Early Televisions and radios

Bonhams are having a sale of early technology

There are a lot of wonderful early TVs, radios, computers and the like (they clearly have quite a conservative notion of what constitutes technology) anyway here is a selection of the TVs that they have

Lot No: 595W

A Perdio 'Portorama' type 11 mains/battery portable television,
the world's first all-transistor portable, 1962,
8-inch screen, in grey and white moulded plastic case with controls, aerial and carry handle on the top - 10.1/2in. (27cm)

 Lot No: 609W
A Decca 'bowfront' Decola television wireless and record-player salon suite,
a specially made commission order in bleached birds-eye maple, possibly unique, circa 1954,

Estimate: £3,000 - 5,000

What I especially like about this is the notion of luxury technology that it encapsulates, something which is pretty much completely lost today - we all use the same computers for example (there's no 'luxury" operating system out there that the rich use). In some sense this could be a manifestation of the American sense of democracy - there's a very nice Warhol quote about Coca-cola being an expression of a uniquely American ideal: 
"What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."
 Lot No: 619W

A GEC type BT2147 table model television,
8-inch screen with cream mask, vertical bar speaker grille, in brown Bakelite case - 15.1/2in. (39.5cm) wide

 A bakerlite TV, wow...
Lot No: 626W

An Ambassador type 10CC corner-form television console,
12-inch screen with white mask, main knobs below with central smaller adjustment controls in Bakelite, in walnut veneered cabinet, with the profile omitting the need for CRT end cover to back panel, on wheels - 37.1/2in. (95cm) high

Estimate: £350 - 550

I love the practicality of this - it fits into the corner of the room (part of a longer tradition of corner side tables for example). It's nice as well in harking back to a time when the TV wasn't the centrepiece of a living room, but just another elements in it.
Lot No: 59

A Murphy Model 188 'Batman' radio

Estimate: £70 - 100

This is just lovely - such a cute radio (not easy to make such a large block of wood cute!)




Bonhams are having a sale of Automobilia as part of the Goodwood Revival. A few items I like:

Lot No: 85

The British Empire Trophy Race, Donington 1936,
Est £200 - £300
Fantastic graphic design, to me it looks more modern than the 30s (really looks 50s I think), which probably emphasised the modernity of the event.
These two lots I thought were interesting to compare - two sets of race overalls: one from the 60s and one from the 00s, interesting to note (amongst other things) the spread of sponsors logos on the recent pair...

Lot No: 153

A pair of Andre Lotterer's Jaguar Formula 1 Team racing overalls,
in green and white, with 'Jaguar Racing', 'HSBC', 'Becks', 'Du Pon', 'EDS', 'Michelin', 'AT&T', 'hp', and 'S.Oliver' logos, with handwritten driver identification to inside of belt, good condition.

Estimate: £200 - 300
Lot No: 168
A pair of Jim Clark's Dunlop racing overalls,
mid 1960s, two piece type, in blue, zip fastening with button to top, with 'Dunlop, 'Esso', 'Lotus' and 'GPDA' logos attached, good condition, some light race wear, offered together with a letter outlining the provenance of the overalls and a photograph of the former owner wearing them in 1965.
Estimate: £2,000 - 4,000

Labels: , ,


Hobbs of Barbican letterhead

Hobbs of Barbican were one of the top British racing cycle manufactures of the 30s and 40s (you can read more about them here). Accompanying the auction of one of their frames on Ebay there is a tantalising glimpse of their letterhead, they were noted for their lavish catalogs and clearly had an eye for commissioning graphic design

+ update +
I emailed the seller of the frame and he generously supplied this high resolution scan of the letterhead (thanks again Martin). It brings out some of the detail not visible in the low resolution image - like the directors listed under the monogram (click on the image below for the high resolution version).

Labels: , , ,