If you are a tobacco pipe smoker who fancies owning at least one of just about each shape and sort of pipe that can be made, you might have already seen, owned, or heard of the cutty shape pipe. Cutty styled pipes were originally designed back in the 1500 or 1600s and were fashioned from clay, used in local taverns. The pipe featured an extremely slanted tulip shaped bowl and a stem with a slight bend and tapered bit. The cutty is one of those pipes that may or may not carry the optional spur, or foot, originally used to strengthen the bowl base or heel of the pipe.
A century and more ago when men would settle in for a drink at the local tavern, he and other tavern patrons could take a smoke from a tavern pipe, relax and enjoy their surroundings, mulling over the day’s work, or anything else that caught their fancy. After one tavern patron had finished with the pipe he would typically break off a small piece at the end and the next tavern patron would take it up for their own leisurely smoke.
Today’s classic cutty shaped pipes are generally thicker in the shank than their clay tavern ancestors. You can find a cutty pipe with a straight stem or one with a slight bend and the ever familiar steep forward slant to the bowl. While today designers have taken great liberty with the tulip-shaped bowl, purists seem to always come back to the pipes that follow more along the lines of the classic cutty and its distant clay tavern pipe cousin.
The cutty is a pipe shape that has been known to sneak up as a favorite for long time pipe smoking fans. While many are told to avoid picking a favorite or two early in, instead encouraged to try this shape and that one, the name you hear listed as a favorite is usually in the bulldog or billiard family of pipes, but times do change.
More and more pipe lovers are discovering the simple pleasures and great smoke that these older pipe designs seem to give time after time. The cutty pipes offer the rounded shape that fits so nicely in the hand, making it a pleasure to hold. It’s light weight and offers clean lines to those who appreciate such. Cutty’s made with the spur, or foot, attached, offers a little wink to history and maybe even aids in a better hold.
Get your tobacco pipe!