Jess Chonowitsch (2004)


Jess Chonowitsch, born 1947 in Copenhagen, started his career as a pipe maker in 1965 at the workshop of Poul Rasmussen. Originally he had  started a study of veterinary medicine and reached to pipe making actually by a side job. Jess is the son of Emil Chonowitsch who has become also a very well known carver. Emil Chonowitsch start to study pipe making at Poul Rasmussen´s place only a couple of moths before Jess starts. In this meaning, father and son Chonowitsch weren't  (related to pipe making) in a comparable "teacher - pupil" relationship like Sixten and Lars Ivarsson. Both, Jess and Emil Chonowitsch developed respectively a very personal style. After Rasmussen's early death Jess Chonowitsch helped to sustain the workshop business. He continues his studies at Sixten Ivarsson later. He made himself independent in 1969.


Jess Chonowitsch belongs to the most popular pipe makers of the world, approximately comparable with Lars Ivarsson today. His pipes are particularly popular in the USA. Jess is quite experimenting joyful. Although Jess prefers personally shorter, stout pipes, his pipes are diversified stylistically very broadly.

Many Jess-pipes are very typical but sometimes it is not so easy to identify a particular pipe as a "Jess". Helpful may be,  that,  at pipes with saddle stems, the saddle ends very briefly behind the shank . Jess uses, moreover, a broad pallet of decorating materials.

The pipes of Jess Chonowitsch are considerably different from Emil´s pipes regarding the stamp. Jess used a circulates round stamp: "Chonowitsch Denmark". At earlier pipes, the first name, Jess, was stamped separately below the circle in capital letters. There was a number code joined, informing about the the year of production and the number of the pipe, like the stamp known of Lars Ivarsson. Current pipes showing "Jess" in the middle of the round stamp now. There no grading. Top pieces are stamped with a "pigeon" sign, also shown on the  leather pouches.

Another unusual feature with Jess Chonowitsch are pipes stamped as "Standard Shape". These are beautiful pipes in a rather classic manner. There are various discussions whether Jess Chonowitsch is still involved into the production of these pipes. They are less popular in collector circles although they have very good smoking qualities.

The pipe prices of Jess Chonowitsch are really high, also compared with other well-known pipe makers. Rustcated or blast pipes starting approximately at 1.000. €, smooth pipes in the dark finish at 1.500. € up to smooth, bright pipes for 2.500. €. Because of the high price and an annual production of approx. 200 pipes Jess Chonowitsch pipes aren't rare at all. At the moment, a highly respected Swiss specialist dealer offers 13 sand-blasted and 15 smooth models. (2/2004) at his web-site. All are very beautiful!

 I gratefully ackknowledge the assistance of Uli Wöhrle (D), Per Billhäll (SE) und Jakob Groth (DK) 

Any copying, publication or reproduction of the papers and / or pictures published herein in printed or electronic media is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of these pages' owner. (c) Pipendoge, 2009


Pictures from an old
Japanese Pipe Book (1978)


Three beautiful freehand shapes



Blasted pipe with ploshed rim of the bowl
and short saddle-stem