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Mastro De Paja Tobacco Pipes


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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  2D
Pipe Code: MP019 Price: CHF 260.00  
Shape: Freehand ("Egg") Weight: 54g - 1 29/32 oz
Chamber : 20mm  --  Chamber Depth: 42mm  --  Wall Thickness: 13mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

The shape is quite nice; however, I find the grain a bit poor and irregular, though there are no bald spots. Also, the transition from rusticated to smooth is a bit abrupt, which could be intentional on the part of the maker, to create more contrast between the two finishes. The pipe has very solid walls and is fitted with an Army Mount and an elegant silver band. Apparently, the gap you see between the mouthpiece and the shank is deliberate!
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  2D ~ 1 Sun
Pipe Code: MP054 Price: CHF 280.00  
Shape: Freeform Brandy Weight: 65g / 2-9/32 oz
Chamber : 21.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 41mm  --  Wall Thickness: 9-14mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

This is the big sister of the previous pipe. The resemblance lies in the silver work, the type of mouthpiece and the shank insert and shape. The bowl is quite big, and yet the pipe is light in weight. The bend on the mouthpiece and shank is determined with great precision. The shape of the bowl is quite intriguing, since I find it is a subtle combination of a variety of shapes: Brandy, Billiard, Stack/Chimney. Apparently (to me), the Brandy is the one that is dominant, and hence the shape definition. The grain is consistent all over, with no bald spots. There is some very nice bird's eye on about a third of the bowl surface.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  2D ~ 1 Sun
Pipe Code: MP093 Price: CHF 260.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 69g / 2-7/16 oz
Chamber : 22mm  --  Chamber Depth: 44mm  --  Wall Thickness:  ->15mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

What a strange shape! One could see it as a particular type of hat, an egg in an egg holder, etc. The sky is the limit. I see it as a... pipe! There is SO much wood on this pipe, and yet it's relatively light in weight and has a lot of balance to it. I see it as a great "hanging" pipe (to hang from your mouthpiece), with lots of comfort, and I must admit, also elegance. The rustication is concentrated in and limited to the bowl base, and in fact, from the sides the pipe may be taken for a totally smooth one. I believe this is a very well ages piece of briar, and I'm impressed by how clean it is, with only a couple of very tiny sandpits.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  2D ~ P
Pipe Code: MP096 Price: CHF 260.00  
Shape: Freeform Horn Weight: 52g / 1-27/32 oz
Chamber : 20.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 51.5mm  --  Wall Thickness:  12mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

This is quite a long pipe. The bowl is almost entirely of a smooth finish, except the bowl base and parts of the shank. The shape is quite elegant, and it's always a pleasure to offer a Horn, which is one of the most popular shapes. In this case, the pipe has an Army Mount, and the special Mastro briar shank extension and the black acrylic band. The grain is excellent, with only a few tiny sandpits. Look how gorgeous the bird's eye on the bowl rim is. I love how delicate the mouthpiece is.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  1B ~ P
Pipe Code: MP114 Price: CHF 200.00  
Shape: Billiard Weight: 42g / 1-15/32 oz
Chamber : 22.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 39mm  --  Wall Thickness:  9mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

Here's a straight classic Billiard, with a traditional tapered mouthpiece. The blast is gorgeous with excellent Ringblast, and on the right-hand side of the pipe, you see some absolutely magnificent Bird's Eye (see last photo from left). The bowl rim is in a smooth, natural finish, and the pipe comes with a triple band, with natural-finish briar sandwiches between two layers of metal. Mind you, the bands are insert in the mouthpiece, and so the shank is nothing but the wood.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  3A ~ L ~ Sun
Pipe Code: MP120 Price: CHF 290.00  
Shape: Freeform Calabash Weight: 57g / 2oz
Chamber : 20.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 42mm  --  Wall Thickness:  11mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

The reason why I decided that "Calabash" is more accurate than a "Dublin" is the rather tall, slim bowl, and the tight angle between the bowl and the shank. The diamond-shaped shank comes with a diamond, inscribed silver band, followed by a black acrylic of the same shape. Then you have the Army Mount, and the elaborate and uniquely shaped mouthpiece. In terms of shape design and execution, this pipe fully deserves my full and unconditional admiration.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  3C
Pipe Code: MP023 Price: CHF 480.00  
Shape: 1/4 Freeform Rhodesian Weight: 61g - 2 5/32 oz
Chamber : 20mm  --  Chamber Depth: 41mm  --  Wall Thickness: 16mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

I guess only few could argue with the definition Rhodesian. I may just explain why I think it is not a typical Rhodesian, and hence the word "freeform": (1) The bowl rim goes in towards the tobacco chamber but then goes back straight up, and (2) The bowl "neck" is a bit more rounded and slender than that of a typical Rhodesian (this in turn sort of led to a more acute angle between the bowl and the shank). The pipe is a great piece, in every way, shape and form (excuse the pun)! I particularly like the Army Mount, the briar insert in the mouthpiece, and the double black rings incorporated into the shank.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  3C
Pipe Code: MP123 Price: CHF 500.00  
Shape: Rhodesian-Lovat Weight: 46g / 1-5/8 oz
Chamber : 20.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 40mm  --  Wall Thickness:  14mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

I just couldn't comment about this pipe objectively even if I made a serious and whole-hearted effort! I have always loved the Lovat, and I have always admired the elegance of the Rhodesian. This means that I could never resist a pipe that combines these two shapes, let alone a medium-sized one, in a smooth natural finish, with such beautiful grain. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the short, saddle mouthpiece is ever slightly bent, which is hardly noticeable. This is bound to offer a little more comfort by absorbing a bit of the weight (which is already minimal considering the size and the amount of wood there is all over over the pipe). If I had the guess the size of the tobacco chamber, I would compare to a Dunhill Group 3-4.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  1B ~ P
Pipe Code: MP128 Price: CHF 180.00  
Shape: Bulldog Weight: 48g / 1-11/16 oz
Chamber : 19.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 42mm  --  Wall Thickness:  13mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

While this pipe may at first appear to be simple in design, it proves to offers so much more than what first meets the eye. A little, and yet significant, touch is the red, smooth ring that goes around the bowl; this same finish and stain are carried on to the end and base of the shank. The cumberland-like, acrylic mouthpiece more than suits the design, and the shank "cap" of the same material and color smoothens up the transition from the blasted wood and then the thin metal band to the tapered mouthpiece. The blast was successfully and skillfully carried out, and it shows the beautiful grain of the pipe, with nothing but Bird's Eye on the upper part of the bowl.
The tobacco chamber is comparable in size to that of a Dunhill Group 4.
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Grade as stamped on the pipe:  3B ~ Sun
Pipe Code: MP131 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: Freeform Bulldog Weight: 30g / 1-1/16 oz
Chamber : 20mm  --  Chamber Depth: 33mm  --  Wall Thickness:  11.5mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

A few years ago, you simply wouldn't find a pipe in this shape and in this finish, and above all, in this small size, coming from a major Italian pipe maker such as Mastro De Paja. There's always a growing demand for smaller pipes that come with the incredible wood and the reasonable prices of Italian pipes, and this pipe here epitomizes this concept and this need. The pipe is a delicate blend of the Bulldog and the Rhodesian. The top of the bowl indicates the former, while the lower part more points to the latter. The simple, round shank, followed by the slim, tapered mouthpiece, seems to be the perfect choice. Ah, the pipe measures a mere 132mm (5.2 inches) in total length, and so, you can easily fit it into your jacket/vest pocket.
The tobacco chamber is comparable in size to that of a Dunhill Group 2-3.
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