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Ligne Bretagne Pipe #20C3lb

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What is a Ligne Bretagne Collector? Ligne Bretagne Collectors are our handmade individuals, the top of the Ligne Bretagne brand. They're essentially Talbert Briars at a $200+ discount, with a different stamping, and we tend to used them as an experimental test bed for shapes and concepts that might "migrate upward" to Talbert Briars later.

This has to qualify as one of the biggest bowls one can get for a weight this low. When we bought all our stock in France, part of it included many old briar sacks of smaller, square-ish blocks like the one this was made from. From the labeling and records I'm guessing that they're all probably 80+ years old (and that means how long they've been drying after being dug up, not the age of the briar itself). It's excellent smoking stuff, with a rich, earthy sort of flavor to the wood that favors darker tobaccos, but the blocks themselves can be a challenge to work with. They're not cut to allow for long shanks and the overall dimensions initially look limiting to just a few basic classical shapes, so I took that as a challenge to see if I could come up with something really unique.

The results, I hope, speak for themselves - Starting with the basic idea of a bulldog, I played with the shaping until I had the adorable little beastie you see above. The bowl is sized to use every millimeter of the block so you get the biggest bowl chamber possible for a pipe of such compact overall size. I wrote a pipe blog treatise on how much I love the S curve in pipe shaping and here it is again, written all over this pipe's silhouette. I applied a finer-cut rendition of our rustication technique here, the finish we've dubbed "Raven's Wing", because I didn't want a heavy texture to argue with the curves and form of the shape for prominence. Instead, the carve pattern curves and curls with the bowl and shank, producing a nice visual harmony. Check out the close-ups above to see how the swirl of the rustication can wrap organically around the surface.