Sabina Santos: Sandblasted Morta Bent Egg with Black and White Ebony Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-817-0042

Sabina Santos is one of Portugal's few artisan pipe makers, but her ability to craft refined shapes and her novel design outlook is readily apparent in all of her work. Her journey into the realm of pipe making began with a pure desire to express her creativity in a palpable, substantial way, finding pipes to be the outlet that she was looking for, inspired by her husband's smoking habits. She worked, honing her craft as an autodidact for three years before she embarked on a pilgrimage to Denmark, spending seven weeks there, much of which found her at the workshop of Joao Reis who mentored her, refining her shaping and design outlook and going on to visit with artisans such as Tom Eltang, Kai Nielsen, Tao, and Kurt Balleby. She traveled to Denmark once more after this, spending over a week with Hans "Former" Nielsen and further cementing her style, as well as her ability to shape, drill, and engineer pipes expertly, pipes such as this bent Egg, rendered here in morta.

This is quite a compact piece, even though it comes in at just a hair over five inches long, as its proportions are more than apt to allow it to be slipped into a pocket, with a slim, svelte stem and a supple curvaceousness about its bowl. This is actually the first bent Egg we've ever seen from Santos, and it is an excellent rendition of the shape if I do say so myself. The saddle stem is demurely downturned, with just a slight bit of curve to the bit, and its base is adorned with a firm expansion ring near the bit, the base itself nestling into the shank end at a fitment of black and white ebony. This adornment is quite striking, not only in its coloration, but in its shaping, as it meets the shank proper seamlessly, following a trio of ridges present there extremely well, with the left flank ending nearer the shank end, while the right extends further. Additionally, the face of this fitment is domed and rounded, the ridges creating a lenticular outline from the smoker's point of view. The shank showcases a distinct flare as it ebbs out of the transition, both vertically and horizontally, and the ridges at its flanks serve to sharpen its outline and provide a wonderful element of visual intrigue, the single line on the left flank almost perfectly level with the bottom line at the right, with the top one on that same side creating a flattened panel from the transition through the accent.

The transition here is rather wide, especially given the upward angle of the shank, and is cheeked, serving to reinforce the presence of the bowl, and the shank continues through the underside of the bowl, with the cheeking here making the shank pop out, the aforementioned ridges creating a sharp point which turns very slightly to the right. This provides a fantastic base for the bowl, allowing its plump, low-set waistline to fully emerge from the stummel, the rounding of all of its sides offering a fantastic feel in hand, the walls tapering to a backward-slanting rim which peaks at the fore, lending this pipe a lively upward momentum. Dressing the stummel here is a crisp, black sandblast which showcases all of the morta's unique grain patterns fantastically, with differing striations of the grain coalescing to create an utterly singular look, its hues contrasting against the paleness of the ebony at the shank end for a smart, understated look.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.07 in./128.78 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.83 in./46.48 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.60 in./40.64 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.63 in./41.40 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Egg
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Morta
  • Country: Portugal
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