One of Danish famous tobacco pipe brand is S. Bang produced by the workshop belongs to Svend Bang, from Copenhagen.
Many of best briar wood pipes have produced by brand of S. Bang for a long time.
Svend Bang starts a job in the pipes and tobacco trade since he is joint at a small importer and wholesaler of tobacco in 1941.
According the 2nd World War and Denmark at that time occupied by Germany, the tobacco supply is really poor.
After the World War, he was employed by W.Ø. Larsen, owned by Ole Larsen.
This company known as a well-reputation tobacconist in central Copenhagen, the activity are producing and blending tobacco for pipe smoking, selling and repairing tobacco pipes.
Svend Bang and Pipe
Svend Bang got an opportunity for learning more knowledge on tobacco, tobacco blend and pipes, he got a responsibility for starting a new workshop for pipes situated in connection to the shop.
He give full concentration to managed the workshop, and learn more about the detail of tobacco pipes, and his job gained a good result.
W.Ø. Larsen pipes became a bedrock of the Danish freehand style, and one of the favorite pipes among the pipe smokers in Denmark.
After so many years working with W.Ø. Larsen, Svend Bang got an opportunity to open his own business in pipe shop. it happen in 1968, when he got the Danish distribution agency for Astley’s tobaccos.
His shop become a meeting-place for those citizen of Copenhagen who’s interested in pipe, the result is the Astley tobaccos sales growing fast.
And then Svend furnished a pipe workshop behind his shop rooms, that he accept for repairing pipe.
During that time he also tried to make his own tobacco pipe, he has an ambition to have his own pipe product with bearing his name on the pipes.
To realize his ambition in pipe-maker he aware that he need more time to learn to be a carver of pipe, so, he began to hire pipe-makers for his workshop.
The first pipe-maker hired is Peter Rafn, later following by Ivan Holst Nielsen, Jan Windeloy, Ph. vigen, Ib Olson, M. Thorhauer and others more.
The times has running and the situation has changes, more-and-more increase for S. Bang business, the crew of the workshop more complete with the joints of some new talented pipe-makers likes; Per Hansen and Ulf Noltensmeier.
In 1976 Bang’s Pibemageri resettled in Struenseegade 9, Copenhagen’s northern area, until present day.
Bang aware that until that time (1970s) he is not a good pipe-maker, but Bang’s still trying to producing tobacco pipe with a brand name Löfberg.
One day he bring one suitcase full of sample pipe to Germany.
He approaching the German distributor Otto & Kopp, Bang meet the managing director Bernd Kopp, Herr Kopp not convinced with the pipe, particularly of the quality.
Bang’s back home with an empty-handed, he left behind all Löfberg pipes that he brings at Herr Kopp’s office.
The pipes maybe almost there for nearly 28 years, full of dust at the Otto & Kopp warehouse, until one day Oliver Kopp showed them in 2005 to Volker Bier, engaged tobacconist, inspired pipe-maker and founder of the Lohmar Pipe Show, who was in search of something special to offer to his customers.
When Bier presented these Löfberg pipes to the public, it makes some of pipe experts interested; they said the quality is good and very authentic.
The “arguments” and “evidences“these gents cited are hardly to surpass for their absurdity.
Obviously they found the idea intolerable, that there might be pipes that had remained unknown to them.
Therewith not enough – Volker Bier had to fend off vilest personal defamation. Thankfully he was saved by Oliver Kopp and Hansen & Noltensmeier who confirmed the origin of the pipes and their authenticity: Löfberg pipes are real Bang pipes – made by Svend Bang in person!
Svend Bang does many meritorious activities after the grim end of his pipe-making efforts.
He has an activity at The Nordic Smoker’s Guild, an editor of the Piber & Tobak magazine, also involve in the arrangements of the first National Competitions in Pipe smoking in Denmark.
He retired in 1984; the company takes over by two pipe carvers, Per Hansen and Noltensmeier, and the company continuing producing tobacco pipe with the brand of S. Bang. Svend Bang passed away in 1993.
Hansen and Noltensmeier alway shared the same philosophy and determine to maintain top quality at the expense of increased numbers.
The only change on the pipe is only the stamping, from English “COPENHAGEN” into the Danish “KOBENHAVN”.
Those two carvers have their own style and preferences. Each makes his own tobacco pipes, at S. Bang workshop there is no assembly line.
They always discussed each other’s both about the idea and even the problems arise in a pipe. But, for the products, it has a similarity, all Bang’s pipe are made with black, hand-cut vulcanite stems.
Svend Bang Pipe
The entire Bang’s pipe has the same engineering used by both carvers. The shape and size of the tobacco chamber at the pipe stummel vary according to the size and design of the whole pipe, but each carver follows the same design guidelines for choosing the proper chamber dimensions.
The smoke channel or airflow line from the draught hole at the base of tobacco chamber into the button at the stem is always engineered for optimum performance.
Bang’s pipe is noted for the high definition and fine contrast in the grain. It undergoes a double staining process to get that effect.
The technique makes the grain leap from the stummel of the pipe, making well-grained wood become extra ordinary. The same coloring, but has a different results in different pieces of briar wood, it makes each pipe truly individual.
For the pipe’s sandblasting finishing the artist teams lead by Per Hansen, he personally takes those pieces that want to be sandblasted to Stanwell, and is permitted to use the sandblasting equipment.
In the 1970’s Svend Bang introducing a system for most European-bound pipes are stamped with letters to designate the grade in the following ascending order:
Black blast, Tan blast, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C and, very rarely, you might find a D.
For the United States market, the Bang’s pipe stamped with year and number codes and the personal stamp for the carver.
The number just showing of indicates which pipe it is. An example the stamp is 9736 PH; it is means the pipe is made by Per Hansen in 1997, number 36th. The is no grade stamp on the S. Bang’s pipe, because their pipe are same, “High Grade”.
The S. Bang workshop is almost invisible in the bustling city of Copenhagen. A more elaborate storefront is not required, because S. Bang pipes are not sold in Denmark.
Bang pipes are available at Pipedia Underwriter, lepipe.it
Per Hansen & Ulf Noltensmeier
Struenseegade 9, st.
2200 København N
Fax: +45 3534 3118