Tao: Partially Sandblasted Bulldog with Antique Whale Tooth Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-748-0038

Before taking up the craft of pipe making, Jens "Tao" Nielsen was a sailor and spent most of his early life at sea. After meeting his wife, Nielsen retired to a life on land, but his experience at sea influenced his approach to pipe making — with his designs often compact, muscular, and built for easy transportation and hands-free smoking, without sacrificing anything in terms of durability or engineering. No other shape within Neilsen's portfolio showcases his unique design sensibility better than his Bulldog interpretations, as evidenced by this particular rendition.

Stocky, cohesive, and lightweight, this Bulldog measures less than five inches in total length but maintains a sense of muscularity to its construction. The broad, Saucer-like bowl is composed of thick insulating walls and displays the forms characteristic domed rim and wrapping beadlines. The diamond shank extends from the low-set transition and provides the composition with pronounced, structural lines that contrast against the roundness of the bowl. A crisp, earthy sandblast dresses the stummel and accentuates the natural grain orientation of the briar beautifully, save for the rim, which is left smooth, stained a blonde color, and displays an abundance of birdseye across its surface. An accent of whale tooth* adorns the shank end, and its multi-hued coloration really pops when considering the pipe in profile.

--Davin Hylton

*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: 4.89 in./124.21 mm.
  • Weight: 2.30 oz./65.20 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.68 in./42.67 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.23 in./31.24 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.05 in./52.07 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bulldog
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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