Actually, this result wasn’t too disasterous. It’s a rare original ‘Ericofon’ telephone, made for the Dutch operator P.T.T. The Ericofon is a design classic, originally dating from the 1950’s, but not available here in the UK until the early 1980s. The British colours were very limited, with US versions being the most diverse. P.T.T. made just three colours available to their customers starting in the late 1970s, dark red (not the same red as in other countries), white and this dark brown. I’ve not come across a Dutch Ericofon before, so I snapped this one up, which is apparently in full working order. Apparently they were not the most popular of phones over there, with production for the operator ending in 1981 but the last of their stock not being sold until 1985.
Because it’s such a 20th century icon, the Ericofon is now widely copied, with modern versions commonly available. However, as with most modern reproductions, they are made as cheaply as possible and certainly not built to last. Originals are now highly desirable, both with telephone collectors and anyone wanting to add a bit of modernist style to their home. Consequently the prices can often be eye-wateringly high. Luckily a bit of cosmetic damage to the plastic body has kept the price down on this one, making it a reasonably priced addition to the collection. I’m now hoping that my special plastic restoration technique will work on the marks, resulting in a showroom condition phone at a fraction of the normal cost for one of these Swedish made wonders. I’ll let you know more when it arrives.