Ashtrays Ashtrays

The Art of
the Ashtray

The Art of
the Ashtray

High design, practicality and a dash of danger

Everyone knows that smoking is a dirty habit. And it goes without saying that it's pretty terrible for your long-term health. But despite smoking's bad rap, ashtrays themselves remain pretty cool among lovers of design. Perhaps it's because they're tied to this verboten behavior—it gives these little receptacles an air of danger.

I'm not exactly sure what it is, but there's definitely something cool about them. Especially the swanky designer options or quirky vintage ones from that bygone era of casual smoking. An ashtray is now like a piece of art that adds a subtle shot of throwback cool to a coffee table, entryway or desk. Plus, they're practical—making for the perfect catchall for keys, AirPods and loose change. Or they can serve their original function and house a smoldering stick of palo santo or incense.

Fred Castleberry, founder and designer of F.E. Castleberry, has amassed an impressive collection of old hotel ashtrays—some of which are for sale at his shop. “The best souvenirs are not bought ... they're lifted,” he says. “Some I've nicked myself while others I've sniped on eBay.” These repurposed trinket trays remind us of the places we have been (or would like to go). Something we've been doing a lot of lately. So if you don't have one, let us make a few suggestions.


Our Picks

Casa Carta Leaf Ashtray

Leaf ashtray,
$138 by Casa Carta

Visol Ramses Crystal Cigar Ashtray

Ramses crystal cigar ashtray,
$76.99 / $71.99 by Visol

Hermes Sellier Porcelain Tray

Sellier porcelain tray,
$610 by Hermès

Atelier de Madame Rose Vintage Cinzano Ashtray

Vintage Cinzano ashtray,
$30.35 at Atelier de Madame Rose

Takashi Murakami Flower Ashtray

Flower ashtray,
$75 by Takashi Murakami

Soho Home Antique Brass Ashtray

Used on the terraces for the Soho Houses from London to Amsterdam

Used on the terraces for the Soho Houses from London to Amsterdam

Antique brass ashtray,
$59 by Soho Home

Jonathan Adler Op Art Porcelain Tray

Op Art porcelain tray,
$38 by Jonathan Adler

The Silver Oyster Vintage Swiss Hotel Ashtray

Vintage Swiss hotel ashtray,
$22.50 at The Silver Oyster

Hotel Savoy Ashtray

Hotel Savoy ashtray,
$275 at F.E. Castleberry

Wacko Maria Leopard Ceramic Ashtray

Leopard ceramic ashtray,
$108 by Wacko Maria


The upside to less people smoking? You can find deals on vintage ashtrays in antique shops or online, if you know what you’re searching for.

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