Tom Eltang: Smooth Tulip (Snail) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-299-1273

Tom Eltang has been carving pipes since 1974 when he apprenticed under artisan pipe maker Anne Julie, and over the course of his career, Tom has not only curated traditional Danish pipe design but has also elevated the craft by mentoring younger carvers throughout their careers. His minimalist aesthetic has delighted collectors worldwide, and his teaching has catapulted the work of many other makers; without Tom Eltang, the artisan pipe-making community simply wouldn't be where it is today, regarding design and aesthetics as well as the proliferation of new artisans.

While Tom's Devil Anse, Poker, and Arne Jacobsen renditions are lauded as his most prominent signature designs, the majority of his work exudes a clean, refined, and minimalist design sense, prioritizing line harmony and proportion and often catering to mid-20th century Danish pipe design. Those conventions are realized well in this Tulip rendition. Though lengthy, this pipe is characterized by an ever-svelte presence in profile: Whether noting the elongated saddle stem, slender shank, or trim bowl, the entire piece comprises an aerodynamic poise marked by sleekness and balance.

The extension of the mouthpiece after the saddle portion is equal in length the combination of shank and stem base, and the stem's gentle downturn perfectly matches the upward arc of the shank, creating a dramatically long profile but one defined by precise compositional balance. The bowl, then, manifests the shank and stem's sinuous flow through a noticeable forward cant, and it rises to tall prominence all while maintaining the entire form's slender demeanor. Florally inclined, the flanks flare slightly upward before turning inward at the rim — this slightly rounded motif accentuated by the subtly tucked transition — and the rim finalizes this pipe's inspiration with a tasteful smattering of plateau that evokes the look of a flower bulb's closed petals.

Pristine grain commends the pipe's shaping, with strands of flame grain engulfing the bowl and aligning with its cant and with vertical striations informing the trajectory of the shank's curl — all highlighted by a rich, auburn contrast stain for a vivid yet traditional aesthetic. Lean, lithe, and lively, this is a pipe that personifies elegance and refinement, its combination of grain quality and shaping earning Tom's prestigious Snail grade.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.64 in./168.66 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.43 in./61.72 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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