Clean & White - part IV

English Art Deco Ceramic Ashtray by Keith Murray for Wedgwood with Satin White Glazing (LEO Design)

Perhaps you've given-up smoking for the New Year.  If so, good for you!  If you haven't (or can't or won't), perhaps you can continue your habit in higher style with this English Art Deco ceramic ashtray by Wedgwood. It was designed by Art Deco architect and designer Keith Murray in the 1930's.

Keith Day Pierce Murray was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1892. His family moved to England while he was a boy and he served in the British Royal Air Force during World War I. After the war, he studied architecture but, finding it difficult to land a job, he took work as a commercial illustrator. In 1932, Murray was hired by Wedgwood (Staffordshire, England) to design products in the new Art Deco style. His clean, restrained style—usually with soft, angular ribbing—made him one of the most influential of English Art Deco designers. He was also hired by Mappin & Webb to design metalware in the Art Deco style. Eventually, Murray returned to architecture and died in 1981.

The ceramic ashtray, shown above, has the "softened crispness" of classic British Art Deco. Its satin white glazing further promotes the clean lines of Murray's piece. Please click on the photo above to learn more about the ashtray.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248