Danish Estates: Tom Eltang Smooth Acorn with Boxwood (Snail) (2020) (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-001-33117

If the artisan pipe world had something equivalent to household names, Tom Eltang would certainly be among them, as the Danish artisan is among the most prolific and accomplished practitioners of the craft. He got his start apprenticing under Anne-Julie, the widow of Poul Rasmussen and a respected artisan in her own right, who taught him finishing and compositional balance and laid the groundwork for the contrast stain that adorns his smooth pipes. Repair work with Pipe-Dan reinforced his knowledge of internal engineering and its importance, and a traveling carver job at Stanwell saw him carving pipes at events all over Europe. Eltang's handmade work is regarded the world over, with this Acorn representing his artisan work and unique shaping style.

While the Acorn certainly isn't a rare shape from Tom by any means, it's definitely not a profile that we receive from him very often, and especially not those that have earned the artisan's coveted Snail grade such as this piece. This is a pipe possessed of a wonderful visual balance, with elements at both the fore and aft which draw the eye, spreading out the visual weight rather evenly while leaving just enough emphasis at the bowl to ensure that it remains the centerpiece of this composition. The shank here flows out from a wide, low-set transition that places the length of briar almost directly beneath the bowl, the shank's gentle upward curve in either direction pushing the bowl upward slightly and reinforcing its position. Said shank flares out as it makes its way toward a junction marked by a trim ring of vulcanite and broad fitment of boxwood which continues the shank's flare, the stylized stem marrying the stummel here, its firm expansion ring matching the shank's flare while its black vulcanite matches the ring behind the boxwood. Up front, the bowl positively blooms out from the shank and its sweeping heel, the heel lending the fore a great deal of added curvature that arcs into the rim quite nicely. Possessed of a measured flare to its high-set waistline, this bowl is topped with an inflated rim and provides ample contours for the hand and fingers to enjoy, its wealth of curves affording it a slightly organic disposition that's extremely comfortable. Dressed in one of Eltang's signature contrast stains, the stummel of this pipe reveals wrapping flame grain throughout the flanks and surrounding the bowl, with the top and underside awash in birdseye that stands out in stunning relief. Presented unsmoked.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details


(Pipe stamp)
(Snail stamp)
  • Length: 5.71 in./145.03 mm.
  • Weight: 1.66 oz./47.17 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.32 in./33.53 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.90 in./48.26 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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