Tao: Smooth Bulldog Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-748-0049

Jens "Tao" Nielsen has certainly earned his place in the canon of Danish master pipe carvers, this due to his over 50 years of experience, iconic design outlook, and exacting shaping. His style comprises pieces that are inspired by his life as a sailor, when he would watch as his fellow seamen smoked pipes that were compact but robust, allowing them to smoke while on board without fear of hitting their pipes on anything. Tao has synthesized this ideal of petite muscularity with his own penchant for soft curves, honing the style for decades and resulting in singular profiles such as the one presented by this Bulldog, a signature shape from the artisan.

At just a bit over four and a half inches long, this pipe lands rather squarely in Nosewarmer territory, utilizing every bit of its compact build to showcase thickness and Tao's talent for carving facets. The shank and stem are possessed of the iconic diamond shape that we'd expect from a Bulldog, the ridgelines of the flanks flowing through the stem base and into the bit, sharpening the outline of the sides quite nicely. In addition, the flanks' ridges push into the bowl, wrapping up and around the sides of the bowl before plunging down into the heel, curving and meeting just below the chamber to further emphasize the heel's own outline and create the ridge on the underside.

At the bowl, we see a supple plumpness that results in a curving flare to a pair of crisply rendered beadlines, marking a domed taper to the rim that further reinforces the plump nature of the bowl. As it stands atop its firm heel, it takes on a subtle forward cant, offering some dynamic shaping and pushing its broad rim into visual prominence. This is a prominence well deserved, as it showcases a vast sea of birdseye revealed beneath the mahogany contrast stain of the stummel, the rest of the briar revealing dense streaks of flame grain. This stain goes extremely well with the cumberland saddle stem's hues, its fitments of amber tones adding welcome color.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.56 in./115.82 mm.
  • Weight: 1.78 oz./50.35 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.57 in./39.88 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.70 in./17.78 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.79 in./45.47 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bulldog
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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