Re-purposing vintage ashtrays

Remember when smoking was glamorous?  I used to have quite a collection of cigarette holders that I loved to take to parties.  Those days have long gone…lamentably…sometimes it would be nice to throw all caution to the wind again and forget about lung cancer and damaging my skin!  Anyway, I couldn’t resist buying these two gorgeous ashtrays recently, even if I never get to use them.  But I’m wondering how I could re-purpose them…

Blue and white imari ashtray
Blue and white ceramic ashtray

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Hand painted blue and white Imari porcelain

Earlier this week I re-visited Kurashiki, my first ‘home’ in Japan. Back in 1987 I lived there for a year while I worked on the JET program as an assistant English teacher. Lots of nice memories as I walked around the Bikan Chiku area… I came across a lovely antique store near Ivy Square and couldn’t resist adding a pair of hand painted Meiji era Imari plates to my blue and white collection. Aren’t they lovely?  Two fan shaped Imari plates