Coffee ware consisting of a cappuccino cup and saucers (2), porcelain with a chip resistant glaze, designed by Roderick Bamford, Macmasters Beach, New South Wales, Australia, for Manfredi Enterprises, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1998-1999, made by Monno Ceramic Industries Limited, Bangladesh, 2004
In 2004, the Australian coffee company, Manfredi Enterprises, re-released its 'Cup Suite' consisting of a cappuccino cup, a latté beaker, an espresso beaker and a ringed saucer. Featuring the Manfredi decals, this cappucino cup and ringed saucers are from that second series. In 1998, Manfedi commissioned the NSW potter, Roderick Bamford, to design the original series so that it would be durable, would reflect past and present coffee traditions, and would have a creative impact upon the café environment. The pieces would also need to hold a specific amount of liquid and accommodate Manfredi decals. The second series underwent some minor modifications though remained true to these original design principles.
Manfredi Enterprises manufactured blank and decaled suites in both 1999 and 2004 - the blank suites were made for general sale while the decaled suites were distributed to cafes serving Manfredi coffee. A limited edition 'Art Cup Collection' was also released in 2004, comprising a tin of Manfredi coffee, two rimmed saucers and two latté beakers with decals, titles 'South Coast Beach Cottages', by Sydney artist, Reg Mombassa. All three examples of the Cup Suite are represented in this collection.
Though Royal Thai Porcelain produced the 1999 series of around 20,000 pieces, it declined the 2004 contract due to proposed changes to the original design. (These changes included the beaker being made as a single unit without an adjoining foot, and the saucer manufactured with a new, steadier foot.) As a result, Manfredi Enterprises contracted a smaller porcelain factory, Mono Cermica in Bangladesh, which normally copied tableware designs. (It had previously been a textile factory with two large textile mills though had repositioned itself in the 1970s as a maker of ceramics.)
Recognising that this was a significant commitment for Mono Ceramica, Manfredi Enterprises made the company the exclusive manufacturer of the suite for the Australian and Asian markets. It also gave the factory the right to produce the suite for companies in other countries, providing that Manfredi Enterprises received royalties. Stamped, 'Ceramica di Manfredi, the cup suite, porcelain', the second series was manufactured in small batches, the first of which consisted of 10,000 pieces.
These ringed saucers and cappuccino cup are from the Cup Suite that Roderick Bamford designed for Manfredi Enterprises from 1998 to 1999. Following a design brief and speaking regularly to coffee specialists, he created a durable and compact set of latté and espresso beakers and a cappuccino cup that stacked neatly on top of the coffee machine and fitted easily under the machine head. A ringed saucer was designed to accommodate each of these vessels and also act as a serving plate. The multifunctional design of the saucer / side plate improved manufacturing efficiencies to reduce both costs and emissions and because one Universal saucer supports a range of cup sizes, it makes redundant the tooling, manufacturing and distribution costs of five traditional saucer / plate variants. The central rings in the saucer were based on the idea of a drop of water creating concentric ripples on a pond which also acted as a metaphor for perpetuating use of the single saucer and the useful life of the product.
These designs were modified slightly in 2004 when Manfredi re-released the suite and launched an 'Artist Cup' collection. The new beakers were constructed as single units, not as receptacles with adjoining feet as they had previously been. The saucer bases were also widened and made steadier. This 2004 series, made by Monno Ceramic Industries Limited, is marked, 'Ceramica di Manfredi, the cup suite, porcelain'.
This selection of coffee ware was made in 2004 by Mono Ceramic in Bangladesh for Manfredi Enterprises, Australia. The donor gave the items to the Powerhouse Museum on behalf of her company.