Neerup pipe tools- great art, but the value remains to be seen

I have a couple of pipes by a Danish brand called Neerup. They’re made by Peder Jeppeson, who worked with renowned pipe-maker Karl Erik and, particularly to my liking, Erik Nording. Eventually, Jeppeson got enough equipment to make his own pipes, so he did and here we are.

Jeppeson and his son Christian first carve designs that are then replicated by machine. Once a copy is completed, he alters it and finishes each pipe by hand. He makes a ton of pipes! They’re stunning, and I’d like to get more. 

My Neerup Classic Smooth Bent Pot.

I was taken by a $120-or so Neerup tomato when I first got back into smoking a pipe. Someone else bought it as I pondered, but in January I picked up this Classic Smooth Bent Pot for $124. Later on in February, I picked up an estate Structure Smooth Bent Pot that I showed you last week for only $85.

The Neerup estate pipe, in case you forgot.

An estate Neerup in good condition is a seriously strong purchase! None of its characteristics indicated that the pipe I’d bought had been previously smoked, despite its estate status. SmokingPipes listed its condition as “Minor Rim Darkening” but I didn’t notice it- given the rough plateau finish, I think they were being generous. 

My point isn’t to talk about pipes today, though. It’s to talk about accessories and about splurge purchases. I’ve been doing more breadwinning than pipe-smoking of late, and twice I’ve purchased some of Neerup’s accessories at what amounts to be princely sums for both. I want to tell you about the experience. 

The acrylic handle piece (not sure what it’s called) rightfully calls to mind the stems of Neerup pipes.

The first is this Ivory and Brown Square Head Bamboo Tamper, which I bought for my brother and is, unfortunately, no longer available on SmokingPipes. It cost about twenty bucks, includes a leather case, and it’s got a metal tamping end, inside of which is a dottle pick with an acrylic handle that’s hugely reminiscent of the bits of Neerup pipes.

Here’s the tool, separated.

Shit! This is cool! For me, this tool is as much art as it is functional: it’s for sure overkill for compressing tobacco within a pipe since I’ll use a pushpin, roofing nail, mechanical pencil, match, or my own burning finger to do that job, but it was a nice gift for my brother, a pipe-smoker but not nearly as into the hobby and habit as I am. 

Even though a $3.75 Czech pipe tool is more functional given its teensy shovel, I admire Neerup’s artistry enough to have made the purchase.

The Buffalo tobacco knife and its case.

The second, crazier, buy is this Neerup Tobacco Knife called a Buffalo per their nomenclature. It’s ostensibly designed to cut through rope, plug, or cake tobacco but it’s a solid knife regardless. I don’t know what any of this means, but it uses impressive-sounding AUS-8 high-grade chromium Japanese steel in a handle designed by Peder Jeppesen himself. It’s a beautiful instrument that served as my brother John’s thirtieth birthday present. As someone who watched way too much Frasier as a kid and appreciates the finer things, he loved it! 

A closer view of the knife; note the acrylic transition.

John appreciates this knife because he appreciates the finer things having grown up on Frasier, by the way. I don’t remember Frasier Crane ever stabbing Niles to death with a knife made of Japanese steel, at least not in any of the episodes I’ve seen. But would you look at that grain! A similar model could be yours for the batshit loonball price of $140. That’s way out of pipe-smoking breadwinner territory, but breadwinning’s taken priority here over the last month or two, and well, a thirtieth birthday’s a thirtieth birthday.

It’s not often that I spend that much, but every now and then I get a chance to, particularly with pipe stuff. I hope the actual craftsmanship of these Neerup pieces holds up to their price and provenance. 

I mentioned that I’ll use whatever’s handy to tamp a pipe: roofing nail, pencil, pushpin, the toenail of a dead llama- anything! When I’m not in a bind, though, I use a Boswell tamper with a shovel on one end for daily use: These things can’t be expensive; they’re freely included with every new pipe. 

Both accessories in their sheaths.

That’s the thing with these tools- although they’re unreasonably expensive and more beautifully designed than their proletariat brethren, they’re still here for the same basic tasks of cutting tobacco and smashing it down. Though I’m not trying to suggest that my brother is bougie, I’ll provide whatever it takes -reasonably speaking- to rope him into mining the depths of what a bigger appreciation of pipe-smoking involves. And my little bit of subterfuge has already started! Four tins of new-to-us Cornell & Diehl tobacco -Pirate Kake, Awakened Elder, and Dreams of Kadath for John and Edisto for me- arrived yesterday, though the courtesy of his pocketbook. I normally smoke ribbon-cut in a pipe, but the Dreams of Kadath is a plug cut, Edisto is flake, and the Pirate Kake is, well, cake. Sounds like a primer on tobacco cuts might be in our future!

I assume that these accessories are going to stand the test of time, but it’s fair to say I’ll probably never spend this much money on pipe tools ever again. It’s worth mentioning, though, that in my brief flirtations with the decade so far, I’ve found that the thirties are years meant to begin to appreciate the finer things. Though I’m sure that there’ll always be a rectangular part of my heart totally devoted to frozen Tony’s pizzas, who’s to say I shouldn’t branch out to Jack’s or Tombstone, Or maybe a real pizza with some exotic topping like pesto or artichoke every now and then?

Though a little too rich for my own daily use and blood, I’ve gotta say that, so far, I like Neerup’s recipe for accessories.

2 thoughts on “Neerup pipe tools- great art, but the value remains to be seen

  1. Anything that spells cake with a K has a steep hill to climb for me. But not an impossibility steep hill because I will buy and enjoy TastyKake products from time to time.

    On pipe tools, I never graduated beyond the little metal thingy from the drugstore.

    Like

    1. I haven’t graduated either; I’ll still use a roofing nail if I find one.

      I want to say the spelling of “Cake” with a K is a Louisiana thing when it comes to this tobacco. I know for sure that Kakes and Krimpets are a Philly thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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