Tom Eltang: Smooth Eskimo (Snail)

Product Number: 002-299-1233

Among the most prolific and respected pipe makers worldwide, Tom Eltang boasts a vast portfolio that comprises everything from artisan renditions of classic shapes, to wild Freehands, to Eltang's distinctive signature designs. Among those signatures, his Poker and Arne Jacobsen shapes are immediately recognized, adding his own creative style to the Poker and Dublin forms, but his signature Eskimo is a rarer form and one that combines Eltang's visionary style with Danish pipe-making history.

To understand the Eskimo, one must first consider Sixten Ivarsson's Ukulele design. Ivarsson is widely considered the pioneer of artisan pipe making, his paradigm-shifting methods and processes paving the way for today's artisans, and his Ukulele shape is a distinctive rendition of the classic Diplomat. It's represented by the Stanwell "91" shape, which Sixten designed, and the combination of broad bowl and squat oval shank resemble a Ukulele's profile when viewed from above.

Tom's Eskimo reimagines the Ukulele through the Danish carver's creative lens, combined with Rhodesian elements — the bowl featuring a Rhodesian's characteristic tapers and equatorial beadline. Separating it from standard Rhodesian renditions, though, is its shank: When viewed in profile, the shank and stem reveal a trim and subtle taper from transition to button, that seamlessly melds the stem into the shank in silhouette. Viewed from above, however, this shank is a massive expanse of briar, accentuating the broad form of Sixten's Ukulele. In this piece, the shank widens toward the transition, almost matching the bowl's breadth, while the saddle stem introduces negative space through the diminution of the base. Balanced and harmonious line work define the shank and stem, and though the lines of the shank don't directly continue through the stem when viewed aerially — as they do in profile — the implied trajectory of the shank's stem-ward taper perfectly meets the hand-cut lip button.

A stunning example of Eltang's craftsmanship and artistry, this signature Eskimo is dressed in a rich, walnut contrast stain, highlighting a fanning arrangement of cross grain across the top and bottom, and its combination of shaping and grain has earned it Tom's prestigious Snail grade.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.08 in./129.03 mm.
  • Weight: 1.40 oz./39.69 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.07 in./27.18 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.80 in./20.32 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.93 in./49.02 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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