Tao: Smooth Billiard with Antique Whale Tooth Stem

Product Number: 002-748-0021

Out of the two pieces from Jens "Tao" Nielsen in today's update, I have to take this one as my personal favorite. It's a charming, Danish take on the classic Billiard and in an incredibly lightweight and compact form overall. A pocket-friendly, veritable nosewarmer, this number measures in at just shy of four inches in length yet maintains Tao's conventional sense of muscularity throughout. Shape-wise, the proportionally stout shank transitions into a classic Billiard bowl, rife with Danish charm in its plump base, tapered rim, and slight cheeking at the flanks. Nielsen has dressed it in one of his signature contrast stains, the wisps of flame grain along the bowl and birdseye at the rim and heel alternating between warm, red tones and lighter mahogany hues. The stem, then, combines even more of Tao's characteristic style — the mouthpiece being exquisitely fashioned from pale antique whale tooth and fitted to a ferrule of warm-hued cumberland. It's a piece defined by classic style with a high degree of artisan craftsmanship and exceptional use of alternate materials.

-Truett Smith

*While the harvesting of whales is most often thought of in terms of the once widespread whaling industry, small-scale, localized whale hunts have been central to Faroese life since the North Atlantic islands were settled by the Norse, circa 800 A.D. With a climate and soil wholly unsuited to supporting life by farming crops, those who lived on the Faroe Islands learned to subsist upon pilot whale, sheep, seabirds, and fish. The rich meat and blubber of the pilot whale was (and still is) the most important, the annual catch to this day being divided communally then stored, prepared or preserved in Faorese households (in other words, you won't find it in a Faroe Islands supermarket, nor do they export any of it).

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 3.92 in./99.57 mm.
  • Weight: 1.34 oz./38.10 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.62 in./41.15 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.25 in./31.75 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.71 in./18.03 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Stem Material: Other
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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