Two of the most common types of pipe on the market are definitely “Bulldog” and “Rhodesian”. They are often each other confused because, apparently, they are very similar and there are not defined distinguishing criteria.
They are classic pipes with impeccable English aplomb and they are also considered more casual than other types of pipe characterized by more slender and linear forms. The bulldog and rhodesian must have a form very well designed not to be heavy, tacky and disproportionate.
In particular, both are pipes that occur with a massive form, of remarkable personality and a chamber rather flared at the bottom.
It’s hard to distinguish them from other genres, it is, however, to distinguish the two types.
The Bulldog is said to be defined in this way because the slightly squat shape resembles, in fact, a dog of that breed. According to other interpretations, it would be the square shank, characteristic of this type of pipe, remember the face of a bulldog.
However, according to the most of opinions, the Bulldog pipe has a square shank and a chamber very flared in the lower part. The upper part of the head is very tapered and highlighted by two horizontal grooves at the point where the flared portion ends and starts the closing flap. Usually, then, all the head of the pipe is slightly tilted forward.
The Bulldog, originally, was born as a straight pipe, but it can be found, on the market, bent or half-bent.
The Rhodesian, at first glance, looks much like the bulldog, but some important differences are easy to spot, as there is no uniformity of opinion on the point.
First, the name comes from Cecil John Rhodes, who was a pioneer of the mining industry in southern Africa, he baptized a protectorate “Rhodesia” (now Zimbabwe) and he is said to have personally designed this type of pipe.
About the form, despite many uncertainties, can be drawn at least three distinctive elements on which there is a certain (though not absolute) concordance of judgments. In the first place, the Rhodesian are decidedly more flattened than the bulldog. Secondly, the shank of Rhodesian, in general, is circular and not square, even if it is easy to find Rhodesian variants with square barrel. Finally, while originally the bulldog is straight, the Rhodesian is half-bent.