James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, the Marlborough Man – even the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Each one of the hottest icons of the 1950s and an icon for cigarette smoking.
Small wonder that smoking prevalence in the 1950s approached 60% of US adult males (Center for Disease Control) and nearly 80% of the UK adult population.
Sixty years of public health education and anti-smoking laws governing restaurants and workplaces have seen smoking population rates plummet from to less than 20% by 2010 (CDC).
We may have given up the bad breath, stinky clothes and chronic coughs, but a robust trade in smoking memorabilia in the antique industry indicates that we have not surrendered our fond memories of the time when cigarettes were not just socially acceptable, they were downright cool and sexy.
In my Graniteware Garden post I repurposed a combination ashtray/fireplace tool smoke stand as a birdfeeder stand.
Recently a prominent local antique dealer bought this mint 1950s smoke stand we consigned to my uncle’s auction.
It is in truly mint condition and offers covered ashtrays, cup or glass holder, pipe holder (the orange and green marble part), as well as the clock. The ornate metalwork perfectly chromed offset by the warm marble sections. The only thing missing is the lighter which would have sat in the indented base of the handle.
Whatever your opinion on tobacco smoking, you gotta admire the elegant, sophisticated design of this piece.