What do I love more than great quality mid century furniture? Catalogues for said furniture! It’s always great to come across an original piece of advertising, which happened when I came into possession of an ATEL wall unit a few weeks ago. The unit is currently dismantled and stacked atop of my car in the shed, however tonight I thought I’d share a few images of the ‘Personal Plan Series’ unit chart and model calculator as the ATEL wall units have been a topic of discussion in a few social media groups over the past few weeks so thought it would be fitting!
As you can see from the above picture, this brochure listed 120 varying cabinet/shelving units that you could mix and match to produce the wall unit of your desire! Another really great feature is that all the prices are listed below, giving an accurate cost of each unit.
The unit that came with this brochure was 10 ft wide, and 2 units tall, and cost $361 in the early 1960’s. According to the bureau of statistics, the average male wage at the same time was between $30 – $40 a week. Do the math, these were not cheap units!
I thought I’d finish off by posting an image of one ATEL unit currently for sale on Gumtree for appreciation. Beautiful! Now just to find a wall big enough!
Following up from my last post, the original owner of the Kafka furniture sent through some more images which I was really grateful for.
All pieces are/were built-in which you can see below. The standout for me is the other half of the wall unit!
What a huge piece of cabinetry! It must be 7 meters + in width. Love the symmetry, and the inlay which on the left side features martini glasses and cocktail shakers! I’m sure it would of been the centre of attention on more than one occasion.
Another online find during the break was an advertisement that read “1950 Kafka wooden cabinets, bedside tables, desk”.
Located in Dover Heights, Sydney, there was so much furniture that an entire truck would be needed! Amazing hey? Unfortunately I was a little slow off the mark, and by the time I had contacted the owner most pieces were spoken for. I did however make sure to save the 2 images for reference, along with ask for a few pictures of the other items (bedsides/desk) which I’m hoping to receive soon.
I find the wall unit’s inlay depicting a musical score pretty interesting. It’d be great to know more about the original owners background. Musician perhaps?
To find out about Paul Kafka, there’s a great excerpt at Design & Art Australia Online. It’s well worth a read, and you can find it here – http://www.daao.org.au/bio/paul-ernst-kafka/biography/ Particular interesting is how relevant the above piece/s of furniture are to the article!