Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Radiogram - Ferranti model 447
  • Ferranti model 447
    Nicholson, Christopher, born 1904 - died 1948
  • Enlarge image

Ferranti model 447

  • Object:

    Radiogram

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)
    Great Britain (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1946 (designed)
    1947 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nicholson, Christopher, born 1904 - died 1948 (designer)
    Ferranti Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    wood, metal, felt and plastic

  • Museum number:

    W.3:1 and 2-1998

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Christopher Nicholson worked as a product designer for the English radio manufacturer Ferranti. The preliminary drawing for this radiogram, now in the RIBA drawings collection, dates from 1946. There are significant differences between the design and the finished product. On the design, the legs are bentwood in the manner of Alvar Aalto’s pre-war furniture: the finished object has splayed timber legs which look forward to the aesthetic of the 1950s. The arrangement of the dials and speakers on the front of the cabinet were also altered and betray the influence of Christopher’s brother Ben’s abstract compositions. The record storage, shown behind the flap at the side of the drawn design, was moved under the lid to be more convenient. The radiogram was produced by Ferranti in 1947, and this example stayed with the Nicholson family after Christopher’s death in 1948.

Physical description

Radiogram in two parts. The chassis is walnut-veneered (nb wood has not been formally identified but see RIBA Drawings Monograph, p 99), rectangular in shape with sloping sides such that it is slightly wider at the bottom than the top. There is evidence of previous insect infestation with minor losses at the pr side. A rust-coloured woven paper fascia covers the front of the chassis and is edged with wooden moulding painted white. Two white plastic tuning knobs to the left are aligned horizontally with the speaker to the right. The hinged lid opens to reveal a pink turntable, record storage, control panel and additional switches set into a square plywood panel which has been screwed on at a later date (nb see object history note). The lid and record storage are lined with green felt where there is minor damage from previous insect infestation. The stand has four splayed tapered legs and there is more evidence of previous woodworm activity.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)
Great Britain (manufactured)

Date

1946 (designed)
1947 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Nicholson, Christopher, born 1904 - died 1948 (designer)
Ferranti Ltd (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

wood, metal, felt and plastic

Marks and inscriptions

'PATENTED / COLLARO / 4T200 / TRANSCRIPTION UNIT / MADE IN ENGLAND'
Label; Inside, on the record player

Object history note

Christopher Nicholson worked as a product designer for the English radio manufacturer Ferranti. The preliminary drawing for this radiogram, now in the RIBA drawings collection, dates from 1946. There are significant differences between the design and the finished product. On the design, the legs are of bentwood in the manner of Alvar Aalto's prewar furniture: the finished object has splayed timber legs which look forward to the 1950s. The arrangement of the dials and speakers on the front of the cabinet were also altered and betray the influence of Christopher's brother Ben's abstract compositions. The record storage, shown behind a flap at the side of the drawn design, was moved under the lid to be more convenient. The radiogram was produced by Ferranti in 1947, and this example stayed with the Nicholson family after Christopher's death in 1948.

The V&A acquired the radiogram in 1998 from Tim Nicholson, the designer's son, together with a wall clock, W.4-1998.

The turntable and mechanism were replaced by EQ Nicholson in the 1950s. At that time some new switches were installed at the pr rear of the interior. The control panel at the pr front of the interior is original.

Descriptive line

Radiogram on a stand, veneered, with rust coloured woven paper fascia and two white plastic control knobs, designed by Christopher Nicholson, manufactured by Ferranti Ltd, 1947

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bingham, Neil. RIBA Drawings Monographs No.4 Christopher Nicholson. London: Academy, 1996. 112p., ill.
ISBN 1-85490-445-0
[preliminary drawing for radiogram, plate 76, p 99]

Labels and date

Twentieth Century Study Gallery label text:

Christopher Nicholson was the son of the painter William Nicholson and brother of the abstract artist Ben Nicholson. The preliminary design for this radiogram dates from 1946 although there are significant differences in the details between the design and the radiogram as made. This example belonged to Christopher Nicholson himself and it remained in the possession of his family after his death in 1948. [24/09/1999]

Production Note

Attribution note: Preliminary design for Ferranti Ltd, 1946, RIBA Drawings Collection. Significant differences between the design and the finished product (see object history note)
Reason For Production: Retail

Materials

Wood

Categories

Furniture; Entertainment & Leisure; Audio equipment; Household objects

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.