MaruTomi Silene melamine trinket 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. 

These small trinket trays, made in Japan in collaboration with Marutomi, are made of dense and heavyweight plastic (speckled melamine in the red, and in phenol resin for the grey version) which feels much the same as bakelite, but harder. Somehow the tuscan red version appears to match the desk chair, pictured here, also designed for Olivetti 1973. 

A useful object for putting away a clips and bits on one's desk. These tray can be stacked. 

Made in 1999, this item, now discontinued is a collector's item and in limited availability. 
Packed in its original presentation box including information about the designer.

Matching larger pen tray can be purchased here

Size: 9 x 9 x 2.8 cm
Material: Melamine resin and phenol resin

Sold as single, available in two finishes:
Melamine Resin, Speckled black and burgundy (surface is mottled and much like lacquerware)
Phenol Resin, Speckled grey and black