Whether you're buying your very first tobacco pipe or your fifteenth, one of the first things you'll have to decide upon is which shape you should choose. There are numerous options out there, and each one offers something a little different. The plethora of choices is a big part of why so many pipe smokers eventually end up with a huge selection of pipes in their collection. Each one gives them something different.
The author shape is one of the most striking and recognizable choices when you're looking for a good pipe. The author is essentially a larger, beefier version of the Prince shape. It has a fat, flat ball shape to the bowl and always features a heavy stem that is bent anywhere from 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. The stem is usually very wide and flat, as well, and is designed to be comfortable to use. The bowls are also quite wide and allow one to get a long, satisfying smoking session.
There are numerous sources given for the name of this shape. One is that since the pipe sits nicely to one side of the mouth and features a small bore opening, the pipe helps to funnel the smoke to a narrower area. In other words, it's easier to hold in the mouth while writing and not have to deal with eye burning smoke. Another is that its wide design allows for it to be set down for a short period of time while crafting a passage in a book, then lifted again to celebrate the perfect sentence.
Regardless of the reason that these pipes are referred to as an 'author' shape. The fact is that they provide a rich, long, enjoyable smoking experience. Whether you buy them used or brand new you'll want to pay attention to the same things you would look at with any other pipe purchase.
For example, remember to consider things like the overall size of the bowl, the color of the finish, the grain of the wood, and the actual wood that is used in the bowl. You'll be able to find a great author pipe to fit virtually any budget, and as long as you keep those simple considerations in mind it won't be difficult to determine just which choice is the right one for you. If you're looking for a respectable pipe you're sure to enjoy, look no further than the author shape.
Get your tobacco pipe!