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Irish Blackthorn pocket herb pipe. It is 4" / 104mm long.
The blackthorn (sloe bush) is a hard wood shrub that is becoming scarce in Ireland. I have carved this pipe and smoked cured the wood which gives it its black colour deep in its wood grain before finishing it with wax to give it a deep shine. When smoking one of my pipes I usually line the pot with some foil pierced with pin holes which insures I have an exact fit each time each pipe and it also per longs the life of the pipe.
Blackthorn is a winter tree. Its white flowers are seen even before the leaves in the spring. It is black barked with vicious thorns and grows in dense thickets. The wood is used in the cudgel shillelagh and Blasting Stick. Its thorns are used to pierce waxen images. Blackthorn indicates strong action of fate or outside influences that must be obeyed.
Popular folklore in Ireland contends Blackthorn to provide protection against ghosts. Irish giants are said to carry Blackthorn shillelaghs. In 1940 in Dittisham and Galmpton, Devon, the poet, Robert Graves, found that people feared a blackthorn walking stick was carried by suspected witches and if it was pointed at a pregnant woman she would miscarry. When Major Weir, covenantor and self-proclaimed witch was burned in Edinburg his blackthorn stick was burnt with him. Blackthorn is linked to harm as a scratch from the thorns often leaves wounds that turn septic. Legends say that thorns were dipped in poison and used against enemies, thus becoming known as "the pin of slumber".
It is reputedly used as the wood to burn witches, as there was a belief that the devil himself pricked initiates on the fingers with thorns and at one point was deemed enough for a death sentence. Using Blackthorn for burning a witch was meant as a final insult.
It wasn't just witches who used Blackthorn to harm as a Blackthorn spine placed under the saddle of a rider was enough to make a horse unseat its rider when the spine went into its flesh - a way to get rid of an enemy or rival. Because of all the secrecy attached to these actions, Blackthorn became known as the "increaser and keeper of dark secrets". Its blossom in the house is regarded as a portent of death, and in Germany blackthorns are said to grow where heathen blood has been spilt in battle.
Blackthorn crowns or garlands were used to wassail the apple trees and when mistletoe was woven into the garlands they were hung up to bring luck in the coming year. "Blackthorn Winter" is a period of boreal weather following the coming into bloom of the blackthorn, injuring young plants with winds and low temperatures during the days of the "Ice Saints" or "Frost Saints”: Mamertus, Pancras, Servatius and Boniface.

Herb pipe, Pocket pipe made from Irish blackthorn wood


  • Handmade item
  • Material: Blackthorn wood
  • Ships worldwide from Ireland
  • Feedback: 453 reviews
  • Favorited by: 40 people