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Posella Pipes: Grade "F" 1-3 (Fiammata)


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Not only is the Posella family business based in Calabria, the land of the best Italian briar, but the family has also been known for decades to be one of the most experienced suppliers of Calabrian briar. For this reason, all Posella pipes, with no exception, are made out of the best briar available in Calabria today, and considering the high quality of Calabrian briar, it is only logical to conclude that the Posella pipes are made out of the best briar in the whole wide world. In addition, most of the pipes produced today are made of briar that has been seasoning for at least 10+ years.





 
Grade:  F1
Pipe Code: PS072 Price: CHF 360.00  
Shape: Dublin-Pot Weight: 51g / 1-13/16 oz
Chamber : 22mm  --  Chamber Depth: 36mm  --  Wall Thickness:  12mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

This pipe represents a fabulous interpretation and execution of a beautiful, modern shape. I know that most people would give more weight to one of the two shapes, and that is maybe if because they see one more than the other, like one more than the other, or simply see only one. In the case of this pipe, the bowl is without doubt that of the Dublin, but when you look at the diameter and the height of the bowl (44mm and 42mm, respectively, or 1.72" and 1.65"), you realize that a typically Dublin should be taller and more slender. In fact, these measurements bring us closer to the Pot than any other classic shape, and hence my decision to use the combined term "Dublin-Pot". Another magnificent feature of this pipe is the fact that the bowl height and the shank length are identical. Posella chose a straightforward, long tapered mouthpiece to complete the picture. The pipe shows, in addition, some exquisite grain all over, with some beautiful Flame/Straight Grain around the bowl and Bird's Eye on the bowl top base; the shank shows exactly the same grain.
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Grade:  F2
Pipe Code: PS046 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 65g / 2-9/32 oz
Chamber : 22mm -- Chamber Depth: 44mm -- Wall Thickness: 13mm -- Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

I know that by using the term "Freehand", I have opted for the easy way out, but I believe there are too many freehand touches to allow for the reliable use of a standard term. Having said that, I have to admit that the bowl bears resemblance to the classic Dublin, but, again, the buck stops there and the similarities are not in any way, shape, or form dominant. What I have also admired about pipe with the plateau top is that they manage to stand in so much contrast with the smooth, natural finish; in these case, both the ruggedness of the plateau top and the refined, smooth surface of the rest of the pipe attest the natural of the material. This pipe is the epitome of what I'm saying here. I love the visual and tactile effect of the combination of plateau and the smooth surface of the rest of the pipe. Another important fact is that the edges of the natural plateau have played an important and spontaneous role in the shaping of the pipe; indeed, if you look at the top rim and top from the side of the pipe, you see how that part has been dictated by the natural shape of the material. The grain is nothing short of magnificent, and the way it is around the bowl is the way it is around the shank, which is always a fabulous feature. Posella decided to add this massive shank extension of boxwood, preceded by a thin black, acrylic insert. All this is then followed by a short, saddle mouthpiece. In spite of the relatively large size of the pipe, the thickness of the wood, and the weight, the pipe feels so well-balanced in the hand, and I'm sure it'll be equally balanced when clench on.
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Grade:  F2
Pipe Code: PS073 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: FF Chubby Apple Weight: 56g / 1-31/32 oz
Chamber : 21mm  --  Chamber Depth: 39mm  --  Wall Thickness:  14mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

Believe me, they invented the word "chubby" to describe pipes like this one! This pipe should be a dream come true to anyone who prefers to hold their pipes in their hand and the more wood there is, the better. I have tried holding this pipe, and I love it; it's this feeling that could one day convert me from a clencher to a holder! There's so much wood all over this pipe that I wouldn't be surprised if it sufficed to make two pipes around Dunhill Group 3 each. If you look carefully at the bowl from the top, you'll notice that it is oval, measuring 44x57mm (1.73x2.24"). The saddle mouthpiece here is of the Fishtail type, and its overall design is quite elaborate and unique. Notice also the thin black, acrylic shank insert that connects the mouthpiece and the rest of the pipe in a more visual way. The grain is not short of being an exquisite mixture of Flame around the bowl and Bird's Eye on the bowl and shank base, and of course, on the bowl top. Whether you decide to hold the pipe in your hand or clench on it, you will be quite content and satisfied. Yes, I'm sure of it!
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Grade:  F2
Pipe Code: PS074 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: Dublin-Lovat Weight: 75g / 2-21/32 oz
Chamber : 21.5mm  --  Chamber Depth: 45mm  --  Wall Thickness:  7-18mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

You should know by now that the Lovat is my favorite shape, and I love it when I come across a Lovat, with a bowl that belongs to another shape. Well, in the case of this pipe the bowl is that of the Dublin, which happens to be my favorite combination with the Lovat. Though I'm a very meticulous and fussy kind of guy, I can't think of one thing that I would want to change about this pipe. I find the bowl, the shank, and the mouthpiece are visually independent of each other and at the same time have no value on their own (always visually speaking). The bowl is somewhere between the Dublin and the Bell, the bowl top is concave, the shank is perfectly round and of a visually pleasant diameter, and so is the saddle mouthpiece. If you think the pipe is a bit heavy, don't forget that the amount of wood is unbelievable. Believe me, it'll be very difficult to overheat this pipe, and I'm confident that it will smoke as cool as any pipe can. I love the dark, brown strain, which here managed to bring the best out of the Flame Grain and the stunning Bird's Eye on the bowl top.
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Grade:  F2
Pipe Code: PS075 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: Plateau Dublin Weight: 52g / 1-27/32 oz
Chamber : 22mm  --  Chamber Depth: 41mm  --  Wall Thickness:  11mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

I believe that the Plateau Dublin is one of the shapes that ushered an era of freehands, and this is no truer than when it comes to Italian pipe. There's a reason for it, though. You see, the Dublin shape is perfect if you want to follow the Flame/Straight grain and get the most out of it, and I can't think of a better example of this than the pipe we have here. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduced to you what Straight Grain is! Yes, This is a magnificent example of Straight Grain, so regular and tight and consistent. In my opinion, if it were for the couple of small, but visible, sandpits, this pipe would be in a grade that would demand at least double the price. I would love to see the beauty of the grain get even more pronounced and impressive once the pipe has been smoked for a while. Vitaliano Posella is not only in love with the grain, but he's hooked on the beauty of the plateau top; he showed it to me with so much pride and happiness. Do you blame him!
I have to say this: It is thanks to the incredible value that Italian pipes offer that you can get a pipe with perfect Straight Grain for half the price of a sandblasted pipe made in another country. It's a fact of life, and yet so many people pretend not to see it! It's sad, really!
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Grade:  F2
Pipe Code: PS084 Price: CHF 420.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 53g / 1-7/8 oz
Chamber : 22mm  --  Chamber Depth: 32mm  --  Wall Thickness:  14mm  --  Cleaner Passes? Yes
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COMMENT:

As much as I endeavor to avoid using the term "Freehand" when another more accurate and representative definition is available, I'm quite happy with my use of the term in the case of this pipe. Yes, I agree, the Dublin (Bell) is present, but you also have to admit that there is so much more to this shape than a vaguely basic idea! The main feature is the wavy bowl top, which manages to bring a whole new and exciting dimension to the entire shape design, and it is quite tough to get right. The pipe is relatively small in size compared to a lot of Posella pipe; however, the tobacco chamber is comparable to that of a Dunhill Group 3-4, which is considered by many as medium. Posella chose a saddle mouthpiece, with a slight bend and wisely decided not to add any ornaments to any part of the pipe. I believe this decision is wise because such an ornament could have distracted from the gorgeous shape and the unique grain. Speaking of grain, and while one side of the bowl does not match the breathtaking Flame grain of the other, they're both united by the sunning Bird's Eye on the bowl top.
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