Danish Estates: S. Bang Smooth Bent Egg with Horn (19) (UN) (1999) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 004-001-33444
S. Bang pipes are named for Svend Bang, the founder of the workshop in which two of the most talented individual artisans in the pipe world worked for nearly their entire careers. While Svend may not have carved too many pipes himself, he did bring together the dynamic duo of Per Hansen and Ulf Noltensmeier, and that itself is an achievement of its own. In the over 50 years that the two worked for the workshop, they not only honed their skills, but nearly perfected them, and when Bang himself retired in 1984, Hansen and Noltensmeier took over all operations for the small company, keeping the name to honor their proprietor. As of 2019 both artisans have retired from pipe making, leaving behind a legacy of superb shaping, excellent finishing, and exemplary smoking properties in their pieces, each one the result of painstaking work that prioritizes quality over all else.
This bent Egg was made by Ulf and presents with a decidedly sinuous form throughout, with a subtle S-curve in profile that runs from the button to the heel, the posture that it strikes bespeaking an understated elegance that lends it plenty of visual appeal. The stem is a rather lengthy arc of black vulcanite sure to provide a comfortable smoking posture and that meets a domed fitment of horn at the shank end, with the stem's expansion ring at the base mirroring the flare of the accent. From here the shank takes hold, itself a gentle upward curve of briar that tapers ever so slightly from the transition to the shank end, the horn expanding to create not only some separation between the shank and stem, but to pull back some of the visual weight from the bowl in order to keep things balanced. A supple cheeking possesses the transition here, creating further separation of this pipe's elements, as it makes the bowl's shape more distinct, and seeing the shank continue through beneath the bowl a bit, achieving a cradling effect that fosters a kind of organic aesthetic.
The heel is lifted, sweeping upward fluidly from where the shank ends and pushing the bowl into further visual prominence, all while maintaining that aforementioned understated elegance. There's a wonderful softness about the bowl that I really appreciate here, and its visual distinction from the shank enhances this, as one is able to better see its swift flare from the base into a supple, low-set waistline that lends it a fantastic feel in hand. From here we see a gentle taper to the rim that maintains its shapely curves, with the rim itself inflated just a touch to enhance these qualities, making the most out of the bowl's over two inches of height. Dressing the briar is a vibrant auburn-mahogany contrast stain which reveals flame and straight grain wrapping the bowl, the striations terminating in some striking birdseye at the top, while the underside is awash in the swirling grain, the horn accent at the shank end offering a lovely complement.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
Minor Rim Darkening Chamber Carbonizing
- Length: 5.58 in./141.73 mm.
- Weight: 2.14 oz./60.78 g.
- Bowl Height: 2.20 in./55.88 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.81 in./45.97 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.65 in./41.91 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Bent Egg
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Denmark