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Stanwell A/S

Stanwell A/S Denmark

In August 2007 I had the chance to visit Stanwell’s pipe factory in Borup, Denmark.
On the way back from a visit to Poul Winsløw we stopped in Borup.
 
The factory is located in a small industrial park, which surprisingly doesn’t look like one.
 
Surrounded by a beautiful landscape with lakes, you will not notice the factory until you are directly in front if it.
 
Stanwell’s manager Jørgen Grundtvig was already waiting for us when we arrived on the premises and gave us a hearty welcome.
 

History

In 1942 Poul Nielsen Stanwell began producing pipes in Kyringe, in the Danish Zealand. Because World War II was raging, neither briar nor ebonite was available. Thus, pipes were made from birch wood and equipped with mouthpieces made of rubber surrogate.

At the end of the 1940s Poul Nielsen Stanwell’s Real Briar pipes became popular. At that time the crowned “S” was made Stanwell’s trademark, and is being used to this day.
 
Soon, the factory grew to about twenty employees.
 

Sixten Ivarsson is Stanwell’s most important designer, having worked for them for 35 years.
 
As his freehand designs were adapted for serial production a real revolution took place, especially in the USA, where his pipes became a great success. Ivarsson has created several famous shapes for Stanwell, some of which having sold over one million copies.
 
In 1965 the company moved to Borup, near Copenhagen, and expanded to more than forty employees.
 
Stanwell’s seconds are known under the name of „Danske Club.“ Shortly before Poul Stanwell’s death in 1982 the ownership of Stanwell was sold to a group in which Dunhill is a shareholder.
 
Design and marketing were not really changed though. Today, Stanwell is the biggest Danish pipe factory, accounting for 35 percent of the Danish pipe export.
 
 

Many years ago Stanwell was taken over by Larsen & Jensen, a partner they had been working with for years. They cancelled the production of their other brands in favour of Stanwell.
 
 

The Classic Line is an integral part of Stanwell’s product range. Over fifty traditional shapes, often sporting typical Stanwell elements, constitute the comprehensive foundation for this line.
 
Pipes are available in sandblast, so-called Royal Matte, or with a smooth finish.
 

Es war Sixten Ivarsson introduced the famous Freehand-Series. Its pipes make you forget the copying machines that have shaped them, and give you the impression of being completely handmade.
 
The rough bark of the briar is often kept as an ornament on the bowl’s rim. This feature is known as “fleuron” in France, and “roughtop” in England. It was this paradox, freehand pipes produced by machines, which quickly made Stanwell famous in the USA.
 
At that time, only Charatan’s factory had machines to do the same. But their pipes were much more expensive. The Freehand-Series eventually became the basis for the now world-famous Danish pipe shapes.
 
Other pipe makers have created designs for Stanwell, too, for example, Anne Julie, Jess Chonowitsch, and Tom Eltang.
 

The machines are used as efficiently as possible, not just for freehands but also for standard shapes. This is why Stanwell is able to offer value for money in either classic or Danish designs.
 
Unfortunately, as of 2000 the diversity of shapes had to be reduced for economic reasons.
 

Jørgen Grundtvig, Managing Director of Stanwell A/S
Sadly, he will be retiring by end of 2007


Taking our lunch in the conference room
 
 

In 2007 Dortmund saw the first public presentation of this pipe, made in 1942 by Poul Stanwell using only birch wood, the Stanwell No. 1. It is available in standard and filter version, made of either briar or birch wood, and comes with a prestigious case. This Stanwell replica is a must-have for any pipe collector.

Copyright © 2007 by TECON GmbH

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