Sabina Santos: Smooth Elephant's Foot with Bamboo and Sapphire (G) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 002-817-0049
One of Portugal's few pipe makers, Sabina Santos took up the craft of pipe making as a way to express herself creatively, inspired in part by her husband's pipe smoking. For three years she honed her skills through trial and error before eventually traveling to Denmark and studying under some of the most talented artisans in the world, including Tom Eltang, Kai Nielsen, Tao, Former, and Kurt Balleby. Her time with those aforementioned carvers had a dramatic impact on her shaping style, and with her newfound knowledge, Santos continued to perfect her skills. She now enjoys an international reputation, and her pipes are widely praised for their sophisticated engineering, precise shaping, and handsome finishing work. This Elephant's Foot is a remarkable addition to her already sizeable and impressive portfolio, and it nicely illustrates how Santos channels Danish shaping cues through her own creative lens.
Originally designed by Bo Nordh, the Elephant's Foot has become a staple in artisan pipe making, and it's easy to see why, as it's a shape that, like the Blowfish, is specifically tailored to showcase impressive grain. The specific grain patterns required to render the shape also mean that attention to detail and briar selection are of the upmost importance. Shape-wise, the Elephant's Foot is defined by an Acorn-like bowl with an inflated fore wall and bifurcating panel, and Santos has executed those shaping cues with aplomb. The wrapping panel displays the neat stacks of cross grain while the fore and aft sides of the bowl showcase dense fields of birdseye, all dressed in a smoky smooth finish. The curled shank is extended by a craggy stretch of bamboo, adding a touch of organic charm to the composition and lightening the pipe's otherwise reserved palette. On either flank of the bamboo are three nodes of sapphire, which emphasize the placement of the natural material within the pipe's overall structure and provides a touch of flash to the shape in profile. It's a truly stunning bit of craftsmanship, so it is no wonder that Santos granted it her prestigious "G" stamp, denoting her best work. Moreover, this pipe comes complete with a leather travel case handcrafted by esteemed Italian leatherworker Claudio Albieri: It features a sock for this specific pipe, pockets for accessories, and a roll-and-wrap construction.--Davin Hylton
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 5.16 in./131.06 mm.
- Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
- Bowl Height: 2.05 in./52.07 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 2.10 in./53.34 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Freehand
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Portugal