A New Unsmoked CAO Meerschaum

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jeffro

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Jul 18, 2017
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I never caught that the pipe is carved to look like a ear of corn :oops:

A hi end "Corn Cob" pipe so to speak then.

I have two CAO pipes and both of them smoke fantastic.

When your pipe starts to color in please post photos.

 

madox07

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Dec 12, 2016
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Wow ... now I know CAO made some very good cigars, I have actually smoked some back in 2005. I was really impressed by their stogies, but didn't know they made equally impressive pipes.

 

pappymac

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Feb 26, 2015
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https://pipedia.org/wiki/CAO
He started "re-engineering" meerschaum pipes in the mid-1960s. You can read about it here:
https://pipedia.org/wiki/CAO

 

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jonasclark

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Aug 4, 2013
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Seattle
Quick history on Bekler signatures:
Bekler's first importer was Irving Korn & Royal Meerschaum, beginning circa 1972 or 1973; his pipes sold through Royal carried a hang tag reading, "This pipe was carved by Ismet Bekler, Turkey's foremost sculpter(sic) and carver of meerschaum." As far as I know, nothing made for Royal was signed.
After Royal, he was imported by Golden Horn, and circa 1973 or 1974, began signing. First signature known is "BEKLER," then "iSMET," then "ismet Bekler." Most of his Golden Horn work in 1974 was also dated.
He was taken up by CAO circa 1977 or 1978, and at that time-- or, more likely, very shortly after-- it changed to the common "i. Bekler." Early CAO work sometimes also had "© CAO."
Only his series for CAO ever had an edition title and number (ex: "25/100"), these also being dated. He did some series for Golden Horn, but these all had stickers on the cases instead. Golden Horn put labels with a model name on all their pipes; Beklers said "Exclusively by Gold Horn - Genuine Bekler," and a second label IDed the series: "Collector's Special" (usually heads, such as famous composers), "Mystery Castle" (Bekler's easily-identifiable castles), "Imperial Heroes" (Middle Eastern or Asia bearded faces worked into flowing abstracts, sometimes with nude women) and "Beyond Imagination" (full abstracts).

 

pappymac

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Well, I don't know who carved my two CAO Meerschaums, but they are both great smokers. The one I have from 1984 is a bent Cavalier (bearded with a feather on his cap). It won't pass a pipe cleaner but it still smoke great.
It's a shame the one I pictured doesn't have a signature or other way to identify the carver. I would like to know the history of it.
I've always thought it was unfortunate that companies like CAO didn't keep some type of record on the pipes the sold. I guess there are just too many truly unique designs.

 

jonasclark

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P.S. Rectangular cases were used sporadically by CAO over the years, mainly (but not only) for special editions such as the Sherlock Holmes pipes, while shaped cases were more common. They also offered a "kidney case," an oblong shape which was more compact and held the pipe with the stem removed and inset next to the bowl.
Sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s, Bekler's pipes switched to rectangular cases with the new CAO logo (and Bekler's signature) printed on top, covered in a fuzzy velvet-like material-- usually red, green, sea-green or grayish-blue-- with a gold-colored metal band around the side. A very few I've seen lack the CAO logo but have the Bekler sig. I think most other CAO pipes stayed in shaped cases, and simply switched to the more common pecan-brown or pale gold inner lining and a new-style logo sticker.

 

npod

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Jun 11, 2017
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just out of nowhere

THAT is what I love about the pipe smoking community. Cheers Brother! A wonderful gift.
I have a signed I. Bekler CAO Meer that is among my favorites! I have had it 2 years now and the color is just starting to show. I try and smoke it when I'm smoking my other pipes, at the same time. I put just a pinch in the Meer and puff it when smoking others. That way it gets frequent action and expedites the coloring process.

 

tnfan

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Jan 9, 2012
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Franklin, Tennessee
Just a follow up on Cano. He sold the CAO company several years ago. I see him infrequently at a local Turkish restaurant and at the symphony. A few years ago he made some of his personal Bekler pipes available through Uptown's Smoke Shop here in Nashville. I was fortunate in being able to purchase a Bekler billiard engraved I. Bekler, Cano '06 from the colection. Thie pipe is in the red presentation box. I also own two other CAO Belklers. One came with a shaped case and the other in a red presentation box. They are excellent smoking pipes and color very nicely.


 

jonasclark

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Aug 4, 2013
588
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Seattle
That's beautiful. Bekler's work got plainer as time went on, but I think he was a master at smooth pipes and his loose takes on classic shapes are perfect.

 
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