Back in 1997, contemporary artist Damien Hirst became both a quasi-Chemist and a Restaurateur when he opened Pharmacy, his fashionable restaurant/bar in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood. Hirst curated every design element from the metallic pill-printed wallpaper [previously blogged] to the pill-shaped Damien Hirst Pharmacy ashtrays.
Pharmacy’s interior was as much an installation as Hirst’s art exhibit of the same name. Here’s part of a description:
The gourmet restaurant featured fine dining and cocktails with names like “Cough Syrup” or “Voltarol Retarding Agent” served up by a waitstaff decked out in surgically inspired outfits designed by Prada.
When the restaurant closed in 2003, Sotheby’s auctioned off its contents “with bidding ranging from £1,920 for a pair of salt and pepper shakers to £1.2m for a giant mock medicine cabinet”.
However, the open edition ashtrays were not included in the Sotheby’s auction, and as such, they’re still available for purchase. At ~ $500 – $700 USD, these are strictly for carefree cigarette connoisseurs and collectors who are cool with the following clause:
This ashtray was created as a piece of art; if it is used as an ashtray (or other than for display purposes) we cannot guarantee that it will retain its original condition.
(Kinda makes those $95 KAWS ashtrays seem like a bargain!) Damien Hirst’s painted aluminum ashtrays are all signed and available through Other Criteria.