Former: Smooth Apple Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-017-0441

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 Apple is a striking fusion of its namesake and the Brandy, a form that several of Former's Apples have taken and that the artisan has proven a mastery of time and again, with this being no exception. The 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 rather tall, 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 round shank of ample thickness. Compared to the bowl, the shank holds less of the visual weight here, though its lengthy 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 warm cumberland, its slight bit of vibrancy complementing the stummel's ruddy auburn stain. The stummel's finish reveals some truly incredible grain beneath, the bowl here flanked by a pair of vast oceans of birdseye, the swirling grain's myriad pinpricks enchanting the eye while not detracting from nearly straight cross grain through the stummel's midsection.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.03 in./153.16 mm.
  • Weight: 2.90 oz./82.21 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.20 in./55.88 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.82 in./20.83 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.96 in./49.78 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Apple
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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