Saturday, 10 July 2010

2010:365:191 Amazing!

I didn't know!  Until a few hours ago I had absolutely no idea that this coffee percolator was anything special.  
To me it certainly is very important.  No, I don't care for the coffee that it produces; very quickly the brew turns bitter and unpalatable.  It is important because it was a gift from a friend.  
There is, however, another reason why this is a significant pot.  
One of my 365Project friends who works in Tate Modern spotted the picture and recognised it as a 1957 icon from the Finnish designer Antti Nurmesniemi (1927-2003).  Helsinki is the home of the factory that made them.  It is now hard to find this percolator, and the white is particularly rare (a very limited edition of a brown one is still more unusual).  The normal colours are red, yellow and blue although other colours were produced.  In some auctions in America this post would fetch $200.00.  It has been described as a "classic" an "icon" and is clearly an important item.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has six of these coffee pots, three given by the designer and a further three that were a gift from the Museum of Applied Arts in England. 
Isn't it strange how an ordinary object can take on significant value?  Professor Nurmesniemi was an industrial and interior designer who created furniture, light fittings and kitchenware as well as underground cars!  This photograph is from a web site that gives information about him and the many prizes and awards that he won.   His book, "To Reflect and to Design" is now a valuable resource and, since only 2,000 copies were printed, it is also hard to find!
The turtles were added to the 365Project photograph for no other reason than I needed a burst of colour in what was otherwise going to be a fairly flat picture.  These little guys are wax crayons!  At one point the bottom layer, the yellow plastron, managed to get broken although it still just about holds the other parts together.  
What looks like a check tablecloth is an apron!  
They say, "you learn something new every day" and for me that is certainly true today!  I'll look at this coffee percolator with more interest in future and treat it with more care.  
There's a blue one without lid or any inside bits and also badly chipped and stained on Ebay where they're asking $29!  That's just for the pot!  Another one is advertised with the note that the little plastic dome is broken and the insides are missing and they want $49!  I guess most of us would simply throw out such articles without even thinking that they might be worth anything at all.
Who could have imagined in the 1950s that an 'ordinary' coffee pot would be of such interest fifty years later?  Now I want to go to MoMA to see the unused pots.

Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake
that your glory may be proclaimed through our lives.

Book of Common Prayer
Intercessions at Holy Communion. 

1 comment:

Loey said...

Wow! Elizabeth what a find!
How good is that!
You never know what might be in our cupboards that is worth money.
Isn't that great that a 365er spied it.
Good photos of the pot!
Nice turtles too :)