond of the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky, though I can take him only in small doses without devolving into hopelessness. Crime and Punishment is my favorite. I like the way Dostoevsky follows a theme by incorporating deterministic influences (all human actions ultimately determined by externalities) to make the lives of his characters more complex. We see a little of that cultural background in Nikolay Kozyrev's work, and particularly in this wonderful, compact Lumberman.

Kozyrev is well known for his pursuit of modern interpretations of classic shapes, shapes that are determined by the externalities of efficient smoking properties. His compositions are designed for the best possible symbiosis with the combustion of tobacco, and once accomplishing that imperative foundation in a shape, making the overall presentation beautiful. But always, his shapes are determined according to the way they potentially interact with the independent properties of tobacco, rather than by the isolated aesthetics of an individual pipe.

I suspect that's why most of his shapes are on the smaller side, and traditionally inclined: Because they work. Were this Lumberman not such a spectacular example of artisan carving, I'd call it a workhorse, easily pocketable, able to sit on its own, the bowl sized for complete tobacco experiences, including the evolution of flavor profiles as one progresses down the bowl. Too small, and you get single-dimensionality; too big, and the maturation of flavor during combustion is drawn out, each stage individualized and becoming almost a separate and distinct experience. This piece, though, rests securely in the Goldilocks zone.

Aside from the internal engineering maximizing the potential of any bowl of tobacco, its aesthetics are particularly notable, especially the shank treatment. The shank is basically oval, as the Lumberman designation stipulates, but with panels along each side, maintaining the upper and lower curvatures while introducing architectural structure. The end of the shank displays an elegantly sized boxwood accent preceded by a thin band of vulcanite matching the stem, and the bowl presents a forward heel of firm stature without drifting into overemphasis. The rim is perfectly rounded, and the chamber walls are of a thickness that I personally find proportionally excellent for a composition of this size.

The hue is a light honey/blonde and subtle suntanned bronze in contrast stain, elevating the grain for best presentation. And there's a single, tiny dot of mammoth on the upper shank, offering a distinct visual element that resonates with the overall composition.

I don't often go on about a pipe to this extent, nor do I typically apply deterministic literary theory to smoking instruments, so you've probably already determined ("determined," hahaha; I crack myself up) that I'm particularly taken by this piece, and you're right, I am. Kozyrev's deterministic approach has captured my unfettered admiration.

- Chuck Stanion
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.60 in./116.84 mm.
  • Weight: 1.30 oz./36.85 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.68 in./42.67 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.29 in./32.77 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Lumberman
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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