The Billiken has been many things to many people but this one is an antique ashtray featuring the Billiken who was the official mascot of the Royal Order of Jesters which is what the ROJ stands for. The ROJ was an invitation only Shriner group, affiliated with Freemasonry.
The ashtray appears to be made out of cast iron or a similar heavy metal.
It measures 5 1/2 inches across by 7 1/2 inches front to back by 4 inches high at the smiling Billiken.
The ashtray shows age appropriate metal wear but is overall in very good antique condition. And Billiken looks as good as he ought to be.
Billiken history -
The Billiken is a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of Kansas City, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. It is believed that Pretz found the name Billiken in Bliss Carman's 1896 poem "Mr. Moon: A Song Of The Little People". In 1908, she obtained a design patent on the ornamental design of the Billiken, which she sold to the Billiken Company of Chicago. The Billiken was monkey-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile and a tuft of hair on his pointed head. His arms were short and he was generally sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him.
Billiken is known as "The God of Things as They Ought to Be".
To buy a Billiken was said to give the purchaser luck, but to receive one as a gift would be better luck. The image was copyrighted and a trademark was put on the name. After a few years of popularity, the Billiken faded into obscurity.
Today, the Billiken is the official mascot of Saint Louis University and St. Louis University High School, both Jesuit institutions located in St. Louis.
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c1920 BILLIKEN Ashtray Lucky Charm Mascot Masonic Royal Order of Jesters
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