Tao: Smooth Natural Acorn with Silver

Product Number: 002-748-0027

Known for his compact shaping style, classic Danish design cues, and use of alternate materials, Jens "Tao" Nielsen is one of the most respected names in Danish pipemaking. Nielsen was originally a sailor, however, and the abbreviated size and muscular disposition surrounding his work do cater well to this previous career — his pipes being well-suited, size-wise to travel and hands-free smoking on, say, a ship deck perhaps. After leaving the sea behind, Nielsen met Poul Ilsted while as an apprentice in Erik Nording's workshop, the two eventually leaving Nording to form the Svendborg brand in 1970. After 11 years, though, Nielsen started his own workshop under the Tao name to focus on artisan pipes.

The Danish artisan here presents an intricate Acorn shape, the overall size compact, per Tao's personal style, but not without plenty of subtle flourishes. A current of asymmetry defines this piece within its flowing profile — the shank displays a rounded, teardrop cross section, the resulting ridge dissipating into the bowl's flank but echoed by the wave-like ridgeline at the rim's fore. When viewed from the smoker's perspective, the asymmetry becomes most apparent: The shank is slightly tilted downward and toward the left, which informs the bowl's right side rising a touch higher than the left. Furthermore, the stem is a unique saddle style, marked by a ridgeline that seems to flow from out of the shank, the base being tilted off of the shank face. The warm hues of the cumberland mouthpiece contrast strikingly against the stummel's virgin finish, which will darken with a patina as it's smoked, and the composition is topped off with Tao's esteemed silverwork adding further brightness over top the briar's natural hue.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.71 in./119.63 mm.
  • Weight: 1.95 oz./55.34 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.78 in./45.21 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.15 in./29.21 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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