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Stanwell Article from smokingpipes.com
Courtesy of Smokingpipes.com
When pipe smokers talk about pipes that are consistently great smokers, exhibit the creative and beautiful designs that exemplify Danish pipemaking and offer the best value in factory produced pipes, they are talking about Stanwell. We hear time and time again, from customers and top pipe makers from around the world, that Stanwell is the best factory produced pipe in the world. Stanwell maintains the most modern pipe making facility in the world and for many years has enjoyed some unique relationships with many legendary Danish pipe makers. In fact, Stanwell occupies a pivotal place in the history of the world-wide popularity of Danish-made pipes. During WWII, Danish pipe smokers could no longer buy the English made briar pipes they preferred to smoke. In 1942, because of the unavailability of English pipes and raw briar, Poul Nielsen began making pipes from beech wood for Danish customers. At the time, Poul was managing a company called Kyringe, which made various wood products.
At the end of the war, briar became available again, so Nielsen began importing his own briar and started making briar pipes to compete with the English manufacturers. It must be remembered that in 1948, England was the single great center for pipe making. Therefore, Nielsen changed the name of his pipes to "Stanwell", which sounded much more like a proper English name than "Nielsen". He also created the horse drawn carriage logo for its English connotations. He later changed his own last name from Nielsen to Stanwell, a testament to his devotion to the pipes he made. Stanwell's relationships with Danish pipe makers goes back to Sixten Ivarsson, who is considered the originator of modern Danish pipe making. Ivarsson was commissioned to design Stanwell shapes. In 1969, the factory was moved a town called Borup, just outside of Copenhagen to be closer to Ivarsson.
Stanwell revolutionized the pipe world with his new factory; until its debut, very few pipes were exported from Denmark. It was the Stanwell factory that first began mass exportation of Danish pipes and first whetted the appetites of Americans and Germans for the Danish pipe. Today Stanwell produces around 300,000 pipes annually. Stanwell relies on designs from the great Danish pipe makers, from Sixten Ivarsson to Jess Chonowitsch from which they create their hundreds of shapes. Since most sandblasting for Danish pipemakers is done at the Stanwell factory (Stanwell has a reputation for excellence in sandblasting that is used by many, many Danish carvers from Poul Winslow to Jess Chonowitsch), many of the pipes that they sandblast are then observed and used as starting points for Stanwell shapes with the consent of the original carvers. This interesting and unusual symbiotic relationship gives Stanwell the opportunity to offer hundreds of unusual and interesting shapes at an affordable price.
Once a new shape is established and hand carved, it is then reproduced using a lathe. Following the initial carving of the pipe which is done by machine, all other processes are done by hand, from the final sanding and staining to the application of the wax finish. There are approximately 120 manual steps to Stanwell's pipe making process. The Stanwell factory is arguably the most efficient pipe operation in the world. It is this efficiency that has made Stanwell so remarkably price competitive and able to offer pieces of superior quality to those created by other large factories.
Essentially the goal of Stanwell is, and always has been, to produce high quality pipes at a price that is truly within the reach of the common man. In this they have succeeded admirably, offering perhaps more pipe for the money than any other pipe manufacturer in their price range. Stanwell pipe offers exceptional quality at a remarkably affordable price. Today it often seems that there are few options in between low cost, very low quality pipes and the handmade pipes that fetch hundreds of dollars. Stanwell manages to fill this void commendably by offering pipes close to the quality of the handmade with prices that are only slightly higher than drug store pipes.
Stanwell pipes are a must for any pipe collection. The Stanwell name is a cornerstone of Danish pipe making. In owning a Stanwell, you will not only enjoy beautifully styled, great smoking pipe at a great price, you will own a piece of pipe making history.
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The following photographs of older Stanwell pipes were contributed by Yuriy Novikov. He reports they were purchased from a Danish collector:
- STANWELL 1. 50-60
- STANWELL 2. 60-70
- STANWELL 3. 60-70
- STANWELL 4. 1970
- STANWELL 5.
- STANWELL 6. 9 mm
- STANWELL 7. 9 mm
- STANWELL 8.
- STANWELL 9.
- STANWELL 10.
- STANWELL 11. 1942 -1992
- STANWELL 12.
- STANWELL 13. 2008 9 mm
- STANWELL 14.
- STANWELL 15. Filter 9 mm
- STANWELL 16.
Sub-brands / Seconds
- Bijou (discontinued)
- Danish Quaint
- Danish Sovereign
- Danske Club
- Henley (discontinued)
- Kong Christian (discontinued)
- Reddish (discontinued)
- Royal Danish
- Royal Guard
- Royal Sovereign
- Sailor (discontinued)
- Sorn (discontinued)
Off site Links
- The Pipesmokersforum S-T-P A German Forum with an excellent database of Stanwell shapes.
Dating of Stanwells Plus Pricing:
De Luxe, polished 30.00 DKK.De Luxe, sandblast 30.00 DKK.Old Briar, polished 22.50 DKK.
Pricing Information from 1971:
De Luxe, (smooth walnut brown and black sandblasted finish) $8.25 USRoyal Briar, (smooth walnut, black and sandblasted) $10.80 USHand Made, (smooth walnut, brown and black sandblasted) $13.60 USHand Made Oil, (smooth light walnut oil finish) $13.60 USHand Made Bark, (extra selected, natural briar bark on the rim, $13.60 USfinish like hand made)Giant Sandblast, (also brown sandblasted) $16.90 USFlame Grain, (extra selected grain, flawless, smooth, light) $17.60 USFlame Grain Bark, (extra selected grain, natural bark rim, smooth light $17.60 USWalnut only)Silhouette, (smooth black finish with ivory ring) $18.25 USGiant, (walnut, smooth finish) $20.75 USPrestige, (flawless perfect grain, only smooth, golden finish) $26.00 USPrestige Giant, (flawless perfect grain, only smooth golden finish) $34.00 US
Pricing on top models – mid to late 1980s
Hand Cut – smooth 1500 DKK.- blast 1200 DKK.Silver S 600 DKK.Golden Contrast 600 DKK.
More Recent Grading (through to mid 1990s):Hand Cut:
This line of Stanwells was manufactured in the early to mid 1980s and was part of their “Specialty” line.They were priced approximately 2.5 times more than the top-of-the-line
series. What sets these pipes apart from the
series is that the mouthpieces were made of Cumberland rod. Not only that but, the mouthpieces were hand-cut by the likes of Tom Eltang, Peter Hedegaard, Jess Chonowitsch, etc.,the handmakers, for each individual pipe in their own shop. The
series was available in bothsmooth and a blast finish. The underneath of the stem is stamped “handcut”; the stem carries the Stanwellcrown over S logo in brass. The shank is stamped “Stanwell” over “Made in Denmark”. It should be notedthat none of these pipes had a Stanwell shape number stamped on the shank, as is the Stanwell tradition
Do you remember the Silver S - Stanwell's very finest line until they were discontinued some 10 years ago. No nonsense pipes with great wood and an almost natural virgin finish. And obviously fitted with thefamous silver S in the stem.
An old series. The blocks are cut on the cross grain. The pipes from this series exhibit Birds Eye grain only.Brass band and brass S in the stem. The pipes have a two-tone staining which really shows the beautiful
bird’s eye grain. However, this staining simply takes too much work so the series is discontinued. Bamboos in general:
All of the Stanwell Bamboos made during the 1970s were crafted by a Mr. Larsen.
He sometimes, inorder to unify bamboo and bowl-shape, gave the pipes a freehand touch. (Søren Lundh Aagaard,Managing Director, Stanwell – email of 08-05-16)
Bamboo is probably the best-known of Stanwell's pipes. The bamboo shank gives an extra dry smoke andwill darken when smoked. Good wood with excellent sandblasting or smooth with beautiful grain. Most of the smooth pipes are golden light brown and a few are darker brown
Bamboo Sandblast Brazilia Sandblast Brazilia SmoothGolden King Brass Band Smooth:
Brass Band is one of Stanwell's older series - fine pipes with deco of 2 brass rings separated with a ring of Cumberland, and brass S imbedded in the stem.The series is no longer made.
Brass Band Sandblast De Luxe Royal Prince Royal Danish Star Antique Freehand:
All Freehands were originally cut in factory by Poul Hansen. All Sixten Ivarsson designed shapes were cutin factory by Poul Hansen. (info from Jess Chonowitsch to Mike Glukler, Chicago, 1996
Free Style is the name we are using for individual pipes, either in shape or in finish, made by our internal pipemakers. During the year they are making a lot of experiments with finishes and rings etc.“When we don't need these samples any longer we sell them. We group them in 3 categories: A, B and C.A being the most expensive and C the least expensive”.(info rec’d from J.G., 05-11-21)
Additional notes from Jorgen Grundtvig Golden S:
This series was last produced in the mid to late 1970s. Its distinguishing mark was an 18 carat goldStanwell logo, crown and “S”, on the mouthpiece. (email 06-05-19)
This is a Stanwell 2
that was marketed only in the United States and Canada. This line has 3 “X”s, nomore, stamped on the mouthpiece. (email 06-05-19)
“An Ivarsson Product”:
Ivarsson shapes, especially when they were sold to Japan, were stamped in this way. Ivarsson had a verygood and special reputation in Japan. (email 06-05-19)
Pipes stamped with
and a year, are ones that were made for the Danish Pipe Smoking Championship.Pipes stamped with
and a year, are ones that were made for the Nordic/Scandinavian Pipe SmokingChampionship.Pipes stamped with
are ones that were made for the Frederikshavn Pipe Smoking Championship.
This series is comprised of the Rook, Queen, King and Bishop.The production of the Chess series was originally overseen by Johann Larsen. This job is now being done by Poul Winslow.
The Specialty Series is comprised of eleven different shapes: 162 Calabash byJess Chonowitsch; 163 Facet by Jess Chonowitsch; 164 Trio by Tom Eltang; 167 Omega by Jess Chonowitsch; 168 Golf by JessChonowitsch; 170 Rhodesian by Bang; 171 Hexagon by Jess Chonowitsch; 172 Viking by JessChonowitsch; 173 Rhodesian by Bang; 194 Facet; 198 Boa; 203 Diamond; 205 Lotus; 206 Lilje, Blowfish by Tom Eltang (no shape number0.
Information © and compiled by Basil D. Stevens2010-12-10