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All contents are 1998-2007 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved. Please do not borrow, take or steal anything without permission.

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Cup Photos and Stories, 1999-2005
Home >> Other >> Illy Cups >> 99-05 CupPhotos
Roesch Schwung Cups

My first illy cup collection was Spirali. I bought it in 1998. And I foolishly sold it without knowing its value, in 1999. I did sell it for the price I paid, and I figured, wow - no depreciation! How foolish. My second set was Schwung, by Peter Roesch (the orange cup from that set is pictured at right). I got them at a "deal" price: $78 plus shipping for the box of six, with the can of illy coffee. Little did I know I'd be hooked for life.

Below you'll find some of my collection, from the years 1999 to 2004 and beyond. I have currently 29 unique sets (many doubles, some triples, giving me over 40 sets from between 1999 and 2004); however, it would take me a long time to photograph them all. Below you'll find an ever-growing photo gallery of the cups I own from this time period. I'll start off with the ones that have the most interesting stories, and try to present the cups as best I can. I hope you enjoy! (also, I note where I have duplicate sets, and if you want to trade or buy, contact me at

Photos of cups from 1999 to 2004
This is an ongoing process; I haven't photographed all my cups yet, but as I continue to document them, I'll list them below.

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Coffee Flower Ideas Mugs, James Rosenquist (2004)
Wowsa. A new style of cup from illy - mugs. Deceptively small mugs too. To the rim, they hold only 8oz of liquid, but looking at the cups, you'd think they were 10, maybe even 12oz.

I have four boxes of these. Why? Because at $50 (or less - I've paid $35 for two of the four boxes), the fact that these are the first ever "mug" cups and are of course signed and numbered. I don't know how many illy are making, but there's only four digit "spots" on the bottom of the cups, suggesting a maximum of 9999 cups.

Translation: I think these will be worth a ton in five or ten years.

I also like these cups. They are my "latte" cups - big, but not too big. They also are stealthy and sneaky - yer typical American "big gulp" lover would probably take a fancy pants "expresso" drink in these cups, thinking they were getting 8, 10oz of milk; in reality, they are getting only 5 or 6oz of milk and 1 to 2 oz of espresso. Heh heh heh heh.

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In da box
The mugs come in sets of two, with a can of illy's newest style of coffee: ground for drip.
As you can see, this cup on the left is 0673 - leading me to believe there's only 9,999 or less cups made. Translation: collectible!
You can see the size of the mugs as compared to the espresso and cappuccino sized cups. They hold 8oz to the rim.

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Dreams and Conflicts, Francesco Bonami (2003)
This is a cup that seems to appeal to other people a lot more than it does to me. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a cool single cup, and it also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Bienniale Venezio. It's also very thick, a good thing. However, I don't think it's the most unique illy collections cup.

But others think so. When I had this cup out, doing photos with it, people were remarking on how cool it looked. People always asked "why is the conflicts word upside down?" People were saying "the colours are soooooo coooool!"

It is also the smallest package that illy has presented a cup in, at least in the last 10 years or so.

And I have something extra special. There were bar cups done in this style as well. There's four colour combinations. I have two sets of two colours right now, and another two sets of two colours are on the way. These are just about the thickest cups illy has ever released. I give a huge thumbs up to the physical design, and I think the bar cups actually look a bit nicer than the "collection" single cup.

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Bar set 1, Sogni Conflitti
This bar set (says "illy espresso") comes in a two tone light purple and blue colour pattern, and has writing in Italian.
Bar Set 2 - Gray Yellow
The second bar set is in a gray and yellow two tone, with dreams and conflicts written in English.
Bar and Collection
The collection cup in its tiny box, with the Bar set cups.
Other Parts of the Illy Art Collection Cups Section.
illy Collections for Sale or Trade Cup Database, 1991 to 1998
Over the years I've gotten many emails asking if I would sell one or more of my sets - I'm always hesitant to do so, because I'd rather trade - but here it is - my active "for sale or trade" listings with firm prices and trade suggestions. [ more ] My collection between 1991 and 1998 has been growing as of late. I'm still missing some key sets, and not all that I have are photographed, but take a gander. [ more ]
Cup Database, 1999 to 2005 Cup Photos and Stories, 1991-1999
Things really got rolling with Illy and their collector cups by the late 1990s. It seems they are coming out with more and more cups each year. Here's what I got, and what I want. :) [ more ] As my collection of illy collection cups from 1991 to 1999 continues to grow, I'll photograph and document some of them inside this section. [ more ]

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Want to trade illy cups with me? Buy some of my duplicates? Sell me some cups I'm missing? Send me an email today and let's talk deal!