Beauty for Ashes?

vintage ashtray


I recently picked up this vintage ashtray at a thrift store.  Mainly because I loved the deep, cobalt blue color.  And, I thought it would be a pretty piece to hold my watch and jewelry.  I know the thought of it once being used for ashes is a little unappetizing, but I prefer to think it’s more Mad Men than disgusting.  And, it makes me wonder how long we’ll actually see pretty ashtrays around at all. . . kind of like rotary phones.

When I was in elementary school, I used to help my mom clean the office where my dad worked.  Believe it or not, my job was to clean the ashtrays.  And, for whatever reason, I thought it was fantastic.  I can mentally walk through that office right now and tell you who the smokers were and where they sat.

Who knew finding an old ashtray could make this non-smoker reminisce?  :)


  1. says

    I love old ashtrays too. I never smoked but my father always has. I used to give him a handmade ashtray every year for Christmas. Most were mosaic so I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately.

  2. says

    Visiting some estate sales, I’ve seen some pretty ashtrays….I start reminiscing too. Childhood memories, I had smokers in my family as well. Anyway, it’s okay to repurpose a beautiful ashtray, right? Emily, I enjoy visiting your blog from time to time.

  3. says

    I have a beautiful multicolored glass ashtray from Italy that my parents received as a gift in the late 1950’s. I’ve never used it as an ashtray but as a work of art.

  4. says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who seems to be drawn to pretty ashtrays, I always found it strange because I’m the biggest anti-smoker. It’s also funny you mentioned Mad Men because while I was on bedrest with my pregnancy I watched a ton of them on Netflix and I joked that after watching them all I wanted to do was put on a pretty dress and drink and smoke!

  5. says

    so true. my son recently found an old ashtray at my mother’s house that my grandmothers used to use when they visited. he had no idea what it was for and when I told him, he looked at me like I was nuts! They were such a staple of a home. Everyone had one, even if they didn’t smoke! They were a part of the decor in many ways and so it’s wonderful to put them to better use!

  6. says

    This actually made me laugh. Unfortunately, my dad was a smoker. We always had really cool ashtrays around. It was very mad men. What makes me laugh is that recently my husband and I were laughing about making an ashtray in elementary school. It was one of the choices we had when we had to craft something from clay for our parents. I was pretty proud of my duck ashtray. Haha.

  7. says

    Love reading all these comments reminiscing!! We only had the plain glass ones that I remember ( now I will be on the lookout however for the really cool ones!!) love the cobalt blue, Emily- you have a great eye!

  8. says

    I love old ashtrays….you can find some really cool ones cause I think some people are skeved out about them. My friend just bought an airstream and all of the original dishes and everything were still in it from 1970. One of the items was one of those old bean bag ashtrays!

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