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Spanu Pipes: FA & F Grades


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Pipe Stamped: FA    ~    Other stamps: 0  2
Pipe Code: SP070 Price: CHF 200.00  
Shape: Bent Dublin Weight: 53g / 1-7/8 oz
Chamber : 21mm --  Chamber Depth: 43mm  --  Wall Thickness: 12mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

This is the first of two pipes with some stunning Bird's Eye (see the following one). One side of the bowl, as well as all of the bowl and shank base, exhibits some exceptionally uniform and tight Bird's Eye, whereas the other side of the bowl shows some fabulous Flame Grain, that is tight and compact. The bowl rim shows excellent Cross Grain, with a patch of Bird's Eye. The pipe has a greatly classic appearance, complete with a saddle mouthpiece. The briarwood band is part of the mouthpiece, while the black acrylic insert is part of the shank. A great way to use a combination of wood and acrylic..
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Pipe Stamped: FA    ~    Other stamps: 0  2
Pipe Code: SP071 Price: CHF 200.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 53g / 1-7/8 oz
Chamber : 22mm --  Chamber Depth: 43mm  --  Wall Thickness: 11mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

I know that you would probably expect more from me than a simple "freehand"! Well, I just gave up. The pipe is a very, very intriguing combination of three shapes: Poker, Cherrywood, and Dublin. I guess having three different shapes in play here would justify "freehand" as a nice way out of trouble! Before I leave the shape, and though the bowl base is flat the pipe would not stand still on a flat surface on its own WHEN EMPTY. I expect it to stay still when the bowl has some weight in it (i.e., when the pipe is packed).
Now, leave all that behind, and concentrate on the grain. It's the grain that makes this pipe the incredibly gorgeous one it is (sorry, Spanu, though you did have an important role to play in bringing the grain out). The bowl has four sides, right?! Well, two sides are simply breath-taking Bird's Eye, while the other two shows exceptional Cross Grain. The Cross Grain is also present on the bowl top and base. The stunning fact is that the exact same pattern is duplicated on the shank. Finally, have a careful look at the elegant Fishtail mouthpiece that is as comfortable and well made as they come.
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Pipe Stamped: FA
Pipe Code: SP091 Price: CHF 200.00  
Shape: Freeform Dublin Weight: 46g / 1-5/8 oz
Chamber : 21mm --  Chamber Depth: 43mm --  Wall Thickness: 12 --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

From the minute I saw this pipe till I sat down to write this comment, I was sure that the best way to describe the shape was by using the term "Freeform Egg", but now, that it is no longer the case. All of a sudden it hit me, and I couldn't see anything but the Dublin, disguised a bit by a few freeform deviations, such as the rounded-up bowl rim. Though I'm not a big fan of colored mouthpieces, I have to admit that I'm totally in love with this particular mouthpiece and how unique it made the whole pipe. At first you might think the mouthpiece is made out of horn, but it is not. It's acrylic, made to bring to mind the visual beauty of the horn, without any of the horn alleged drawbacks. Indeed, and unlike most horn mouthpieces, this acrylic one seems to be as comfortable as mouthpieces in general can be. I'm also in love with the breathtaking grain, particulary the very tight and uniform Bird's Eye. Finally, the natural stain that Spanu applied creates great and fabulous contrast with the elegant colors of the mouthpiece. If this pipe were straight, you wouldn't be seeing it here! I would probably be smoking it as I write this comment.
(Wait a minute, if I were smoking it at this moment, then I wouldn't be writing a comment about it, would I?!)
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Pipe Stamped: F
Pipe Code: SP073 Price: CHF 240.00  
Shape: Freehand Weight: 49g / 1-23/32 oz
Chamber : 21.5mm --  Chamber Depth: 39mm  --  Wall Thickness: 14mm  --  Cleaner Passes?  Yes
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COMMENT:

This is the first pipe in this Spanu collection that can't be described with any word other than "freehand". I believe the photos should do a decent job in giving you a feel of the pipe shape. For some reason, the bowl reminds me of the shape of a Smurf hat or head! The grain is consistent all around the bowl with a small cluster of Bird's Eye underneath the bowl. The shank, on the other hand, shows nothing but swirls and rings all around it. The plateau top is absolutely wonderful, with no flaws or cracks. The pipe is not large and has a tobacco chamber comparable to a Dunhill Group 3, in my opinion. Finally, it's quite impressive how light in weight and well balanced the pipe is.
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