Soon after the collective superlatives died down and I broke out the shop-vac to remove all the puddles of drool (Sykes has his reasons for installing high grade commercial carpeting in areas where high grades are handled), a bit of friendly bickering broke out between Eric, Seth and I about what to call this shape. Eric thought 'bent Dublin' pretty much said it all. I, on the other paw, felt that the restrained sense of naturalism, combined with the form of the shank and its relationship to the bowl, all but cried out 'Cherrywood'. Seth, being the newest to describing pipes, demurred until he perceived a winner in the amiable dog-fight. I see a bright future in the upper-executive offices for the young man.
Call it a 'bent Dublin', call it a 'Cherrywood', or call it anything you please (after all, you are potentially its new proud owner), but the one thing that I think that any pipe lover would call it is 'magnificent'. The bowl alone could serve as a study of how to incorporate understated organic design, within an otherwise staunchly geometric form, and create a fine symbiosis between the two, rather than resulting in a conflict/overwrite. The shank is highly architectural, 'quintessential Kent', and follows the time-honored Danish aesthetic of anchoring the asymmetrical with the architectonic. Add an inlay of Rasmussen's famous mazur birch and a grain that could stop traffic from half a klick away, and this is one piece that you don't want to take a pass on.
R. 'Bear' Graves
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