Not currently on display at the V&A


1957-1958 (designed)
Place of origin

Melamine saucer in dark green.

Object details

Object type
TitleMelaware (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Saucer, melamine, 'Melaware', designed by David Harman Powell, made by Ranton & Co. Ltd, 1957-58
Physical description
Melamine saucer in dark green.
  • Diameter: 14.8cm
Marks and inscriptions
'Melaware' (moulded on base)
Credit line
Given by Jennifer Opie
Object history
David Harman Powell had observed at close hand the development of the earlier melamine cup for Midwinter, designed by A.H. Woodfull and John Vale of the BIP Product Design Unit. When asked by Woodfull to undertake the cup and saucer design for Ranton & Co., he was able to advance the process further with the first of the two-colour bi-moulded cups. Seeking to start afresh and avoid the convention of handle attached to side wall of a cup, his design solution was to fully integrate the handle and cup as one consolidated design. The handle, which sweeps up and outward from the rim, is higher than usual, providing good balance when the cup is lifted, and enabling the handle to accept the high pressure flow of the melamine during moulding, resulting in low stress and very good strength. The subtle detailing of the handle, made possible through precision toolmaking, is further enhanced by bringing the second colour that forms the cup interior out over the top of the handle.
Designed by David Harman Powell of the British Industrial Plastics Product Design Unit, Oldbury, Birmingham. Manufactured by Ranton & Co. Ltd, Brentford, London, using melamine made by British Industrial Plastics Chemicals Ltd., Birmingham. The moulding tools made by British Industrial Plastics Tools Ltd.
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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