OBJECT <> PLASTIC <> SEARCH

Saturday, December 12, 2009

La Bomba picnic set | Helen von Boch and Federigo Fabbrini | Villeroy & Boch, Germany | 1970

vb La Bomba picnic set
Helen von Boch and Federigo Fabbrini
Villeroy & Boch, Germany, 1970

Villeroy & Boch has been a family owned business since its founding in 1748.  The company concentrates on “Bathroom and Wellness” and “Tableware” business areas.  After training as a ceramist, Helen von Boch was for years responsible for the Tableware Division at Villeroy & Boch.

Villeroy & Boch logo

Federigo Fabbrini was born in Arezzo on September 19, 1928.  In the late 60s, Helen von Boch approached him after seeing some of his ceramic works in a competition in Faenza.  This began his association with Villeroy & Boch that lasted several years.

While this post is about the La Bomba picnic set, made of melamine, any talk of it needs to start with the La Boule dinner set, even though it’s earthenware and not plastic.  The La Boule set came in two color schemes:  brown, white, and cognac and orange, green, and yellow.  It featured 19 pieces integrated into a 27 cm diameter sphere.

La Boule and La Bomba US Patent

The first page of the United States “Set of different dinner-ware articles” patent, number 3,749,278. The rest of the patent can be found here.

The first illustrations in the patent bear resemblance to the La Boule set.  The final figure in the patent resembles the La Bomba picnic set.  The La Bomba is the real feature of this post!

La Boule in brown, white, and cognac

La Boule in brown, white, and cognac La Boule in orange, green, and yellow

Image sources:  Left:  furniture-love.com (sold), Right above:  Architronic.  Right below:  Tribu Design. The La Boule dish set by Helen von Boch and Federigo Fabbrini.  Marked: VILLEROY & BOCH Avantgarde, Made in Germany.

Design 9/1971La Boule 

From Design Magazine, September 1971 (p. 74).  A terrific resource is the online and searchable Design Magazine from 1965 to 1974.Design online logo 

La Boule and La Bomba US Patent

The seventh figure the United States “Set of different dinner-ware articles” patent, number 3,749,278.

From the patent,

Figure 7 shows in contrast to the previously described spherical units a unit which generally has a cylindrical form but which could also be made in the form of a cube. It includes 4 dishes 49 to 52, a bowl 53 and five flat plates 54, which form the supporting structure, which at two positions is held against lateral sliding by shallower grooves 55 and 56 than in the case of Figure 5 and by a deep plate 57 at one position. Three identical further deep plates 58 do not perform any structural function.

In the upper half there are substantially the same parts or articles as in the lower half so that if only two persons are to be served, only the upper half, for example starting at the second flat plate 54, needs to be taken off. This unit can also be inverted. In this case on removing the upper half the dish 53 is also available. It is selfunderstood that a set of dinner-ware according to the invention can be manufactured from any material suitable to the production of dinner-ware, especially ceramic and synthetic materials.

The above item was sold on eBay on 11/29/2009 for € 256.20      ($ 384) with 23 bids.  That’s the most spirited bidding I’ve seen for a designer plastic item in quite some time.

La Bomba final eBay screenshot eBay final bid screenshot for the La Bomba picnic set.

La Bomba Image source:   Les Arts Décoratifs.  Service à pique-nique “La Bomba.”  Edition from 1975, gift of the maker 2001.  Inv. 2001.36.1

La Bomba, ready for a picnicLa Bomba "exploded view"Image source:   Les Arts Décoratifs.  Service à pique-nique “La Bomba.”

Les Arts Décoratifs logo

Flickr user redheadwalking has two great photos from the Les Arts Décoratifs exhibit À Table that shows the La Boule and the La Bomba.

La Bomba soup bowlSoup bowl.  Image source:  eBay (user magalitchi).La Bomba dining plateDining plate.  Image source:  eBay (user magalitchi).

Imprint on La Bomba plateImprint on the plate. Image source:  eBay (user magalitchi).

Imprint on La Bomba  Imprint on the La Bomba.  Image source:  eBay.

Imprint on flatwareImprint on the flatware.  Image source:  eBay.

FlatwareInterlocking flatwareImage source, above two pictures: effe-design blog.  Shown is the interlocking nature of the flatware. 

Flatware setImage source:  Design Enigma. The flatware is 9.7 to 19.5 cm in length.

Reference

Quadreria Blarasin (2009). Camala per Federigo Fabbrini. Retrieved December 3, 2009, from http://www.quadreriablarasin.it/writable/paginaita7131.aspx


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