An instant after I opened the box of this Snail Grade Eltang Magnum Opus, I threw my hands in the air and yelled “YES!!”, which scared the hell out of my nearby buds. I was in a great need of a pick-me-up after the NL lost the World Series (Sox fans, I love your team to no end, but until the AL gets rid of the godless DH...), and this was just the ticket. From a legend in Danish pipe design, as homage to arguably the most influential proponent of Danish Modern design, one Arne Jacobsen, this architectural study in minimalist execution is anything but ‘minimal’ in its totality.
Born in Copenhagen in 1902, Jacobsen was admitted to the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1924 and, within one year, was already a medal recipient from Paris Art Deco fair for chair design. It was at the Art Deco fair that Arne became captivated by the revolutionary aesthetic of Le Corbusier's L'Esprit Nouveau pavilion, especially the Master’s concept of liberating external elements from any support duty, thus allowing for far greater creativity of design. While considering himself first, foremost and always an architect (Arne loathed the term ‘designer’), today Jacobsen is best remembered for his furniture and lighting designs, and this mesmerizing sitter bears an uncanny resemblance to a series of free-standing lamps, specifically the AJ table and floor lamps created in 1960.
The body is conical, features side bevels which run the full 3+ inches of height, and boasts a regularity in its reduction that strains the limitations of what can be achieved by hand shaping alone. Counterbalanced by nearly 5.5” of elegant horn and stem, this collector’s dream sits on a .23” x 1.03” heel with fine stability, and the overarching presence of this briar, as it sits upon my desk, is palpable to the point of distraction.
--R. 'Bear' Graves