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Smoker's friend

Smoker's friend

  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1930-1939 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Compression moulded Bakelite

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Circular 'Smoker's Friend', with ashtray, pipe rest and matchbox holder. It is made from brown mottled Bakelite. The moulded peg in the centre of the matchbox holder would open the box as it was slotted into place, giving easy access to the matches within. There is moulded decoration of four trios of bars around the edge, from the base to the top face of the object.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1930-1939 (manufactured)



Materials and Techniques

Compression moulded Bakelite

Marks and inscriptions

Moulded on base.


Diameter: 15.6 cm, Height: 2.9 cm

Object history note

Fred Bulmer, a collector based in Leeds, Yorkshire, offered his collection of ‘plastic antiques’ to the V&A in late 1982. The Museum chose to purchase 59 objects from Bulmer the following year (for acquisition papers see MA/1/B3395). The objects were divided among the Museum’s collections according to object type: Furniture and Woodwork taking 26 objects (W.50 to 75-1983), Metalwork 18 objects (M.49 to 66-1984) and Ceramics and Glass 14 objects (C.41 to 54-1984).

Descriptive line

Smoker's friend, mottled brown Bakelite; England, 1930s


Bakelite; Phenolic


Compression moulding


Plastic; Smoking accessories; Household objects

Production Type

Mass produced


Metalwork Collection

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