I obtained this magnificent two-pipe Sven-Lar Sculpture boxed set by Michael Kabik from the same collection and seller as the Ben Wade Special Collection I posted here the other day. Sven-Lar was an American pipe brand created by Michael Kabik and Mel Baker shortly after the demise of Michael’s first collaborative effort, CHP-X in the early 70's. I’m not sure how long Sven-Lar was in production but this set was dated 1984. Michael is a fellow Marylander and I believe these were made in his Bel Air shop. Some of his other lines included Gran Hill, M. Kabik, Vajra, and Wenhall. He has since retired from pipemaking.
As with the Ben Wade set, these Sven-Lars are in mint condition without a single scratch or ding anywhere. The pipes are medium-sized and feature gorgeous straight/flame grain and a 14kt gold mount that are each adorned with a 1/16 carat diamond in a raised setting! I could find no info on the internet to support it but the seller claims that they are indeed genuine. The hardwood box is lined with very soft and supple chamois and is in perfect condition. Michael apparently spared no expense in making this set and the previous owner thankfully treated it like a rare jewel.
This is the second Michael Kabik example in my collection. I have an earlier CHP-X pickaxe freehand, about a Group 3 in size. I prefer larger pipes so I’ve only smoked this one a handful of times even though it is a good little smoker. So far I’ve only smoked the top-pictured pipe and it is excellent! Cool and completely dry with a very open draw.
I'm still in a state of shock and disbelief over these two sets! I’m usually not this lucky. At first I was only interested in the Ben Wade but the Sven-Lar kept nagging at me. I hesitated in dropping what was to be a pretty good chunk of change for both sets but I figured this may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so go for it! Besides I'd have kicked myself good and proper for letting this one go by.