Sabina Santos: Smooth Ukulele with Mammoth Tusk (G) (300th Pipe) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-817-0025

Apart from Joao Reis, Sabina Santos is one of the only Portuguese artisan carvers. Such isolation required that she learn much on her own as well as spend the time traveling to glean knowledge from other carvers. Since beginning her pipemaking career, Sabina has taken numerous trips to Denmark, honing her sills in the workshops of Danish greats, like Tom Eltang and Hans "Former" Nielsen. As such, many of her pieces display a Danish sense of shaping, at least so far as concerns her more classically inclined designs, as opposed to her Calabash renditions which are comparably more unique. In this Ukulele, Santos has combined this Danish influence with her signature use of striking color palettes and alternate materials. It's the 300th piece she's ever made and boasts the Portuguese carver's highest "G" grade.

Historically, the Ukulele is a Sixten Ivarsson design — the broad shank and round bowl resembling the namesake instrument when viewed from above. Many artisans have submitted their own renditions, with Tom Eltang's Eskimo coming to mind especially. In the Eskimo, Eltang pairs a Bulldog bowl to an extra-wide shank. This rendition from Santos hints at that Eltang form in the shaping of its shank and stem, but the bowl calls to mind Sabina's signature Calabash designs. It isn't a Calabash, mind you, but the domed rim displays a similar aesthetic, and Santos has here fashioned it from mammoth tusk. The alternative material not only boasts a stunning grain pattern but also a vivid rose pink hue — calling to mind cherry blossoms in the spring. For a subtle shaping cue, the edges of the splayed shank are neatly paneled, the bottom ridgeline extending through the heel and into the bowl. It's a stunning iteration of Ivarsson's shape, combining the design cues and aesthetic for which Santos has become known and the perfect piece for her 300th pipe.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.19 in./131.83 mm.
  • Weight: 2.08 oz./58.97 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.28 in./32.51 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.02 in./25.91 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.67 in./17.02 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.12 in./53.85 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Portugal
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