The part of the cigarette that’s left when you’re done smoking is called a “butt” — and back in the day, millions were made on toilet-themed ashtrays. These are just a few we’ve had. The one sans donkey is a bit confusing… It has one small potty or chamber pot for matches, another for ashes, and the center toilet bowl is for “cigarettes”. Perhaps the “butts” thing didn’t translate well. Or maybe this is for fancy folk who have both the inclination and the time to separate their ashes from their butts.
Both vintage tobacciana items were made in Japan (one in Occupied Japan) and are china Lusterware pieces. You can find lots of other versions of vintage toilet ashtrays on eBay, naturally.
We don’t always talk about our antique business here (we mainly do that here — sometimes here), however, I have to say that neither of these items were clean when we got them from the estate. So I had to take a tweezers and pluck out each old cigarette butt from the miniature toilets. It was very difficult to do with that toilet the donkey’s pulling because the bowl’s hole is so much smaller (however, butts can — and do — go where the bowl widens at the bottom). Not that you really care; but that’s the facts. The butt facts.
PS I wonder if women always made men put these toilet seats down too?
A mid-century modern gold-tone magazine rack with a pair of “his and hers” amber colored glass ashtrays on top.
In case you just thought candy cigarettes were just a thing from your childhood, know that they are much much older. Exhibit A, this vintage Gold Tip Gum package.
Made by The Sterling Mint Co., these 5 cent boxes of gum, in four flavors, date back to the 1920s — but were also used through the 1940s. And they look pretty awesome in their original store display stand. (
I’m giving mine away on Listia.)
If the “gold tip” part doesn’t convince you this is cigarette gum, check out what’s written inside the lid of the flip-top box:
The Aristocrat of Gums
Ten 5 cent Sticks
They still make candy and bubblegum cigarettes, but you rarely see them in stores. Oddly enough, I do spot the bubblegum chew in stores; infinitely grosser, in my opinion.
I’ve posted lots of ads and information from this antique Japan travel guide, but I had to share this pair of advertisements from Pope & Co., who don’t want you to go hungry! I guess their solution is for you to be good and drunk on trips to the interior. I guess numb will keep you dumb to your hunger, so drink up the champagne, the whiskey and the beer! And cigars; smoke ’em if you got ’em — and if you don’t have them, buy them from Pope & Co.
A vintage pottery skunk presides over a heart-shaped candy dish — or, I suppose it may have been used as an ashtray, even if the “ruffled” edge isn’t quite the standard for ash trays….
Of interest, at least to nuts like me, is the fact that time was taken to paint (rather sloppily) the underside of the skunk’s tail yellow.
They say one picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about why we’re posting this photo of a little boy celebrating liberation from the Nazis with a cigarette (April 1945) today.
Bookmarks from the collection of Lauren Roberts, who I just interviewed. Lots more there, including a die-cut NBC microphone bookmark. Yeah, I’m a tease.
Does the existence of these vintage bookmarks prove that smoking is bad for your health? …The old paper has lived longer than the smoking stars… Is that what the calenders were there to imply?
(I also interviewed Lauren several times.)
Invented in 1931; via Nationaal Archief.
Vintage ad for Al Kopis’ Bowling Supplies, a “certified Brunswick service dealer,” found in a 1972 Center States Football League yearbook for the West Allis Spartans — back when men could (and should) be seen puffing a big fat cigar in their advertising materials.
Vintage black and white photo of folks in a bar, tavern or night club. At our table, bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. The lady smoke Pall Malls; the gentlemen, Lucky Strikes. The other lady has her smokes hidden in her cigarette case or, as we called ’em, “weasel pouch.” Two ladies at our table are wearing hats, as are several gentlemen seated at the bar.
Measures 5 by 7 inches; 1945 ink stamped on back, along with 7-17-28.
For sale from us at eBay.