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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Adler Contessa De Luxe Portable Typewriter: A Most Pleasant Surprise

I love the way portable typewriters present fresh surprises around every corner.
When John Lavery was down here from Beaudesert at the weekend, he asked whether I had a spare parts mainspring for an Adler Contessa portable. I must confess I showed my ignorance - I wasn't sure which model John was talking about. But I was pretty certain I didn't have one.
The Typewriter Gods soon put me right on that score. The day after John and his wife Margaret left Canberra for Queensland, I was driving home up Hindmarsh Drive toward the intersection with Mugga Lane. With some spare time up my sleeve, I decided to turn off and cut across to the rubbish tip's recycling centre, to see if it had any typewriters worth buying.
There, smack bang on the counter, was an Adler Contessa De Luxe portable! In top condition, with case, new ribbon, and all for $15!
I took it home and was most pleasantly surprised by how well it typed. I have never really valued this model before, but now I have a whole new appreciation for it:




10 comments:

Nick Beland said...

Thanks for the review! I've always been very taken by their looks but hesitant to spend more than I would for any other 70s typewriter.

Richard P said...

Looks like a nice typewriter. I enjoy your color-coordinated text!

They aren't very easy to find in the US.

Cameron said...

Beautiful machine and typeface!

My Adler J4 in script is one of my favorites in my collection. Despite its mostly plastic body, it feels very substantial and types beautifully -- much like an Olympia.

Mark Hinton said...

I do love the color. I used to have a bike that color.

Ted said...

I had an Adler Tippa S not long ago. I loved the typing feel, but hated the wussy and oddly angled return lever.

TonysVision said...

This post reminds me of the Adler J-4 I received damaged a while back. Described as "near mint" by the seller, and it probably was, going by the photos, until the seller packed it with one layer of very thin bubble wrap inside a close-fitting box and sent it on its way. Both the plastic case and body of the typewriter are now cracked, with other miscellaneous small pieces of plastic rattling around. An insurance claim for my $71 is still making its painfully slow way through the USPS, so I haven't touched the poor thing. Since this incident I've provided packing suggestions to sellers, and I think it has helped. Hopefully the wonders of adhesive technology will get this pretty little machine functioning again someday.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if the contessa's deluxe mechanism is exactly the same as in the Adler Gabriele 35?

Loresev said...

Just lovely! I have seen zines made on typewriters ... and it is not just us older people with nostalgia for the older technology. My daughter just bought a record player (that's right, NOT a CD player) from the Green Shed also.

Adam said...

Thought you might like these photos of a deep orange version of the Contessa. http://www.massmadesoul.com/adler-contessa

It is indeed a lovely looking machine. Thanks for the background info you provide on it!

Francisco said...

I have found the mechanics on this typewriter are the exact same as on the Adler Tippa.