Tom Eltang: Smooth Poker Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-299-1307

Tom Eltang has had quite an illustrious career as a pipe maker, and much of this is owed to two things: his wealth of experience and his singular shaping style. Throughout his nearly five decades of work, Tom has apprenticed under Anne-Julie, worked as a traveling carver for Stanwell, and worked doing repairs for Pipe-Dan, and this is not to mention all of the other work he did as a sailor, fur sorter, or cabinet maker. All of this has contributed to an extremely practiced hand that is more than adept at carving even lines, soft curves, and subtle details, all things that are immensely important for his shaping style. Of course, Eltang draws plenty of inspiration from the traditional school of Danish design, but one of his major influences is the Danish Functionalist movement.

This particular movement was a revolution in the fields of both product design and architecture, focusing on crisp lines and mostly unadorned forms, placing more focus on the shape itself rather than what is attached to it. Such a style is clear to see in this Poker, a shape that's become one of his signatures and thrives on its straightforward design, cleanliness, light weight, and easy portability. Despite its straight orientation and lack of sweeping curvature, this piece displays an active stance and an eminently gestural character, with much of this due to the cut of the heel. Said heel is slanted rearward, so that, rather than sitting atop it perfectly upright, the bowl is canted forward, kicking up the shank and stem as well for a look that is equal parts stoically solid and full of momentum.

The bowl here is quite tall, coming in at over two inches, and holds a rather capacious chamber for a pipe of such a light weight. Its cylindrical build to the rim is even and true throughout its rise, with the rounded surfaces of its walls offering a lovely feel in the hand. The transition is quite wide, with plenty of room to drape a thumb, and the slender shank that ebbs out of it is married to a saddle stem possessed of a lengthy bit. The aforementioned light weight of this piece should make it quite easy to clench, able to show off the vibrant contrast stain dressing the stummel and the seas of birdseye it reveals on either flank of the bowl all while hands free.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.87 in./123.70 mm.
  • Weight: 0.94 oz./26.76 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.29 in./58.17 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.11 in./28.19 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Poker
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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