Gold pendant with an openwork entrelac design from the drawing board of Archibald Knox and dating from circa 1905. Set with a central blister pearl drop and with a turquoise matrix lower drop, this pendant…
Ornately framed oil on canvas by the German born artist Dietz Edzard (1893-1963). This is an atmospheric half length portrait of an elegantly dressed young woman taking refreshment whilst seated on a verandah raised above…
Little cabinet vase from Loetz in opaque ‘Candia’ glass with a trefoil rim, further decorated with an applied Art Nouveau ‘Silberiris’ design in pure silver. Loetz collaborated with a company in the US known as…
Pewter flower dish from WMF with the original green cut glass removable liner. So Art Nouveau, with its flowing outline, featuring an openwork whiplash design framing leaves and berries of ivy. Originally electro-plated but most…
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Johnny Philip Morris Smoker’s Stand*
This is a rare smoker’s stand made in cast iron for the American Philip Morris tobacco company in the 1930’s and the story behind it is quite fascinating.
Based on Johnny Roventini who was an Italian-American dwarf actor less than four feet tall. In 1933, Johnny was a bellboy at the New York Hotel when an advertising executive working for Philip Morris encouraged him to page the company’s name in the lobby of the hotel. His melodic “Call for Philip Morris” became his trademark and he purportedly repeated these same words more than a million times after signing a lifetime contract with the company.
His fame spread and he became hugely well known on radio and television as an advertising spokesman for the brand, representing the company for over 40 years until his retirement in 1974. He died in 1998.
These smoker’s stands, with Johnny holding a box of matches in his left hand and cigarettes in a container in his right, together with a removable brass ashtray in the centre, would be positioned in hotel lobbies and other chosen situations and proved to be a very effective advertising medium.
Standing 90 cm tall and with the base around 19 cm square, it is still in excellent condition and is a real piece of Art Deco era memorabilia.