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5B ashtray in stainless steel and melamine, Carla Nencioni and Armando Moleri (Zani & Zani, 1970s)

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    Posted 7 years ago

    austrohung…
    (584 items)

    This ashtray is a bit of a mistery. I purchased in Barcelona, at one of the best design shops in town. We were there last March and Carlos wanted to take me to this huge design shop where they had had a clearance sign for years, but this time it was for real: there was a "last days sale" sign outside and no more than 200 hundred items remained inside. Amongst them those we bought for close to nothing: this ashtray, a couple of Rosti mixing bowls and a whole set of 6 Harri Koskinen designed meat knifes and forks.

    It's the typical plastic and metal design from the 1970s -even late 1960s-.
    The ashtray, which by the way was sold as a pencil holder... so strange :)- has got a ZANI stamp on the base. I know there is a Serafino Zani brand for stainless steel goods, but I've been unable to find this design among their goods, modern or old. What I've found is a lot of records with the ZANI INOX RECORDS label... just like the one on pic. 4. It seems this ZANI INOX RECORDS released music in Malaysia and South Africa (as far as i can tell, but I'm sure we can find Zani records released for other countries) around 1970 and used the same logo that can be seen on the ashtray's base. My guess is that it was an Italian brand -like the Steel company- and released records in countries that at the time didn't had the means or the freedom torelease them themselves.

    June 18th - update:

    I wrote Zani & Zani about the ashtray and they've so kind to answer me! Here's what they said in their letter:

    "You are correct: the ZANI logo you have on your ashtray is our (ZANI&ZANI) old logo.

    This ashtray you have is one of our historical product, was designed for us by the designers Carla Nencioni and Armando Moleri and it’s called model “5B” (means 5 holes).

    At the beginning, we were ZANI with the logo you find on the ashtray, then, when the other company (Serafino Zani) started, as they did not have anything to do with us but they have the same surname, we changed the name and logo in ZANI&ZANI in order to avoid confusion"

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    Comments

    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      A mystery item!
    2. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
      Promotional item? Of course having the company name on the bottom doesn't make sense. How weird.
    3. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Thanks Phil, Amber, Vet and Mike for your love!

      Well, Amber, i really think the music business was a side one... kind of "I make money enough with my steel, now let's help other countries having access to the music I love". I am pretty sure this Zani Records business didn't last much time.
    4. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      hmmm , im thinking that this could been with felt fabric and it was taken off and could have been a record cleaner tool. , but I could be wrong , just putting the idea out there.
    5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      or this could be a promo item . free gift purchase.
    6. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      LOL ! Well it's an idea, but as i mentioned at the begining of the post, this was boght at a very "chic" shop... where they sold Venini glass, WMF and Hartmann cutlery, Alessi designs... every prestigious brand you could buy there, so I think both choices - (huge) record cleaner and promo item- are totally discarded.

      Thanks for you love and the comments!
    7. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      LOL!! HEEHEE :)
    8. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Looking at ebay.it one can find stainless steel items by both Serafino Zani and Zani & Zani (which seems to be an older brand, with designs by Sabrina D. Nencioni-Moleri from 1965 or by by Enzo Mari Nuevo from 1990, or the famous Bruno Munari icebucket from the 1850s and an amazing Vesubio coffee pot by Gaetano Pesce from 1989).

      I am pretty sure this Zani logo is related to one of them but... I haven't got a clear idea yet about which one and how.
    9. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Thanks for you love Mani!!!

      Well, I've got some news (not great but news after all :) ). As I've just told you I've been searching the net and there is some ZANI & ZANI items for sale on ebay.it, amongst them a 1986 sugar bowl designed by Enzo Mari. If you take a look at the stamp at the back of the spoon here
      http://www.ebay.it/itm/ZANI-ZANI-Zuckerdose-m-Loffel-Design-Enzo-Mari-1986-sehr-gepflegter-Zustand-/281346752602?pt=Design_Stil&hash=item418192c05a
      you can see they only use one ZANI in the signature and even if it's not the same ZANI logo... could this be the logo they used in the 1980s, and the one on my ashtray they used in the 1970s? They share the same boldness of design... I'll try and find out if they ever used this logo :)
    10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      austro , this is a stunner !!
    11. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      I would not mind having that little set up!!
    12. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Thanks Mani!!! XXX
    13. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Sean... now that you know the shapes, keep an eye on them, I am sure that lucky as you are you might find them at a local charity shop!!! ;) I wouldn't be surprised at all if you managed to! LOL
    14. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      You're so right!! I will keep my eyes open for that!!! Lol!!!
    15. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      I wrote Zani & Zani about the ashtray and they've so kind to answer me! Here's what they said in their letter:

      "You are correct: the ZANI logo you have on your ashtray is our (ZANI&ZANI) old logo.

      This ashtray you have is one of our historical product, was designed for us by the designers Carla Nencioni and Armando Moleri and it’s called model “5B” (means 5 holes).

      At the beginning, we were ZANI with the logo you find on the ashtray, then, when the other company (Serafino Zani) started, as they did not have anything to do with us but they have the same surname, we changed the name and logo in ZANI&ZANI in order to avoid confusion"
    16. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
      How nice of them to respond to you. How interesting. So I've lost track, what year?
    17. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Yes, they've been soooo nice. Well, they didn't say the year, but if in 1986 they had a newer logo and the logo on this in the same in the 1970 records I'd say it's from sometime between 1975 and 1980. In any case i asked them about it in my thank you email -as well as about the Zani Inox records label :) -I trust they're answering to this too.
    18. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      By the way, thanks nutsabotas!!!
    19. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 7 years ago
      What a FAB ashtray! And how nice of them to write back :)
    20. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 7 years ago
      Thanks Fran!

      I really was surprised at their swift response. I've writen to many companies asking about their old items and I 've got very few answers. At Zani they asnwered almost immediately!

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