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I Thought I Knew All the Dogs in Town Ash Tray

I Thought I Knew All the Dogs in Town Ash Tray
I Thought I Knew All the Dogs in Town Ash Tray, chalkware, purchased at Taylor's antiques in Ellicott City, Maryland

This ashtray is a classic wiener dog joke, with implied ashtray/butt humor.  The dachshund who is using the tree stump to relieve himself is so long that his body has wrapped around the trunk and reached his rear end.  The only problem is that he doesn’t recognize it as his own.  He’s thinking, “I thought I knew all the dogs in town.”  Very funny.  Butt jokes and ashtrays go together like outhouses and salt and pepper shakers.

I have put this in my category of “Ash Trays I’ll Never Put My Smoke Out In” because it’s so tacky.  Also, I don’t smoke.  But even if I did, I wouldn’t use it.  I’ve seen plenty of carnival chalkware at flea markets and antique stores, and I’ve never seen a piece in as good a condition as this one.

Quality was never high among the goals of the chalkware manufacturer, so the paint job is often sloppy or peeling, and the chalk (also known as “poor man’s porcelain”) chips easily.  Carnival chalk was common at circus and carnival midways, especially during the first half of the twentieth century, where it was used as prizes for various games of skill.  They were often figurines of such characters as Kewpie or Popeye, but sometimes were cheap gags such as this one.

Obviously, the original owner viewed this as an ashtray he’d never use either, which explains its near-perfect condition.  Whoever you are, original owner, thank you!

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