Hans Former Nielsen Smooth Swan Estate Briar Pipe, Danish Estates


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A pioneer and undisputed master of Danish artisan pipe-making, Hans ‘Former’ Nielsen began his career, aged 15, repairing pipes for Poul Rasmussen at Suhr’s Pibemageri. Later, Former was referred to the W.O. Larsen workshop by Rasmussen, where – after an examination by Sven Knudsen, who had designed many early Larsen models – he was recruited as a fully-fledged pipe-maker. Within his 10 years at Larsen, Former rose to the rank of workshop supervisor, having his own apprentices of the likes of Teddy Knudsen and Tonni Nielsen. In the years since, Former’s primary output has been high-grade handmade pipes – with 2019 marking his 60th anniversary in the craft.

In English pipe-making, the ‘swan’ – or rather, the ‘swan-neck’ shape is well established, with Dunhill’s LC likely being the most popular example. But the Danes have their own idea of what a swan looks like. Or, rather, each of them has their own idea. This is one of Former’s swans; the bowl is tall and plump, with a constant curvature that sweeps from the front rim into the shank; it has an oval shank that allows for its side profile to be narrow and neck-like; and the pipe’s ebonite stem holds a gentle bend that gives a beak-like finishing touch to the design.

The condition is excellent. There’s some inner rim darkening and a little carbon build-up in the chamber, but the pipe was evidently well looked after by its consignor.



Length: 5.5″ / 139.7mm

Bowl Width: 0.80 / 20.32mm

Bowl Depth: 1.88″ / 47.75mm

Weight: 1.6oz / 48g

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Condition Used