Danish Estates: Former Partially Sandblasted Blowfish (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-001-34350

Hans "Former" Nielsen is truly a master among masters, with the Danish artisan starting his career in the pipe-making world at the age of 15, working in repairs at Poul Rasmussen's pipe shop in Copenhagen for two years before joining the W.Ø. Larsen workshop part-time. After his service in the military, he began full-time work at Larsen, becoming a professional at age 21 and advancing steadily to a supervisory position, coming to oversee the work of other future masters such as Teddy Knudsen and Tonni Nielsen, working in the workshop for ten years. When Former finally broke into the pipe world under his own name, it is no surprise that his work was superlative, as he had learned the intricate inner workings of pipes as a teenager, and his entire adult life had been consumed with carving.

The Blowfish is a shape we've seen a few times from Former, and each time he's demonstrated a firm grasp on the modern classic shape, regardless of the stylistic differences between them. This particular piece is one of his most archetypal examples of the profile, complete with a sinuous outline and a good deal of curvature around the stummel, distancing this pipe from the more oft-seen highly structured visions of the shape. What most defines the Blowfish as a shape are the twin panels at the flanks of the bowl and their asymmetric construction, creating both firm lines for the hand and adding further intrigue to the bowl, drawing the eye forward. Here, the left flank of the bowl showcases a well-defined panel, while the right flank is much more thoroughly rounded, keeping the pipe feeling comfortable in hand but maintaining the crisp line work which the profile is known for. A wide transition gives way to a curling shank which lifts and flares out as it reaches toward the stem, a pair of panels framing the left and left underside of this shank. These ridges sweep forward through the stummel, the leftmost forming the panel at that side of the bowl, while the bottom's rounds the bowl at the fore wall and outline the rim's chamfer and the aft half of the bowl's walls. Dressed in a crisp partial sandblast, Former's skill at finishing here serves to highlight the presence of the bowl's left panel, as smooth briar surrounds the central area's auburn-tinged blast.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details


  • Length: 5.11 in./129.79 mm.
  • Weight: 2.18 oz./61.69 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.99 in./50.55 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.73 in./43.94 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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