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More Illy Cups!
More Illy Cups!
Posted March 29, 2002 11:00pm
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Fosile cup

I guess most readers of this site know I love Illy cups. Just love the whole concept of them.

I've been a fan of espresso and cappuccino cups (well, unique, rare, or collectible types) for a long time, as evidenced by all my cup photos on this website. But Illy cups seem to have a special tier in this sub-hobby of mine (being a subset of my whole coffee and espresso fascination).

Lately, I've been very fortunate to have met the folks from Machines N' Beans because they have managed to find me some of the older and rare illy cups, the ones that, if you contact the US sources, never seem to be in stock any longer. Many of them are from pre 2000, and if I were to sell them on eBay, I'd probably make a mint.

Here's the current sets I have by Illy, all art collection series, all numbered and signed. Many were from Elaina at Machine N' Beans:

  • World Cups, Robert Rauschenberg, 1998 (5 cups - the Paris cup was pulled, making it very expensive if you can find it)
  • Roma Aeterna, A.R. Penck, 1997 (2 sets, six espresso cups)
  • Modus Operandi, Joseph Kosuth, 2000 (I have very low numbers! one cup is 243 out of some 25000 cups)
  • Aliens, by David Byrne, 2001 (2 sets)
  • Zebra, by Roberta Petrobelli, 1999 (2 sets)
  • Bus Stop, Darryl Pottorf,1999 - my first illy espresso cups, I paid way too much for them. I also have a set of six cappa cups, with the lowest numbered 30!!
  • Schwung, by Peter Roesch, 1999. my second set, love these!
  • Fossile, by Paolo Rossetti, 1997 (single cup, my favourite)
  • Lajetana, by J.M. Subirachs, 1998 (single cup, also rare)
  • Italian Riviera, by James Rosenquist, 1996 (my second oldest cups, I have two sets)
  • International Flight, Norma J, 2002 - I have both the 2 cup cappa set and the six cup espresso set
  • Abramovic, by Marina Abramovic, 2002
  • Miss Illy cup, Matteo Thun, 2002 (I have three boxes)
  • Jeff Koons, by Jeff Koons 2001
  • and the granddaddy - Facce Italiene, by Sandro Chia 1993 - the second year Illy cups were out, and the oldest (and most $$$) expensive set I have.

I guess that's a lot of cups, huh? I guess I am obsessed. I'm even thinking of dropping about $400 on a cool display cabinet I saw last week.

Now I got a shout out to my fine readers out there. I'd like to get at least one more Fossile cup, as well as Nam Jun Pak's Videogami set from 1996. If you happen to spot these in a cafe, Italian deli, or anywhere, let me know, k? you can email me at . This call out especially goes to anyone in Europe, where they have a bit more visibility than North America. The Fossile is easy to recognize. It's a single cup, in a huge box with two cans of Illy, and it looks like bleached fosilized stone was used to shape the cup.

hyperlink comments (4): read | write

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