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saltedplug

Lifer
Aug 20, 2013
5,195
5,057
Perhaps churchwardens descend from clays, but however they became long-stemmed, they should simply get shorter, for such a stem has no function, and as smoking instruments are irrefutably clumsy.
 

olkofri

Lifer
Sep 9, 2017
7,576
13,002
The Arm of Orion
I bought a MacQueen White Wizard 2 yrs ago along with the stand and have only smoked it 5 times. I sort of lost interest, but do smoke all of my Missouri Meerschaum Cobbit series churchwardens frequently. Here's the White Wizard I bought
View attachment 45681
I've got one of theirs too:


Wizard!


I smoke it regularly, even though I don't like it much due to a number of issues with it.
 

olkofri

Lifer
Sep 9, 2017
7,576
13,002
The Arm of Orion
I read somewhere that the shape was made for monks, or some such religous person.. when smoking was banned in church, they could hang the pipe out the nearest window.. and smoke without being in violation of the rules. I can't remember where I read this, and I'm sure it's not true.. but there it is.
Hardly true. You might have read that on MacQueen's pipes' site.

A more plausible explanation for their name is that the wardens of churches preferred pipes with long stems because then they could smoke during their night watch without a bulbous object blocking their field of sight. Hence the name.

Their wizardy or phantasy association is mostly a result of them being popularised by the LOTR movies. However, at one time they were known as Hussar pipes, because said corps favored them in the 19th century.

When I was talking with my Ukrainian friend outside church and the priest approached us, my friend pointed at me smoking my pipe and said to Father: "cossack". So, I'm assuming they were favoured by yet another army corps besides the hussars.
 

olkofri

Lifer
Sep 9, 2017
7,576
13,002
The Arm of Orion
Perhaps churchwardens descend from clays, but however they became long-stemmed, they should simply get shorter, for such a stem has no function, and as smoking instruments are irrefutably clumsy.
The long stem is s'posed to cool the smoke and reduce tongue bite. I've found this to be more myth than fact. However... I've noticed that I tend to scorch my tongue less with my MacQueen 'warden than with regular-sized pipes. I'm guessing the balsa filter is more of a factor than the long stem, though.

They're not clumsy once you've gotten used to them. Do you find a shotgun clumsy? I mean, compared to a pistol? They both have their uses and places and both can be wielded surgically by those experienced in their use.
 
May 2, 2020
4,664
23,744
Louisiana
A more plausible explanation for their name is that the wardens of churches preferred pipes with long stems because then they could smoke during their night watch without a bulbous object blocking their field of sight. Hence the name.
? I know that story is well-repeated, but I don’t think it passes the sniff test. I mean think about it: I never once thought to myself whilst smoking a shorter pipe, “damn, I wish I could see around this bulbous object!” Have you? And I smoke while doing work where if anything were blocking my vision, I could seriously mess myself up. A neat story, but I think honestly, they were just fashionable within certain circles and countries during that time period. Probably influenced by pipes travelers had seen in the Middle East and other exotic locales. Or maybe from pipes that had been brought by foreign travelers. I’m not sure, but I somehow doubt a guard would trade a shorter pipe that is easily managed for an unwieldy one. Unless he thought the young nuns found it attractive ?
In all honesty though, who knows? ?‍♂️
 

olkofri

Lifer
Sep 9, 2017
7,576
13,002
The Arm of Orion
? I know that story is well-repeated, but I don’t think it passes the sniff test. I mean think about it: I never once thought to myself whilst smoking a shorter pipe, “damn, I wish I could see around this bulbous object!” Have you? And I smoke while doing work where if anything were blocking my vision, I could seriously mess myself up. A neat story, but I think honestly, they were just fashionable within certain circles and countries during that time period. Probably influenced by pipes travelers had seen in the Middle East and other exotic locales. Or maybe from pipes that had been brought by foreign travelers. I’m not sure, but I somehow doubt a guard would trade a shorter pipe that is easily managed for an unwieldy one. Unless he thought the young nuns found it attractive ?
In all honesty though, who knows? ?‍♂️
It could also have something to do with keeping the smoke off their field of vision as well.

That's the story. I don't hold to it as gospel truth. At the time, clay pipes were the norm and many were long-stemmed by design, nothing to do with enhancing one's field of vision.

Even during the American Civil War, pipes with stems longer than what's regular nowadays seemed to have been popular. Soldiers seemed to have no trouble carrying them in their packs: they weren't obsessed with miniaturisation and space optimisation or with everything they carried being 'tactical'.

Tintype-portrait-of-a-group-of-Union-officers-of-the-the-45th-Ohio-Volunteer-Infantry-Regiment-smoking-pipes-and-cigars-and-drinking-wine-during-the-Civil-War..jpg


Same with other countries' armies, like the Zouaves:

image.jpg


At length, it also comes down to how one is used to use a certain instrument, in addition to what's fashionable or available at any given epoch. It's understandable that in to-day's Age of the Nosewarmer stories about the churchwardens of old might appear ludicrous, but that doesn't make them improbable.
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
12,021
22,525
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Hardly true. You might have read that on MacQueen's pipes' site.

A more plausible explanation for their name is that the wardens of churches preferred pipes with long stems because then they could smoke during their night watch without a bulbous object blocking their field of sight. Hence the name.

Their wizardy or phantasy association is mostly a result of them being popularised by the LOTR movies. However, at one time they were known as Hussar pipes, because said corps favored them in the 19th century.

When I was talking with my Ukrainian friend outside church and the priest approached us, my friend pointed at me smoking my pipe and said to Father: "cossack". So, I'm assuming they were favoured by yet another army corps besides the hussars.
I heard it was more to keep the smoke from effecting their ability to see sneaks sneaking around the church grounds. Which makes sense when you realize the kind of people they'd be watching for probably would be wearing darker colors for stealth reasons.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
22,313
21,453
Carmel Valley, CA
Going back to the OP:

"Do you find them particularly relaxing to smoke?

Why do you enjoy them?"

I find them the least relaxing of all my pipes. So I don't enjoy them. I smoke mine once or twice a year, and wouldn't be caught in public with one.
 

Plutz

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 23, 2020
139
1,862
29
Shropshire, UK
I've been real tempted by them, especially those Auenlands ?
But held off as I could imagine things going badly waving around a footlong pipe whilst driving..

Guess I'll find out soon as I've an old CobWarden in the post.. ?
 
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