Italian Estates: Becker Rusticated Paneled Billiard (1979-1983)
Product Number: 004-155-0461
Becker pipes were started by Fritz Becker, with he and his son, Paolo, starting to carve pipes in the late 1970s in limited quantities from choice extra-extra quality plateau briar from Calabria. The brand launched with their names stamped on the shank in 1979, with prior pieces were unmarked. Prior to Fritz's death in 1991, each Becker pipe was worked by both men. Paolo himself passed in late 2014, though Becker remains as it had begun — a family brand — with Paolo's son Federico now continuing the Becker brand, with a style and aesthetic quite similar to that of his father, not to mention the same quality of engineering and design.
Absorbing some aspects of Italian design and natural-born artistry, many Becker pipes can be easily recognized from a silhouette, with delicate shanks and pointed heels being a standard for the marque. While briar was the most common material for Becker pipes to use, the brand has always been innovative, making use of alternate media such as sandblasted morta and strawberry wood, each with very unique and desirable characteristics. Becker grades their pipes in a playing card theme and the better the hand (and stamped to match), the more rare and exclusive the creation.