Danish Estates: Jess Chonowitsch Smooth Mushroom Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-001-35246

Jess Chonowitsch is a name that is instantly recognizable in the realm of Danish pipe making, if not the greater pipe world as a whole, and is synonymous with superlative quality, exceptional shaping, and unparalleled smoking properties. This reputation has not been earned easily and is the result of a career more than five decades in the making, getting his start repairing pipes for Poul Rasmussen before moving on to work at the W.Ø. Larsen workshop after Rasmussen's death. Rather than staying at the venerable firm, Chonowitsch found himself in the workshop of Sixten Ivarsson, the father of both modern artisan pipe carving and Danish pipe design and, after two years, after Chonowitsch learned the importance of mouthpiece design and fit and finish, he began making pipes in a small workshop together with his father, becoming an artisan in his own right.

While each of Jess' pipes are collectible in their own right, simply by virtue of their compositional and engineering excellence, his Horns are especially so, being exceptionally rare examples of his work that we seldom encounter. This Mushroom is something of a signature shape for Chonowitsch, though it's one we seldom see, and it showcases a slightly Horn-like bent-Dublin-esque outline that's understated in its consistent expansion out toward the bowl. The stem here is a trim saddle of jet-black vulcanite that takes on a demure downturn for a more comfortable smoking posture, and it completes a fluid, restrained S-curve which the stummel's easy flow begins. A wide, sweeping transition here gives way to the shank's languid lift and slow taper upward as it approaches the aforementioned stem, feeding the stummel's S-curve while affording the composition a gracile, elegant poise. Up front, the bowl stands atop a sweeping heel that immediately gives way to walls that flare outward with a more pronounced expansion than present from the shank and into the transition. This enhanced presence that the bowl embodies results in an expansive rim that's smoothly domed as it approaches a chamfer into the chamber, magnifying the supple softness with which this pipe presents. Separating this pipe from both the Horn and bent Dublin, however, is the unique treatment of the rim, as the ridge that defines the domed top area gently undulates and dips low on the right side: creating a subtle asymmetry that draws the eye to the fore. Dressing this piece is a rich, auburn-tinged stain, one that unveils streaky patterns of flame through the shank and around the bowl, framing fields of dense birdseye across the rim and underside.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details


CONDITION:
Minor Rim Darkening Mild Chamber Carbonizing

STAMPING:
JESS
CHONOWITSCH
DENMARK
  • Length: 5.14 in./130.56 mm.
  • Weight: 1.76 oz./49.90 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.90 in./48.26 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.44 in./36.58 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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