I’ve never been inspired by the 60s interiors, especially the homewares…but 1960s Italian... now that’s another story. As I made my way to the back of my local brocante store last weekend, something quite different caught my eye…a small box filled with six cups and what looked like saucers underneath. The box was battered, old and definitely vintage. It said ARNO, made in Italy on the side. Oh, I like the look of that, I thought, but I really don’t need another tea set and then walked on …but as I was leaving the store, something made me go back and take another look. I took out the cups turning them gently, admiring the right angled handle and the clean lines...it was really beautiful.
Glass cups and saucers have been around for a long time, but I hadn’t seen anything like this before. It was too unique to pass up. As I was admiring the cups, I looked up and around the shelving and my eyes fell on a silver art deco coffee pot, with milk jug, sugar basin and tray…they’d look great together I thought.
A few days later I looked up the name of ARNO on the internet and realised that these rather lovely glass cups and saucers were designed by a man called Joe Cesare Colombo, an Italian Industrial designer. Born in July 1930 - he died on his 41st birthday in 1971 from a heart attack. He studied painting at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera but in 1955 he gave up painting to concentrate on his design career. He designed for the likes of Kartell, notably the 4801 chair, as well as designs for Alessi, flexiform and Boffi. I am not sure whether my cups are original or inspired by him…but they are handsome and I do love the square handles and the square saucers so I will be keeping these.
Have you found any unexpected bargains lately, and what era do you love the most? Do tell!
Have a great week!