Gold stone ashtray
This ashtray has never been a functional item for smokers, but a fashion item all the more. In the last part of the nineteenth century, millions of curiosities and garlands were made in German porcelain factories, and this object is one of them. Although intended as an ashtray, it is primarily a decorative item to exhibit in the then overcrowded houses of the constantly growing middle class. An embellished border of shells and snail houses can be seen in relief along the edge, the realistic representation of nature as Palissy had done with dishes centuries before. Across the object lies a tobacco pipe as decoration, as a nonfunctional pipe fixed to the ashtray with the bowl and stem. It is precisely by fitting a pipe that the use function of the object is seriously impeded. It is nice that a modern pipe design was chosen with a bulldog bowl and a short, saddle stem. From 1890, such shapes, made in briar wood, were extremely popular. The fact that the German porcelain factories made an infinite series of such ashtrays and other curiosities is evidenced by the shape number affixed to the bottom giving "3308". Unfortunately it is not clear where the production took place. In the Netherlands, this ware was especially popular as a showpiece in the farming environment, especially in the east Achterhoek. Nevertheless the object depicted here comes from a Zeeland family.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 16.952Permalink