Pye model CS17

Television
1957 (designed)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Robin Day won his second Design Centre Award for this television, manufactured by the Cambridge based company, Pye. Pye Ltd was founded at the turn of the 20th century to produce both industrial and domestic electronics. The company started production of domestic radios in the early 1920s and televisions in the 1930s. Pye Ltd was bought by the Japanese electrical company, Sharp in 1976.

Day designed televisions and radios from the late 1940s and established his partnership with Pye in 1949. This television, Model CS17, was produced in 1957. The design is similar to his work for the furniture company Hille, which combined clean lines with functionality in a simple yet stylish way.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Television
  • Stand
Materials and Techniques
Wood, steel and glass
Brief Description
Television, Britain (Cambridge), designed by Robin Day, for Pye Ltd., Cambridge, 1957
Physical Description
17 inch television set in wooden case on metal stand.
Dimensions
  • Height: 99cm (total)
Production typeMass produced
Credit line
Given by the maker
Object history
Historical significance: Winner of CoID Design of the Year award, 1957. It was praised by the judges for its 'well-organised appearance' and because 'the detailing of the lettering and and knobs is so good that they become one of the main features of the design as a whole'.



Given to the V&A Circulation Department in 1963 [60/2858c]



Previously displayed at the Bethnal Green Museum (now the V&A Museum of Childhood).

Historical context
Robin Day was recommended to Pye by Godfrey Imhof, owner of a trendsetting New Oxford Street shop which sold electrical goods, for whom Day had designed packaging for record-player needles. Day began working for Pye in 1949, his designs for the company won two Design Council Awards: the first in 1956 for this television; the second, in 1966, for the model 1108 radio (see CIRC.394-1967).



This television was available as a wooden console model (CW17) or on steel legs (CS17). This was one of the first televisions on the market which had an overtly modern appearance. In contemporary Pye publicity, Day stated 'no attempt has been made to disguise or elaborate these sets, but instead we have tried to express their real character - that of a fine electronic instrument'. The television was designed to sit harmoniously alongside contemporary furniture. Robin Day had written an article in April 1949, for House & Garden, titled 'Make Room for Television'. In it he offered advice on how these new electronic devices could be easily incorporated into the modern home, suggesting they could be built into cupboards, bookshelves or disused fireplaces. He also stated that the look of the set was paramount, as it would be switched off for most of the day.



When brand new, in 1956, this television would have cost 79 guineas.

Production
The technical design for this television was by J.E. Cope.

Summary
Robin Day won his second Design Centre Award for this television, manufactured by the Cambridge based company, Pye. Pye Ltd was founded at the turn of the 20th century to produce both industrial and domestic electronics. The company started production of domestic radios in the early 1920s and televisions in the 1930s. Pye Ltd was bought by the Japanese electrical company, Sharp in 1976.



Day designed televisions and radios from the late 1940s and established his partnership with Pye in 1949. This television, Model CS17, was produced in 1957. The design is similar to his work for the furniture company Hille, which combined clean lines with functionality in a simple yet stylish way.
Bibliographic References
  • Crowther, Lily. Award Winning British Design 1957-1988. London: V&A Publishing, 2012.p.25
  • Robin Day, Lucienne Day : pioneers of contemporary design : Barbican Gallery, 8 February-16 Aprilpp. 75-77
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.231&A-1963

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record createdSeptember 25, 2000
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