Premium cigarmaker C.A.O. International Inc. is going into the fine arts business with the C.A.O. Cubist Ashtray, which will be released at July's Retail Tobacco Dealers of America convention.
Here's a little art history factoid to mull while you smoke. The ashtray takes its name from the Cubism movement developed in Europe in the early twentieth century and made famous by such artists as Pablo Picasso.
Crafted out of concrete and chrome, the piece seems more sculpture than ash receptacle, like something M. C. Escher kept on his coffee table. The asymmetrical structure is composed of a series of terraced embankments situated around a square pit where the ashes go. Got it? Built to accommodate four sticks, the nine-inch square ashtray takes up a lot of room and weighs six pounds -- probably because of the concrete.
"We wanted to be innovative and a step away from an ordinary cigar ashtray," said C.A.O. vice president Tim Ozgener.
This isn't the first time C.A.O. has gone outside the box with its ideas. The company has been behind many inventive products, from "The Sopranos"-inspired cigars to its M.E.R.C.H. line of branded hats and T-shirts.
After its release at the RTDA show, the C.A.O. Cubist Ashtray will be available at select retail tobacconists. The price of the ashtray has not yet been announced.
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