French Ash Tray
0.5" x 4" x 5"
This lovely dish is made of pewter, a metal alloy that consists largely of tin and has been used since antiquity. The dish features an appealing high relief carving of a rose on the left hand side. Low relief carvings of leaves and flower buds stretch out to the right of the tray and peak out over the edges. Thumb sized depressions can be seen at either end of the tray, for ease in moving around. The tray itself is likely from the 20th century, when the Art Deco movement was in full swing in France: this movement placed great value on the decorative quality of an object, and favoured themes of nature – among others – in designs. An inscription on the back of the tray reads “Depose, Made in France, No. 592”, confirming its French origins. It is possible that the number inscribed may also be understood as an ‘edition’ number; this is the 592nd tray produced of this style. Whether you use it as an ash tray or a place to keep your keys, this distinctive 20th-century dish is sure to add a little history to any table in your home.
At this time in history, the 20th century was a time of innovation in France. Large events such as the Exposition Universelle took place in 1900, 1925, and 1947. Technological advancements were shared with thousands, as were avant-garde styles such as “art deco”. While the Art Deco movement was established in France and became known for elements such as bold geometric patterns, and frequent nature motifs, it also rapidly reached the United States, where it had a great impact on architecture and can still be seen today. The famous Chrysler building of New York, for example, is an Art Deco building!