Bo Nordh passes away in July 2006 after a very short but serious illness. He was the uncrowned King of all recent pipe makers and an idol for all younger carvers.
The legendary Sixten Ivarsson, asked for the best pipe maker all over the world have mentioned Bo Nordh from Sweden and his son Lars. Can such a grand-master of his subject be mistaken? As hardly another one, Bo Nordh (born 1941) have created pipe shapes which were unknown till there. The pictures from a Japanes pipe book of 1978 show exemplarily that this variety of outstanding shapes has arisen not at all only in recent past.
Snail (Nautilus), Ballerina, Sea Horses, faceted Horns and Elephant Foot as well as recently a shape called "Ramses" belong to the most famous shapes. Nordh has established a quality standard which arouses the highest respect everywhere. Some pipe makers and collectors recently told me that the processing quality of Bo Nordh is unequalled worldwide. Not requires any further explanation, that pipes worked so perfectly can be smoked also perfectly.
The young Bo Nordh (from Bo´s estate)
Bo Nordh was, strictly speaking, an autodidact. The often quoted assertion, that Nordh was teached by Sixten Ivarsson directly should be moved into the empire of the imagination. At the beginning of his carreer Sixten and Lars stood him by side with advice and deed. But a "classic" apprenticeship with repair work, Bo Nordh never has gone through.
With permission of Robert Schrire
The pipes of Bo Nordh stand out due to a bold use of shapes, consist of the best of best wood and the smooth models offer a firework of grain. In the past, the sand-blasted pipes were blasted at Stanwell. In the meantime Nordh uses the offer of two Danish master-carvers to let his pipes blast there. These newer sand-blasted models (black) are of a great beauty and more deeply in surface texture.
The pipes of Bo Nordh are absolutely often of stately size. Nevertheless, all are impressive because of swinging elegance. Nordh like to use bamboo and horn extensions for the prologantion of shanks. Despite the excellent quality of his woods, Bo Nordh also provides his pipes with a coating, what might well speak for the practical sense of this method.
The pipes are stamped as follows:
From 1968, when Bo was starting to sell pipes with an own stamp
From 1972 until the end of production, Bo has used the well known stamp, earlier with the addition "Free Hand", later with the year of production ( 2 digits). Sometimes, the year stamp is missed.
The pipes of Bo Nordh are very rare and also very expensive. Nevertheless, his pipes are the dream of every collector.
Some impressions of a visit at Bo Nordh´s place during summer 2004.
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Elephant Foot oder Pickaxe
Pictures from Bo´s archive.
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