Thursday, January 24, 2013

The most beautiful ashtray ever

Did everybody catch the piece in yesterday's Daily Mail about the legendary Oregon Wonder Horses, a.k.a. the Real-Life My Little Ponies? Really, you didn't? Well, check it out here. These were 19th-century horses, probably Analusians, that were exhibited in circuses and side shows and horse shows. They had really long manes, like ten feet long, and they are just totally awesome fantasy horses. They're like Pegasus meets My Little Pony meets The Last Unicorn meets those carousel horses in Mary Poppins that come to life. After the most famous of the Wonder Horses, Prince Imperial, died in 1888, his owners had him stuffed and continued to display him at various venues where taxidermied Wonder Horses might draw a crowd. According to the article, he's still on display at some historical society in Ohio. Don't you love learning these random bits of American history from a British newspaper?

Anyway, reading about the Wonder Horses reminded me that I haven't shared this fabulous find: the Most Beautiful Ashtray in the World (in my opinion, you don't have to agree), designed by the great Sasha Brastoff. Close readers of this blog will recall my newfound obsession with the midcentury potter/sculptor/Carmen Miranda impersonator; I wrote about it here. I've been keeping my eye out at the estate sales ever since, resisting the siren song of ebay, where I could easily find the goods to turn my house into a Sasha Brastoff Ashtray Museum. But I won't, cuz as you know, it's all about the hunting and the finding and the keeping. The challenge to owning the most beautiful ashtray in the world in a nonsmoking household is trying to keep it free of loose change, collar stays, paper clips and small stones collected by small children. This is not a receptacle, people! It is a work of art. Behold.

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