Hans Former, Denmark Artisan Pipe


The tobacco pipes from Former of Denmark are one of the best qualities of artisan made with unique finishing.

Hand Former is the name of pipe brand and also the nickname of the pipe-maker Hans Jonny Nielsen.

Hans Former

Hans Former Nielsen has a long experience in the tobacco pipe products, he has trained by the famous Denmark’s tobacco pipe maker Poul Rasmussen in Copenhagenhas an experience working with W.Ø. Larsen, where at that place he meet with an others pipe-makers that later became an artisans pipe-maker likes Teddy Knudsen, Tonni Nielsen, Svend Bang, and the famous “father and Son” Emil and Jess Chonowitsch.’

With a long time of experience Hans Former that quite obvious when handling his pipe, he focused on the quality and satisfactory of his customer.

As another artisan pipe-maker, he consider with any parts of tobacco pipes because most of them has an experience as a tobacco pipe repairmen.

As pipe repairmen he knows exactly how the pipe work and any component of the pipe.  With that long journey, they have learned about the characteristic of the pipes from many different brands, shape and style of the pipe.

Hans Former has started fulltime with W.Ø. Larsen in 1962 as a pipe-maker; he showed his skills by replicating pipe shapes from the catalog.

Later on he has responsibility to manage the components of the factory, including responsible for a quality control and teaching the other carvers.

Hans Former Pipe 01

Besides working at the factory, he also has his own workshop at his home that he working for his own shape design that later on the products become a high-grade of Danish pipe.

Stamping includes “Freehand” – entirely made by hand, and “handmade” – partial lathe-turned bowls.  His pipe stems are made by either black vulcanite or acrylic with beautiful accents of horn.

There is an opportunity when pipe-maker Emil & Jess Chonowitsch has big orders from Japan.  Japanese demand a high-grade Danish pipes.

To fulfill that order Emil contact and approach Former to help them, Former agreed to make 15 pipes a month at his workshop.

Japanese customer satisfied with their order, and they placing more order and grew even bigger.  Because of that situation, Former left W.Ø. Larsen and makes his own pipes under his own name at his workshop.

After supporting Emil with an order from Japan, Former got an order from a pipe shop in Germany.  The order from Germany grew up significantly.  Within three years Former was working to capacity and he is not accepted more order.

Former got another opportunity when he was asked to go to Switzerland in 1986.  The requested is to modernize the old Bru-Bu factory and to develop a new high-grade pipe with an English name “Bentley”.

Due to his success on that, he stayed in Switzerland for next 10 years, and he meets his wife, Daniela, there.  In 1997, they decided to purchase factory machinery and moved to Lauenburg/Elbe, where the Bentley production continued at Dan Pipe.

Dan pipe has a subsidiary named Dan Tobacco. Until today the factory still producing Former’s tobacco blends for pipe, the building still has a Bentley logo on its front.

Former’s pipe knowing as a high quality pipes with an optimum smoking quality, it has a good airflow from the draught hole at the base of the bowl into the button on the mouthpiece. For the stummel it uses a high quality hand chosen and aged briar wood.

For some pipes, Former given a various decorative materials likes silver, wood and horn.  For the stem, Former uses acrylic material or high-grade Germany vulcanite.

All Former tobacco pipes are stamped “FORMER” and “MADE IN DENMARK”.  There are two category of pipe; “HANDMADE” and “FREEHAND”.

Images: Belongs to Lars KielPics:

Contact Information:

Former Pipes

Hans Nielsen “Former”

Toksværd Bygade 54

4684 Holme Oustrup



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