Melaware cups and saucers

  • Year: 1957
  • Materials: melamine
  • Size: cup: 61mm (H) x 92mm (Diam) / saucer: 148mm (Diam)
  • Reference: B19142
  • Designer: David Harman Powell
  • Categories: Melamine
Set of four fabulous Melaware cups and saucers. Fantastic 1950s shape in bright scarlet and white interior flowing over the top of the handle. A superb and stylish set, with examples held in the V&A Collections. Melaware marks to base.

Designed by David Harman Powell of the British Industrial Plastics Product Design Unit, Oldbury, Birmingham. Manufactured by Ranton & Co. Ltd, Brentford, London, using melamine made by British Industrial Plastics Chemicals Ltd., Birmingham. The moulding tools made by British Industrial Plastics Tools Ltd.

David Harman Powell had observed at close hand the development of an earlier melamine cup for Midwinter, designed by A.H. Woodfull and John Vale of the BIP Product Design Unit. When asked by Woodfull to undertake the cup and saucer design for Ranton & Co., he was able to advance the process further with the first of the two-colour bi-moulded cups. Seeking to start afresh and avoid the convention of handle attached to side wall of a cup, his design solution was to fully integrate the handle and cup as one consolidated design. The handle, which sweeps up and outward from the rim, is higher than usual, providing good balance when the cup is lifted, and enabling the handle to accept the high pressure flow of the melamine during moulding, resulting in low stress and very good strength. The subtle detailing of the handle, made possible through precision toolmaking, is further enhanced by bringing the second colour that forms the cup interior out over the top of the handle.