Newsletter Amsterdam Pipe Museum

Old school tobacco retailers used to call October “the Pipe Month". The beginning of Autumn was the right time to bring attention to the pipe, enjoying the smoking fits perfectly with the dark evenings to come. Obviously, at the Amsterdam Pipe Museum it is pipe month every month, all year round. Yet the old, familiar slogan seems more than appropriate. This Newsletter focuses on the innovations and changes in our store. This time the news is targeted to the pipe-smoking customers, which does not mean that there is - as always - no news about the museum and exhibition. Happy reading!

New name
Once we changed the name of our museum earlier this year, under the inspired leadership of our new director Patricia Olsthoorn, it is now time for the next step. The shop’s name Smokiana pipeshop, which adorns the facade since 1995, will disappear. Following Amsterdam Pipe Museum, the museum shop will be renamed to Amsterdam Pipe Shop. This reflects the connection of the shop to the museum. Given the increased number of visitors to the museum, that always comes through the store, this name is a clear message to the predominantly international audience. The subtitle of the museum could be used for the shop, maybe even better with the addition: serving the worldwide culture of pipe smoking.

Before the change of name is completely carried out, some time will pass. The city of Amsterdam is not easy in the licensing of publicity on the facade, so this will still take some serious debate. This is partly due to the advertising policy that actually asks to retrieve all texts from the facade. In any case, we hope that the combination of Amsterdam Pipe Museum and Amsterdam Pipe Shop contributes to a steady corporate identity.

In addition to a new name, we finally have a new street in front of the premises. Eighteen months ago the renovation on the quay walls started. After placing steel dams into the canal, digging up to five meters deep, eighteen feet long poles have been beaten into the soil as a foundation. Eventually, the workers left and new bricks form a smooth roadway. Museum and shop are easily accessible since early October. Now pedestrians walk the sidewalks again, it is a good opportunity for a critical look at the museum shop.

The assortment of Amsterdam Pipe shop
Besides the new name, the most important change can be seen in the assortment of Amsterdam Pipe Shop. Initially, we thought about merchandising to accommodate the growing number of visitors: selling all kinds of museum related souvenirs. However, we decided not to do so. We would have to create extra space in the store, that has no room for enlargement. More importantly, these 'trinkets and baubles' would have distracted the attention from our real specialty: the unique range of pipes and smokers antiques. So we decided just to enhance and enlarge our super specialty. So, a lot of news is to be found, especially in the modern pipes and articles for the pipe smoker.

We assume as known that the assortment in modern pipes of Amsterdam Pipe Shop is unique in the Netherlands. With more than 2,000 briar pipes, our choice in briars is bigger than anywhere else in the country. What is new is that the assortment has been extended to the latest fashion trends. No less than 400 new pipes of various famous and lesser-known factories and workshops have been added to the drawers ! This number is more than the entire stock sales of the second-best assorted pipe shop, which is definitely worth mentioning. New pipes are included in almost the entire line of the assortment, with new provisions from England , Ireland , Germany , France and Italy. In some brands, such Genod , Lorenzo , Sommer and Amiel, we are the sole representative in the Netherlands. Besides briar we maintain our unique range of alternative materials: clays, ceramics and meerschaums.

The complete list of 35 brands that Amsterdam Pipe Shop carries is still best seen on our old website. You can read on the history of the factory in various articles on these brands. § 4 briar pipes. To any pipe smoker we can say: visit us soon to look for yourself at our extended assortment.


Carvings by Paul Lanier
Three recently acquired pipes fit perfectly in the focus of this issue of the Newsletter, the modern pipe. All three figural pipes are made by the well-known pipe maker Paul Lanier, who’s work is now for the first time represented in our collection.

Lanier is the most talented carver of briar pipes in the second half of the twentieth century. Initially he started his career in Saint-Claude at the Butz-Choquin firm as a pipe designer. Soon he showed a talent for sculpting pipes which proved to become his passion. Lanier was taken everywhere to demonstrate the art of sculpting in briar. Even though he has now reached the advanced age of 82, Lanier can still tell enthusiastic about his visit to Japan, but also the numerous fairs where he performed his skills on behalf of his former employer Butz-Choquin. In 1983 Lanier started his own business specializing in unique carved pipes, often as an art object rather than a commodity. He made portrait pipes of famous contemporary and historical people. In the press he is best known for the portrait pipes of the ‘pipe smoker of the year’ and the ‘confrères des Maitres Pipiers’ (Companions of the Master Pipemakers). A huge series of his creations is presented in the Musée de la Pipe in Saint-Claude. Other popular themes by Lanier are sports, music and the fables of La Fontaine.

The curator of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum visited this artist recently and took this as an opportunity to acquire some examples of his work to the museum collection. We have chosen three objects that show the style of Lanier. See description and illustrations below. The unique Lanier’s portrait pipes are not to be expected on the market; perhaps once this gap can be filled.

This pipe representing a parrot, both solid and refined in detail, is one of the earlier creations of Paul Lanier. Made between 1980 and 1985 it reflects fully the craftsmanship that characterizes Lanier. The quality of the work lies in the lifelike expression of the animal with a wonderful contrast between the polished, shiny beak and the finely carved feathers. In addition, a penetrating but cheerful semi-realism is achieved by the use of glass eyes.

Obviously, this generous pipe is also technically perfect. From his experience as a pipe designer Lanier knew well enough what an optimal draft in a pipe means and how a pipe gets a good balance. For the mounting of the stem he frequently appealed to the specialists at Butz-Choquin. A typical feature at this pipe stem is the insert of a piece of briar, which, suggested by Lanier, incidentally was applied to the more expensive Butz-Choquin pipes.

In general Lanier products are marked, although fairly unobtrusive, matching the modest nature of this artist. He used a stamp with his name written in calligraphic letters. In this way his creations will remain recognizable for posterity.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum inv. no. Pk 21.767

A surprising toucan
This striking tobacco pipe has an extraordinarily silhouette. Again, it represents a bird, a toucan. The iconic element of the bird, as well as in this pipe, is the large beak, something you certainly do not expect in a pipe. The birds head in briar houses the pipe bowl, while the bird's beak is executed in buffalo horn, just like the stem. By alternating materials the difference between the hard beak and soft feathers remains visible. The feathers are cut to the smallest detail, as we saw in the parrot.

Quite unexpectedly, the pipe is well-balanced and comfortably in its use. You would expect this unusual shape is uneasy to handle and that the beak is just a tricky added element. However, the opposite is true. The long beak even adds to a good balance of the pipe. Obviously the total weight is substantial, definitely too heavy to smoke between the teeth. In that respect, it is definitely a decorative object and never smoked.

As with the previous pipe the stem is made of vulcanized rubber and came from Butz-Choquin. For this Lanier stayed always depending on his original employer. As usually the product is marked again on the lower end of the briar stem end with his name in calligraphy.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum inv. no. Pk 21.766

Giant skull
Pipes with skulls have been a popular theme from the mid-nineteenth century. The human skull is intriguing and within the given concept it allows to variations in detail. In that respect it seems that the skull can have its own facial expression. Time-related characteristics or attributes of a particular maker can be present in each example. In the pictured pipe the cumbersome and compact feature of the carving of Lanier is properly reflected. We can also recognize the seventies: heavy, solid and cubic, say the woodchoppers’ style dominated by wood sleepers and brown colours.

Unlike the two birds, this pipe has a large size with a bowl height of over nine centimetres. Again, it is a show piece of Lanier. His handwriting is to be recognized in the stout style and stylized detailing. To get additional depth, the artist has put a dark stain on the deeper parts of the skull. Despite its size, the pipe is well-balanced: the huge bowl is easy to handle with its rounded edges. You would nearly forget the weight.

In Saint-Claude, the production site of the pipe, the long blonde buffalo horn stem is of particular interest and even admiration. At this time this material fall into disuse. Just finding a solid piece of horn of this size is exceptional, especially with such a beautiful colour effect. Two bands in contrasting colour marks the transition from briar to horn. Again, the unobtrusive signature ‘Lanier’ in calligraphy letters is stamped as proof of its creator.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum inv. no. Pk 21.765

Faites diverse

Two new tobaccos
The year tobacco is an annual phenomenon smokers know about. This year W.Ø. Larsen is the first to introduce his "2014 EDITION" tobacco earlier this month. It is a special blend packaged in an attractive tin. This famous Danish factory has succeeded in blending a new tobacco that is different from everything they had before. It is a delicious, highly aromatic tobacco on a base of Virginia and Burley, to which a black Cavendish is added in order to create a unique taste. This Cavendish is double fermented, resulting in an extremely mild taste. Finally the tobacco blend is finished with a fruity aroma. In addition to the exquisite taste and aroma, also the tin is tastefully designed: an elongated oval shape in timeless gray with gold print. The price for 100 grams is Euro 29,50.

There has been uncertainty about the Dunhill tobaccos, traditionally favoured by the smoker who prefers a spicy flavour. Sometimes on the market, sometimes not. Fortunately, to everyone's delight, Dunhill is now regular available for over a year. This line has recently been expanded with the re-introduction of a blend that has been away for years: Dunhill London Mixture. Unlike the year tobacco by Larsen, this is a fully English tobacco blend, in other words a more serious taste, not dominated by added flavourings. The key ingredients are a matured Virginia and Oriental tobacco, giving a soft and round taste. With this relaunch Dunhill makes a bridge to the milder tobaccos. The price is 15 euros per tin.

Exhibition of briars
In order to underline the "October Pipe Month" we do a small exhibition to end December on remarkable tobacco pipes from Saint-Claude, under the title Merits from Saint-Claude. The exhibition includes modern pipes that have been established in the capital for the wooden pipe in the French Jura during the last ten years and that were recently added to our museum collection. With strictly selected additions of modern pipes we keep our collection up to date.

Unlike the House of Orange exhibition which ran until mid-August, the Merits from Saint-Claude is a mini exhibition. We decided not to do exhibitions any more in the store, but in the hall beyond. This means that our exhibits are smaller, easier to change and with a shorter storyline. At the same time these expos should still create a nice publicity.

November guided tours
As you know, the museum is accessible free of charge with the Iamsterdam Card and the Museum Card. We are pleased to announce that the number of visitors has increased significantly already! The Museum Card makes extra promotion for us in their most recent electronic newsletter. The newest special offer for subscribers is a ‘free guided tour’. On all Saturdays in November, at 2 and 4 PM, a special tour is given on the theme of 'royalty'. Of course there is special attention for the House of Orange, but also foreign kings, queens and other royals will be included in the tour. Readers of our Newsletter are welcome to join.

The smoke evening as corporate or family outing
Looking for a special outing? Going to Amsterdam with a corporate tour or your social club? The Amsterdam Pipe Museum offers something original. On request it is possible to get a special arrangement for your group. Starting with an exclusive reception in the beautiful canal house with coffee and sweets, followed by a program according to your needs and preferences. For example, a tasting of tobaccos. You don’t want to smoke? No problem, we will make a fascinating roundtable around the culture of smoking in the nineteenth century or the pipe in exotic cultures. An opium experience we cannot offer, but a talk with all the ins and outs of the opium den will already be a fascinating experience in itself.
Ask Benedict Goes for the details.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum & Shop in the social media
In the previous Newsletter we already announced that the Amsterdam Pipe Museum had created a Face book page, but in the beginning there was little traffic. Meanwhile we brushed up this Face book page. You have to get used to the habit of posting news items in a new platform, in addition to the old familiar channels. You’ll find some news item now, with photo albums containing objects from our reserves that are not on view in the museum. We hope you like to follow and get a glimpse into the hidden treasures of the museum. Click here to become a follower and stay informed.

Our page on Trip Advisor is perhaps even more fun to read. This page is only filled by people who have visited the museum or the museum shop. They give an impression of what they experienced. Fortunately, the messages are very positive. Take a look at how others have experienced their visit to the Amsterdam Pipe Museum. Follow the link

Link of the month

This time we guide you to a merry website with the most extraordinary portraits of pipe smokers, only women. Dive into the archive for the most beautiful lady portraits in stunning situations, all with a tobacco pipe! Have fun with pipelovin'ladies.
This link matches our offer for lady pipes, see below.

Special offer
The most popular pipe among young smokers is the reading pipe. The film "The Lord of the Rings" raised an unexpected demand for the long stemmed pipe. The world's oldest factory of briar pipes, Chacom from Saint-Claude, France, produces a full range of reading pipes, all of which are represented in our assortment. To readers of our Newsletter we offer this assortment till November 15 with a discount of fifteen percent.

New in this line is the contemporary version with a coloured bowl resembling beautifully veined marble. With a small bowl and over-all lenght of 19 cm. these elegant pipes are most suitable as ladies pipes. As an encouragement we offer these pipes to lady customers for 50% of the original price, so now for only € 65,-.

Both offers are valid until November 15 and of course the availability. Unlike we used to do, you can not post-order these pipes. You are welcome to get them from Amsterdam Pipe Shop.

End of this twentienth Newsletter
Thank you for your interest and till the next issue!
We are happy to respond to any reactions or questions. Just click on mailto:info@pipemuseum .
Or continue on our web site

Benedict Goes
PR and Publicity Amsterdam Pipe Museum

Contact Information

Amsterdam Pipe Museum & Amsterdam Pipe Shop
Prinsengracht 488, 1017 KH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)20 42 11 779
Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12 - 18 hrs.

© copyright Amsterdam Pipe Museum - Holland 2013

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No. 20 - October 2013
Logo of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum along Prinsengracht in the capital of Holland
The facade of Amsterdam Pipe Shop along Prinsengracht with new pavement
Logo of the Amsterdam Pipe Shop along Prinsengracht in the capital of Holland
Amstedam Pipe Shop with a rich choice of over 2,000 briar pipes
Two of the many drawers overloaded with modern briar pipes of over twenty brands
Signature on the stem of the pipe by Paul Lanier, Saint-Claude
Carved tobacco pipe representing a parrot made by Paul Lanier, Saint-Claude
Detail  of the briar pipe showing the parrot carved by Paul Lanier of Saint-Claude
Tobacco pipe with an unexpected silhouette showing a toucan carved by Paul Lanier, Saint-Claude
Detail of the carved tobacco pipe of a toucan by Paul Lanier, Saint-Claude
Large briar tobacco pipe showing a human skull, Paul Lanier of Saint-Claude
The pipe bowl with a human skull by Paul Lanier, Saint-Claude
The nicely executed tin of the special year tobacco 2014 of Larsen from Denmark
The special edition tobacco 2014 by Larsen in a stylish tin printed in silver and black
The Dunhill London Mixture newly brought on the market with the label in its original design
Pipe commemorating the silver jubilee of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina in 1923
The world wide known face book logo, click to enter the site
The world wide known trip advisor logo, click to enter the site
Charming reading pipes with a feminime accent by Chacom of Saint-Claude
Detail of the reading pipes by Chacom wiht the marbled colouring