Former: Sandblasted Bent Apple Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-017-0400

Hans "Former" Nielsen is truly a master among masters, with the Danish artisan starting his career in the pipe-making world at the age of 15, working in repairs at Poul Rasmussen's pipe shop in Copenhagen for two years before joining the W.Ø. Larsen workshop part-time. After his service in the military, he began full-time work at Larsen, becoming a professional at age 21 and advancing steadily to a supervisory position, coming to oversee the work of other future masters such as Teddy Knudsen and Tonni Nielsen, working in the workshop for ten years. When Former finally broke into the pipe world under his own name, it is no surprise that his work was superlative, as he had learned the intricate inner workings of pipes as a teenager, and his entire adult life had been consumed with carving. His experience readily shows in his work, and with pieces such as this bent Apple that immediately remind one of the understated grace which suffuses the world of Danish crafting.

Immediately I am stricken by the bowl, as its plumpness is both subtle and evident, with a low-set waistline reminding me of the Tomato, especially considering its squatness, and all but the slightest of tapers to the rim. The rounding of the form at the fore end ebbs softly into the gently lifted heel and this line continues, unbroken through the shank and underside of the stem, making it readily apparent why he used a half-saddle here instead of a full-saddle, as this consistent undercurve truly accentuates the soft rounding of the form overall. The transition is quite wide and flows with the briar out into the shank, bereft of cheeking in a way that makes me think of the entire piece as a naturally unbroken whole, despite the stem's step down to the bit from the top of the base. Additionally, the shank itself is possessed of an extremely subtle taper to the end, accentuating the litheness of the rear of this pipe and drawing attention to the bowl. An inky sandblast dresses the briar here, keeping the palette reserved and timeless, though if one looks closely, they can actually see dark ruby-hued peaks breaking through the darkness atop its rippling ring grain. Said ring grain travels down the shank as well, following the curvature of the shank, while the bowl's rises upward, intersected at times by visual flame grain.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.25 in./133.35 mm.
  • Weight: 1.70 oz./48.08 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.77 in./44.96 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.63 in./41.40 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.92 in./48.77 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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