Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Cronotime kitchen timer | Pio Manzù | Ritz Italora, Italy for Rowoco | ca. 1966

One of the most interesting things about eBay is what it brings out of the woodwork.  Either it’s coincidence, or sellers see what an item sells for and decides to sell a similar or identical item. This kitchen timer relates directly to my post of June 1, 2011, the Cronotime kitchen timer by Pio Manzù for Ritz Italora. 

Pio Manzu kitchen timerAbove is the Cronotime kitchen timer.  The numerals are similar to those on the Cronotime clock.

Rowoco kitchen timerBut take a look at this item, an essentially identical timer by Rowoco.  The only apparent difference is in the screened dial face, the numerals, minute marks, and logo.

Rowoco kitchen timerThe underside of the kitchen timer showing the bell and timing mechanism.  Inset:  close up of the stamp on the mechanism.  The first line isn’t legible in the picture but the remainder of the stamp reads


Rowoco kitchen timerRowoco kitchen timerRowoco kitchen timer

Three additional views of the timer.

Described by the seller as “tested to work well. In good condition, no chips or cracks. No graphics wear.” The timer sold on eBay from Naples, Florida on 6/27/2011 for $10.99.  There was only 1 bidder who placed 1 bid, a very different result than the Cronotime timer that sold about a month ago.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Detecma chair | Tullio Regge | Gufram, Italy | 1970

Tullio Regge was born July 11, 1931 in Turin, Italy.  He obtained a degree in physics from the University of Turin in 1952 and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Rochester in 1957. From 1958 to 1959 Regge held a post at the Max Planck Institute for Physics where he worked with Werner Heisenberg. In 1961 he was appointed to chair of Relativity at the University of Turin. He held an appointment at the Institute for Advanced Study from 1965 to 1979. At present he is emeritus professor at the Polytechnic University of Turin.  He is a highly decorated and regarded theoretical physicist.  He received the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1964, the Citt di Como prize in 1968, the Albert Einstein Award in 1979, and the Cecil Powell Medal in 1987.

Tullio Regge also designed a chair.  A really cool chair:

At the end of 1970 a Turin-based company asked me to design a chair. I chose a form of absolutely pure mathematics…Dupin’s Cyclide.  The chair was not marketed properly and has now disappeared from the market.

Analytic Geometry by Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen (p.285)

Left: From From Design to Design, a page from Analytic Geometry by Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen, the book used by Tullio Regge. Right: A computer generated Dupin’s cyclide from Wikipedia.  For more information about the mathematics of the cyclide, click here.

Detecma chair, production ca. 1977

The Detecma chair, production ca. 1977.  Image source:  From Design to Design.

Detecma chair, Home pictures 1972

Two Detecma chairs.  Image source:  Furniture Fashion.

Detecma chair

La Triennale di Milano Design Museum logo

Detecma chair from the La Triennale di Milano Design Museum.  Image source.

Gufram miniatures, Cactus, Torneraj and Detecma

Gufram miniatures, Detecma and Torneraj

The Detecma miniature model from p. 90 of Modern Equipment galerie ulrich fiedler.  There’s not a whole lot of plastic in the exhibition catalog, but there is a lot of great design.  Click the cover below for a copy.

Modern Equipment


Retrieved May 9, 2011 from http://www.torinoscienza.it/dossier/dal_disegno_al_design_2289

Retrieved May 9, 2011 from http://www.globalarchitectsguide.com/library/Tullio-Regge.php

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Chiocciola chair | Studio 65 | Gufram, Italy | 1972

The Chiocciola chair designed by Studio 65 for Gufram, is in the form of a stylized acanthus leaf.  It is made of polyurethane foam and upholstered in red stretch fabric with yellow seam.

While the Chiocciola chair is modern in origin and material, like many of the objects by Studio 65 its inspiration draws from history.  Leaf borders and scroll motifs were used extensively in the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome and foremost of these was the acanthus motif. The acanthus is a common plant found in the Mediterranean region and its leaves are are often said to represent long life. 

Acanthus motifsAcanthus motifs from Robert Adam's Classical Architecture. Image source.

Chiocciola chair and Cactus clothes rack

Christies sold an example of this chair in their Modern Design Sale 8713 of March 29, 2000 in London, South Kensington.  The chair realized £1,495 ($2,376) against an estimate of £1,500 – £2,000 ($2,384 – $3,178).

Chiocciola chair at Skin Up, 1972

The interior of “Skin Up”, a shop celling gifts and leather articles, designed in Turin in 1972.  From Studio65 by Franco Audrito, p. 22.

Chiocciola chair

Chiocciola armchair (1972) made of expanded polyurethane.  From Studio65 by Franco Audrito, p. 54.

Chiocciola chair gallery.

A Chiocciola chair was listed on eBay and shown in considerable detail.  Some of the images are shown in the gallery above.  Offered by Vintage Views for $2,200.


Chiggio, E. (1986). Studio65, Electa, p.91.


Audrito, F. (2001). Studio65. l’Arca Edizioni, Italy, p. 22, 54.

Retrieved June 6, 2011 from Christie’s. http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1748457

Retrieved June 6, 2011 from Buffalo Architecture and History. http://www.buffaloah.com/a/DCTNRY/a/acan.html

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Dr. Skud fly swatter | Philippe Starck | Alessi, Italy | 1998

Philippe Starck Dr. SkudDr. Skud fly swatter
Philippe Starck
Alessi, Italy, 1998

The Dr. Skud fly swatter was conceived by Philippe Starck in 1995 and put into production in 1998.  It is part of the A di Alessi collection.  The fly swatter is made of bulk dyed polyamide (abbreviated PA and also known as nylon) and is given the code PS07.

It is a fashionable enough way to dispatch of flies, I suppose.  But I prefer it as a decorative object and the “catch-and-release” method when buzzing insects find their way indoors.  It is still available from plenty of sources in many colors for around $16.

At the Philippe Starck Network (look under “Good Goods”), Starck says of the swatter:

I would be glad to forego killing flies. However… it may seem crude to wield a flyswatter, but it is a far more ecological response than an insecticide spray (both the substance and the delivery system are toxic). To counteract the savagery of the blow, Dr Skud wears a delicate human face. A tripod enables him to stand erect like a small guardian angel.

Dr. Skud fly swatter

Dr. Skud fly swatter.  Image source:  eBay.

Dr. Skud fly swatterDr. Skud fly swatter

Dr. Skud fly swatter.  Above:  Tripod base.  Below:  Imprint.  Image source:  eBay.

Dr. Skud fly swatter

Dr. Skud fly swatter with box. The fly swatter measures 3 5/8” across at its widest point by 17.5” height with the tripod footprint measuring 2 1/2” in all directions.  The box measures 18 1/2” by 4” by 2 1/2”.  Image source:  eBay.

Dr. Skud fly swatterDr. Skud fly swatter

Above: Dr. Skud fly swatters in other colors with their respective boxes.  Image source:  blue.

Dr. Skud fly swatter Dr. Skud fly swatter
Dr. Skud fly swatter Dr. Skud fly swatter
Dr. Skud fly swatter Dr. Skud fly swatter

Six colors of the Dr. Skud flyswatter:  orange, yellow, pink, green, blue, and black. Image source:  Relax Living.


Good goods. (n.d.). [p. 32]. Retrieved from http://www.philippe-starck.com/

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cronotime kitchen timer | Pio Manzù | Ritz Italora, Italy | ca. 1966

Pio Manzu, Cronotime clockPio Manzù
Cronotime kitchen timer
Ritz Italora, Italy, 1966

Pio Manzù (also known as  Pio Manzoni) was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1939 and died in an automobile accident in Brandizzo, Italy on May 26, 1969.  In previous posts on November 20, 2010 and February 25, 2011 I featured the Cronotime clock.

Cronotime clock configurations

Cronotime clock configurations

Cronotime clock configurations

Cronotime clock configurations

Different configurations of the Cronotime clock.  Image source:  Relax Living.
This post features a similar item, a kitchen timer designed by Pio Manzu and produced by Ritz Italora in Italy. The timer is made of black ABS plastic with white details and a metal bell underneath.
As explained by the seller, if you are familiar with this designer's famous table clock (originally produced by the same company and subsequently reissued by Alessi), then you will immediately see similarities in the design of this timer. It measures approximately 2.75 inches in diameter by 2.75 inches in height. The underside of the bell is marked with the manufacturer's name.
Pio Manzu kitchen timerPio Manzu kitchen timerPio Manzu kitchen timerPio Manzu kitchen timer
Four views of the kitchen timer that sold.

Condition was described as being “very good, with some light surface wear to the plastic and very tiny dings to the edge of the face. The timer function works fine.” The timer sold from eBay on 5/31/2011 for $48.58.  There were 3 bidders who placed 11 bids.

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