Tao: Sandblasted Apple with Bamboo and Horn Stem Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-748-0064

An artisan pipe maker in Svendborg, Denmark, Jens "Tao" Nielsen first entered the world of pipes as an assistant at Wilhelm Jørgensen's tobacco shop located on Copenhagen's famous Strøget street — the same street that once featured Sixten Ivarsson's, S. Bang's, and W.Ø. Larsen's workshops. Through Nielsen's several years of selling pipes, he met Erik Nørding, who offered him an apprenticeship learning how to actually make pipes instead of merely selling them. Nielsen worked under Nørding for two years, honing the fundamentals of the craft before encountering Poul Ilsted, and the duo of Nielsen and Ilsted established their own pipe-making workshop. They acquired an old, abandoned pipe factory in Svendborg, and in 1970 began fashiong pipes under the Svendborg name. At the workshop's height, it employed 17 people, but eventually closed when Ilsted and Nielsen decided to fashion pipes under their individual names, having established the requisite skills to make artisan pipes. Today, Tao continues to craft premium smoking instruments, entirely handmade and with aesthetics often informed by his years a sailor: stout, compact designs primed for practicality and lacking nothing in regards to aesthetic beauty.

Fitting well into Tao's conventional style, this Nosewarmer Apple measures less than five inches in length, yet is marked by stout muscularity throughout. The bowl displays a Pot-like stance but with rounded walls, and it leads into a shank elongated by a matching accent of robust bamboo. A brindled vulcanite cap terminates the shank before introducing a hand-cut stem of genuine horn. Such a material choice hearkens back to the early years of briar pipe making in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when horn was commonly used for pipe mouthpieces. The dual tones of the horn emulate the brindled texture of the vulcanite accent, and the bamboo offers handsome contrast against the dark-stained bowl, whose sandblast reveals a crisp, intersecting array of vertical grain and growth rings.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 4.87 in./123.70 mm.
  • Weight: 1.20 oz./34.02 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.52 in./38.61 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.41 in./35.81 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.59 in./40.39 mm.
  • Stem Material: Horn
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Apple
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Denmark
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