Salvador Dali's astonishing fantasy ashtray designed for Air India in 1968

Source: ebay, Jan. 2003

"The ashtray is approximately 4" x 3" across and 2 1/2" tall. Ashtray is mostly unglazed porceline with a glazed serpent around the lip of the ashtray. From the booklet that accompanied it:"

"The ashtray is composed of a shell-shaped centre with a serpent twined around its perimeter. It is supported by two surrealist elephant-heads and a swan. These supports are based on Dali´s double-image effect. The master explains: "The reflection of an elephant´s head looks like a swan and the reflection of a swan appears to be an elephant. This is what I have done for the ashtray. The swan up-side-down becomes an elephant´s head and the elephant inverted - a swan."

It is the first time that an artist of such world stature has designed an "objet d´art" for an airline. And we at Air-India are honoured and delighted to be able to present this most unusual ashtray to you."

Dali shows off his design, in a news photo from 1968; *the original caption*

Source: ebay, May 2009

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