Danish Estates: S. Bang Smooth Bulldog (13) (UN) (2000) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 004-001-32475
Throughout the S. Bang workshop's history, there were several changes to its structure, with a fair few carvers passing through its doors before, in 1971, it was finalized. For nigh on 50 years the duo of Per Hansen and Ulf Noltensmeier crafted every single pipe that passed from the doors of the S. Bang shop, garnering an excellent reputation for extreme attention to detail and a focus on superior smoking qualities. In 2019 the pair retired, leaving behind a legacy of superlative work only to be obtained on the estate market, making this straight Bulldog carved by Ulf quite the tempting piece for those that seek to own work from such a reputed pair of artisans.
The straight Bulldog is not a shape we've seen much of before from the Svend Bang workshop, and even amongst those we have encountered this particular example is unique, not just for its taller bowl but for the incredible softness that Noltensmeier has managed to imbue into the ridgelines here. Of course, the focus of this uncanny softening of edges is the shank and stem, both of which maintain the shape's iconic diamond shape, the flanks' sweeping up into the bowl and dissipating swiftly, the top's meeting the transition and evaporating, and the underside's pushing forward further than the others. The effect of this firms up the heel itself a bit and works in concert with the top ridge to create a more defined outline, though even this is tempered by the aforementioned softening effect. The ridges themselves aren't appreciably rounded off, they're still rather sharp, but the panels they create, rather than being flat, are curved very subtly, altering the way that the ridges interact with the briar and giving the illusion of a round shank in the correct lighting, or even at a passing glance.
I can't even begin to estimate just how difficult achieving this effect is, but Ulf has pulled it off wonderfully, with an even flow of line throughout the composition's aft side, and a subtle curvature that reinforces the roundness of the bowl. Said bowl sits atop a swiftly arcing heel that builds the fore wall in a sweeping curve to a pair of beadlines sat at the high waistline, the aft side taking on a similar travel before the steep taper to the rim. The bowl is quite comfortable in the hand, and its tall build provides ample room to display the streaks of windswept flame grain surrounding it, courtesy of the warm contrast stain dressing the briar.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
Minor Rim Darkening Small Ding On The Rim Chamber Slightly Out Of Round Dings Around The Bowl
- Length: 5.54 in./140.72 mm.
- Weight: 1.82 oz./51.71 g.
- Bowl Height: 2.22 in./56.39 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.91 in./48.51 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Bulldog
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Denmark