Former: Smooth Natural Lovat Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-017-0432

Hans "Former" Nielsen is one of precious few artisans whose reputation truly precedes him, as his mastery of the craft is so firmly implanted on the consciousness of the pipe world, that merely his name brings with it a sense of reverence. A veritable living legend, Former boasts 60 years of experience in carving pipes, something that only a select handful of makers can attest to, and it shows in his shaping, his finishing, and in his very low annual production rate. Getting his start as a pipe repairer at Poul Rasmussen's Copenhagen shop, Nielsen made his way to the W.Ø. Larsen workshop, working his way up to a supervisory position where he oversaw the work of now legendary artisans Jess Chonowitsch and Teddy Knudsen, before, after 10 years with Larsen, beginning to make pipes on his own.

This Lovat is a striking departure from much of Former's other work, as the Danish artisan's prior renditions of this shape feature a much more traditional sense of proportion and classically Billaird-esque bowl. Here, however, the bowl takes on a far more Apple-like look, though one with the impressive breadth of a Pot and a strikingly full-bodied construction. At more than two inches tall, said bowl displays a wealth of substance throughout its expansive form, the briar's supple curvature lending plenty of comfort in the hand. A slow, arcing taper from the bowl's low-set waistline sees the walls rise to a vast, gently domed rim which overlooks an expansive chamber. A slight forward cant lends the bowl a touch of dynamism as it rests on the end of a wide transition, leaving plenty of room to drape a digit, before giving way to a thick, round shank. Compared to the bowl, the shank holds less of the visual weight here, though its thick build does well to balance the bowl's keeping the proportions bowl-forward without encroaching into the realm of the neoclassical. Paired to the shank is a trim saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite, its stark color contrasting the light, natural finish of the briar. The stummel's high-gloss finish reveals some truly incredible grain beneath, with dense streaks of flame and straight grain wrapping around the bowl and through the flanks of the shank, while the underside is awash with tightly-packed birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.47 in./164.34 mm.
  • Weight: 3.10 oz./87.88 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.27 in./57.66 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.91 in./23.11 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.07 in./52.58 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Lovat
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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