Tao: Smooth Squat Rhodesian Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-748-0054

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, their pipes 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 Rhodesian.

Tao draws from his experience as a sailor when crafting his pipes, focusing on making pieces that are both compact and functional, modeled after the pipes he witnessed other seamen smoking while abroad, something clearly reflected in this classic Rhodesian. Measuring in at under four and a half inches long, this piece lands squarely in Nosewarmer territory, though retains a pleasingly plump build that pairs a robust, ovoid stretch of shank and a trim, tapering stem to a supple, squat bowl. Said bowl stands atop a muscular heel and takes on a gentle forward cant as it grows upward, expanding outward toward a high-set waistline that's marked with a pair of crisp beadlines, these lines additionally denoting a domed taper to the rim. The shank and stem combination starts its travel out at the wide transition, leaving plenty of room to drape a thumb, with the shank taking on a slight bit of taper toward its end that's then accelerated by the stem's swift diminution. As a result, the presence of the bowl is emphasized, while maintaining balanced proportions through the stummel.

The finish of this piece is nothing short of stunning, dressing the briar in a light, natural stain that unveils some incredible grain, with flickering flame pushing through the shank and enshrouding the bowl. The underside and rim are populated with pinpricks of birdseye, and the stem provides a lovely contrast to the stummel's dressing, the warm tones of its cumberland making for a composition that continually draws the eye. A fantastic display of Jens' talent, this Billiard is sure to make a valued piece in any collection of fine artisan pipes, especially those with a focus on compact, muscular examples of the Danish style.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.32 in./109.73 mm.
  • Weight: 1.60 oz./45.36 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.43 in./36.32 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.13 in./28.70 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.72 in./18.29 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.69 in./42.93 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Rhodesian
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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