If one thinks of Lars Ivarsson, son of the grand-master Sixten Ivarsson, one has sometimes the imagination of a still young person in mind. But Lars, born 1944,  makes pipes for more then 40 years under his own name (and become a grand-master either), after he has improved his pocket-money before in the paternal workshop with pipe repairs. Lars Ivarsson belongs to the three most respected (and most expensive) pipe makers worldwide next to Bo Nordh and approximately equal with Jess Chonowitsch. There is no doubt, that he´s the most famous carver who is still active recently.

Very early pipes of Lars Ivarsson which one can occasionally get as estates don't stand out due to stylistic independence absolutely and often are of robust shape. But already in the 1970ies he established a very characteristic style and thrilling new shapes. The recent pipes are indicated by a sweeping design (partly very long shanks) and by the use of very beautiful, simple decorating rings of wood and ivory. 

Lars Ivarsson also experiments to make a pipe as stout as possible, with very impressive results. Lars, moreover, is regarded the blowfish design as inventor. This is an arousing pipe with a very steep shank where one or both lower shank edges run out into the bowl. It is remarked also that Lars sometimes makes pipes which he leaves the nature bark on the bowl ground or really lateral at the bowl. I do not like that a much personally, because it can severely disrupted the nice touch experience of smooth briar when handling with the pipe.

The pipes are stamped as follows: Round stamp “AN IVARSSON PRODUCT" (also used by Sixten and Nanna Ivarsson.) and, additionally in curved characters, “L.I.”. Earlier pipes showing an additional “year stamp” only, recent ones a “number of pipe” and “year stamp” and an “S” for sandblasted pipes. There is no grading, particularly beautiful pieces are awarded by an additional  “Fish" stamp. 

Rare: A "Fish"-graded Pipe

Here one can see a picture of a gorgeous pipe stamped with two "Fish"-stamps ("Double-Fish"). During all the decades of pipemaking, Lars has used this stamp only twice. A wonderful collectors´ item!

Ultra-Rare: A "Double-Fish-graded" Pipe

A Lars pipe hardly costs below 1.500. Euro as an estate. A new, sandblasted pipe costs approximately 2.500 Euros and the price of a new, smooth pipe is approx. 4000 Euros. This is very expensive when taking into account, that smooth pipes, which are not “Fish” stamped, rarely are showing a sensational but, of course, always a beautiful grain. I think, Lars has focused his attention more to the shapes, which are spectacular, then the grain in general.

Lars Ivarsson makes, moreover, very beautiful (and expensive) high quality knives which are signed as his pipes.


Many thanks to Lars Ivarsson for the given feedback and to Uli Wöhrle
 and Jörg Wittkamp for additional pictures



  A short statement about the "Blowfish" shape



Any copying, publication or reproduction of the papers and / or pictures published herein in printed or electronic media is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of these pages' owner. (c) Pipendoge, 2009

The left Disc-Pipe is the first, Lars stamped
with the "Double-Fish" stamp

Picture from an old Japanese pipe book
Thanks to Per Billhäll (SE) and Jakob Groth (+, DK)


A very rare, "Fish" stamped pipe

Signature pipes made by Lars Ivarsson