Uffe Ellemann-Jensen and his pipes
Denmark has a rich history of pipe production, pipe tobacco production and hence the pipe smokers. And over time we have had many famous pipe smokers: Niels Bohr (Nobel Prize recipient), King Frederik IX, Arne Jakobsen (Architect), Poul Schlüter (Prime Minister) and many more.
But if you ask a random person in the streets of Denmark to name a well-known pipe smoker, I would think that quite a few will say Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen was previously chairman of the political party Venstre and the longest-serving foreign minister that Denmark has ever had.
He was a man of EU and played a huge part in spreading democracy in the Baltic countries – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – which led them to join the EU.
In recent years after Ellemann-Jensen retired himself from life as a Member of Parliament, he continued to be a large part of the political debate through blogs and TV programs, sharing his knowledge and humor.
In the summer of 2022, he passed away at the age of 80.
What strikes me the most when I think of Ellemann-Jensen is his sharp mind, his humor and cracking laugh.
In the 1980s and up until the 2000s, he was a very active pipe smoker, and all pictures from that time always shows him holding a pipe.
For the same reason, he was also named pipe smoker of the year in Denmark in both 1986 and 2003.
Because of his passion for pipes, he was often participating in pipe-related events. And it is at such an event that I met him when I was just 14 years old.
It was at Hotel Scandinavia in 1984, where there was a big pipe show and, of course, also the championship in long time pipe smoking.
My father and I had a great stand with the best pipes from Erik Nørding, Tao, Poul Ilsted and Anne Julie, and here Ellemann-Jensen came by for a chat, as you can see in the picture.
The same picture hung above my father's office in the basement of the original shop in downtown Copenhagen, and I have looked at it every single time I visited my father.
And in my eyes, in some way, I think Ellemann-Jensen played a small part of the shop’s history.
So, when I got the news of his death, I was genuinely sad – as were many other Danes.
And for that reason, I was both happy and proud when the family contacted me to give the pipes new lives in other hands – either as smoking pipes or as a collector's item.
Danish pipe maker Anne Julie with Uffe Ellemann-Jensen at The Danish Pipe Shop’s stand at the European Championship in long time pipesmoking in 1984.
As I said, The Danish Pipe Shop and I are proud to be allowed to sell the pipes, and we thank the family for the trust.
Since we have not previously sold ‘famous’ pipes, we have prepared a certificate specifically for this collection, which verifies that the pipes are in fact from the Uffe Ellemann-Jensen's collection.
We believe this is necessary due to the fact that these pipes have a historical value and can be considered as an artefact.
For this task, I have had the help of graphic designer Lars Kiel and former employee and artist Arko Højholt, who have composed a drawing of Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.
Thanks to both for their great work.