Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zen table | Gruppo DAM (Designer Associati Milano) | Gruppo Industriale Busnelli, Italy | 1971

Gruppo DAM (Designer Associati Milano)
Gruppo Industriale Busnelli, Italy, 1971

Made by Gruppo Industriale Busnelli in 1971, the company has been involved for over half a century in furniture production.  Some of their products in the early 1970s, such as the Fiocco and Libro chairs, are design icons and part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Busnelli logo

I don’t have any information about Gruppo DAM.  If you do, please let us know!

Zen table, whiteZen table, whiteZen table, whiteThree images of the table.  Upright (top), inverted (middle), opened (bottom).  Image source:  eBay, user:  ottoknot11.

Zen table imprintImprint on the white table.  Image source:  eBay.Zen table, redThe Zen table in red.  Image source:  deconet.

What a great table.  It is approximately 33 inches in idameter and 17 1/2 inches high.  I don’t have one, but I’d like one.  Not many pictures of this out there.  The eBay auction ended on 9/29/2009 with a starting bid of $199, 2 bids, and a hammer price of $225.  It appears based on the listing that shipping would be a problem due to size.  I will update on the final price after the auction.  The table and storage combination makes this a great design.  The yin-yang is to say the least, very zen.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quattro quarti (model 700) elements | Rodolfo Bonetto | Bernini, Italy | 1969

Bonetto Quattro quartiRodolfo Bonetto
Bernini, Italy, 1969

Rodolfo Bonetto was previously featured on this blog with the “Portariviste” designed for Bilumen in 1969.

The quattro quarti, in English “four quarters,” are four identical elements made of injection molded ABS plastic. It was originally produced by Bernini. I’ve seen the table in white, orange, and red. If you know of other colors or have a picture, please let me know.

Movie still

Movie stillThe white version is visible in table form in the background on the cruise ship at the end of “Diamonds are Forever” (1971). Without a doubt, that movie showcases the some of the best furniture of the era. The white version is also shown on page 64 of L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 – 1973.

Bernini imprintimageThe imprint, on the underside of each element (orange top, red bottom).

Quattro quarti, low table, redThe elements can be arranged adjacent to each other into a low table, shown above,. Set up in this configuration it is 40 inches in diameter and 11.75 inches tall.

It can also be set up in other ways. Below is the quattro quarti in a 3 tall shelving configuration with extra element and a 4 tall shelving configuration. It is a versatile piece, and elements can be added or subtracted at will. Small clips, imprinted with the Bernini logo, are used to hold the sections together.

Quattro quarti, as shelves/table, red Quattro quarti, as shelves, orange

Left, Image source: Retrostudio (the Netherlands). Item was for sale (now sold) at 390€ = $570. Retrostudio has a lot of other plastic items for sale at their site. Right, my Quattro quarti as shelves, housing a variety of black plastic items.

Bernini logo B-Line logo

The Quattro quarti was re-issued by Italy's B-Line as “4/4.” It is made from injection molded ABS like the original in colors orange, red, white, and translucent violet. It is still available, gnr8 has it for $699. Since I don’t have one, I can’t show you the imprint but if I find it, I’ll post.

Quattro quarti clips, Bernini Quattro quarti clips, B-Line

Left, the clips for the Bernini version are imprinted with the Bernini logo. Right, Image source, the clips for the B-Line version are imprinted 4|4 with the second 4 inverted.

Quattro quarti schematics

Quattro quarti schematics

Above, schematics from the B-Line product data sheet for the 4/4. This information indicates which colors are available from B-Line, but apparently yellow can be had somewhere.

Quattro quarti, yellow

Yellow Quattro quarti, promotional image.

Selected Bibliography

Philippe Decelle & Diane Hennebert & Pierre Loze, L'Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 - 1973, Edition Fondation pour l'architecture, 1994, p.64.


Anonymous, (2009). 4/4 Product data sheet. Retrieved from http://www.b-line.it/pdf/44_product_data_sheet.pdf

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Friday, September 11, 2009

In Attesa wastebasket | Enzo Mari | Danese, Italy | 1970

Enzo Mari In Attesa wastebasketEnzo Mari
Danese, Italy, 1970

The In Attesa wastebasket was designed in 1970 by Enzo Mari for Danese, Italy.  In Attesa is Italian for “waiting.”  It is a leaning cylinder that will no doubt improve your office-trash-basketball game.  Though clearly designed as wastebaskets, I use them in my bathroom as hampers.  One is white, one is yellow, and one is red.  They’re already color coded for whites and darks.  I saw a green one on eBay two years or so ago.  It went for a little over $100, which I thought a bit too much.  The white, yellow, and red were all cheaper.  The only ones I’ve seen recently have been a yellow and a green.

The original version of the design is available in a range of colors.  I have and have seen yellow, red, green, white, and black.  If you know of a different color, please comment.  Newer examples are white, graphite, and black in color and made of injection molded polypropylene.   Regardless of age, they are marked at the bottom with the Danese and Heller logos and “PAT PEND.”  The “D” in “PEND” has the same cut where it meets the circle for the injection mold opening in every example I’ve seen.  A future post will focus on this coincidence.  It looks like they’re  just using the same tool to produce these today as they did back in the 70s.  I was hoping I’d be able to turn up some patent information like I did for Mari’s Pago Pago vase, but found nothing.

The wastebasket is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.  It measures approximately 41.3 cm at its greatest height (16 1/4”) and is 26.4 cm in diameter (10 3/8”).

In Attesa wastebasket, black and white The In Attesa wastebasket in black and white.  Image source.

In Attesa wastebasket, imprintIn Attesa wastebasket, imprintThe imprint on the contemporary In Attesa wastebaskets.  Top, black (Image source, eBay).  Bottom, white.

In Attesa wastebasket, imprintIn Attesa wastebasket, imprintIn Attesa wastebasket, imprintThe imprint on the original In Attesa wastebaskets.  Top to bottom, red, yellow, green.

 In Attesa wastebasket, graphite In Attesa wastebasket, graphite

Graphite model.  Left, promotional image.  Right, image source:  eBay.

The best price I was able to find on new models was at Nova68 here, $59.99 with free shipping.  List price is $75.

In Attesa wastebasket, green, yellow, and redA veritable stoplight of modern plastic.  The In Attesa in greeen, yellow, and red.

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