A New Unsmoked CAO Meerschaum

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pappymac

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Feb 26, 2015
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A pipe smoking friend just out of nowhere sent me a gift box. It contained The Perfect Smoke by Frank Hanna, a pipe holder shaped as a Horses Head and a never smoked CAO Meerschaum. He said it was carved by Ismet Bekler but didn't have a clue about the year. It still had a price tag on the stem showing the extremely high price of $39.95.



 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
15,147
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What wonderful gifts! I've got a feeling that meer will color in a most interesting way -- with the stem and leaf-carving darkening first. It'll be interesting to see how the lattice work on the bowl colors too.

 

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metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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Washington State
Great gifts! Enjoy the pipe! It looks like a beauty.
That CAO meerschaum, if actually carved by Beckler, would fetch $150 or more on ebay. Beckler's name would be carved on the side of the shank if it is his pipe. Since Beckler's passing in 2009, his pipes have increased in value over the years. With that said, that was a very generous gift from your friend. Enjoy!

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
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Quite a gift box, and that's a classy looking meer. Congrats...enjoy.

 

gnesiohamartolos

New member
Jan 10, 2014
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Historical footnote. CAO is Cano Ogenzer, the Columbia University educated Turkish engineer of Armenian ancestry whose CAO once sold meerschaum pipes though he moved on to become a top premium cigar maker. He seems to have retired from that as well. Once read (can't remember where) that Ogenzer used his engineering skills to make his pipes structurally sound and deliver as unobstructed a smoke as possible. Truly hope you enjoy your new pipes.

 

pappymac

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Feb 26, 2015
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This is actually my second CAO meerschaum. The first was a Christmas present from my wife in 1984. It's always been a great smoker too.

 

jonasclark

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Aug 4, 2013
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Seattle
If that's a Bekler, it should be signed on the shank, "i. Bekler". Nearly all of his CAO pipes were signed; the only ones I know of that weren't were a few abstracts. If this isn't signed, I'd say firmly that it wasn't carved by Bekler, but I'd also say just as firmly that it'd still be an excellent meerschaum!

 

brendhain

Member
Mar 5, 2018
126
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What is your friend's name and is he looking for more friends? ;-)
When I was in college (1986-1991) I worked in a pipeshop an hour away from Nashville, where CAO is based. Once or twice a year we would go down to Cano to buy pipes. Such a hospitable gentle. At that time his operation was in the basement of his house. It was a very nice house and basement. His son now runs the business and the cigar business has allowed them to have a warehouse etc. I got to spend hours opening case after case of meerschaums.
No guarantee here but that I am pretty sure that your pipe is from 1986 or earlier. I believe that all of the CAO cases made after 1986 were the "pipe shaped" that is more traditional for meerschaums.
Does anyone have more info on that?

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
155
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Wow,pappymac That CAO is a nice little spin on the lovat or billiard shape. If I owned this one, I think I would deticate it to only smoke lakeland style tobaccos. Because of the floral theme of the carving. :)

 

akfilm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
309
1
Nice pipe. If it's a CAO Bekler it'll be signed on the shank and the case may even have another sticker that says "Bekler Meerschaum Made in Turkey". I love my Bekler and regardless, good find, and bound to be an excellent smoke.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
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jeffro - It's a corn cob with the corn shuck around the bowl and shank. I've been using it mostly for Virginias or VaPers.
johnsteam86 - It is a very good smoker and a pipe cleaner passes easily all the way from the bit to the bowl.
No Bekler signature on the shank. The one in the box just says Made in Turkey. When did Bekler start signing his pipes? I can't imagine he did it right from the start.

 

akfilm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
309
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He started signing them before he started with CAO, he started signing them with Golden Horn, when he went to CAO he kept signing them.

 
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