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Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Czech Optima Typewriter, a Consul in Disguise

Patrick White's Optima at the New South Wales State Library. I think one can make out the name "Optima" fairly clearly. White (1912-1990) won the 1975 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Below, the Optima-Consul on White's desk
Patrick White's desk was built in 1947 by cabinet-maker Kenneth John Jackson of Jim Jackson and Sons, 45 Victoria Road, Parramatta, Sydney. Jackson followed the design of the desk from a Francis Bacon sketch which White supplied.
Francis Bacon, left, with William S. Burroughs
Burroughs with a Hermes Baby and Bacon sketches,
 but no Bacon desk
"When White set up flat in London in 1938, he had a friend, the then little-known painter Francis Bacon, design a desk that was the last gasp in modernity - sleek, long lines ... When [White] and Mr Lascaris moved back to Australia ... he left the desk behind"
So White got Jackson to make him another one.
A "blue" at the Mitchell Library

1 comment:

Richard P said...

I always learn something from your blog. Francis Bacon designed furniture?!

You've got to wonder about the eyesight (or dyslexia) of the curators who called White's machine an Olivetti.