Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Is it ever too cold for ice cream?

Short answer: no, certainly not in my house! And certainly not in MoDiP either as we have some great objects linked to this tasty desert which I would like to share with you here.

Image credit: Katherine Pell

First up is this child’s toy in the shape of a football (refer image above). What does that have to do with ice cream I hear you ask? Well, it is a Tonibell Miniball and originally contained the vanilla flavoured sweet treat. Available in red, white, blue, green, yellow and orange colours with a removable lid, it sold for one shilling in 1968 and, once consumed, the plastics packaging could be used as a ball.

Manufactured for Tonibell, a company founded in 1937 by Toni Pignatelli (then called Tonis) which made, sold and delivered icecream, the name change occured in the 1960s, combining the name Toni with the Italian word Bellissima. As the business expanded a fleet of icecream vans was acquired, first branded in blue but later pink, that operated throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in the Kent, London and Surrey areas. This object was donated to MoDiP by Abergavenny Museum who were originally gifted the ball by Llanover School in 1978. It will feature in our next exhibition, Reuse (opens 17th March 2023).

Image credit: Katherine Pell

Next up is a similar tub but this time in the shape of an orange (refer image above). Once again blow moulded in polyethylene, it was manufactured by German ice cream maker Scholler. The skeuomorphic design has an injection moulded, lift-off lid in a slightly darker shade and the injection gate has been cleverly hidden amongst the 'peel'. We think it dates to the 1990s, but it could be earlier. Apparently, these were delicious. Yum!

Image credit: MoDiP

These oversized Big Love vibrant bowls (refer image above), designed by Miriam Mirri for Alessi in the 2000s, are always a popular choice for object inspiration amongst the students at AUB. They are made from injection moulded acrylic with a stainless-steel removable liner and a long handled, heart shaped spoon. Believe it or not they are intended for sharing – whoever heard of such a thing?

Image credit: MoDiP

Finally, this rather endearing I Scream ice cream scoop, designed by Orange of Darmstadt for Koziol in 1997. Injection moulded in polystyrene, the transparent handle is filled with static bubbles and the anthropomorphic figure’s wide opened mouth cleverly acts as the spoon. Currently on display in the ‘Three Collections’ case outside the museum, it does seem to generate mixed reactions. Personally, I think it looks like it is singing, not screaming.

Image credit:

If you would like to see any of these objects, please contact us.

Katherine Pell
Collections Officer 

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