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.

Ashtray in copper with brass elements meant for cigars, on the top a burner for lighting the cigars. France, 1900-1920. Beautiful porcelain ashtray painted in polychrome colors of birds in a cartouche, the rim in silver with a support for the cigarette. France, Limoges, 1910-1930.
Ashtray as advertising object shaped like a package of Amsterdam made cigarettes. The Netherlands, 1910-1925.
Ashtray shaped like a crushed package of Camel cigarettes used as advertisement. England, 1930-1960.
A figural ashtray showing a sitting dog in copper enameled in Kanton-email. China, Kanton, 1930-1940.
Cigar ashtray shaped like a Dutch pipe sledge and painted in a local style. France, Quimper, marked HB, 1910-1940.
Cigar ashtray in opaline glass with its characteristic bright blue color. France, 1850-1880.
A set of two cigar ashtrays from Maxime with on the rim painting in Jugendstill style including the firms logo. Paris, 1900-1920.
Cilindrical ashtray of Gouda pottery, on the rim an advertisement for Van Rossem's tobacco. The Netherlands, Gouda, Zuid-Holland factory, 1920-1930.
A small cigarette ashtray usually sold by half a dozen so that every smoker could use his own ashtray. The Netherlands, Gouda, Zuid-Holland factory, 1920-1925.
The painted factory mark of the ashtray illustrated here above. The Netherlands, Gouda, Zuid-Holland factory, 1920-1925. Ashtray with sqare shape and souvenir painting in brown colors. The Netherlands, Gouda, Ivora factory, 1920-1930.
Cilindrical ashtrays of Gouda pottery, on the rim an advertisement for Van Rossem's tobacco. The Netherlands, Gouda, Zuid-Holland factory, 1920-1930.
An ashtray together with a cigar beaker and a cigarette beaker in Gouds pottery. The Netherlands, Gouda, Zuid-Holland factory, 1925-1930.
Square ashtray painted in a dark palette, on the rim an advertisement for a tobacco shop. The Netherlands, Gouda, Ivora factory, 1920-1930.
Ashtray shaped after an Egyptian sphinx produced in various soft colors. The Netherlands, Maastricht,.Sphinx factory, 1950-1960.
Ashtray shaped like a tobacco leaf, used as a gift by the factory Ed Laurens. Germany, Dehme, 1921.,
An advertisement ashtray for pubs with the publicity for cigarette maker Ed Laurens. France, 1960-1975. A beautiful set of four ashtrays in aluminium but painted in different colors to attach to a saucer. England, 1960-1965.

Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes
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