Stanwell is a world-renowned Danish pipe brand. Stanwell was started by Poul Nielsen after WW II, using beech wood (due to unavailability of briar) to make pipes for Danish customers. He later adopted “Stanwell” to compete with the English pipes (in contrast to “Nielsen” pipes). Nielsen also used well-known Danish designers (like Ivarsson) and built a reputation of creative and exquisite Danish designs. They have built up a worldwide reputation of consistently producing great pipes! Taking into account that they are factory made pipes, Stanwell is arguably the best factory produced pipe in the world because Stanwell combines modern factory technology with unique designs. Stanwell’s goal is to consistently make high quality pipes at a price everyone can afford and they are achieving that to this day.
Stanwell did however, closed its manufacturing plant in Denmark and moved to Italy. Now, Barontini is producing the pipes but the brand is managed from their head office. It looks like the main reason for this is the “anti-smoking” campaign as there pipe sales have dropped from 125,000 units in the 1995’s to 60,000. Only time will tell if the original quality will remain.
I bought my first Stanwell by accident. I was looking at a Savinelli at a local Tobacconist. While walking out and considering the shapes and prices I’ve just seen, I was shown a Stanwell Hans Christian Anderson in the display window outside. I actually walked back in the store and…walked out with this HCA. Let’s say, I bought it for myself for Christmas (November 2013). I love this pipe, not only for its shape but it smokes great! It also includes a churchwarden stem.
After this, I bought a Stanwell “Danske Club” Shape 23 (S. Ivarsson) 9 mm filter estate pipe from eBay, December 2013. The Danske Club series has its name from the famous aromatic tobaccos from A.C. Petersen. These pipes have the DC logo on the mouthpiece, and is made for 9 mm filters. According to a Stanwell shape reference, the no 23 is freehand bent pipe with a rounded rim and saddle mouthpiece, designed by Sixten Ivarsson. Again, an excellent pipe and design which smokes beautifully.
Not long after this one, I bought another eBay Stanwell estate pipe, the Silke Brun “Royal Prince” (Shape 186 Anne Julie). The Silke Brun pipe is a polished dark walnut finished egg-shape pipe.
They are actually the old Stanwell Majestic pipe range that was re-named when Stanwell moved its manufacturing to Italy (circa 2011). Stanwell says the surface resembles a silky finish with a dark brown and black contrast bowl. Freehand, large bent, egg-shaped bowl with a saddle mouthpiece. This shape was designed by the famous artist Anne Julie who started making pipes after her pipe-maker husband died and left her with a fully equipped workshop. After opening the parcel, I was surprised and was not sure if I actually like this pipe, but after the first smoke, I fell in love with it. It holds like a dream, has a small bowl (think wood) and smokes extra cool.
My next Stanwell, also an estate from eBay (May 2014) is a Vintage Stanwell Danish bench made pipe with a saddle stem. The pipe is stamped on the underside with “Stanwell Regd.
No. 969-48 Bench Made in Denmark 11”. This particular stamping was used from 1948 until the early 1970’s. This pipe might be somewhere in the 1960’s. The indication of the Stanwell trademark registration number (Regd.Nr.949-48) was terminated in the early 1970s. The pipe has the stalk white “S” logo with the crown. This marking is only found after 1960 which was later replaced by copper, and silver. Up until the early 1960’s only the top pipes, e.g. “Hand Cut” had the stem/mouthpieces stamped with the Stanwell logo of a crown over “S”. The standard pipes may or may not be stamped with the “S” logo without the crown. Further, the “Stanwell” stamp in script dates to the 1950s. The Stanwell logo progressed from:
- “S” in white paint;
- crown “S” in white paint;
- brass crown “S” and finally;
- silver crown “S”.
My next Stanwell is a rare “Club Natural”. The only information available is that it probably dates to just prior the Danske Club series. This pipe has a I/8 bent fish-tail vulcanite (original) mouthpiece; beautifully balanced. It is a pot shape pipe with a nice birds-eye and cross grain finish. I later sold it.
The Stanwell Royal Guard is a series of pipes that follows a more sober traditional design but in quality, first class! They have excellent grain and polished to accentuate the quality and contrasts of the grain.
I’ve recently at the end of 2014 also won this bid at a reasonable price. It is a Royal Matt No. 63 Freehand with Straight Grain and a plateau top.
Excellent pipes at affordable prices!