Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine
  • The House of Pipes: Long gone, but not forgotten

    The House of Pipes: Long gone, but not forgotten

    by Ben Rapaport There are lots of House of Pipes tobacco stores in the USA, but I want to shine a light on the House of Pipes, a museum little-known outside of Britain that had a welcoming beginning, a tragic midlife and a denouement at public auction. Located in the sleepy village of Bramber, West […]

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  • Lars Ivarsson (1944-2018): A legend lives on

    Lars Ivarsson (1944-2018): A legend lives on

    by Rick Newcombe Lars Ivarsson was a master pipemaker from Denmark who changed the world of pipes forever. Sadly, he died at age 73 on Feb. 11, 2018, but his impact can be seen in the details of every new handmade pipe created by an artisan pipemaker, whether in the United States, Japan, China, Russia, […]

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  • Tim Thorpe’s drive for perfection

    Tim Thorpe’s drive for perfection

    by William Serad Imagine the friendly and homey aroma of Middleton Cherry Blend wafting from Dr. Grabows, Kaywoodies and meerschaums. Picture your father as the smoker, while in your mind’s eye you handle his pipes with a child’s interest and curiosity. Think too of the fond olfactory, visual and tactile memories being lodged in your […]

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  • Pipe math: Bringing perspective to the artisan pipe market

    Pipe math: Bringing perspective to the artisan pipe market

    by Scott Klein Of all the personality types I encounter shopping at pipe shows, one variety that sticks out conspicuously is the folks doing their pipe math. You see it at every show: A person will pick up a pipe and go immediately for the price tag. Granted, some are really just unaware of the […]

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  • 2017 China pipe show: A road report

    2017 China pipe show: A road report

    by Steve Morrisette The 2017 Chengde International Pipe Art Show (known in the trade simply as the China show) brought together top pipemakers from around the globe, mostly from Europe and central Asia, with only a few from the U.S. It is a highly organized, even orchestrated event that is invitation-only. The year 2017 marked […]

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In the current issue

Ismail Çelebi, keeping the meerschaum tradition alive

Ismail Çelebi, keeping the meerschaum tradition alive

Forty-nine-year-old Ismail Çelebi (pronounced ish-my-el che-le-bee) is something of a rare breed these days. Briar artisans are easy to find, but meerschaum carvers, not so much. Lately, just in the last year or two, stateside collectors of intricately carved block meerschaum pipes have been turning their attention to the beautiful pieces that Çelebi has offered, […]

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Fight for Christmas

Fight for Christmas

The Santa Claus, made of long red and white balloons twisted together, was probably 8 feet tall, and it stood in the middle of the atrium at the Mill River Public Library. Around it, tables offered the poorer children of Mill River a chance to decorate Christmas cookies, make a Christmas tree ornament out of […]

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Eighth annual North American Pipe Carving Contest

Eighth annual North American Pipe Carving Contest

It was a privilege to be allowed to sit quietly in the room, observing the three judges deliberating, and it was a revelation to see how systematically they approached their selections. The pipes were lined up from one end of a long conference table to the other. Deliberations began with each judge slowly walking the […]

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Dr. Bob Pipes: Physician crafted, physician approved

Dr. Bob Pipes: Physician crafted, physician approved

It is, let us say, uncommon to find a general-practice physician crafting smoking pipes. Dr. Robert Kiess is not bashful in his disdain for the anti-smokers’ insistence on conflating the hazards of cigarette smoking with the lofty and comparatively benign pastime of pipe smoking. Years ago he adopted the name “Dr. Bob” for his pipemaking […]

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A Peterson pilgrimage

A Peterson pilgrimage

The Irish have enacted some of the most draconian anti-smoking laws and highest tobacco taxes anywhere in the world. Yet that hasn’t slowed business at the flagship Peterson shop on bustling Nassau Street in Dublin, where sales volumes reach heights that most tobacco merchants elsewhere can only dream about. Considering its massive wallmounted displays of […]

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The blender's notebook: Latakia

The blender’s notebook: Latakia

In the coming issues, Pipes and tobaccos magazine will be talking to some of the world’s top pipe tobacco blenders about how they do their jobs and create the blends that we all know and love. For the premiere installment, Mary McNiel of McClelland Tobacco Company; Mark Ryan of Daughters & Ryan; Russ Ouellette of […]

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Other stories

Wehrmacht tobacco pipes

Wehrmacht tobacco pipes

In just about every war, governments have regarded tobacco for those in uniform important for morale. At least as far back as the mid-1800s, one particular keepsake of war has become a desirable collectible: the tobacco pipe. Three, chronologically, come to mind: the soldier-carved wood pipes of the American Civil War, the German porcelain Reservistenpfeife […]

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Master of Pipes

Master of Pipes

It happens every year in May at the Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show. For two decades, the Doctor of Pipes awards have been conferred at the show, one every year in each of two categories: trade and hobby—that is, two awards are given out, one for a private individual who has advanced the hobby […]

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Smoking guitars

Smoking guitars

From his Wisconsin workshop, artisan Joe Nelson divides his time between pipes and stringed instruments by H. Lee Murphy The best craftsmen, it is said, are singularly focused on their work, often to the point of obsession. The furniture maker will search lumber yards all over for just the right piece of maple for the […]

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In search of Steve Norse

In search of Steve Norse

Can the owner of pipemaker supply company Vermont Freehand find time to make pipes himself? by William C. Nelson If you’re to stand any chance of finding pipeman Steve Norse—of being able to observe him up close where he lives and works—you really have to take a winding road. Dorset, Vermont, is, to understate the […]

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Pipes alive in London

Pipes alive in London

The smoking scene in London: Dunhill, briar clubs and smoking terraces by H. Lee Murphy Phillip Shervington, a sales manager at the revered James J. Fox tobacconist on St James’s Street in London, has been selling pipes in the neighborhood for more than half a century. “When I started here in the early 1960s there […]

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Scottish survivor

Scottish survivor

The Pipe Shop in Edinburgh defies EU anti-smoking forces by H. Lee Murphy Anybody disillusioned by the decline in tobacconists around the U.S. ought to be glad he’s not living in the United Kingdom. There, in the cradle of pipemaking and pipe smoking—think Dunhill and Barling and Sherlock Holmes—retail tobacco is in perilous free fall […]

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Other Recent Articles

Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire takes its first look at the Holger Danske brand—Danish-style tobaccos from the pros at Germany’s Planta Tabak. The blends might be a little hard to find but might also be worth the quest. G.L. Pease’s tobaccos are certainly well-known commodities, but we thought it was time to provide our take on two […]

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Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion

“Smoke the hell out of it.” This was the advice given to me when I was just a briar sprout, challenged with an old Charatan Relief Grain bulldog that wasn’t delivering the goods. It’s not that it tasted bad; it didn’t. Though the pipe was fairly old, it hadn’t been smoked much, and it was […]

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Editor’s Desk

Editor’s Desk

I had the best of intentions for this editorial. I had planned to spend International Pipe Smoking Day driving the streets and byways of my home county pursuing a journalistic quest—a search for pipe smokers in the wild. I had a route all planned, including mall parking lots, smoking areas just outside the jurisdictions of […]

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Confessions of a rookie pipe smoker

by Brian Ledtke [Editor’s note: Experienced pipe smokers sometimes forget what it was like when we first tried to light up. It can be nostalgic watching a newbie learning the ropes. It can be a bit humorous, too.] “It is exciting to be on this journey, and I am very thankful to Cliff for helping […]

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Editor’s desk: The more things change…

I’ve had weeks to think about how to approach this commentary, and I still hardly know what to say. I also realize a lot of you hardly know what to expect. For two decades, Chuck Stanion’s incomparable editorials filled this space, and his wisdom poured unsparingly into every page of this magazine. How can I […]

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Trial by fire

The reality of today’s pipe tobacco world is that few new blends are appearing, numerous blends are disappearing, and many fabulous tobaccos are out of stock as everyone has been stocking up in anticipation of changing laws (which may or may not happen). We enjoyed the opportunity to visit a few classic and available selections […]

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Spontaneous combustion

I recently attended the Kansas City pipe show. There is one thing that every single person who walks through the doors of a pipe show has in common with every other person, and that is a passion for and devotion to pipes and tobaccos. No one who goes to a show needs another pipe, or […]

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Metallica! Not the heavy metal band … heavy metal pipes!

Metallica! Not the heavy metal band … heavy metal pipes!

According to Warman’s Antiques and Their Prices (1991) “… the collecting of antique pipes is an amorphous, maligned and misunderstood hobby.” Not quite accurate, but what is fact is that collectors of antique pipes are fortunate. They have lots of choices, from ceramic, clay, block and pressed meerschaum, porcelain, and wood, to the more esoteric […]

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Pipemaking as therapy

Pipemaking as therapy

Worcester, Massachusetts, a traditional New England mill town in the central part of the state, lies just outside the reach of Boston’s grasping western fringes. Worcester proper, home to some 185,000 souls, is the second-largest city in New England, after only Boston— a fact that is easy to overlook, given the town’s placement in the […]

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Marooned in his art

Marooned in his art

Steve Morrisette is surely one of the most recognizable figures at the pipe shows. You will find his 6-foot frame, a silver-bearded countenance peering from beneath a fedora, stalking rows of vendor tables, dressed as if for a board meeting, camera in hand— on the whole, a most photogenic and distinguished-looking fellow, snapping shots of […]

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