~ By Susan Rayner, Design Editor ~
Wandering through the booths at Chicago’s International Antique Fair earlier this year I came across this amazing item.
Even though I’m a long-time fan of mid-century furnishings I had somehow never discovered the Clairtone Project G stereo. I totally fell in love with its swinging 60’s cool and space-age vibe. Turns out Clairtone was a Canadian company that produced electronics from 1958 to the early 70’s when mismanagement apparently did them in and they closed. However, they have a rabid following to this day. This particular model cost $2000 when it came out, which was about the same price as a new car. If your family had one in the 60’s hopefully they hung on to it as it’s worth about ten times that amount now. That is if you can find one. The one pictured above was for sale at Aosta, a vintage furniture store on Diversey specializing in mid-century/mod pieces and has since been sold. One I saw listed recently on 1st Dibs is now also sold. So maybe we should all be investing in cool vintage stereos. Just a thought . . .
Its pedigree includes being endorsed by Frank Sinatra, owned by Hugh Hefner and featured in a scene from “The Graduate”. So it’s the perfect item to play your Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass album on. (Mandatory in every 60’s household, or at least on my block.)
Even if you’re not a mid-century modern fan you have to admit that it’s a lot cooler than the Mediterranean style stereo many of us grew up with.
Well, ours was not quite this ugly but you get the idea.
For those of you who want to explore Clairtone further, there is a book on the subject called “The Art of Clairtone“.
Or you can check out the videos on the all things Clairtone website below. It includes some authentic 60’s TV commercials that are a must-see for Mad Men fans as well as a very interesting 2008 news report. If the link is broken go to www.clairtone.ca and click on “video”.
Owner of Susan Rayner Interiors, Susan’s aesthetic is clean and classic, whether the style is modern, traditional or somewhere in between. She is passionate about creating positive change for her clients while allowing them to control their costs. Susan has a friendly, collaborative approach that allows her clients to enjoy the design process. This ensures they will love the end result – a house they enjoy coming home to!
Visit Susan at SusanRayner.com.
p.s. Susan shared her thoughts on 2014 residential interior design trends on the Power Up Living radio show. Check out the episode here.