Tom Eltang: Smooth Bulldog with Horn Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-299-1358

A man obsessed with fine pipes since the age of six, Tom Eltang has become one of the most respected artisan carvers in the world, his nearly five-decade-long career and commitment to both functional and aesthetic perfection earning him a stellar reputation in the pipe world. His breadth of experience includes apprenticing under Anne-Julie at only 16 years old, repairing pipes for Pipe-Dan, and working as a traveling carver for Stanwell, all the while carving pipes of his own. His work comprises a variety of shapes, all in his Danish Functionalist-inspired style, with this Bulldog serving as an excellent example of his unique approach to design.

It's not often that we're presented with Bulldogs from Eltang, though the general forms of those that we have seen are rather consistent, making this piece stand out a good deal. This is one of the precious few Bulldog iterations from Tom which has been accented with horn, but even this feature is very different than the others, taking the form of a lengthy, flaring extension rather than a trim band of the material. The face of this horn is softly domed and has been inlaid with a ring of brass which allows for the easy push-fitting of a sleek, stylized stem, said stem's expansion ring at the base creating an area of negative space which draws some of the visual weight away from the bowl. While this balancing of visual emphasis makes for a more harmonious composition, the bowl still maintains the bulk of this emphasis thanks to its impressive heft and bold shaping.

A firm, sharply defined heel supports the bowl and sees the start of dramatically flaring walls that expand into a mid-set waist which is marked with a pair of crisp beadlines. From this waist, the walls taper to an extremely gently chamfered rim, initially giving the impression of complete flatness, the swiftness of the taper keeping the height rather low. With over two inches of breadth, however, the bowl maintains a robust, hearty presence in hand while providing plenty of insulation in hand. A wide transition leads to a low-set, slightly compressed diamond shank that pushes out to meet the aforementioned horn accent, the ridges outlining the shank continuing through the horn and keeping the lines firm through the aft end. Dressed in a vibrant contrast stain, the stummel here showcases a wealth of wrapping flame grain around the bowl's circumference, while the vast area of the rim is completely covered in birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.88 in./149.35 mm.
  • Weight: 2.22 oz./63.05 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.40 in./35.56 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.14 in./54.36 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bulldog
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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