Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hungarian/ Oom Paul shapes.

Peterson Hungarian/ Oom Paul shapes.

To explain the 'Oom Paul' label, it was a designation given to a 19th century South African politician named Paul Kruger, their first President. He smoked a pipe shaped similar to what's called the Oom Paul or Hungarian today. 'Oom' in Afrikaans, means uncle.

 Many prefer the term Hungarian over Oom Paul, since the pipe's history is more appealing than the history of the man, with it's connotations of racism and association  with apartheid.

The Oom Paul is a very distinctive pipe shape, with the chimney stack bowl on the true Hungarians, being almost parallel with the stem. It appears to be one of those shapes that has as many detractors as followers. Personally, I love them, being a sucker for any full bent shape(except the Cavalier).

A full-bent Oom Paul pipe.
Such pipes are usually described by the fraction of 90 degrees they depart from being a straight.
Very few pipes are/have true 90 degree bends, and are generally wrongly listed as Oom Pauls or Hungarians. Others are extremely deeply bent billiard-bowled pipes.Some Petes such as the XL23 shaped Le Strade, are often wrongly referred to as being Oom Pauls. Here are some examples of some of my true ones.

My favourite Oom Pauls,top gold Millennium (unsmoked),centre 1946 Pre republic,last Shamrock 1938.
As a clenchers pipe, they are terrific. Often criticised for not passing the pipe cleaner test,I have overcome any such problem by using fine Falcon pipe cleaners which pass without any problems.
They are amongst my favourite smoking pipes, great pipes for a long reading session with a favourite book.


  1. More great info you've imparted, Jim. A very enjoyable and informative read. Your very fine photos really set it off nicely.

    I always thought an Oom Paul looked like a serious pipe, a very serious pipe indeed!

  2. Again, you've educated. I have a question though. A couple of years ago gary malmburg has to Barling pipes on his sight that had shanks/stems that were paralell with the bowl. If those weren't Oop Paul's, what would you call them?

  3. make that "had two" instaed of has to.

  4. Chuck,I do not want to appear evasive,when I say I am of the opinion that your question is probably an individual's subjective judgement.Without seeing the pipes referred to,I would assume that they may have been full bent billiards,these are much more common.IMHO the true Oom Paul shape is comparatively rare.Probably through being less popular than other more traditional pipe shapes.
    I hope that has at least partly answered your question.

  5. Very helpful article. Thank you!

  6. you got to see & try Storients meerschaum OOM PAUL :

  7. Dear Jim. I just want to point out that President Paul Kruger died half a century before apartheid even existed and that he had nothing to do with it. He was a freedom fighter against British colonialism and a statesman who was well regarded around the world. He traveled to Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland to lobby against British concentration camps and the imprisonment of women and children. Go look at his biography for yourself.

    According to the "Guilty by association" logic that is demonstrated in this article, one could also reason that anything that is named after Thomas Jefferson or George Washington (who used to own MANY slaves), should also have a connotation with slavery, oppression and disregard of human rights....

    ...Of course I'm not subscribing to the above mentioned school of thought and merely went on a tangent to display the flaws of this argument.

    I actually stumbled upon your article because I just bought myself a nice estate Sasieni "Oom Paul" :)
    Happy puffing!

  8. As an Afrikaans speaking non-racist South African, calling him a bad person because of racist view more than 100 years ago, what would many Americans being called some 50+ years ago (Martin Luter King). In context, he was as bad (or good) as anyone else of his time.

  9. Oh, by the way, have 2 oom Paul's, Savinelli & GBD and both are one of my favorite pipes!


  11. I share your appreciation of Oom Pauls and have several including a Peterson 'Made in England' Kapruf. Still looking for the right smooth pre-Republic Oom Paul (as well as the elusive 9BC).