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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #18C8lb

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Over the years we've produced a number of "unfinished" pipes in the standard Ligne Bretagne shape series, but I don't we've done many or any in the handmade LB Collector series. It's largely a matter of math - The odds of any pipe being flawless enough to be able to leave it 100% "unfinished", which is to say, no stain, no wax, no shellac, no oil, nada - are very low indeed. We produce around 150 regular Ligne Bretagnes each year so by simple math, usually a couple turn up, but with rarely more than 15-25 Collectors made per year, the odds of getting one this pristine in the briar are considerably lower. I've been wanting to post preview pics of it on Instagram all week, but didn't want to because I knew as soon as I did, a flaw would pop up and I'd have to go back and stain it.

REALLY hard old briar here. We knew that going in, that it wasn't going to be possible to get a deep blast, and so instead the focus went on detail - The age rings are wonderfully tight and squiggly and run all over the pipe in several crazy directions at once, much in the character of briar blocks that were cut 70+ years ago back before cutters began to deliberately cut for grain orientation. The tankard shape was inspired by several visits to Pipe & Pint. Larry, the owner, and I have been talking a little about a series of P&P-Only pipes in some distinct shape, and I thought something like this might be shop-appropriate so I wanted to do one and see how I liked it. It's not a super-dramatic shape or anything - in fact, it's almost the spiritual opposite of its catalog mate #18C9 - but it's immensely practical, with a large bowl chamber, larger size overall but still light weight, short and easy-to-pipecleaner stem & shank, and thick bowl walls for hand-holding comfort.

As with all of our "unfinished" pipes, we've also left out the bowl carbonizing so the buyer should take some extra care during break-in, to avoid damaging the bowl walls with too much lighter before it has a chance to build a cake. Expect a bit more "woody" flavor during the first bowls as well, but, for the briar purist, there's simply no better way to get the most absolutely "virgin" flavor from a smoke, with no scent of finishes, heated carnuba, or anything else to even minutely alter the undiluted flavor of the tobacco. This is the sort of pipe I'd recommend to anyone doing their own blending, BTW, for the purity of the flavor-testing experience.

The stem is handcut natural horn, with a beautifully grained fine creamy color with hints of caramel and chocolate to the material. It's an understated design, a window into the briar of the previous century, and an immensely practical smoking machine, all rolled into one package.


** It IS worth mentioning that, if the buyer prefers, I'll be happy to wax-finish this at no extra charge, before shipping. It would give the pipe a more golden color tint from its current tan. I was tempted to finish it this way, but decided to leave it as-is for those buyers who love the unfinished look, as it's always easy to apply a finish but not so easy to take it back off!