Monday, November 9, 2015

A pink ashtray

Children tend to derive comfort and support from the totally familiar — an umbrella stand, a glass ashtray backed with brightly colored cigar bands, the fire tongs, anything.

William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980).
One of the pleasures of visiting my grandparents as a child was seeing the objects of their households, “the totally familiar,” always the same: a tiny porcelain boot with a penny in it, a dinner bell (for show not use), Hummel figurines, little bamboo cups for drinking a liqueur before Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing that seemed to change from one visit to another: the TV Guide .

This ashtray, which at some point came into my possession, was one of at least three in my paternal grandparents’ Camel-soaked living room. I remember three ashtrays. There may have been more.

[Click for a larger view.]

I had always thought this ashtray must be a piece of Depression glass. Looking online now for something like it, I think it may be Murano glass. The mystery of other people’s lives deepens.

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comments: 3

Fresca said...

That's gorgeous!

I have a little brass frog candleholder that sat in my grandmother's downstairs bathroom--I'd coveted it since childhood.

Daughter Number Three said...

So true. At some point I found in an antique store a green glass quart bottle that is just like the one my dad's mother used to store cold water in the fridge. I couldn't help buying it.

Pete said...

Beautiful. That almost makes me wish my grandmother had smoked. Her mainstays included Hummel and Royal Copenhagen figurines, and Persian rugs. The only things that ever changed were copies of U.S. News and World Report, and The Lutheran.