Canadians, Lovats, Lumbermans, and Liverpools... they're all (typically) long-shanked variations of the timeless Billiard. Though they can be rendered in any scale, their often elongated shanks make for a striking profile while offering some pretty functional perks, too. That extra length lent to the shank means more absorbent briar between the burning leaf and your lips — resulting in a cooler, drier smoke. But how do you tell the difference between them?
The key lies in the style of shank and stem:
Probably the most common configuration in this range of shapes, the Canadian is a classic design featured across a range of styles and schools. What sets the Canadian apart from its siblings is its combination of oval shank and tapered stem. While there have been more compact, scaled down versions of this design, the Canadian is usually known for its elongated, streamlined silhouette.
Similar to the Canadian, the Lumberman also features an oval shank, yet it differs in its stem configuration. Where the Canadian sports a tapered bit, the Lumberman switches things up with an abbreviated saddle stem. It's one of the lesser seen combinations in the range and can be scaled up or down depending on the style or school.
With its rounded shank and saddle stem, the Lovat is the furthest shape from the classic Canadian in this range of designs. Fittingly, that's exactly how many modern marques handle the design as well, trading the Canadian's lengthy shank for a charming, compact, sawed-off aesthetic.
Not a shape you come across everyday, the Liverpool usually features an elongated, rounded shank set to an abbreviated tapered stem. Just in their streamlined, lengthy silhouettes, it's probably the closest design to the traditional Canadian — just rounded at the shank, rather than oval.
Of course, there are other factors that play into these distinctions as well. Traditionally, for example, the length of the shank comparative to the bowl height was also taken into account when assigning shape names to these designs, but this has fallen out of practice in recent years in large part due to the artisanal pipe movement. Carvers are constantly reinventing and reinterpreting these classics, scaling them up and down to fit their respective styles. The shank and stem style, however, are always preserved — meaning as long as you've got this guide, you'll be able to pick out a Lumberman from a Lovat any day.
Looking for one of these designs? Check out our Pipe Locator Tool to find the perfect one for you. Have a favorite Billiard-based shape? Feel free to share in the comments section below!