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Spanu Pipes: F2 & F3 Grade


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Pipe Stamped: F2    ~    Other stamps: None
Pipe Code: SP075 Price: CHF 300.00  
Shape: Freeform Bulldog Weight: 73g / 2-9/16 oz
Chamber : 22mm --  Chamber Depth: 48mm  --  Wall Thickness: 16mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

I'm not happy at all with my shape definition in this case. I was so close to describing it as a "freehand"; yes, that's how desperate I was! You see, I never considered the two grooves to be enough to make a shape a Bulldog or a Rhodesian. The problem is that when I visually remove the two grooves, I still couldn't determine the shape. All this and I ignored the diamond shank which is a characteristic of the Bulldog (and sometimes the Rhodesian!!). Whatever the shape, the pipe is truly beautiful, elegant and graceful. The grain is excellent all over, and the slightly tapered diamond shank adds so much more beauty to the overall shape. The pipe is quite large and yet it feels so light in weight and well balanced. This is what I would call the ultimate pipe for those moments of evening relaxation (too bad, I don't smoke bent pipes)!
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Pipe Stamped: F2
Pipe Code: SP094 Price: CHF 300.00  
Shape: Panel Freehand Weight: 53g / 1-7/8 oz
Chamber : 21mm --  Chamber Depth: 43mm  --  Wall Thickness: ->14mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

This pipe, for one, clearly and irrefutably, shows the difference in grain quality between the lower Spanu grades and these higher ones, and more importantly, it leaves no doubt as to why there is a jump in price. As you may know, paneled pipes are quite difficult to make if you want an attractive shape and good grain, and that is why they're very tough to come by. This pipe combines all those beautiful features and more. The bowl shows 8 different panels, two of which are elongated and made to merge into the two sides of the shank, which, in turn, takes a 6-paneled shape. All this is done with so much skill and eye on detail that you need to examine the pipe closely, and the more you do so, the more you start to grasp its elegance and "fluidity". Apart from the sunning grain, particularly the mass of Bird's Eye, Spanu added an elegant, horn-like, acrylic shank insert, kind of to pave the way for the black, acrylic, saddle mouthpiece. Excuse my indulgence, but I'm just totally in love with this pipe, though it is not even close to a shape I would personally smoke. Beauty is beauty, and skill has to be recognized and admired. Way to go, Spanu!
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Pipe Stamped: F2
Pipe Code: SP095 Price: CHF 300.00  
Shape: Freeform Apple Weight: 63g / 2-7/32 oz
Chamber : 21mm --  Chamber Depth: 42mm  --  Wall Thickness: ->16mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

Let me start by telling you how unbelievable the amount of wood this pipe has is! The walls are SO THICK, and yet, the pipe is very well-balanced and graceful. I can't even begin to imagine anyone managing to cause this pipe to overheat, let alone to burn out, no matter how much and hard they try! The pipe comes with the fabulous grain you would expect of a pipe in the "F2" grade, with some fabulous Bird's Eye on the base of the bowl and shank. The pipe is as fully bent as they come, with quite a bend on the tapered mouthpiece. In spite of this major curve, a cleaner passes through the entire pipe like a hot knife through butter. Another important detail that points directly to the potential level of comfort is the thickness (thinness) of the mouthpiece bit (right before the mouthpiece button). There, the mouthpiece is a mere 4.2mm in thickness; you simply cannot ask for more comfort. Spanu also added a slim acrylic shank insert, just to guarantee smooth visual transition from the wood of the shank to the mouthpiece.
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Pipe Stamped: F2
Pipe Code: SP096 Price: CHF 300.00  
Shape: XL Freehand Weight: 69g / 2-7/16 oz
Chamber : 22mm --  Chamber Depth: 45mm  --  Wall Thickness: 13mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

While I'm not so sure about the accuracy of the word "Freehand", I couldn't be more certain of the use of the word "XL". This pipe is indeed Extra Large. The bowl is 55mm (2.17 inches) in height and 47.5mm (1.87 inches) in diameter. The shape is quite unique, with a rounded bowl, with the top and base protruding, creating a slightly tucked-in belly, and the diamond shank. I love the way these two contrasting shapes find a way to not only coexist but actually to create a new and attractive kind of harmony. This is followed by a short, tapered mouthpiece that picks up where the shank left, with a diamond shape, and decreasing in diameter till the diamond shape is hardly evident any more. A small, but significant detail that shows Spanu's skill and experience is the thickness of the mouthpiece at the bit, right before the button appears. Guess what it is?! That part measures a mere 4mm in thickness! Pipe makers out there know how tough it is to make a diamond-shaped, tapered mouthpiece, and still manage to bring the thickness down to 4mm, in a distance of about 50mm (1.97 inches), which is the total length of the mouthpiece. Add to this the fact that this massive pipe weighs only 69g, and you see how much of a winner this pipe is. I'm confident that this pipe will find a lot of people out there who would love to grab it while it's still available.
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Pipe Stamped: F3
Pipe Code: SP099 Price: CHF 450.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 65g / 2-9/32 oz
Chamber : 22.5mm --  Chamber Depth: 46mm --  Wall Thickness: 17mm --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

I notice that I have used the term "Freehand" several times already, and I don't know if this is because I'm lazy, I'm losing my technical edge, or simply because indeed it is the only fair and accurate way to define these intricate and complex Spanu designs. I'm trying to convince myself that it is the last one, and I sure hope you agree with me. I was thinking of "Freeform Egg" for this pipe, but I realized that I was totally unsatisfied with that. However you decide to define the shape, I believe we can agree that it is simply a beautiful and unique shape, which should be the core of a true Freehand. The best way to see this as a Freehand is by looking at the pipe from the top of the bowl. You will notice that the outer wall (the one opposite the one that faces the shank) is not as thick as the others. It's kind of squashed in a little, and the curve created continues all the way from the bowl rim till the bowl base and kind of dictates the entry part of the shank. What I really love about the overall design is the very skillful and accurate bending of the pipe. Indeed, when you look at the pipe as a whole, you see how graceful it is. Everything fits perfectly, and the bent, saddle mouthpiece not only joins in harmoniously, but it also adds a discreet and yet evident touch of elegance of its own. The grain is clearly one of the major reasons why this pipe made it into this high Spanu grade. It is a blend of consistent Flame Gain, with some staggering Bird's Eye, particularly on the bowl top. The tobacco chamber is quite conical in shape, a feature that should make it easier for the tobacco to burn evenly and effortlessly all the way to the last shred.
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