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Rare Arabia (ARABIA) Samba (Samba) cup and saucer

Rare Arabia (ARABIA) Samba (Samba) cup and saucer

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Manufacturer: ARABIA
Form design: Kaj Franck
Pattern design: Ulla Procope
Country of origin: Finland
Year: 1960s
Condition: ★★★★☆ (4: Good condition)
The saucer shows slight scratches when held under the light, but the condition is close to that of a dead stock item. The cup is in dead stock condition with no signs of use. Both the cup and saucer are in beautiful condition with no cracks or chips and have remained as they were produced.

Cup diameter 8.7cm Height 6cm Saucer diameter 14.5cm

This is the phantom cup "Samba" produced in the 1960s by Finland's leading pottery manufacturer ARABIA. It was designed around 1960, but was rarely produced, making it a rare cup with very few remaining today. This is a collector's item that is extremely rare among Arabic tableware.

The series name samba is a samba dance that originated in Brazil. The saucer has a similar pattern to the Samba's sister model, the Fiesta. The coffee cup size is smaller than the Fiesta, and the cobalt blue floral pattern drawn with dancing brush strokes is a very impressive masterpiece.

The person in charge of the form design was Kai Franck, a master who promoted the modernization of Finnish design. It has a form called the BA model, and is similar to the masterpiece Teema, which is still in production today.

Ulla Procope, who was in charge of the pattern design, is the creator of the masterpieces Valencia and Fiesta. Similar to Valencia, this Samba series uses only cobalt blue to design tableware in a single color. Although it bears the passionate name of the Latin-speaking world, the piece is interesting in that it is decorated with a deep cobalt blue rather than red or yellow.

This work was probably designed around 1959-1962. The Valencia, which also had cobalt blue decoration, was created in 1961, and its sister Fiesta was created in 1960, so it is thought that they were designed in the years before and after that.

It is not clear why Samba was rarely produced, but it is the smallest of ARABIA's hand-painted cups. At the time, most ARABIA products of the same size were decorated with transfer paper or copperplate transfer, and it was not common to apply hand-colored paint to small vessels. Hand-painted works at that time were limited to large cups and plates that were at least 20cm in diameter and easy to handle. Due to this background, I believe that the petite Samba was difficult to mass produce and was not incorporated into the production system.

For this reason, samba is by far the rarest of the Arabian works produced in the 1960s. Please take this opportunity to take a look.

Kaj Franck

Kaj Franck (1911-1989)

Kaj Franck ( 1911-1989 )

A famous designer from Finland, he promoted the modernization of tableware through the design of daily necessities, and had a great influence on the Nordic lifestyle.

In 1932, he studied furniture design at the Helsinki University of Arts and Crafts, and after graduating he worked in interior design, window displays, textiles, and glass design. In 1945, he became a designer for ARABIA, and achieved international success with the ``Kilta'' tableware series, which he had been developing since the 1940s.

In 1946, he won a glass design competition and became a designer for Iittala. From 1950, he was involved in glass design at Nuutajärvi, and his 1955 tumbler 2744 was selected for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. The design is known for its simplicity and functionality, and has become a symbol of Finnish design.

Ulla Procope

Ulla Procope

Ulla Procope (1921-1968)

Born in Helsinki. In 1948 , he graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design at Aalto University in Helsinki and joined Arabia Company. After that, he was in charge of design in the production department for 20 years, creating the Ruska series in 1960 and the Valencia series in 1961 . Ruska became the longest-running and most sold flagship product of Arabia's products, and the form of Ruska was called the S model , which became the prototype model for subsequent ARABIA tableware. Valencia is the last hand-painted ARABIA product. After suffering from cancer and retiring from active duty, Procope moved to Spain's Canary Islands, where he died at the age of 47 .

Click here for a list of Ulla Procope's works.

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About the size of the product

Product photos are close-ups so that you can see the condition well. Therefore, the actual product may appear smaller. The wooden spoon is for size comparison, not an accessory, and is 13 cm long.

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