The ashtray is not as old as one should think. Pipe smokers used to empty their pipes in a brazier, actually the object to hold the burning material to light the pipe. Only when cigars and cigarettes came into fashion, the ash tray became necessary to tip off the ash in an elegant way without spoiling the carpets.
An ashtray is in fact no more than a simple bowl with a slight inclination on the rim to hold the burning cigarette end. However, the designs are unlimited in variation that makes the object fascinating. Funny designs are the crushed cigarette packages, copied in porcelain; with the printed brand name they become a very appropriate publicity.
Ashtrays for cigars tend to be elongated in shape, in order to hold the longer cigar in balance when laid aside. Fabric and color match the fashion of the day, such as the examples in Quimper ceramic, the ones produced for the famous Maxime in Paris or examples in opaline glass.
The Gouda ceramic industry produced a wide selection of ashtrays, painted in the popular color scheme and always provided with the hand painted factory mark on the back. After World War II the ashtray gets more and more mass-produced, since every hotel and restaurant ordered their own series and the publicity made them available for free. These objects tend to disappear completely, but get an afterlife as collector’s items.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes