Tom Eltang: Smooth Elephant's Foot with Horn (Snail) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-299-1431

Tom Eltang's Snail grade denotes pipes of exceptional quality, both in terms of shaping and grain, and represents some of the best pipes the Danish carver has to offer, which is really saying something. Eltang is, without a doubt, a master artisan, and his reputation can attest to this fact, so much so that pipe makers from all over the world travel to Eltang's workshop to learn the craft under his supervision. To many, his pipes are the high-water mark from which all other pipes are judged, and it's hard to argue with that estimation when considering a piece like this Snail-grade Elephant's Foot.

Although originally designed by Bo Nordh, the Elephant's Foot has since become a staple in artisan pipe making, and it's easy to see why, as it's a shape that, like the Blowfish, lends itself well to individual interpretation. Additionally, the Elephant's Foot relies heavily on precise grain orientation, so when it is rendered expertly, the results are always a visual delight. Eltang, of course, being a master craftsman, and one intimately familiar with the Elephant's Foot shape, has fashioned an interpretation that is brilliant and striking, both in terms of shaping and grain.

Hewing closely to the traditional form, the bowl here features two crisp ridgelines that descend from the rim and converge at the heel, where they form a pointed, Acorn-like nadir before returning back to the rim. These ridgelines lend the bowl a Shield-like appearance, complete with an arcing curvature and a slightly protruding fore and aft wall. A trim shank emerges from the low-set transition and joins a demurely curved saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite, their junction marked by a ferrule of inky horn that matches the complexion of the mouthpiece. The shank-and-stem arrangement lends a sinuous gesture to the shape's silhouette, balancing out the bowl's muscular build, while additionally promoting a comfortable smoking posture. A rich, auburn-hued smooth finish dresses the ensemble and highlights gorgeous birdseye across the bowl's fore and aft, and stunning cross grain across it flanks and rim.

--Davin Hylton
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.05 in./153.67 mm.
  • Weight: 2.46 oz./69.85 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.73 in./69.34 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.78 in./45.21 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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