Friday, February 3, 2012

Smoking in the Salon

Dahling…sashay on into my salon and pull up a chair.  Cigarette?  No?  Well, hold on a minute while I light mine and then we’ll talk.  (Ok…imagine the sultry voice of Mae West here.  LOL!)

Mae West

From the latter part of the 1800’s into the mid 1900’s, smoking was often considered to be glamorous and sophisticated.  Novels, and later, movies portraying the romantic and mysterious allure of smokers contributed to the huge demand for tobacciana items.   

One highly popular item around the turn of the century, especially in Europe, was the Parlor Smoking Set.  They were often made of majolica, porcelain or cast metal.  Smoking Sets can be found decorated with transfer scenes or handpainted florals.  The Set could consist of several pieces or one piece with various sections. 


This particular Smoking Set, made of porcelain and glazed a soft shade of green, was made sometime around 1900-1910 in Austria.  It’s decorated with handpainted pink flowers and gold trim .


There are three sections in the Smoking Set…one is used to hold matches…


The largest section is for the cigarettes…


And one section is for the spent matches.


On the back of the section for holding the matches are these handpainted letters – MOK.  Maybe the initials of the artist?  I have no idea.


Parlor Smoking Sets similar to mine can be difficult to find online…for the simple reason many people don’t realize exactly what they are. 


When I purchased this one, the seller had no idea what it was and had suggested perhaps it was made to use on the dining table to hold salt and pepper.  Hmmm, I suppose it could be used for that purpose if you really wanted to.


Thanks for dropping by my salon today!  I’m joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday and Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday.



Denise said...

Love the opening to this post. You're wonderful.

Do you think the items in the last picture might have been to hold items on a lady's dressing table???

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Just beautiful..I always love coming by here..You have things I have never seen..My hubs does have a rubber tire ashtray collection over 200 of them..I hope you have the BEST weekend ever my dear friend..Hugs and smiles Gloria

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Funny how acceptable smoking used to be--even having pretty things to use for the habit. Smoke didn't used to bother me, but now that it isn't legal to smoke in any public place anymore here, the rare time I smell smoke it makes my eyes run and me choke and everything else. Thanks for your informative and pretty post!


Smoking was so accepted back than that they made cigarette containers in silver, porcelain crystal etc. Mae West was fabulous! Great post, thanks for sharing. Happy weekend.

Holly said...

Educational AND beautiful! I had never heard of them before. No wonder they wanted to smoke - they had beautiful accessories. =0)
Happy Pink Saturday!

Olivia said...

Oh my what an interesting piece! Love the pretty flowers...Happy Pink Saturday.

Richard Cottrell said...

Why don't you come up and see me some time? and It's better to have been looked over, than over looked. Both favorite lines of mine from Ms. West. She was a real legend and why before her times. No one like her these days. I like your smoking items, but, I would not like any one smoking in my parlor. Love and Sissy Kisses, Richard from My Old Historic House.

Bonnie@ The Hopeless Romantic said...

Such beautiful pieces.....Happy to have found ur blog and now a follower!.........Bonnie

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

How interesting! I actually knew nothing about Smoking Parlor Sets! This is stunning and thanks so much for sharing all of that great info with us!! It is always a pleasure to visit with you and thanks so much for your visits too!!


mypinkprettiesaboutme said...

Sigh, Oh for the good old days when ignorance was the best tool to do whatever you wanted! Oh well we do know better now. Thx for the info and pretty pictures. While I was here I hopped around your lovely site. I am now your newest follower.

Have a happy pink week.


Anonymous said...

HAPPY PINK SATURDAY....on Wednesday! :)

I have NEVER seen (well, maybe I have, but didn't know you said) a Victorian smoking set!! Leave it to those Victorians to make "smoking" look lovely!! :) I will forever try to find one now.....don't think I would buy it unless it was a real bargain, but I'd just like to see one in real life!

Thanks for this great share!!! dana

lvroftiques said...

Lovely piece! I'll just grab my expandable rhinestone cigarette holder (I've got one for you too if you need one *winks*) and hustle on over to see all the lovliness in person!...Oh BTW I don't smoke but we can use candy cigarettes instead *winks* Vanna