A lovely example of Mid-Century Modern design, the Ladderax is a modular shelving and storage system designed by Robert Heal in 1964 for Staples of London.
The System consists of :
1. Three upright steel ladders (gold coloured) 2080mm x 355mm.
2. Two teak sliding door cabinets, 1 with wooden shelf, 1 with Glass, both height adjustable 350mm d, 470mm h, 890mm w.
3. Teak three drawer chest 405mm d, 470mm h, 890mm w.
4. Two teak shelves 355mm d, 890mm w.
5. One teak shelf 200mm d, 890mm w.
First image is an example of display items are not listed in this sale.
Early Ladderax system in reasonable condition for over 40 years old. Slight superficial damage to end bottom edge of cabinet of one cabinet not noticed when unit is arranged as image shown. Also mark to shelf as shown in image.
This wonderful functional piece from the late 1960′s consists of Teak and Steel frame with original wool upholstery.
The beautiful original blue/black twill wool upholstery in great condition, with no rips, marks or tears.
The teak frame was given a sympathetic restoration, keeping the integrity of the woods age and wear. The chair arms have a lovely accent detail of steel ‘dovetails’ , a really nice detail. The quality and craftsmanship is very apparent, particularly with decorative chromed nut covers.
The webbing and foam has been replaced with new making it comfortable to sit on and a practical, everyday armchair.
A classic, rare, statement piece of furniture.
Depth= 740mm. Height= 620mm. Width= 630mm.
For sale = £170
In 1968 Arthur Bracegirdle (yes, really!) Created one of the greatest space age designs of all time, the Keracolor Television!
The Keracolor goggle box was made in England, it was the first perfectly spherical television made from fibreglass.
Along with the Eero Aarnio ball chair these are for me, the most definining products of Space Age design. They featured in many period publications as well as ” L’Utopie Du Tout Plastique”, “The Sixties” Phaidon and “Collecting the Sixties” by Madeline Nash.
The small scale production was expensive and this was reflected in the staggering retail price, you could buy a standard family car for the same amount in 1968. It was sold only through a few exclusive outlets, Harrods of Knightsbridge being one of them.
The original television had a Decca Bradford chasis, which was state of the art for the day. After a few years of production Bracegirdle switched to Polycarbonate for the outer casing, as it was more cost effective and durable. This also made the Television a lot lighter – if you have ever tried moving the Fibre glass model you will know!
By 1970 the range grew to include a rectangular model – boring! also hanging number, wood effect! Various screen sizes were available, including 20″, 24″ and 26″.
Also that year some groovy advertising came in to affect, with Lotus; another Great British company using Fibre Glass, branding the Keracolor name on three of their yellow Lotus Europas for promotional purposes! This model was the car recently purchased by the football star George Best, to give it even more kudos.
The company dispanded in the late 1970′s, with a brief reprise in 2007 when they started producing the old bodies in small quatities using the old casting machines to order using Thompson CRT chasis. At over £2500 they were expensive for something that contained 1990′s technology, but they were hand assembled and it did at least have a scart socket for a digi box! They also had a great official website which seems to have dissapeared along with the newly re-formed company…If anybody knows of there were-abouts, I would be keen to know?
This bring me on to my own “Project Keracolor”! I own a matt black 20″ set which I purchased about 4 years ago after much searching. The original valve chasis was complete but beyond repair…so I removed the chasis and replaced it with a curved mid nineties Sony Trinitron chasis. I realise this must be sacriledge to most Television purists! Sorry. I currently have a cheap LCD flat screen in it whilst I service the Sony Trinitron tube, this can be seen in the accompanying images.
The second part of the renovation is purely down to aeshetics. The Polycarbonate body is rather dull and scratched, so needs a re-spray by my local Carbody Paint shop, this is essentially like re-spraying a car bumper. Question is, do I spray it its original black colour (a much sought after and rarer colour) or go for white, which is my preffered colour? Hmmn, decisions decisions!
Here we have a fabulous 1958 E Gomme bedroom suite in incredible original condition. The set includes a tall boy, continental bed headboard with side cabinets and mirrored dressing table.
E Gomme of High Wycombe, England, pioneered the concept of manufactured furniture in the UK post British Government utility legislation 1943-52.
Having attended the Festival of Britain in 1951, Donald Gomme took the dramatic step of moving away from austere traditional furniture. By 1953 he introduced a selection of well constructed, mix and match furniture in light woods with bright accent colours that looked nothing like the dull furniture the UK had to offer at the time (this range would eventually be the start of G Plan). This; teamed with a dynamic marketing technique was a sure fire hit for decades to come of which many other manufacturers copied.
JULY 1958 Ideal Home Advert:
“Keynote to this lovely G Plan bedroom is the imaginative teaming of brass accented Chinese white laquer with the sunny tons of natural oak”
The suite also has adjustable ebonized black legs on each piece to create a “floating” appearance. The twin bedside cabinets each feature a single drawer and “floating “ glass shelves.
The Dressing table has three fully adjustable mirrors for pampering, just what every girl needs!
The set is in fantastic condition and seldom seen this good, despite being 53 years old!
Headboard/Cabinets: D=480mm, H=1010, W= 2420mm ( 1460mm between cabinets fits kingsize bed and smaller)
Tallboy: D=410mm, H=1280mm, W=610mm.
Dressing Table: D=460mm, H=1350mm with mirror(740mm without), W=1250mm.
We have now sold this suite however please check out our Ebay shop for more :
Yet another on-going project! The Moulton Super 4 is a bicycle I have fancied owning for many years …and finally my girlfriend got there first and bought one!
As an iconic swinging sixties bit of eccentricity and an object of ridicule for any child of the late seventies and eighties, I wanted to discover more about this peculiar bike, which I shall now pass on to you.
Dr Alex Moulton (CBE) was the great grandson of rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, graduated from Kings college (Cambridge) with a degree in engineering.
He first came to fame in the late 1950′ s by designing the conical rubber spring suspension system for his friend Alex Isigonis’ Iconic “Mini” car. This enabled the use of small wheels and vital space saving which gave the car its revolutionary size.
After this and many bicycle prototypes, Moulton released his first “F” frame folder bicycle at the Earls Court cycle show in 1962. This was the worlds first rubber suspension bike.
As well as the Mini car and the Mini skirt, the bike became a cool accessory for London’s swinging set by the mid sixties and many cool cats such as Twiggy and Peter Sellers were happy to be seen around town on a Moulton Bike. Produced in Bradford Upon Avon, by now were Britons second largest frame builder second only to Raleigh.
In 1965; Raleigh saw the potential of the small “shopper” bike and created its own inferior small wheeled bike-the RSW16, which used low pressure balloon tyres as its form of shock absorption. This made it handle like a lead balloon!
By 1966 the Moulton “S” was produced (super 4 for the continental market*) and was swiftly followed up by the Speed Six( six geared) which featured Reynolds 531 tubing and a double chainset.
By 1967, Moultons nemisis Raleigh, offered a takeover, with Alex as a design consultant. This became an uneasy alliance and with the release of the Moulton Mk 3 at the same time as Raleigh’s all conquering “Chopper”, by 1974 with very poor sales of the Moulton the collaboration ended.
However, during the intervening years Moulton has continuously developed the small wheeled suspension bike and collaborated with companies such as Pashley (1994) and Bridgestone (2000) as well as creating the worlds first suspension mountain bike, which has become ubiquitous!
So, for project Moulton and with the aid of Gary at Pavement Cycles of Brighton….watch this space kids!
Having aquired an original 1968 Peter Ghyczy designed Garden Egg chair a few years ago, in need of some TLC, I needed to research the red plastic blob in order to give it a sympathetic restoration…and here I am passing on what I know to you!
Peter Ghyczy(1940) was an important designer in the grand scheme of swinging sixties funiture design, as he was a pioneer of polyurethane technology and had a ideal of creating modern mass produced furniture for the masses.
He first produced the Garden Egg Chair in 1968, so called due to its plastic structure being the perfect material for indoor and outdoor use. With its hinged lid, it kept out the ellements when shut!
As head of design department for Elastogran,they produced the chair in East Germany, where the production was cheaper than the West. However, at 430 Marks the chair was simply too expensive for the average East German. The chair was sold through Beylarian, Drabert and Fehlbaum GmbH(now Vitra)in the U.S.
The production of the chair in its original form only lasted 2-3 years due to the laquered finish proving problematic*.The company was later sold to BASF in the G.D.R in1972.
He continues to pioneer and design in the Netherlands, where he remains to this day. Other stand out designs include the MW17 table lamp.
Despite the poor imitation copies currently flooding the market ( Eero Aarnio Ball chair too) which are produced in China, there was a official re-production in the 1998. However with technological advances and hindsight the later chairs are constructed from more durable materials by BV in the Netherlands.
On this point, the “fake” Chinese repro flooding the market are made from fibre glass, have larger hinges, weigh considerably more and the paint finish is often very thin around the unseen areas( under the seat pads and around the hinge area)- you have been warned!
Current places to view the chair in the UK are the V and A Museum ( London) and Brighton and Hove Museum.
Another blog? I hear you say… Timebox is a blog about mid 20th century design, culture, music and anything that new that grabs my attention. All with a sly nod and wink from someone who spends far to much time obsessing about the sixties.
If there is something you would like me to include, remove or debate please feel free to contact me here.
Mr Smith was as cool as they come, a young good looking boxer who taught maths to us if we felt like it (class democracy at the age of 11) and allowed the liberal use of casual swearing.
His car of choice, a bright green Fiat X1/9. Often parked amongst the jelly mould Ford Sierra’s and Vauxhall Cavaliers of the staff car park. Which brings me to Nuccio Bertone (Turin 1914-1947) the man who designed it and other such maverick machines. His designs; beautifully flawed in many cases, were intwined with a pop art sensibility mixed with a futuristic aesthetic which captures the ’67 to ’74 period perfectly. Amongst the “far out” concepts lead the way for the predominant wedge look in sports car design (1970 Lancia Stratos) which was ubiquitous for the next 20 years.
For me though the colour pallet of the Lambretta Luna range (Lui, Vega, Cometta) and the use of black plastic (DL Horncast and side panel strips). Also carried through to the Fiat X1/9 summarises the “Space Race” zeitgeist perfectly.
He disposes of the previous Lambretta’s regressive polished chrome (1950′s) aesthetics and brings it boldly into the Space Age.
Such colours available were Orbit Orange, Luna Dust (Yellow Ochre), Astral Blue (Turquoise) and Martian Red.
Playful progression was top of the agenda. Even the ink splat decal on the leg shield was oh-so Pop Art supposedly caused when Bertone threw his pen down on the plans after an argument with Innocenti the other designer at Lambretta over trim colour.
In my opinion this coupled with Ettore Sosass’ Olivetti Valentine typewriter is the design flavour of 1969.
As for Mr Smith, he never returned to school the following September ’88 having reportedly run off with a Sixth Former. As the oil crisis of the early ’70s put a halt to plastic Space Age design the daring red/orange colour Bertone used in ’68 became as common place in the ’70s as the Space Hopper itself.
Named after a coffee shop in Hollywood by John Lautner in 1949, in my opinion, is the essence of Americana captured in Architecture. However, as a movement it was critically derided by the Architectural Establishment for over 40 years.
It is only in recent times with the release of Alan Hess’ seminal survey of Googie and Murray Grigors “Infinite Space” documentary; that it is credited as “Lautner is the missing link between Frank Lloyd Wright and architects such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid”.
Also known as Populuxe or Doo Wop, popular design traits include boomerangs, tail fins, artist pallette forms, as well as starbursts e. g. the welcome to Las Vegas signage. Upward sloping cantilevered roofs and inverted obtuse triangles.
There was no particular theme, however a use of non utilitarian design was always prevalent for example star shapes, bold colours, neon lighting, vinyl seats and formica. This was much in keeping with the outrageous American car design of the day, which it borrowed from heavily and served no purpose other than to visually delight.
As with the slow return of more expressive car design a few of the worlds top design houses are appropriating said characteristics to the resurgence in road side diners. In the U.S. Texas’ Donut Stop restaurants designed by Workr are a “tasty” example. Also Miami’s 1111 Lincoln Road car park by world renowned Herzog and De Meuron adds credibility to a movement which was largely demolished in the 80′s for being kitsch and passe.
So next time you hear a “Yoot” wheelspinning his Astra SRI outside the Golden Arches drive thru, think Googie!