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A thing of beauty

Maddis

Sales
Sales
#1
https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=310528

I was gonna title this thread, "Is this pipe worth $1,250 USD" but that's a tired question - and ultimately not an answerable one. So instead, I'll say this: I spend a lot of time (A LOT) looking at pipes. Mostly the ones I'm making. But also others. There's always something, if you look long enough, that doesn't quite...even if it just misses, fit with the overall flow. And when nothing's wrong, sometimes it's because the overall thing is, well, kind of blah.

But then there's the rare event when there's not a damn thing wrong, and the overall composition is just THERE. And every detail works perfectly without drawing undue attention to itself. For me, and ymmv, this has it.

If it seems like I'm up in the clouds on this, here are the observables:

Proportions
Stemwork (try to make a straight taper stem and a button like that).
Overall shape (e.g., forward movement without being awkward or overly dramatic - It's hard to be sleek and subtle, you know?)
Integration of bamboo into stummel and stem - always a challenge and really, really difficult to do while retaining a sense of flow across all those intersections
Finish / grain - nothing particularly special here, but if there was it would be twice the price.
 

tfdickson

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#7
https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=310528

I was gonna title this thread, "Is this pipe worth $1,250 USD" but that's a tired question - and ultimately not an answerable one. So instead, I'll say this: I spend a lot of time (A LOT) looking at pipes. Mostly the ones I'm making. But also others. There's always something, if you look long enough, that doesn't quite...even if it just misses, fit with the overall flow. And when nothing's wrong, sometimes it's because the overall thing is, well, kind of blah.

But then there's the rare event when there's not a damn thing wrong, and the overall composition is just THERE. And every detail works perfectly without drawing undue attention to itself. For me, and ymmv, this has it.

If it seems like I'm up in the clouds on this, here are the observables:

Proportions
Stemwork (try to make a straight taper stem and a button like that).
Overall shape (e.g., forward movement without being awkward or overly dramatic - It's hard to be sleek and subtle, you know?)
Integration of bamboo into stummel and stem - always a challenge and really, really difficult to do while retaining a sense of flow across all those intersections
Finish / grain - nothing particularly special here, but if there was it would be twice the price.

Just one guy’s opinion, but I think it’s an absolute masterpiece. To your list I’d add the proportions between stem, bamboo, and briar- just perfect and something I very rarely see.

Would you mind explaining your point about the stemwork a little more? What about the straight taper stem and that button is hard to pull off? I don’t doubt you in the slightest, I’m just curious to know why.
 

snake

permanent ankle biter
Sales
Patron
#10
This composition is difficult
to achieve. I’m not a pipe
maker, but I appreciate an
acute attention to detail.
Mike has pointed this out
in this Former pipe. It may
not look like much to some,
but the beauty is in the
execution. Just look at the
balance in the entire piece.
This is craftsmanship, period.
 

BubbaBriar

Well-known member
#11
This composition is difficult
to achieve. I’m not a pipe
maker, but I appreciate an
acute attention to detail.
Mike has pointed this out
in this Former pipe. It may
not look like much to some,
but the beauty is in the
execution. Just look at the
balance in the entire piece.
This is craftsmanship, period.
I'd say the same thing about a 53 Hudson Hornet. So I understand where you're coming from. If I had the money I'd pay a ridiculous amount for one too. But there's still a lot of plain personal judgment in the decision.
 

snake

permanent ankle biter
Sales
Patron
#12
I'd say the same thing about a 53 Hudson Hornet. So I understand where you're coming from. If I had the money I'd pay a ridiculous amount for one too. But there's still a lot of plain personal judgment in the decision.
Of course! Honestly, a collector,
or a pipe maker is likely going
to be the purchaser of this
particular pipe. What may not
be evident is, what has gone
into the creation of this piece,
from a master’s point of view
(his, not mine).
 

Russ H.

Patron-Fight The Good Fight
Patron
#14
This composition is difficult
to achieve. I’m not a pipe
maker, but I appreciate an
acute attention to detail.
Mike has pointed this out
in this Former pipe. It may
not look like much to some,
but the beauty is in the
execution. Just look at the
balance in the entire piece.
This is craftsmanship, period.
This kind of sums up my thoughts on this pipe. It is truly stunning, and although myself--I could never have such a pipe I appreciate what it is.
Maddis----I've always said that the true value of a pipe, or pretty much anything is what a specific individual is willing to pay to obtain said item.
This pipe in, and of itself is unique because of the acute, and extreme attention to having things flow just right.
The thing is Mr. Addis--You--yes you have that eye, mind, and hands that you see these things, and can make pipes where these things come together.
With the pipe we are talking about--well the name--it's simply expected of the maker. We all know finding that niche in the sea of the many pipe makers is hard.
This pipe along with it's good looks---I wonder what would happen if that same pipe would be made by a fairly unknown maker---then shown with great photos, and such--just how many would take the time to look closer?
The pipe here we are discussing is truly a spectacular finished pipe. I'd bet it won't sit there too long. There is someone out there who has the wallet to snatch it up, and I can see why.
Me--I'll settle just to have a deep appreciation for such a pipe by looking at the photos.
 

BSTpipes

That'll do, Pig.
Sales
#15
I wonder what would happen if that same pipe would be made by a fairly unknown maker--.
There's a premium attached to some names in the industry for sure - but speaking very generally, pipes command big big dollars when they are great pipes, and "fairly unknown makers" can't and don't make such pipes. The idea that there's some hugely talented artiste-in-the-raw out there making excellent highgrades and NO ONE knows about this person is just wrong. It can't happen, never does and never will. Pricing isn't totally objective, but anyone capable of making a pipe that would get 1000 bucks under some other name is most likely getting 900 out of it on their own name.
 

Adam Bybee

Well-known member
Sales
#18
It's pretty elegant for a bamboo shank billiard. The unique thing about it to me is the stem length and the amount of briar between the bowl and the bamboo. I'd be interested to know when this was made, because the current trend with bamboo shanked pipes would be towards a much stubbier form.

It is really difficult to pull off a tapered stem with bamboo and make it not look awkward, but he succeeded in this case.
 

Maddis

Sales
Sales
#19
Just one guy’s opinion, but I think it’s an absolute masterpiece. To your list I’d add the proportions between stem, bamboo, and briar- just perfect and something I very rarely see.

Would you mind explaining your point about the stemwork a little more? What about the straight taper stem and that button is hard to pull off? I don’t doubt you in the slightest, I’m just curious to know why.
To make a button that is comfortable to smoke sets some pretty narrow parameters. To then thin out the taper all the way to the edges, while keeping it symmetrical, comes down to a few thousandths of an inch (top to bottom, side to side, thickness, etc). Having a straight stem that tapers smoothly into that button adds another series of variables, and then trying to marry that stem to bamboo (which cannot be sanded or it will lose its patina)....well...enough said.
 

tfdickson

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#20
To make a button that is comfortable to smoke sets some pretty narrow parameters. To then thin out the taper all the way to the edges, while keeping it symmetrical, comes down to a few thousandths of an inch (top to bottom, side to side, thickness, etc). Having a straight stem that tapers smoothly into that button adds another series of variables, and then trying to marry that stem to bamboo (which cannot be sanded or it will lose its patina)....well...enough said.
Very interesting, thanks!