"Anton Manger was born as son of a farmer in Wollbach / Rhön. He was educated as a wood sculptor and turner. After the early death of his father, he had to take care first of the parental agriculture until his younger brother took over the farming. Throughout the war and postwar years, tobacco pipes were a scarce commodity. Manger began to repair pipes and going from that he developed the idea to establish a tobacco pipe fabrication. In multiyear work, he developed the necessary tools and machines and was able to start with the production in 1957. His goal was, to deliver good pipes at favorable prices. This stragety was obviously sucessful and the business developed well, so Manger could not complain about a lack of orders. The customers appreciate the value in use of his pipes. The offer extends from low-priced models to first-class handmade freehands.”
So far the kernel of information as found on the www.
Let’s leap to April of 2002! At that time the son Arno Manger began to offer his father’s pipes as "FREE HAND Pipe / Pfeife von Manger" on German eBay (doppeltopper). Doing so Manger pipes probably became known to a Germany wide or even to an international public for the first time. All in all the pipes left you with a somehow coarse and somehow "unfinished" impression although many shapes showed a very nice basic idea of what it might have been. Good approach, but poor result. Even more, as far as it is possible to judge on pictures, many pipes revealed a state of technical execution that was not able to convince unconditionally. All the same-- the vast majority of the feedback was friendly underlining the good smoking characteristics of Manger’s pipes.
It is difficult to describe, but approximately since late Autumn of 2004 there was a clearly visible change: all of a sudden the pipes featured more pleasing and more harmonious shapes, the lines turning out more elegant and fairly less random and subject to whim than before. “As it seems, someone thinks about the goal now, before he holds the stummel to the grinder!" said a pipe friend very appropriately. A very remarkable reversal for a pipe maker, who must have exceeded his 80th year of life…
Alas, then there were some “experts”, who suddenly discovered even Italian chic on the pipes and supposed, the valiant Anton Manger was on his way as “Antonio Manganaro” now...
On telephone inquiry in February 2006 Arno Manger confirmed that his father is fairly up in his 80’s. Still healthy and vigorous and every day yet in his workshop and working on pipes! On the comment about the positive artistic development of the Manger pipes and the therewith connected question, whether he, the son, or someone else supports the father making pipes, Arno Manger however refused to give a meaningful answer. “These are Manger pipes and that’s all!” and hung up.
Result: Manger doesn’t offer beauties for the opera ball. But solid, robust pipes with very acceptable use characteristics. And some of them— by all means-- have not only an unusual, but rather an impressive design. With a bit of good fortune on the side of the lucky bidder at more than favorable prices.
Pfeifenfabrik Anton Manger Neustädter Str. 28 97618 Wollbach / Rhön Germany Phone: +49 (0) 9773 355 Sale on eBay: doppeltopper