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Walker Zabriskie Cigar Ashtray

Michael Moretti
From the Print Edition:
Alec Baldwin, May/June 2004

Take a solid block of wood, set it in front of you, and what do you see? Walker Zabriskie Design sees the makings for a fine cigar ashtray.

Whether it's artistic inspiration or the affection for a fine cigar, the work put into these pieces has to be characterized as labors of love. Handcrafted from a single piece of mahogany or tiger wood, this classic ashtray makes an ideal mate for a cigar. Measuring about the size of your hand, the ashtrays are carved by hand in the company workshop in Bali, Indonesia, then polished with eight coats of lacquer to a high-gloss shine that is extremely smooth and pleasing to the touch. Your cigar can recline on the surface of the ashtray and burn to the nub without fear of rolling off onto the ground or flipping back into your lap.

A pewter inset is fitted to the center of the ashtray at the end of a long, single groove sized for a cigar. From ashtray to ashtray, if you look closely, you will notice the width of the groove varies slightly, proving each piece's distinctiveness. Each pewter dish is hand-turned to the shape of the particular ashtray for which it is destined—no industrial press. Originally the inset was made of silver, says owner and designer Walker Zabriskie, but silver involved more polishing and tarnishes easily, and working with it is very expensive. Pewter has to be polished only about once a year and does not tarnish as easily.

The ashtrays are only part of Walker Zabriskie designs. The company has been making furniture and home accessories since 1989. The cigar ashtray is one of its classics.

The ashtrays are available exclusively through Walker Zabriskie Design at its retail stores in Palm Beach, Florida, and South Hampton, New York, or by visiting www.walkerzabriskie.com.

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