Victoria, 1990/1991


Producer: Follies-Driade

Delta de plata 1991
In the collections of Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Vitra Design Museum, Israel Museum, Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Deutsches Kingenmuseum Solingen and Museu de las Arts Decoratives de Barcelona

Complete dinner set (crockery, cutlery and glasses). The commission was complex and open-ended: design a complete dinner set: dishes, cutlery, glasses, cruets ... For this task OTB drew on the expert advice of his then wife, the chef Victoria Roqué, hence the name. With a basic respect for the ritual of eating, each piece was designed in functional terms, decoration being reserved for areas that would not hinder utility or comfort. The dinner set aims to stay within the bounds of its thousand-year old tradition, avoiding invention for its own sake; you cannot just dismiss all that history and hope not to fall into the ridiculous. The overall design included barely noticeable changes in measures, thickness, proportions and inclinations. The decoration is modestly and ingeniously limited to the reverse side of the dishes.
    The red colour is reflected on the table cloth or lower dish, creating a warm aura, which accompanies throughout the meal. In this way, the "canvas" of the plate itself remains blank and immaculate, so it is the chef who decides on the composition without any graphic or other interference from the designer. This non-decorative approach was inspired by the Poulsen lamps which harnessed reflection to hide the light source. The cups, tea and coffee pots, bowls, tureens and trays all stand on subtle yet elegant legs which raise them above the table level./Neither was the aim to revolutionise the cutlery; recent innovations had been mainly aesthetic in nature, and were to the detriment of practical considerations.
    OTB only set out to correct a number of shortcomings: the fish knife is symmetric in shape for equal facility of use by the left-handed and right-handed; it has a short serrated section to cut shellfish or other consistent fish flesh. Common sense also dictates that the handles of the desert cutlery should be the same length as the other pieces, and it is the end that varies in size (given most dessert spoons you would think that our hands shrink by the time we reach the dessert course!). The decoration is limited to where it won't annoy and might embellish - the tip of the handle, and hints at the use of each piece: a hoof on the meat knife, a fish head for fish, an apple for dessert, a grain of coffee for a coffee spoon and a leaf for a tea spoon./The glasses comprise one glass for water and another seven for other uses, all on a long, slim stem, with an interwoven surface form to provide a firmer grip and an interesting chalice-like shadow-play; The rim curves outwards slightly to receive the lips.
    The collection also includes a sinuously feminine water bottle which serves to facilitate the grip and which is complete with glass top. In 1995, Tusquets added to the collection with an oil cruet designed for the preparation of vinaigrettes, and a candelabra in which the candle floats on water and the flame is surrounded by a crystal sphere. The cutlery is manufactured in Italy, the crockery in Asia and the glasses in Barcelona.