The history of tobacco pipe making and smoking dates back to ancient times. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote about the Scythians, a nomadic civilization that lived in one of central Eurasia’s multinational regions during the Classical Era. He noted in his writings that these people enjoyed inhaling the fumes omitted by burning leaves as far back as 500 BC. The Greeks and Romans adopted the use of smoking pipes from civilizations lying to the east. Subsequently, they would eventually be used by Celtic, Germanic, and Nordic tribes.
Long before the Europeans began colonizing the New World, Native American tribes were smoking tobacco in pipes. Eventually, tobacco and pipe smoking would be introduced to the Europeans during the 16th century. Eventually, it would spread worldwide and many areas were renowned for their craftsmanship where smoking pipes were concerned. Denmark and Ireland became the industry primary industry leaders and that tradition continues today. Of particular interest to many pipe smokers is the Poker shape pipe.
Generally speaking, the Poker pipe is manufactured from briar wood and has a sandblasted finish with an acrylic stem. It is named for the cylindrical shaped bowl with its near-parallel sides. Abrupt angles are most commonly used at the point where the bowl is connected to the stem while no apparent contouring or smoothing has been performed. The rounded shank, straight sided poker pipes resemble a judge’s gavel. However, Poker shape pipes are also manufactured in bent stem varieties and referred to as “cherrywoods.”
It has been speculated that the name “Poker” stems from the flat bottom of the bowl which can easily be rested on a flat surface without tipping over whenever you don’t feel like holding it. The lineage of the pipe is unmistakably Danish while some models exhibit exceptional grains and a perfectly fitted mounting system. For the serious tobacco pipe aficionado or collector, the Poker shape pipe is a particular favorite. These individuals contend that the poker pipe smokes better and smoother than any other variety.
There are a number of pipe manufacturers today that produce their own versions of the Poker shape pipe. Some are made with rougher sandblasted finishes while others are available in smoother finishes that are reddish brown. In any case, it is advisable that you search the internet and do some research before deciding on the particular version you want to purchase. Additionally, the finer pipe and tobacco retailers usually have staff members that are highly experienced and knowledgeable of the industry.