The cover shows some tools and a pipe made by the talented Swedish carver Jungfru Sophia Isberg (1819 – 1875). She made pipes from a special kind of birch growing in the very northern part of the Scandinavian countries. The small statuette to the left is a self-portrait. These things are found in the City Museum of Motala, the town where Sophia spent most of her life. Recently, at an auction, Johan Hedborg found a pipe made by her and went to the museum to have it verified as a genuine Isberg product. And of course it was. A picture of that pipe and an article about his visit in Motala is found in this issue.
A new exclusive cigar and pipe shop, Mellgrens Tobak, was opened in Gothenburg shortly before Christmas. Of course we took part in the inauguration and give you a complete review of the event.
Two events took place in Stockholm at the end of last year. The Tobacco & Match Museum opened a new smoking room, furnished in an oriental style. That style was most popular for smoking rooms here in Sweden in the second part of the 19s century. The other event was that a new local pipe club was formed in our capital. We have a report from that club’s second meeting, which took place in the beginning of this year.
The pipe on the cover, with an exquisite blasting, was made by the pipemakers Vollmer & Nilsson. That pipe is part of a 7-days-set, a most unusual set as all the pipes are not only in the same shape but also in the same finish.
We start a new series of articles called “The Swedish Wonder”. 20 years ago pipe-making was about to die in Sweden, as there was only one active pipemaker left. And no one seemed willing to follow in his footsteps. But then, quite suddenly, something happened and one new pipemaker after another entered the scene. So it is no exaggeration to call this evolution a wonder.
Many of the new pipemakers were presented in our magazine when they started making pipes, but since then our readers may not have heard very much about them. So in a series of articles we ask and answer the question: “What happened then?” We start this tour with two pipemakers living in the city of Halmstad, Lars-Göran “Gurra” Markunger and Jonas Rosengren.
The cover shows a sign used by a clay pipemaker in Gouda, Holland, in the 18s century and an article in the magazine tells us more about it. Inspired by this picture our Viking, Sven Tveshag, has change his usual bent for a long-stemmed clay pipe.
The annual Danish Championship took place on the 18s of March and a veteran in the field, Jan Lærkeborg, became the champion and this was his second victory. The last time he won was in 1999. Eight members from our club took part in the competition and the best result was achieved by Bengt Carlson, who ended as number 20 among 109 participants.
The book Scandinavian Pipemakers was released at a party in Tom Eltang’s workshop on the 13s of April. Invited were the pipemakers pictured in the book and some other guests. We were glad to find that more than 30 pipemakers took part in the event. A lot of pictures from it can be seen in this issue. The edition released at this party is limited and numbered and only for sale within the Nordic countries. An international edition is published by Briar Books Press and was released at the international pipe show in Chicago in the beginning of May.
So far Heinrich Leopold Jensen is not very well known internationally, but he is selling quite a lot of pipes in Denmark and Sweden. With the high quality of the handicraft and his sense of design we are sure that a lot more will be heard about him in the future. We bring you a presentation of him and his work.
The cover shows some pipes in a series called “Julpipor” (X-mas pipes) made by the pipemakers Bengt Carlson and Sara and Love Geiger. The pipes were ordered by Quality Briar in the USA and in an article Bengt tells us all about how the came true.
Annually our club is arranging a pipe auction and last year this auction took place in the beginning of November in Malmö and we can show you some pictures from that event. As told in earlier issues of our magazine, we have had a lottery among our members for the Jubilee pipe that last year was made by nine Swedish pipemakers. The draw in that lottery took place at said auction and we are happy to show a picture of the lucky winner, Bengt Fahlstedt, enjoying his first smoke in that very special pipe.
One of our members, Percy Eriksson, spends a month now and then in China – not curious as he is married to a Chinese woman. In an illustrated article he gives us an initiated picture from that large country and the situation for pipe-smokers there (and how difficult it may be to find ordinary pipe cleaners!).
The well-known pipe brands Hilson and Big Ben are made by Gubbels pipe factory in Roermond, Holland. Last year, when the World Cup in pipe-smoking was arranged in Holland, two of our members, Mikael Petersson and Sten Klang, met the manager of that factory and were invited for a visit. A report with many pictures is found in this issue.
Lars Jönsson is a passionate sailor and actually that interest made him a pipemaker. During a sailing tour in 1998 he decided to spend the night in Taarbeck on Zealand. In the evening he went to a restaurant, located close to the harbor, where he met a cheerful and talkative Dane. The two were sitting in the restaurant for several hours, and when Lars heard that his new friend was a pipemaker, he was surprised—he did not even know that any existed today. As Lars had been working with wood all his life, his interest was awakened. The two decided to meet the following morning so that Lars could see his friend’s workshop, which was situated close to the harbor. That workshop belonged to Tom Eltang.
The following morning Lars arrived at Eltang’s workshop and was fascinated by the beautiful things Tom created. A new world opened before his eyes, but at the time he had no idea that, one day, he would be a part of that world.
Assens is a small Danish town on the island of Funen and has a long history of tobacco-manufacturing. In 1864 a tobacco factory was founded in the central part of the town, housed in a building that is now a museum. In 1991 a new factory was built, and that factory is not only the biggest but also the most modern factory in the world for pipe tobacco. And today it is a center for pipes too. The new manager of Stanwell, Frank Holst Christoffersen, has his office here and here are the Stanwell pipes stored and get the final inspection on their way from the factory in Italy to retailers around the globe.
We visited Orlik Tobacco Company last October and spent a thrilling day there. First we visited the section of the factory, where the blends in the series My Own Blend are made. All tobacco in this series is blended by hand and the register of customers’ blends has passed 45,000 by now. And the blender Lasse Berg made a new blend for our club, called SP 3.
The department for My Own Blend may be called a tobacco factory in miniature, but the rest of the factory certainly is not. We started our tour in the gigantic store room, where 5,800 tons of tobacco are landed every year. All tobacco here was in bales with one exception, Perique from Louisiana that was fermenting in big barrels. A lot of pictures showing the process are found in this issue.