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May 24, 2021
High Aesthetic: Handsome Ashtrays to Please and Impress

BY JULIA SAVIGNANO

Smoking, that oft-maligned pleasure, has asserted its right to existence with a beautiful defiance. Whether you’re a dabbler when it comes to combustion or a seasoned veteran, there’s no harm in elevating your little habit with these odes to ritual. We’ve gathered here some treasured finds, ranging from organic earthenware like the Wake and Bake set from Mister Green, to undercover modernist objets like Bruno Munari’s architectural Cubo ashtray. Feel free to go luxe with that Carrara marble or loud with some leopard print: it’s your home and you can ash where you please.      

Elevated

Wake and Bake Mug Set - General Admission for Mister Green, $114

 

Every good ritual comes with its magical objects, and the classic Wake-and-Bake is no exception. General Admission and cannabis lifestyle shop Mister Green collaborated on the perfect mug-and-tray duo, lovingly handmade in Mexico. There’s a gentleness to the ceramic shapes, guaranteed to take the edge off those early (or late!) mornings. 

Cubo Small Ashtray - Danese Milano (Designed by Bruno Munari), $80

Available in White, Black, Orange, Small or Large

 

You may know Bruno Munari from his seminal book Design as Art, peeking out of that cutie’s tote bag. Futurism, constructivism, you know the drill. But even without that design degree, there’s something so appealing about this architectural… bin. You could even cosplay as a sleek 80s businessperson, twirling your phone cord in one hand, and depositing a clean line of ash into this entirely cubical ashtray. 

Brown Large Leopard Ashtray - WACKO MARIA, $110

 

Wacko Maria kicks up their signature animal print into high gear in this ceramic leopard ashtray. It’s an ode to twangy, opulent Americana, which manages to feel surprisingly fresh when executed with Japanese craftsmanship. This baby is all leopard on top, gold rims on the sides, and a naughty admission on the bottom, in a clean sans serif, stating: GUILTY PARTIES.

Living White Carrara Marble Ashtray - Carrara Home Design, $60

Available in Black 

 

Carrara is where you go if you want real Italian marble, straight from the quarries. And why not demand the best? Carrara Home Design brings that authenticity with this weighty, elegant ashtray, handmade from the same stone that Michelangelo made his selections. Deeply understated but no less sculptural.

TemaE Variazioni N°393 ashtray - Fornasetti, $156

 

As the world rushes by, it’s all the more important to stop and smell the roses. Give yourself a reminder with this pretty porcelain ashtray, featuring an exquisite print of Lina Cavalieri, muse of designer Piero Fornasetti, doing just that: eyes closed, breathing in. And if you so desire, there are matching candles to really set the mood. 

High Luxury

Mille Fiore Mary Lou - Heven, $352

 

Heven is part of a new generation of glassblowers who create undulating, evocative shapes that feel utterly contemporary. Glassblowing duo Breanna Box and Peter Dupont draw from their haute couture backgrounds to make all their pieces by hand in a rural English studio. Each ashtray combines classic millefiori elements in the interior, with signature dripping curves for sides. 

Ashtray 90046 - Alessi (Bauhaus design by Marianne Brandt), $215

 

Provocatively named with a prestigious Los Angeles zip code, this ashtray makes its mark with iconic flourish. Ashtray 90046 was designed in 1924 by Bauhaus designer Marianne Brandt and faithfully reproduced by Alessi. The sleek hemisphere rests on three feet, with a graceful circular opening accompanied by a cigarette holder. Sexy and sophisticated, it comes in both stainless steel and brass. 

Squash Ashtray - Memphis Milano (Designed by Maria Sanchez), $235

Available in other colors

 

If you wish you lived in a technicolor funhouse, à la '80s Italian design, here’s just the thing. The Squash Ashtray designed by Maria Sanchez is pulled straight out of the unexpectedly influential 1985 Memphis Milano Collection. With overlapping geometric shapes, playful volumes, and a vague semblance of functionality, this is the pinnacle of Memphis pop. 

Guggenheim Cigarettes and Cigars Round Ashtray - Mmairo (Designed by Michele Chiossi), $299

 

It looks like the Guggenheim, sort of, if it were flattened into a white marble ashtray. It’s minimal, Italian, somewhat familiar and strange at the same time. It inhabits a universe when Kim and Kanye were still together in their all-white mansion, everyone dressed in shades of nude. Can one find comfort in a past that never existed, you ponder, as you tap your smoking apparatus into the winding, layered ashtray.

Low-Cost but Highbrow

Modernist Ashtray Bauhaus Design - Schoenwald Germany, $22

 

Here’s a reproduction of the iconic 1926 Bauhaus ashtray, designed by Marianne Brandt —the sole woman you could find amongst Bauhaus metalworkers. Old-school German porcelain company Schoenwald elegantly substitutes an ivory porcelain for the bottom, while keeping the original stainless-steel lid. And the ash you tap against the porcelain cone slides right down the edges and neatly into the bowl, out of sight. Minimal yet incredibly useful—it’s Bauhaus, after all.

Square Floral Ashtray - Hebron Arts, $23

Other colors, styles available

 

Vibrant, hand-painted arabesque swirls and flowers bring charm to this classic square ashtray. Hebron Arts is a storefront that shares household goods made by family-owned businesses in Hebron, Palestine—a city known for its glass and ceramic art. The ritual of smoking has always been one of community, and you can now take it a step further by helping sustain traditional craft practices.

Castro Gold Tray - CB2, $35

 

Leave it to Crate and Barrel the Second—sorry, CB2—to give us something that looks surprisingly luxurious for such a low price tag. Made entirely of a satiny stamped brass, with four delicate divets for your smoking apparatus of choice, this “Castro” “Gold” tray really brings that atmosphere of indulgence.

Spout Ashtray - Eric Bonnin, $40

 

New York-based ceramicist Eric Bonnin brings his Parisian sensibilities to his stoneware. His Spout Ashtray is no exception, with a solid, sturdy functionality that meets an elegance of line. Perfect for that dinner party where you set out the good Heath plates for your guests.

Runner-Ups

Tria Yellow/White Ashtray  - Livio De Simone, $130

Mexican Cast-Glass Ashtray – Tetra, $45

Anmut Gold Ashtray - Villeroy & Boch, $72

Rimini Blu Ashtray in Blue - Bitossi Ceramiche, $40


Julia Savignano is a culture, wellness, and culture of wellness writer living in Los Angeles. She doesn’t have a dog but wishes she did.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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