Like Italian and Danish pipes, I’m interested in French pipes because of the rich history of French pipes – somehow I got the impression that the tradition of pipe making in France has a similar rich in tradition than those in Italy and Danish pipes. But, contrary to Danish & Italian pipes, it seems as if French pipes are not that popular or well-known. So I acquired my first French pipe recently.
What is know is the following: Henri Vuillard started his manufacturing operation in St.Claude, France, about 1887. At first, he was manufacturing boxes for matches and spectacles. It was only later that pipes were being manufactured. For the following 100 years, the shop was passed down through the family line until the Cuty-Fort Group (Chacom, Lacroix, Jeantet and Ropp pipes merged under one roof) took over control of the company in 1988. Over the years, Vuillard became one of the most popular French pipe brands. It is said that Vuillard pipes were even issued to French army troops during the first World War.
Like all pipe makers, Vuillard pipes come in many shapes and sizes. They have earned a reputation for being some of the best quality of French pipes, made from the best briar around and is till today, distinguished by the distinctive white “V” nomenclature.
Memoirs of his son is available here.