James John Walrod unfortunately passed away on September 25th, 2017 at the age of 57. Way too young!!
He was called a design guru. Actually if you read the Wikipedia description it says: “A self-taught interior design consultant and collector of rare and unusual art, design and pop culture works, Walrod was also considered an expert in the field of mid century and Postmodern design.” Please take some time to read about this personality.
Part of his collection was auctioned earlier this year in 2018. When I browsed the auction catalogue many very nice and beautiful items passed by. Man, this guy had good taste, no doubt about that!!
I was triggered because there was one item that caught my attention in this auction. A Wedgwood Touch Tone Ericofon. Still lacking in my collection and quite hard to get…
So I decided to take part in the auction. As usual, auctions are kind of exciting when they start. That night most sales prices raised to exorbitant heights before it was the Ericofons turn. As I am not a design expert these prices might be around normal market value, I had no clue. But I was getting nervous and already disappointed, afraid that this Ericofon also would be sold for an unreasonable price, just because of the name of the owner…
Luckily it turned out differently and I was able to get this item for a fair price. A bit on the expensive side, but hey, …a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Very proud that this is now part of my collection.
In remembrance of Jim Walrod.
Copyright of these 2 beautiful pictures is at Wright.
In the collection I have this Sahara flat model from 1967 that is in perfect state. There is however something with the color code that I have never seen before. But then, I haven’t seen more than approximately 350 Ericofons from the inside sofar.
The colorcode inside the phone is wronlgy indicating a ‘Crystal Mint’ color with code 520552. It should be 520538 instead which is Sahara. Never seen these kind of misprints before. If you have more examples please share them with me.
When kids are getting older they are are able to do some nice things…
A few activities are upcoming in the next weeks but I cannot share anything yet. Topsecret 😉 But it is related to design. Well, design and Ericofon is not that strange. More news when it becomes a bit more concrete.
In the meantime there are some pictures that I want to share instead that I found on the interet. Be carefull, this will hurt!
I do not know why people do this… Maybe because they could not get transparent paint for the earpiece.
Needless to tell that the clear model is still on my list.
As said before in a post or somewhere else, 2017 was an extremely successful year when it comes to collecting. Not about the quantity but all about quality.
Only 7 phones were added, but what kind of phones… Royal Dubonnet, Dusty Rose, Orange Metallic, Chartreuse, Green Metallic, Nordic Blue and Riviera.
Actually the Chartreuse, the last buy on December 29th, came with some nasty damage on the lower back. The rest of the shell was in very good to mint shape. Seen the price of the phone ($25) it was worth buying it anyway and take the chance. Didn’t have this color at all until now.
The result is quite okay and I am happy with it. Some additional microscopic work still can be done on the right side. Need to experiment on another shell first. On the left side the crack is hardly visible anymore.
An original press picture from 1956, used in a newspaper at that time. Bought this one recently and I think it fits very well with the collection. Besides the phones itself it is sometimes tempting to also collect some accessoires and other stuff. Where does it end…
I really like the atmosphere that the image reflects. The clean monochrome photography is really beautifully done. It has a certain charm.
The picture was published on Sunday November 11, 1956. I am not aware in which newspaper that was.
“The Ericofon, a new one piece telephone, was tested by Miss Claire Jensen, a secretary at a Chicago hotel. The model is about half the size of the conventional two piece phone. The Ericofon combines the dial, speaking and hearing apparatus into a single unit.”
The phone used is most likely an old case Taj Mahal. I guess the model they refer to in the text is not Miss Claire… 😉
Last year we had a warm autumn and on the edge of winter I was able to purchase my Old Case Dusty Rose. Still one of the most fabulous colors in the Ericofon range if you ask me. Are you? 😉 The warmth of the rose-pink color is just so intense.
Around one year later, we have a warm autumn again, and another Dusty Rose popped up. A New Case flat this time and I am actually expecting it to arrive this week.
On top of that, and on the same day I was getting things arranged for the Dusty Rose, I ran in on a New Case Nordic Blue… that is at least what I think it will be. Like with the post on the disclaimer I am not sure on the color for this one.
It is so hard to buy from the screen only. But as this was an opportunity that I had to act on quickly I took the chance. The price was okay for that. The seller was refering to it as ‘liteblue’ but also had an Aqua Mist for sale… So let’s hope that this surprise is a nice one but it can still be a Wedgwood or an Aqua Mist anyway. It is from the same seller as the Riviera on the ‘disclaimer’ post. Crappy pictures that turn out to be right…?
So maybe this autumn is a turning point in my collection with 2 rare New Case models in one week. Of course I will post some new and decent pictures once they are in the house. The ones above are from the sellers.
A real beauty next to her older sister (Hmm, I smell a touch of exaggeration here… I have kids so why am I saying this 😉 )
A real beauty next to his older brother (I am doing it again)… The expected phone is indeed a Nordic Blue. Great!! I am done for this year.
Both Nordic Blue models have a slightly different color tone. The Old Case is a bit more grayed overtime. I guess the Old Case suffered a bit more in the years it was exposed to sun and perhaps smoke. The New Case is more sparkling, which is relatively in this case since the blue is not that exuberant. The insides are similarly colored, the New Case has code 520542 inside.
Since the Ericofon is such an icon in design, not only in Sweden, but also in the rest of the world, it can be found on many occasions and in many books and movies.
But that is not all.
In December 1999 the Swedish postal services issued a stamp with the Ericofon printed on it. It was part of a series of 10 stamps indicating the many Swedish landmarks in industry and society during the millennium that was going to end.
The series is called ‘vårt nittonhundratal’ meaning ‘our twentieth century’. This is the second series of 10 stamps.
So the Ericsson Ericofon is there, on one stamp called ‘inventions’ with the pyramid package from Tetrapak and the Volvo 3 point seatbelt. Good company, right?
By the way, the Ericsson T28 cell phone is on the series 3 stamp ‘technology and inventions’.
As updated in the last post, there was a metallic green on its way as well. Recently I received it by mail from the lovely country of Italy. Strangly I did never encounter these metallic in the past and now suddenly two in one month.
Here are both metallic phones in between their ‘pure’ equivalents. Howmany Nichco colors there are is not clear, and I also do not know the exact color of this green one. Is it dark green or light… or just in between… Confusing.
The green is a kind of mid-green. Not really dark green and for sure not light.
Let’s see if there are more out there that I can find over time. Actually they look pretty cool I must admit. Especially when there is some light on the paint.
In the late 1970’s, when the Ericofon became less popular, the company Nichco Inc, in Mansfield Ohio decided to spice up the Ericofon again. With remaining stock of the Ericofon they sort of launched a metallic series of Ericofons. The painting was done in a professional way. If you ask me it is more professionally done than the CEAC paintings. It is not certain how many different metallic colors were produced. Richard Rose has 12 different in his collection at this moment if I am not mistaken.
Nichco also produced phones themselves and here and there some of the phones pop up. But I know them mainly for the metallic line of Ericofons. A typical sticker of Nichco can be seen on all of their phones, including the Ericofon painted by them. By the way: it is only a 30 minutes drive from Galion (North Electric) to Mansfield (Nichco)…
Last week I was able to purchase this ‘metallic orange’ painted by Nichco. Starting to photograph the metallic surface, it is hard to grasp the actual color. When there is a lot of light the phone is closed to orange, when there is less direct light it tends to brown.
The inside of the phone is an unmarked K7 chassis with an Ericotone 3. The Sahara shell is from 1973, as is the microphone.
Here’s an indication of the color, compared to the BPO Orange and Mandarin Red. The first picture was made in direct light, the second a bit more in the shades.
As this is not really the ‘pure’ Ericofon I was doubting if I should go for the metallic series as well. But as it is part of the official history, this seems to be the only logical way forward. As pure as it can get.
Yesterday I purchased another Nichco metallic model in a beautiful dark green color. Can’t wait to see it in real life. 🙂