Look back across two or three centuries, and you'll find pipes not unlike this Big Ben Churchwarden appearing in images whose subjects range from bawdy tavern wenches to carefully powdered, groomed, and poufed countesses. While we commonly refer to them as "tavern" pipes today, due to their common usage wherein they'd be hung on a tavern wall and rented out, each new smoker breaking off a bit of the stem, similar designs were enjoyed by the highest classes as well, where the cool smoke and elegant aesthetics of the extra-long, extra-slender proportions no doubt were enjoyed.
Completely flavor-neutral, clay bowls are favored by many who have particularly sensitive palates, as they allow even the subtlest accents of a tobacco to express themselves. You'll also note the reinforcing spur under the transition, a design element which can still be seen in many briars today, albeit for purely aesthetic purposes.
- Eric N. Squires
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