Danish Estates: Tao Smooth Billiard with Silver Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-001-33171

Jens "Tao" Nielsen began his adult life as a sailor, traveling the world for years, becoming knowledgeable about the world, the ways of its people, and the ways of other sailors. After retiring from his naval career at 28, Tao married and settled in Copenhagen, working in a pipe shop for Wilhelm Jørgensen, selling pipes there for three years before starting as an apprentice for Erik Nørding. After two years of this, Tao met Poul Ilsted, who, along with Nielsen and a man named Henrik Jørgensen, founded the Svendborg pipe company. Years later Tao set out on his own, moving to Gammelnyby (Old New Town), ready to craft pipes by himself, inspired by his time as a sailor to make pipes that would meet the practical needs of a seaman. This singular shaping style is a hallmark of Nielsen's design, combining clean, smooth lines with compact profiles, an aesthetic clearly reflected in this Billiard from the Danish artisan.

The overall profile of this pipe measures in at just over five inches long, keeping it out of Nosewarmer territory but still maintaining a status as fairly compact. Compared to its length, the other aspects of this pipe's construction are quite robust, with an appreciable weight and a rather thick stretch of shank the ebbs out of a wide, softly cheeked transition. The stem here is a svelte saddle of cumberland that joins the shank at a strikingly broad fitment of silver, the glinting metal adding a dose of stately elegance to this composition. Sitting at the fore of the pipe atop a rounded, pronounced heel is a bowl that rises to a full two inches tall as its walls grow out from a low-set waistline. This waist offers some lovely curves for the fingers to appreciate when this pipe is held, itself marking the start of a slow, arcing taper to the rim that further emphasizes the contours of the outline here. The wealth of briar that comprises the bowl not only suffuses this piece with a full-bodied heartiness in hand, but displays a wealth of wrapping flame grain beneath the stummel's warm auburn-chestnut stain, the rim and underside peppered by pinpricks of swirling birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Dings On The Rim Mild Chamber Carbonizing Chamber Slightly Out Of Round Tooth Marks

  • Length: 5.02 in./127.51 mm.
  • Weight: 1.92 oz./54.43 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.03 in./51.56 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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