Tao: Sandblasted Billiard with Horn Stem Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-748-0056

Jens "Tao" Nielsen's first love was the sea. As a young adult, Tao was a sailor, journeying to many ports around the world and experiencing a wide variety of cultures. After his mandatory Danish military service, he figured he would return to sailing, but his plans changed when he met his now wife. Tao decided to stay in Copenhagen and got a job on the world-famous Strøget street working for a tobacconist. There he developed a relationship with many legendary Danish pipe makers, including Erik Nørding, who offered him an apprenticeship at his workshop. After several years of learning the craft under the likes of Nørding and Poul Ilsted, Tao set out on his own. In his early years, he fashioned many large pipes, but as he grew older, Tao embraced compact pipes, copying the aesthetic of functional pocket pipes he witnessed his fellow sailors smoke years ago. Today, Tao is best known for his traditional shapes such as Billiards, Apples, and Bulldogs, which are lauded for their precise, classic proportions. Additionally, many of his pipes feature colorful stems and silver accents, which make fine partners to the exquisite grain every Tao pipe showcases.

This Billiard by Tao is a Nosewarmer rendition of the classic shape. The bowl possesses an upright posture, and its plump waistline lends the fore a robust feel in-hand. Furthermore, the towering walls showcase a pronounced taper to the rim, giving the bowl a Brandy-esque look, which gives the profile an understated elegance. Additionally, the underside of the bowl is flattened, allowing this bowl to sit stably and manifesting a streamlined profile. Out back, the trim shank is proportionally shorter than is traditional for a Billiard, cementing the bowl-centric aesthetic of this muscular composition. Out back, Tao has gone old-school with the stem, fashioning it out of horn that showcases an array of variegated black, brown, and cream hues. The varied tones of the horn stem make a fine complement for the chocolate-stained sandblast on the stummel, which highlights undulating growth rings and streaky flame grain in exceptional detail. This Nosewarmer shows Tao's exquisite talent for blending sturdy proportions with a subdued elegance, all in a streamlined form.

--Zach Podl
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.35 in./110.49 mm.
  • Weight: 1.38 oz./39.01 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.82 in./46.23 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.56 in./39.62 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.71 in./18.03 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.
  • Stem Material: Horn
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Billiard
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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