This charming little brass box, c. 1950s, with hand-painted lit cigarette on top, is a portable ashtray, made to slip into the pocket or purse of the smoker on the go. How civilized! It would once have had a little flip down cigarette rest inside, attached to the edge, but this piece has gone missing. It could certainly still be used to to catch ashes and/or save a butt or two from becoming litter, but would also make a perfect little pill box.
The box measures 1 3/8" square and 3/4" tall, and snaps closed nicely. It has seen some use and wear and is in fair vintage condition, with some loss of paint, scratches and a bit of pitting to the surface of the brass. I've polished it up a bit on the top and some more polishing could be done if desired.