When you hear the word ‘ashtray’, memories of sand-filled canisters peppered with tons of cigarette butts come to mind. Anything but cool and pretty much totally disgusting. But stylish ashtrays exist, and vintage versions are among the best. Who’d think an astray could change the smoking experience? But just like a great lighter or a fancy cigar/cigarette case, having good smoking accouterments can make all the difference.
The great news is that they use a gamut of materials, including glass, crystal, metal, and stone, and the range of shapes and sizes also varies greatly. Searching for a vintage ashtray opens you up to a tremendous selection of both styles and materials, as well as to a wide array of artistry. Some styles are truly unique pieces that are tough to find, while some vintage-inspired styles are modern creations more readily available. We’ve chosen ten great vintage ashtrays you can buy on the web right now.
Vintage Brass Marine Anchor Ashtray
This full brass nautical-themed vintage ashtray looks properly aged, having been made in the ’20s. The double lid keeps ash from blowing around, and it maintains a clean look when you’re not using it. Grab the curved handles to open it, and the undersides of both lids have a convenient cigar rest, as well.
Fenton Art Glass Colonial Green Hobnail Nesting Ashtrays
There’s something so Mad Men about smoky vintage green glass for an ashtray, and this set boasts three that nest together for easy storage and ideal group stogie time. The Hobnail pattern provides visual and tactile texture, and the three different sizes might just be the most brilliant idea to accommodate different smoking speeds.
Holland and Holland Vintage Porcelain Ashtray
The price of this basic ashtray might seem shocking, but it comes from one of the oldest gunmakers in London. Holland and Holland makes bespoke hunting rifles, and this deep vintage porcelain ashtray boasts a handsome blue pattern along with lettering from the firearms brand. It might just be the best cigar ashtray after a day of pheasant hunting.
Heavy Green Glass Twin Ashtray with Case & Lid
Here’s another green glass beauty that actually houses two cigarette ashtrays in a case and a matching lid. The two rectangular ashtrays fit inside the lower portion (which can also be used as a larger ashtray), and the metal (pewter?) is an upturned acorn. The case, lid, and vintage ashtrays have deep creasing that’s bound to get attention.
This blocky beast might not actually be truly vintage, but we love the simplicity and visual aging in a piece that might not be out of place at the Guggenheim. Four separate cigar rests are on the wide-rimmed perimeter, and you can rest assured that the heavy ashtray won’t tip over. Choose from several colors, including our favorite: plain grey.
Lalique Santa Maria Sailing Ship Frosted Cut Inverse Relief Cigar Ashtray
Yep, another nautical vintage ashtray is in the mix. The frosted cut glass rendition of Columbus’s largest ship to make the historic 1492 voyage is a conversation piece of the vintage kind. The thick glass has a rounded rim, and there are two rests set within it. The inverse relief cut makes it look like the ship is floating. Just resist the urge to touch it when there’s a pile of hot ash inside.
Deco Chromed Steel Estate Ashtray with Soaring Eagle
We don’t sit on the Audobon Society board of directors, but we’re pretty sure this is not an eagle. Who cares, though? The duck or goose in flight above the chromed ashtray is all kinds of cool. The back of the bird can be used as a cigar rest, and you can settle for creating some nice ash droppings in the concave tray just aft of this proud waterfowl.
Vintage Orrefors Crystal Mid-Century Brutalist Ashtray
Every smoker needs a chunky-ass crystal ashtray in his set, and Orrefors of Sweden makes some of the best. This mid-century (1960s) version is beautifully cut, handsomely thick, and properly heavy. Sure, you could use it as a candy bowl, but that would just be plain wrong. This sucker deserves a fat Habano each and every time.
Pewter Wolf Head Ashtray
This estate sale ashtray is a classic with a wolf’s head popping right of the middle. The 7.5-inch ashtray was made by International Pewter out of Connecticut in the 1950s, and it looks well-patinated but still in very good condition. Use pipes, stogies, cigs, etc. in the curved bowl, and even use its head for a rest.
This vintage cigarette ashtray looks properly aged with a deep green and black colorway, but its best feature is the big domed shell with hexagonal cutouts for your lung rockets and a vent hole for the smoke. The shell comes off to reveal the ashtray, and you can get a better look at the reptilian skin texture on the limbs and head. Gamera is the only turtle that does fire better than this.