Tom Eltang: Smooth Billiard with Mammoth (Snail) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-299-1184

Tom Eltang made his first pipe at the age of 11 in the late 1960s, and, at the age of 16, apprenticed to renowned Danish carver Anne Julie. Now, he is one of the most talented and prolific carvers in the world of pipes, turning out high-grade pieces with unnerving precision and mentoring younger carvers in the craft. This voluptuous straight Billiard is a particularly stunning example of his work, well deserving of the "Snail" stamp he reserves for pieces with exceptional grain and shaping.

When I think Danish Billiard, this is the shape that comes to mind, and Tom has found a perfect block of briar for it, giving me the softly rounded taper of bowl and cheeking at the transition I hope for, rendered with exquisite shaping to preserve incredibly dense straight grain all around the perimeter. The rim is slightly inflated, then chamfered at the inner edge, in a seamless display of skill that aids tobacco loading without spoiling the tightly packed birdseye and discrete suppleness of the shape.

A pipe of commanding size, it supports the magnificent bowl with a sleek oval shank, the glossy surface of which invites thumb draping with undeniable magnetic force. Thin black rings at the shank end frame and magnify a pale mammoth accent, providing a nice visual break to let us know it's OK to divert our gaze to the stem. One of Tom's masterfully handcrafted vulcanite saddle stems provides physical and visual balance, tapering discretely both vertically and horizontally as it flows like glass toward a comfortable, hand-funneled lip button. This resplendent beauty will make a deserving centerpiece in any distinguished collector's rotation, and will go quickly.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.74 in./145.80 mm.
  • Weight: 2.30 oz./65.20 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.09 in./53.09 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.85 in./21.59 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.76 in./44.70 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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