Danish Estates: Former Smooth Apple (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 004-001-34347
Hans "Former" Nielsen is one of precious few artisans whose reputation truly precedes him, as his mastery of the craft is so firmly implanted on the consciousness of the pipe world that merely his name brings with it a sense of reverence. A veritable living legend, Former boasts 60 years of experience in carving pipes, something that only a select handful of makers can attest to, and it shows in his shaping, his finishing, and in his very low annual production rate. Getting his start as a pipe repairer at Poul Rasmussen's Copenhagen shop, Nielsen made his way to the W.Ø. Larsen workshop, working his way up to a supervisory position where he oversaw the work of now legendary artisans Jess Chonowitsch and Teddy Knudsen, before, after 10 years with Larsen, beginning to make pipes on his own.
This Apple is a striking fusion of its namesake and the Lovat, a form that several of Former's Apples have taken, though that's quite uncommon overall within his portfolio. The bowl displays a wealth of substance throughout its expansive form, the briar's supple curvature lending plenty of comfort in the hand. A slow, arcing taper from the bowl's low-set waistline sees the walls rise to a vast, gently domed rim which overlooks an expansive chamber. A slight forward cant lends the bowl a touch of dynamism as it rests on the end of a wide transition, leaving plenty of room to drape a digit, before giving way to a comparatively slender round shank. Compared to the bowl, the shank holds less of the visual weight here, though its lengthy build does well to balance the bowl's, keeping the proportions bowl-forward without encroaching into the realm of the neoclassical. Paired to the shank is a trim saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite, its stark color contrasting the vibrant, auburn-hued finish of the briar. The stummel's high-gloss finish reveals some truly incredible grain beneath, with dense streaks of flame and straight grain wrapping around the bowl and through the flanks of the shank, while the underside is awash with tightly-packed birdseye.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 4.61 in./117.09 mm.
- Weight: 1.41 oz./39.92 g.
- Bowl Height: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.28 in./32.51 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.70 in./17.78 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.68 in./42.67 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Apple
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Denmark