Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID?

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Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID? Empty Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID?

Post by saunadog on June 9th 2020, 10:49 pm

I found this ashtray a number of years ago at an antique shop and haven't gotten around to (attempting) an ID until now.  It's very cool, the ashtray is ceramic (black with those typical mid-century squiggle lines - to mimic dripped on paint?).  There are no manufacturer marks on it at all. It's also rather large, measuring 10" long (could hold a lot of butts). 

Thought I'd throw this out to the group - you might enjoy the pictures at any rate :) Thanks!

Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID? 20200615

Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID? 20200613

Rather cool ceramic ashtray with tri-pod stand - can anyone ID? 20200614
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Post by philpot on June 10th 2020, 6:23 am

I definitely don't think its an ashtray. First and foremost an ashtray was a utilitarian object that had to do a job. This has no lip to rest a cigarette, too big to be carried, and the first few cigarettes stubbed on it would break the stand.
              Looks somewhat 50 ish. By the very nature of having the stand it makes a statement. A chic decorative non-practical piece. Part of the decorative ambience of a whole style.
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Post by studio-pots on June 10th 2020, 10:31 am

In the UK these type of things were on trend from the late 1950s into the 1960s and probably slightly earlier where you are.

From memory when I began dealing and I used to sell mid-century wares, they were often made in Japan. They were not special items with specific designers or manufacturers but "of the period".


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Post by denbydump on June 10th 2020, 12:30 pm

That wire stand with ball feet is straight out of the 50s.
Given the size, it's probably a fruit bowl or nut dish, but very stylish.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on June 10th 2020, 2:09 pm

lol - I've been moaning recently about people calling vintage ashtrays 'pin dishes'
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Post by saunadog on June 10th 2020, 8:40 pm

Thanks everyone.  So perhaps more of a decorative bowl to mimic the look of an ashtray.  I've circled what I thought were the "lips" to hold a cigarette, but they're quite large and would be more suited to a thin cigar.  

The stand is very sturdy.

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Post by philpot on June 10th 2020, 9:20 pm

I am intrigued. Why do you have such a strong association with it being an ashtray?
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Post by studio-pots on June 10th 2020, 9:22 pm

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what the intended purpose of it was and even if it was suitable for that purpose. It's stylish, of the period and it is worth what it is worth because of how it looks.

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Post by studio-pots on June 10th 2020, 9:25 pm

Continuing on from philpot's comment, it is probably best if no one thought it had anything to do with smoking, as that would make it less desirable.

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Post by saunadog on June 12th 2020, 2:35 pm

philpot wrote:I am intrigued. Why do you have such a strong association with it being an  ashtray?

The shape, plus the "lips" which you see on many ashtrays. It was nothing more than a hunch - if it was just intended to use as a bowl, it seems odd to add the "lip" element on top (unless it had an intended purpose). I'm certainly not married to the idea though, and at any rate it makes a nice display piece :)
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Post by carolalev on June 12th 2020, 3:32 pm

If it's a fruitbowl, would the rack hold a hand of bananas, or a bunch of grapes?
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Post by denbydump on June 12th 2020, 4:03 pm

For servers, sticks or skewers more likely. Toffee apples, fondue etc
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on June 12th 2020, 4:28 pm

Are you sure that the 'lips' aren't just a handle? There are four grooves, and when we pick something up by a handle we tend to do so with four fingers underneath.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on June 12th 2020, 5:11 pm

I vote with GG = Grip or handle - There are no ashtrays that big unless it's a prop for a 50s futuristic Jack and the Beanstalk Panto.
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Post by ppcollectables on June 12th 2020, 5:55 pm

If you tried to pick it up it would tip up and the dish would fall out as the 'handle' isn't at the centre of gravity
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on June 12th 2020, 10:38 pm

It might be inclined to tip a little but the bowl should still be held in the frame as it (the bowl) widens considerably behind the front 'V' of the frame so couldn't slip through easily. Also, because of the bowl's shape and position in the frame, the bulk of it's weight is up near the assumed handle, so the centre of gravity will be nearer to that end than one might first assume.
Of course, saunadog can settle this easily enough by trying to lift it with the handle and letting us know what happened.
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Post by studio-pots on June 13th 2020, 12:37 am

Grumpy Grandad wrote:It might be inclined to tip a little but the bowl should still be held in the frame as it (the bowl) widens considerably behind the front 'V' of the frame so couldn't slip through easily. Also, because of the bowl's shape and position in the frame, the bulk of it's weight is up near the assumed handle, so the centre of gravity will be nearer to that end than one might first assume.
Of course, saunadog can settle this easily enough by trying to lift it with the handle and letting us know what happened.
..................... while smoking?

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Post by Grumpy Grandad on June 13th 2020, 10:05 pm

Maybe, but probably best to put the ciggie in an ashtray while checking the stability of the handle of this decorative bowl.
Personally, I think it was probably intended to be a usable decorative piece for fruit or nuts.
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Post by ppcollectables on June 14th 2020, 10:16 am

I had a flash of inspiration whilst sitting on the toilet this morning ( did you need to know that ? ). Think about it, 50's/60's possibly smoking related with strange 'handle thing' , I reckon it is a pipe rack so that the bowl/ashtray is big enough to take 3 or so pipes all resting on the curly handle.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on June 14th 2020, 11:11 am

I'm not buying it. Stick some apples in it and all will be right in the world.
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Post by paveybe on June 14th 2020, 11:33 am

What is the stand made of - is it plasticised or enamelled? It is in very good condition - no damage, even the little feet are perfect. Are you sure it is mid 20th century and not a Memphis style design item, 1980s? That could account for design that is stylistic and not necessarily a direct result of function.
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Post by ppcollectables on June 14th 2020, 11:46 am

Trust me, pipe smoking was very big in the 50's and 60's.
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on June 14th 2020, 3:00 pm

Another way of thinking about it: if saunadog hadn't initially said it was an ashtray would anybody have thought it was smoking-related at all?
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on June 14th 2020, 3:26 pm

No. It's not a 'pin dish' either
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Post by ppcollectables on June 14th 2020, 3:30 pm

Well i'm still sticking with the pipe rack/rest thingy.
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