This is the traditional clay pipe that has been crafted in Knockcroghery, Ireland for 300 years.
A thriving industry in the late 1800s, production of the dúidín ceased abruptly in 1921 when the village was burned during the Irish War of Independence. This pipe is handmade on the site of Andrew and P.J. Curley's pipe factory-destroyed during the conflict -- with the same tools, methods, and surviving molds of the originals.
A traditional fixture at wakes, trays of tobacco-filled pipes were offered to mourners, who after dipping the shank in whisky or Guinness to both seal and impart a good flavor to the clay mouthpiece, would smoke then break the pipes while saying "Lord have mercy."
This pipe is decorated with the shamrock and harp, two of Ireland's most renowned motifs. Today they are a popular groomsman's gift, considered proper for celebrating one's cultural heritage. Presented in a gift box. 6" L x 1 1/2" H. Was $80, now $30.
Clay pipes were common and inexpensive but they break easily so they're more a "smoke at home" pipe as they don't travel well.
In the old days (yes, way before even my time!), inns used to store the clay pipes owned by "regulars" and provide "communal pipes" for travelers ... who would "borrow" the communal pipe to smoke and then, their smoke finished, break off the button end with thumb and forefinger so it was ready for the next smoker to use.
Savinelli is a good choice and a good value (I own some and all are great smokers - the balsa filter is optional use) -- here's one I like -- the Savinelli SATURNIA Pipe - 310 Poker http://pipesandcigars.com/sasapi310po.html ... $74 -- grab some bulk or tinned tobacco, cigars and/or accessories and get free shipping with your order of $100 or more.
If you're thinking Meerschaum, Storient can custom make your Poker to your specifications (not cheap, but I think a very good value with exceptional quality and customer service) at http://www.meerschaumpipe.us/ and you can contact the owner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks,the Savinelli is nice,I have been looking for one with a straight stem but the style is a little off for me.I have been looking at estate pipes and have found a couple nice pokers but they are already sold.I will eventually find what I am looking for.