Jess Chonowitsch: Smooth Tomato with Bamboo

Product Number: 002-367-0115

Tomatoes were considered poisonous in Europe in the 1500s, at least by rich people who had pewter dinnerware. Pewter at that time was high in lead content, and the acidic nature of tomatoes leeched it from the pewter, causing illness and death. Poor people ate from wooden plates and liked tomatoes fine. Once the lead problem was figured out, tomatoes grew in popularity, just as tomatoes you can smoke pipe tobacco from have grown in popularity, though not due to lead removal. Tomatoes also contain nicotine, having that in common with tobacco, so there's a distinct relationship. Something about the vertically compressed spherical form is attractive to modern smokers, especially when executed by none other than Jess Chonowitsch.

Jess learned pipemaking from Poul Rasmussen and from Sixten Ivarsson before branching out into his own pipes in the 1960s. He has earned a reputation as perhaps the greatest living pipemaker, as can be readily seen with the precise shaping of this bowl, perfectly curved with contrast-stained grain cascading down it's flanks. The bamboo too, is perfect, and lined with stainless steel for durability and better smoking quality, and let us not forget the stem — hand-cut from vulcanite, Jess' lip buttons are remarkably comfortable, and internally the engineering is carefully designed to reduce turbulence and hence moisture accumulation. This is a short pipe, but contains all the imagination and skill of a professional trained by the best, and with more than 50 years of experience.

- Chuck Stanion
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.58 in./116.33 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.00 in./25.40 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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