Air France Concorde Flatware

Air France Concorde Flatware

c. 1976
Raymond Loewy, American, 1893-1986
Born: Paris, France
Work Locations: Paris, France, New York, NY
Compagnie d'Esthetique Industrielle
Work Locations: Paris, France
Active Dates: 1951-
flatware set
Stainless steel and plastic
Gift of Dung Ngo

Raymond Loewy, Air France Concorde Flatware, about 1976. Plastic and stainless steel. Manufactured by Compagnie d’ Esthétique Industrielle, Paris, France. Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of Dung Ngo, 2014.120.1-3.

length: 6.25 in, 15.8750 cm
Molded on handle: Air France
Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design

Raymond Loewy
American, born France, 1893-1986
Air France Concorde Flatware, about 1976
Plastic and stainless steel
Manufactured by Compagnie d’ Esthétique Industrielle, Paris, France
Gift of Dung Ngo, 2014.120.1-3

First devised by a team of aerospace engineers, the interiors of the Concorde were later revisited by a number of designers for commercial flight purposes. Air France chose Raymond Loewy and his CEI studio to outfit its first Concorde in 1976. Loewy designed every detail of the plane’s interior, from the cabin architecture and lighting fixtures to the modernist meal tray, glassware, and flatware. He wrote in Industrial Design that several hundred sets of flatware were taken as souvenirs during the first months of Concorde’s operation. The first design for Concorde flatware had brown plastic handles; later the set was produced with gray plastic handles and then completely in stainless steel by the 1980s. The majority of each implement is plastic, likely to reduce the overall weight of the silverware. Because of the price of fuel used for its supersonic flights, Concorde was designed to carry less weight per passenger than typical airplanes operating at the same time. The design of this set of flatware exemplifies Loewy’s streamlined aesthetic which in this case serves the purpose of making the flatware attractive, comfortable, and usable while being light enough to fly on Concorde.

Known Provenance
Gifted 2014 by Dung Ngo to the Denver Art Museum.