Ashtray with Cigarette Holder

Marianne Brandt, Ashtray with Cigarette Holder, 1924
Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design, Berlin (12258)

Marianne Brandt, Ashtray with Cigarette Holder, 1924
Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design, Berlin (12258)

As was typical in the early years of the Bauhaus, Marianne Brandt designed the ashtray logically as a combination of various basic geometric shapes: spherical and cylindrical shapes are used for the ash container, its lid with an off-centre opening and the cigarette holder, while the base of the structure that provides stability is made of bars arranged in a cross shape, with the curve of the bowl embedded in them.

Although the perfect surface treatment and minimized design suggest mechanical manufacturing and mass production, the object is a unique item produced with time-consuming manual work.

Bibliography: Klaus Weber and Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, eds., Die Metallwerkstatt am Bauhaus (Berlin: Kupfergraben Verlagsgesellschaft, 1992).