XuHai: Smooth Bent Apple Sitter (0217)

Product Number: 002-778-0001

In the terms Xu Hai has used to describe the style he pursues, there is a solid theme of the primal and of a purity of form. In this bent Apple, I would say he's achieved that. This is a pure "comfort pipe" — a form of great roundness and stoutness, charming and inviting in appearance, and most importantly very pleasing to simply hold onto. Lars Ivarsson, I suspect, may have given Xu Hai a lesson or two on the subject of a perfect pipe being (as Lars once put it) one that makes you want to pick it up and cuddle it like a hamster. As seemingly self-contradicting as the term may seem, this is a briar that begins with a brute force approach towards being endearing, proportions pushed to the extreme of close-knit roundness. From that beginning comes refinement in the smooth presentation of those proportions, the immensely broad and deep transition being made softly seamless, the massive bowl polished down towards the flanks to create a touch of elongation that better suits the hand when dealing with a shape that takes up this much volume.

Completing all of this is contrast. The most evident contrast, of course, is the stem, where Xu Hai could have chosen a domed or other softer style of base, but instead went with a broad, flat step to the thin saddle bit, allowing the pipe's shape as a whole an edge of crispness. More discrete is his use of plateau, the natural craggy texture having been left in place along the underside of the shank, hidden away from most angles visually (given the great roundness of the shank), and likewise kept apart from the wholly smooth presence in hand, unless you deliberately curl a ring or pinky finger farther to reach it (which I will admit to doing repeatedly, once I figured out you could; the placement of the plateau is what I would call tempting).

- Eric N. Squires

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.67 in./118.62 mm.
  • Weight: 4.10 oz./116.12 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.25 in./57.15 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.09 in./53.09 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: China
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