Middle Earth and Pipes

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NicholasDestray

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Yes, I'm a Tolkien fan, to the love of pipe tobacco marketing departments all over. For better or worse, though, I'm not one of those fans who can read and write Elven, or even quote passages of the Silmarillion from memory.

To that end, I wouldn't mind knowing more about the pipes and tobacco smoked by Middle Earth characters. A lot is influenced by the movies, but I'm more interested in the books. For instance, Gandalf is depicted with an elegant churchwarden in the movies, but the only passage I remember that described his pipe comes from The Hobbit, which mentioned his "short clay-pipe." Yes, Gandalf was blowing smoke rings out of a nose-warmer. Bilbo, on the other hand, was smoking a pipe that nearly reached his toes on the morning he met Gandalf. Even at hobbit size, that must have been quite a churchwarden right there! I'm sure his traveling pipe that managed to survive even through his tumble down to Gollum's pond must have been more modest.

Actually, I wouldn't mind hearing more about the pipes and tobacco smoked by other literary characters, but since this is the only one I seem to be able to recall enough to say anything about tonight, I went ahead with this topic.
 

Harlock999

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In a similar vein, in all the Sherlock Holmes stories I've read (and I have not read all of them), he's described as smoking a darkened clay pipe, or a cherrywood, not a calabash, as depicted in popular films and Holmes inspired art.
 

WaydeG

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This is interesting as many fantasy/fictional characters have a reputation for enjoying a pipe. Seems in many cases that tobacco is a rare commodity and occasionally enjoying a pipe is a luxury few could afford to partake in on a regular basis. Most of the characters I've encountered are smoking a clay pipe (to your point).
With that in mind, I'm waiting for a particular pipe maker in England to finish her inventory so that I can add a clay to my inventory.

I have several mid- level briars and REALLY enjoy the MM cobs I recently purchased. Give these a look...
http://www.dawnmist.demon.co.uk/pot4.htm
 

PipeLeisure

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I have been searching around for a Gandalf churchwarden on Ebay but refuse to pay over $300 :(
 

Dave_In_Philly

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Harlock999":1u0fxmx1 said:
In a similar vein, in all the Sherlock Holmes stories I've read (and I have not read all of them), he's described as smoking a darkened clay pipe, or a cherrywood, not a calabash, as depicted in popular films and Holmes inspired art.
I noticed this too. I don't know if anyone else caught it, but in the new movie Robert Downey Jr. smokes a several pipes, I believe all Dunhills, but in one of the last scenes actually refers to it as his "clay pipe" - despite it clearly being briar. I don't remember any discussion in the books about what tobacco he smoked, but there was an interesting aside in one of the earlier stories about his study of various tobaccos - he had taught himself to identify the origin of the tobacco from the character of the ash, or something like that.
 
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Harlock999":9pbqi0l6 said:
In a similar vein, in all the Sherlock Holmes stories I've read (and I have not read all of them), he's described as smoking a darkened clay pipe, or a cherrywood, not a calabash, as depicted in popular films and Holmes inspired art.
I think the calabash origin was a result of early actors portraying Holmes. I read somewhere that they chose a calabash because it was easier to hold in the mouth and talk without having to use your hands to hold it. And then it just stuck I guess. It was probably more appealing as a stylized set piece as opposed to a simple clay pipe as well.
 

Josjor

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standardtoaster":rpsb3i4g said:
Harlock999":rpsb3i4g said:
In a similar vein, in all the Sherlock Holmes stories I've read (and I have not read all of them), he's described as smoking a darkened clay pipe, or a cherrywood, not a calabash, as depicted in popular films and Holmes inspired art.
I think the calabash origin was a result of early actors portraying Holmes. I read somewhere that they chose a calabash because it was easier to hold in the mouth and talk without having to use your hands to hold it. And then it just stuck I guess. It was probably more appealing as a stylized set piece as opposed to a simple clay pipe as well.
I had read that the calabash was chosen because of its size. The earliest actors to portray Holmes were on the stage, not the screen, and the calabash, being a larger pipe, was easier for the audience to see.

That's the theory, anyway. Maybe they just chose it because they're kind of big and funky looking. :?: :D
 
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