Danish Estates: Tao Smooth Pot (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-001-32756

Jens "Tao" Nielsen is something of a legendary figure in the realm of Danish artisan carving, though his first job was that of a sailor, something which would later come to inform his design as he witnessed fellow sailors smoking compact, robust pipes that could be easily pocketed or maneuvered around below decks. He later came to work for Erik Nording as a carver before meeting Poul Ilsted and founding the Svendborg pipe factory with him. Desiring the freedom to craft pipes of his own make, as well as disagreements with a third partner after Ilsted departed, Tao set out on his own, gracing the pipe world with his singular creations that have since become classics.

The Pot is not a shape we see often from Nielsen, though it fits within his aesthetic quite well, as this pipe can attest. The bowl here is exactly what you would expect in a Pot: a broad, squat, and low-slung expanse of briar that is comfortable in the hand and easily able to be slipped into a pocket. However, at its flanks, we see a pair of curving ridges which exist as extensions of the ridges present on the flanks of the shank and stem. This diamond shank is rather unusual for a Pot, though it works quite well here, and the added structure that it lends to the bowl continues through the underside, where another extension of the ridge present there outlines the heel. Like the bowl, the shank is broader than it is tall, and this slight alteration of form affords the pipe a look of further compactness and pocket-friendliness. The walls of the bowl take on an easy taper to the rim, with the rim itself possessed of an inward slope which should make for easier loading of tobacco, and a touch of curvature which enhances the experience in hand. Dressed in a warm, honey-blonder stain that highlights wrapping flame grain around the bowl and dense birdseye at the top and underside, this piece has been fitted with a sleek, tapered stem of cumberland, adding a dose of handsome color that compliments the composition well.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Stamping Worn From Buffing Unsmoked

  • Length: 4.72 in./119.89 mm.
  • Weight: 1.15 oz./32.66 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.11 in./28.19 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.71 in./18.03 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.57 in./39.88 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Pot
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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