“Automobilia” comes in many forms. Often, these objects are cross collectibles (i.e. ashtrays). One of the most interesting early ashtrays is the one pictured.
The tray is from the early 1900s and made of cast metal. It has no manufacturer’s mark, but is probably French. It depicts a very early motorist driving his car at a great rate of speed (somewhere around 35 miles per hour). Embossed on the ashtray is a road sign reading “1.000km” and some geese scattering.
Much early automobilia depicts the age of speed and the dangers the speeding auto brought to the rural countryside. It is no wonder the farming community pushed for restrictive motoring laws such as the Red Flag Law in England, which required a person to walk in front of the auto carrying a red flag to warn anyone of the approaching motorcar.
The value of this ashtray is in the range of $250-$350, if you can find a good example.