The design is functional, as unwanted moisture from the tobacco is drawn out of the bowl and into the base of the pipe, where it will not reach the mouth of the smoker. The “foot” is adorned with a removable cap that allows trapped moisture to be released, and the draught hole to be easily cleaned. Not a pipe to be clenched in the mouth, the Cavalier is best smoked at home, where one can fully appreciate the nature of its design.
The Cherrywood is one of the few shapes that is always a “sitter,” having a flat bottom. While it is technically a sub-style of the Poker shape, over the years pipe makers have forced its evolution to its current-day appearance, which while still bearing some visual similarities to its parent the Poker, is often quite elegant in spite of its fortitude. The Cherrywood is another thick-walled pipe, more often than not, which when added to the convenience of it sitting on its own behind, makes it a wonderful pipe to smoke while enjoying a strong beverage, reading a newspaper, or other such activities that occupy the use of one’s hands. Cherrywood pipes are typified by their sitting position, which contrary to the upright Poker, is at an an angle, causing the bowl to lean forward. Its bowl is shaped almost like that of a tree trunk, often cylindrical, but sometimes with a slight to significant outward taper from heel to rim. In recent examples, it is not uncommon to see some asymmetry in the bowl which offers an organic aesthetic befitting of the name Cherrywood. The shank exits the pipe on the lower half of the bowl, and can be made straight or with an upward bend. The stem is bent in the opposite direction of the shank, which atop the shank not only helps to achieve a proper balance when the pipe is seated, but also takes an appearance much like that of a gnarled tree limb, further adding to the suitability of its title. This shape may originally have been a popular choice for “basket” pipes made of cherry wood, which some say is the the origin of the name.
Let’s cut right to the chase here; you can fit a lot of tobacco in this one. A Chimney is perfect for those nights after a long, bad day at the shop or office, when you need a good hour or more to regain your sanity and composure. The Chimney is a taller derivative of the Billiard. Not too commonly found, Chimneys are usually produced by artisans, not factories, since they are in short demand. A Chimney bowl should be about about 50% taller than that of its classic Billiard counterpart. The diameter of the bowl remains the same for the most part, as do the lengths of the shank and stem. Any and all colors and finishes that can be found for the Billiard suit the Chimney just the same! Wildly popular today, thanks to the Lord of the Rings series of films, the Churchwarden’s actual origin dates back to well before Tolkien’s masterpiece was scribed. Churchwarden pipes had their debut in Europe thanks to the Austrian light cavalry who brought them to England and France during the Napoleonic Wars. One of the primary advantages (and indeed the defining feature) of the Churchwarden is the distance between the bowl and the bit. Churchwardens are very long on account of stems that reach nine inches in length or more. The smoke must travel this great distance, and so it has more time and surface area in which to cool, resulting in what many consider to be a more pleasurable smoke. This advantage, however, is met by its respective drawbacks. Churchwardens are notoriously inconvenient to carry around, and their small bowls only allow for a brief smoke. In the proper setting, however, all these drawbacks are quite easily forgotten. Since Churchwardens are defined by the stem length rather than the bowl shape, their bowls can theoretically assume any shape. We challenge you, however, to show us an experienced pipe maker who would dangle an Oom paul or a Volcano off the end of a slender 9” stem. Prince, Dublin, and Cutty-style Churchwardens are much more sensible. Churchwardens have also been called “reading pipes,” since the extended length prevents the bowl from obstructing a reader’s view. There is no denying the resemblance that the Cutty bears to the clay tavern pipes of a bygone age. Delicately shaped, Cutty’s typically have not an ounce of excess briar left in place. This delicacy of shaping necessitates the use of a special drill bit for the tobacco chamber, which tapers even more drastically than a Danish conical bit, and comes to a sharp point at its tip. A special honor is paid to this pipe, in that this type of conical bit is now called the “cutty bit”. Many Cuttys still include the “spur” at the foot of the bowl, once again hearkening back to their clay ancestors, but while the spur of a clay pipe was the remnant of the manufacturing process, the briar versions are purely nostalgic. The bowl of the Cutty is heavily canted forward, which helps differentiate it from other long-shanked pipes like the Canadian. The Cutty may sometimes display a very unique stem, which is slim, slender, and round (almost like a straw).
However, the majority of modern Cuttys now sport a tapered stem, and come in many finishes. We’d like to contest that this was Daniel O’Connell’s favorite pipe, and that he was known to slowly pace the Liffey, puffing thoughtfully on his little charred Dublin, only stopping if to greet another passing Irishman. There is no evidence to support this claim, so I say we start the rumor! What we know for certain about the Dublin is that it is much like a Billiard in proportions and measurements, but with walls that taper gently and evenly from a wider rim down to a narrow heel. Up top, the rim is usually flat, but Dublins can be found with a beveled rim as well. Smooth finishes are by far the most common, since the vertical walls of this pipe make a wonderful showcase for straight grain, as does the relatively wide rim for birdseye. They usually wear a tapered stem, though saddle stems are also seen. Dublins can range from straight to 3/4 bent, and just about any color or finish is more than fitting for this timeless pipe. One of many pipes which finds its inspiration in an object of similar shape, the Egg is not only beautiful to behold, it is one of the most comfortable in the hand, sitting perfectly in one’s palm. A well done Egg (pun intended) can be regarded as art, and surely countless have made their way onto the shelves of high-end pipe collectors.
The Egg’s bowl is usually about the size of, what else, a large hen’s egg, and is most often seen canted forward a few degrees. The transition between bowl and shank is arguably the most graceful to be found on any of the standard pipe shapes.