Athletic Figure Adorned Silver-plated Ashtray, c.1910

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This is a silver-plated decorative ashtray, dated c.1910. A circular base with several depressed slots is dramatically adorned with a running male figure, artfully rendered in mid-stride. 

Even though the practice of smoking tobacco has been around since the 16th century, cigarettes did not achieve widespread popularity until the middle of the 19th. Not surprisingly, that’s also about the time when the first ashtrays appeared.

Highly collectable, vintage ashtrays offer snapshots of the time period in which they were made. Styled in Art-Nouvou, Victorian, and Arts & Crafts styles, many of these trays feature themed decorative elements, celebrating the pastimes of the day. Horse, sports, and game-themed ashtrays were quite popular.

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