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Vintage Schweppes Bitter Lemon French Bistro Ashtray

Vintage Schweppes Bitter Lemon French Bistro Ashtray

$90.00

The Schweppes story began in 1783 when Jacob Schweppe brought ‘Schweppervescence’ to life. He perfected the method of capturing and bottling bubbles (the process of carbonation) – and founded Schweppes in Geneva, Switzerland. The company eventually expanded into England and his sparkling soda waters were endorsed by leading doctors and sold as a treatment for a variety of ailments. It was described as “a safe and cooling drink for persons exhausted by much speaking, heated by dancing or crowded assemblies”.

In 1798, Jacob retired and sold most of his interest in the company to three men. In exchange, he revealed to the partners ‘the whole art, mystery and process of making and composing artificial mineral waters’. Schweppes continued Jacob’s tradition of innovation and in 1835 introduced Schweppes Lemonade, which led to many other sparkling drinks being created.

During the 1870s, the famous Schweppes Indian Tonic Water and Ginger Ale were added to the range. The tonic water became especially popular with the British in India, as it contains quinine, which was used as a preventative measure against malaria.  Gin and tonic actually originated in British colonial India when the Brits would mix their medicinal quinine tonic with gin to make it more palatable. The amount of quinine in today's tonic is too small to have any medicinal effect, but it is still highly regarded around the world for its distinctive, slightly bitter taste.

Although Schweppes introduced a sparkling lemonade in the early 1800s, it wasn't until 1957, that they launched their now-famous Bitter Lemon. Crafted with a mix of orange and lemon peels as well as lemon juice, bitter lemon is also finished with a touch of quinine to give it that classic slightly bitter, tropical flavor. 

Found at market in Paris, we are thrilled to offer a small collection of unused Vintage Schweppes Bitter Lemon Ashtrays rescued from a long-shuttered French bistro. Produced for Schweppes in the Loire Valley of France by the esteemed Gien potters to promote the Bitter Lemon brand, the large ashtrays are decorated with the "exotic" Blue Willow design, meant to evoke the far-flung locales where Schweppes' quinine-laced beverages were originally consumed.

A wonderful example of the advertising used in French bistros, this handsome ashtray is large enough to use as a valet tray holding your keys and cell phone.


Strictly limited quantities and subject to prior sale.  In very good vintage condition. 7" in diameter.

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