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Need Help Identifying This Antique Ashtray

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Pottery8622 of 10359unknown maker interesting pottery pieceCeramic Owl Figurines
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Posted 6 years ago

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I'd like to find out if this ashtray is of any real value. The back is numbered (95/230) and the name is something like Mtay (the first letter I'm guessing at since M is the closest real letter to the squiggle). The impressions where you might put a cigarette are as big as my finger so I'm thinking maybe it was designed for cigars. It appears to be ceramic with the 3 fish painted on then glazed.

Any help identifying the artist who created this would be appreciated. I'm assuming since it's numbered that maybe it was created by someone of importance.


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  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    A photo of the back would be helpful to affirm my inclination that what is written there is "Italy". Nice modernist piece.
  2. Unknownashtray, 6 years ago
    Thanks for the QUICK reply! I posted a picture of the back, it was hard to avoid the glare, but hopefully it's enough to see what you wanted. It could be Italy, but I don't see the L , it looks like it goes right from the lower case a to a big Y. Please let me know what you think.

  3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Believe me it is Italy. You find similar versions on ceramics from many factories. The letter Y is not one of the 21 letters of the Italian alphabet. The artists just put this English word on their products in a flourish and quite mechanically. In some cases they were illiterate and were drawing rather than writing. As is I was writing some Chinese characters!
  4. Unknownashtray, 6 years ago
    That's awesome! I never expected a solution so quickly! Do you happen to know if the numbers are an indication of a limited series, or again just to make people feel they got something special? I don't smoke, but I was uncertain if I should keep it as a valuable display item or put it in the yard sale box.....I'd never forgive myself if I sold it for a nickel and found out later it was a priceless gem.
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    So far it's an unknown science, I think.
    A good place to start on the net is here:
    There's an interesting Italian site for manufacturers and artists but mostly in Italian:

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