The History of Danish Pipes


by Jakob Groth (DK) - adapted and illustrated by Jrg Lehmann
With kind permission


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The workshop of Poul Rasmussen 

 Poul Rasmussen was perhaps the second pipemaker in Denmark as he was the foreman in Suhr's Pipe Work Shop after Sixten had left. In Suhr's a lot of pipes were repaired! Later on Rasmussen established his own work shop in Hornemannsgade. 

Picture: Anne Julie

When Poul Rasmussen died from a weak heart in 1967 one of his pupils wrote: "His biggest importance for the future of Danish handmade pipes is that from his workshop has come many of our most skilled pipe artists, who can thank Poul Rasmussen for there knowledge and ability. They now work individually on the basis he created." Some names to be mentioned from this school are Emil Chonowitsch (father of Jess), Bjorn Bengtson, Tom Eltang and of course, Anne Julie, widow of Poul Rasmussen. Some characteristics for this work shop: many classic shapes, not so far away from the factory shapes, often rather slim or slender shapes with "tight" lines. It is in this school that the so called "laboratory" or "chemical" stain is used, though "invented" by Sixten, resulting in a very contrasted grain on many pipes. 



 The workshop of W..Larsen 

 W..Larsen is Denmark's oldest and probably the most famous pipe and tobacco Store, placed in the center of Copenhagen on the main pedestrian street, Stroget. If you visit Copenhagen and do a "pipe crawl" this Store is a must. In the beginning of the 60's the Store had begun to sell Danish handmade pipes, especially from Poul Rasmussen. This went very well and Poul Rasmussen could not keep up with the demand. W..Larsen - with their dynamic business manager Svend Bang (he later started in business for himself) - decided to establish their own workshop in rooms next to the Store.

  The first manager of the pipe shop was Sven Knudsen, but he soon left to make pipes under his own name. The next manager was Hans Nielsen, also known as "Former" (named after the late British actor George Formby, with whom he had some similarity. By coincidence in Danish Former means Shapes). Under the management of Former the workshop grew and W..Larsen pipes became a very good name abroad. Among the prominent pipemakers educated here were: Else Larsen (Denmark's first female pipemaker), Poul Ilsted, Ph. Vigen, Teddy Knudsen, Tonni Nielsen, Peter Hedegaard

 Typical for the W..Larsen School is the semi-classic shapes, that means classic shapes, but slightly different, often a little more full or round. The pipes often have lower point of gravity. A typical billard would have a bowl shaped more like a pear and the connection between the bowl and the shank would be clearly distinguished. Yellow and orange are colors more widely used for the finish




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Poul Rasmussen`s School




W.O. Larsen`s Workshop