MaruTomi Silene melamine desk tray by Ettore Sottsass
1999 was the year Italian designer and architect Ettore Sottsass seemed to take a special interest in the stationery field. Indeed on this website you will also find, the Tokyo fountain pen range he designed for Italian pen maker Omas that very same year. If you are not familiar with his work, you may recognise his famous design for Olivetti, the Valentine typewriter, designed 1969 and here pictured.
Sottsass, for whom the past 5 years have shown a renewed period of interest, is known for his key role in the work of Milan based design and architecture group Memphis during the 1980s - famous for its oddball, wonderful and bizarre geometric and colourful patterned aesthetics and the use of laminate and plastic materials.
This tray, made in Japan in collaboration with Marutomi, is made of dense and thick melamine, which feels much the same as bakelite, but harder. It is hard to photograph, but unlike modern plastics, it has a textured speckled or marbled black and burgundy surface, which is particularly glossy and pleasing. In many ways it is not unlike Japanese lacquerware in finish. Somehow it also appears to match one of Sottsass's designs for a desk chair, pictured here, also for Olivetti produced in 1973.
A useful object for putting away a few pens and bits on one's desk.
Made in 1999, this item, now discontinued is a collector's item and is in limited availability.
Packed in its original presentation box including information about the designer.
Matching side trays can be purchased to stack on the outer side compartments for smaller items like clips and bits.
Size: 37 x 9 x 2.8 cm
Material: Melamine resin