In early 2006 I obtained this fine pipe carved by one of the two owners and manufacturers of the very famous Danish pipe shop S. Bang: Ulf Noltensmeier or Per Hansen. It is a lathe turned half sandblast that shows the briars wonderful straight grain beneath the rings of the sandblast which are actually growth rings formed as the briar grows beneath the Earth. The slanted rim of the pipe is smooth and sports a glorious birds eye pattern all the way around the entire top of the bowl, truly a work of art. Where the shank meets the stem is a wonderful sterling silver band and the German Vulcanite stem is perfectly cut making the bit extraordinarily comfortable to hold between the teeth.
It is no easy feat to describe this fancy and fascination that holds me transfixed as I smoke this wonderful pipe to the non pipe smoker, not even an avid cigar smoker can even understand, it is one of what I consider to be a rare and truly joyous experiences that I wish that I could share with the world. Einstein said: “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment of all human affairs…” I don’t believe that were I to live to see one hundred years old I could in the time from now and then put it better. Pipe smoking just is.
The blend that I am smoking in this wonderful wonderful pipe is manufactured by Peter Stokkebye and is called Luxury Bulleye Flake, a mixture of Virginia, Perique, and black Cavendish- it is phenomenal- the perfect combination of pipe and tobacco this evening, though I’m sure that I would have no difficulty finding a dozen friends of mine who have heard me make that exact statement on more than as many occasions, which reminds me of somthing I said this past May at the Chicago Pipe Show in Pheasant Run. I was sitting in the bar with my good friend Aziz Panjwani, Hans Nielsen (pipe maker who I consider to be the best in the world), and Gerard (Hans’s Distributor in North America), and I made the offhand and apparently unexpected statement that I won’t be buying any more pipes this year- Hans and Aziz both were taking sips of their drinks at the time and both of them sprayed their drinks up at me, Hans had a huge grin on his face and Aziz said with a smile, “Like I haven’t heard that from you before!”
A priceless moment in time…
Ahh yes, the perfect end to a perfect evening; but Aziz was right, I bought more pipes this year.