Imagine you’re sitting in a dimly lit lounge, savoring the smooth taste of a premium cigar. You take a deep drag and exhale a cloud of smoke, watching it rise lazily toward the ceiling. As you reach for your cigar ashtray, you realize that it’s a true masterpiece of form and function, designed to enhance your smoking experience and elevate your status as a cigar aficionado. 

Cigar ashtrays aren’t just accessoriesthey’re statements. They speak to your taste, sophistication, and appreciation for the finer things in life. They’re the perfect blend of style and substance, combining practicality with aesthetics in a way that only the best cigar accessories can. 

If you’re serious about taking your cigar game to new heights, you’ll want to learn more about cigar ashtrays, from their cultural significance to the science behind their design. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, you’ll learn everything you need to know about these indispensable smoking accessories. So, sit back, light up your favorite cigar, and embark on a journey into the world of cigar ashtrays where class, style, and machismo meet. 


Facts About Cigar Ashtrays You’ll Want to Know 

What Is Their Cultural Significance? 

Cigar smoking has a long and rich history, dating back centuries to when tobacco was first discovered by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Since then, the smoking of cigars has become a symbol of sophistication and luxury, a status symbol for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Cigar ashtrays, in turn, have become an essential accessory for cigar smokers, serving both practical and cultural purposes 


Historical Background 

Did you know that cigar ashtrays have a long and varied history as they evolved over time to meet the needs of cigar smokers? The earliest ashtrays were likely simple dishes or bowls that were used to collect the ash and cigarette butts from smoking tobacco. As cigar smoking grew in popularity in the 19th century, so too did the demand for specialized ashtrays designed to accommodate the larger size of cigars. 

One of the most famous manufacturers of cigar ashtrays was the French company, Limoges. Founded in the late 1700s, Limoges became known for its high-quality porcelain, which was used to create exquisite cigar ashtrays in a variety of designs. These ashtrays were highly prized by cigar aficionados and became a status symbol in their own right. 


Cigar Ashtrays in Social Gatherings 

Cigar smoking has long been associated with social gatherings, where it serves as a means of socializing and connecting with others. Cigar ashtrays play an important role in these gatherings, serving as a focal point for the group and providing a convenient place to dispose of ash and cigar butts. 

In some cultures, cigar smoking is still seen as a symbol of power and influence. In these contexts, cigar ashtrays are often large, ornate, and made of expensive materials such as crystal or gold. These ashtrays are a way of demonstrating wealth and status, and they are often displayed prominently in the home or office. 


Cigar Ashtrays as Symbols 

Cigar ashtrays have also been used as symbols in art and literature, representing different ideas and values. In some cases, they have been used to represent wealth, power, and luxury. In other cases, they have been used to symbolize rebellion and counterculture. 

One example of the latter is the ashtray used by the iconic rebel James Dean in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. The ashtray, which was made by the French company Jieldé, has become a symbol of rebellion and nonconformity, embodying the spirit of the film and its protagonist. 

In art, cigar ashtrays have been used to represent a range of themes and ideas. For example, the artist Roy Lichtenstein created a series of paintings featuring ashtrays that were meant to evoke the glamor and sophistication of mid-century America. Other artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, used ashtrays as part of their surrealistic works, using them to challenge traditional notions of art and beauty. 

Cigar ashtrays are an essential accessory for cigar smokers, serving both practical and cultural purposes. From their historical evolution to their role in social gatherings and symbolism in art and literature, cigar ashtrays have played an important role in the cultural history of smoking. As cigar culture continues to evolve and adapt to changing social and cultural contexts, the importance of cigar ashtrays is likely to endure, serving as a symbol of sophistication, luxury, and cultural heritage. 


What Are the Materials Used for Cigar Ashtrays? 

When it comes to cigar ashtrays, the materials used can play a significant role in the smoking experience. They can affect the flavor and aroma of the cigar, as well as its durability and practicality. Each material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of material ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. Cigar enthusiasts can experiment with different materials to find the ashtray that best suits their needs and enhances their smoking experience. 

Here's a closer look at each of the common materials used for cigar ashtrays: 


  • Glass  

Since glass is non-porous, it won’t absorb any of the cigar’s flavors or aromas, making it a popular material for cigar ashtrays. This allows the smoker to enjoy the cigar's full flavor profile without any interference. Glass ashtrays are also a practical choice for everyday use because they are easy to clean and maintain. 


  • Ceramic  

Ceramic ashtrays are durable and heat-resistant, which makes them ideal for outdoor use. They are less likely to crack or break if dropped, and they can withstand exposure to high temperatures without warping. Ceramic ashtrays also come in a variety of styles and designs, making them a popular choice for collectors who want to showcase their collections. 


  • Metal  

Metal ashtrays are often made from stainless steel or brass, which gives them a sleek and stylish look. They are heavy and stable, which makes them less likely to tip over. Metal ashtrays can also be very durable, and they are less likely to break or crack than other materials. However, they can also absorb heat quickly, which means they may become too hot to handle if left in direct sunlight or near a heat source. 


  • Wood  

Wood ashtrays are often handmade and can be highly decorative, with intricate designs and patterns. They are also absorbent, which means they can absorb some of the flavors and aromas of the cigar. This can add a unique element to the smoking experience, as the wood ashtray can enhance the flavors of the cigar. However, wood ashtrays may be more difficult to clean and maintain than other materials, as they can absorb moisture and become damaged if not properly cared for. 

What Are the Key Design Considerations to Consider When Choosing a Cigar Ashtray? 

Choosing a well-designed cigar ashtray can greatly improve the smoking experience by enhancing the cigar’s flavor and aroma while preventing messes. Several factors should be considered when selecting an ashtray to ensure that it fits the smoker’s needs and enhances their enjoyment of the cigar, whether smoking indoors or outdoors. 

Here are some key design considerations to keep in mind when choosing a cigar ashtray: 


  • Size 

The size of the ashtray should be appropriate for the size of the cigar being smoked. A larger cigar requires a larger ashtray to accommodate its ash, while a smaller cigar may be better suited to a smaller ashtray. Choosing the right size ashtray can help prevent ash from spilling over the sides and onto furniture or clothing. 


  • Depth  

The depth of the ashtray is also important, as it helps prevent ash from being blown away by wind or movement. A deeper ashtray can help to contain the ash, preventing it from scattering and making a mess. This is especially important for outdoor use, where wind can be a factor. 


  • Shape 

The shape of the ashtray can affect the way the cigar burns. A round ashtray can encourage a more even burn, while a flat ashtray can lead to an uneven burn. The shape of the ashtray can also affect how the cigar is held, and whether or not it stays in place. Some ashtrays have raised edges or other features that help to keep the cigar in place. 


  • Features 

Some ashtrays come with built-in features like cigar rests or holders. These can be helpful in keeping the cigar in place and preventing it from falling or rolling. Other features, like built-in cutters or humidors, can enhance the smoking experience and make it more enjoyable. 


What Are Some Tips for Maintaining a Cigar Ashtray? 


A well-maintained high-quality cigar ashtray can provide years of smoking enjoyment. Consequently, proper maintenance and care of a cigar ashtray can help to prolong its life and ensure that it continues to enhance the smoking experience. By following the tips below, cigar enthusiasts can keep their ashtray clean, hygienic, and in good condition, allowing them to enjoy their cigars to the fullest.  


  • Clean regularly. 

 Regular cleaning is crucial to maintaining the ashtray's appearance and hygiene. A clean ashtray not only looks better but also enhances the flavor and aroma of the cigar. Use warm water and mild soap to clean the ashtray, making sure to rinse it thoroughly and dry it completely to prevent water damage. 


  • Avoid harsh chemicals. 

 Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia when cleaning the ashtray because they can damage the surface and affect the taste of the cigar. Instead, use mild cleaners and avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool or scrub brushes. 


  • Store properly. 

 Store the ashtray in a dry, cool place to prevent cracking or warping. Since exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can also damage the ashtray, it's best to avoid placing it in areas where it may be exposed to these conditions. If storing the ashtray for a prolonged period, wrap it in a soft cloth or paper to protect it from dust or scratches. 


What Are Some Tips for Starting a Collection of Cigar Ashtrays? 


Starting a collection of cigar ashtrays can be an exciting and fulfilling hobby. You can build a collection of unique and valuable pieces that will enhance your enjoyment of cigars and add beauty and sophistication to your home decor. Here are some tips to help you get started: 


  • Research. 

To build a successful collection, it's important to research the different types of cigar ashtrays and what makes them valuable. Understanding the history, craftsmanship, and rarity of different pieces can help you make informed decisions when selecting ashtrays for your collection. Reading books, articles, and online forums can be a great way to learn more about cigar ashtrays and their significance. 


  • Shop around. 

Look for ashtrays at antique shops, cigar shops, and online retailers. You may be able to find unique and valuable pieces at a reasonable price. Attending cigar events, auctions, and estate sales can also be a great way to find rare or one-of-a-kind pieces. 


  • Focus on quality. 

 When starting your collection, it's important to focus on quality over quantity. Look for high-quality ashtrays made from durable materials such as glass, ceramic, metal, or wood. These materials are less likely to break or wear down over time, and they can also hold their value better than cheaper, lower-quality pieces. 


  • Display your collection. 

Once you have built up a collection of cigar ashtrays, display them in a way that showcases their beauty and uniqueness. This can be as simple as arranging them on a bookshelf or coffee table, or as elaborate as building a custom display case. Displaying your collection can help you appreciate and enjoy your ashtrays even more, while also sharing your passion with others. 


Where to Find the Best Cigar Ashtrays 


Cigar ashtrays are an essential accessory for any cigar smoker. While they serve the practical purpose of providing a place to dispose of ash, they also play a crucial role in enhancing the flavor and aroma of cigars.  

At 1st Class Humidors, we offer a wide assortment of cigar ashtrays in various styles and finishes. All our ashtrays are specially designed with body-grooved beds and are superb gifts for any cigar enthusiast. Contact us today to learn more about our products!