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illy Collections for Sale or Trade
Home >> Other >> Illy Cups >> illy for sale
illy Aliens

Well, a long time coming, but I get enough emails (about 5 or more a month) from people wanting to buy some of my spare sets of illy collections cups that it was long overdue - I'm finally putting up a for sale page!

There are some groundrules here on the cups you see listed.

  • Prices are firm, and if anything, will be climbing as time goes on - if I don't sell a set, I just get to keep it. I need the room around here, but I'm loathe to sell these sets, so if someone wants to meet my sometimes-ludicrous asking prices, that's what it's going to take ;)

  • Prices are in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise indicated. (tip, use google to convert - type in 400 Canadian Dollars in US currency and get a conversion)

  • I will ship anywhere around the world, but you agree to pay full shipping and any handling charges. I won't profit from the shipping and handling, but will include all costs to you before final agreement.

  • Payment to be made via paypal (with a 4% surcharge to cover fees) or via money order or certified check. Once payment clears, I'll mail the boxes off.

  • I'd always rather do straight trades than sell these boxes. So I've put suggested trading options with each offering.

  • my contact email is coffeekid at gmail dot com (you'll have to retype that) for any of these sales or trades. Please put in the subject line the set you'd wish to trade or buy.

Sorry if this is all harsh - as I said above, I'm really hesitant to sell any of these sets - I have a deep love for the art that is illy, and never got into the collecting for the money. But things are piling up, and having doubles (and in some cases triples) of these boxes is getting pretty bad.

Videogrammi - Nam June Pak - 1996

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I have two sets of these great cups by the late artist Nam June Pak, responsible for creating the phrase "information superhighway" and so many geeked out, techie art visions. The cups are vibrant expressions of "televised imagery" in your hand. From illy's website:

"The images flow swiftly on Videogrammi by Paik: each espresso cup is a small television screen, like the ones the artist has placed in a row in many of his exhibitions.

Here, to grip you in their rhythm as you drink an espresso, are themes cherished by the most famous creator of video art: music, his master, John Cage, a large cloud-flow and ideograms of a telecast Orient. It is hard to resist turning the cup round in your hands to see where the colorful marks and signs end up. What lies behind the shiny, curved surface? An aquarium, a television studio or a dream theater?

Maybe it is all there, for the artist who first imagined the cathode as a large container of art and life, where the arts could flow and blend together. At events where everyone is both artist and spectator."

I am selling one of the two sets I have. Both are signed, numbered collection sets in excellent condition, but one is in the formal illy box (they just started in 1996 using the bigger fancy labelled boxes), complete with the pamphlet, and two cans of now very vintage illy coffee; the other set is in styro with matching Mitterteich saucers and is otherwise very plain jane, no pamphlet, no fancy packaging.

So take your pick - pricing is different for each set:

Videogrammi Boxed Set - complete with pamphlet, proper complete box, two cans of coffee, Box is in 8 condtion (out of 10 - some minor tears, but in good shape), cups are mint, 10 condition. $500.00 plus S/H.

Videogrammi Styro Set - Excellent condition (9.5 cups - they were on display, but never used or washed), signed, numbered collectors' cups, but nothing else but the cups and saucers, $385.00 plus S/H.
Still Available as of July 15, 2007!

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Styro Set
Styro set in its housing - six signed, numbered cups, six saucers, Mitterteich German made.
Signed Cups
Cups signed by the artist, and numbered, dated 1996.
From the styro set, the stamped saucers.
Videogrammi Box
The box set, with pamphlet, cans of coffee.
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Cup details
My fave cup in the set ;)
Two cans
Two cans of illy coffee, 1996 vintage, included.
There's a few minor tears in the box's forms, here's one of them.
The pamphlet details the artist and inspiration behind the cups.

Aliens! David Byrne Design, 1999

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Oh my. Three sets of Aliens, I have to sell one set at least, and maybe two. I really don't want to - the Aliens set designed by David Byrne are easily one of my top three favourite illy collection sets. When these sets were available, they were one of the fastest selling sets Illy ever had, so much so that they amped up their illy cup collections, put more marketing behind them, and really, this set was a turning point for the "collections" going from obscure to semi-mainstream.

This set needs very little explanation or description. It's the set most people want and lust after. They've gone as high as $600 on eBay for the normal set, and more for the spaceship model set. I have the normal set, but it's absolutely mint, pristine, 10 on the cups, 9 for the box, 10 for the pamphlet and postcards. Can of coffee included!

Aliens by David Byrne, mint, in box, with pamphlet, postcards, matching sugar bowl, and can of coffee. $475 plus S/H
Still Available as of July 15, 2007!

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Aliens Box
Closeup of the box set.
Inside the Box
Pamphlet, Coffee, postcards, all complete and in mint condition.
Inside Box
All mint, never used cups, pamphlet, coffee, poscards etc.
Low Numbers
Some of the cups in this set have fairly low numbers.

Rosenquist Italian Riviera Boxed Set - 1996

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This is an absolutely mint, never used, barely removed box set of the 1996 "Italian Riviera" set of six cups and matching saucers designed by James Rosenquist, one of the fathers of modern pop art, for Illy. From Illy's website:

"The great master of Pop Art is an ideal interpreter for the world and values of illycaffè. He designed its logo: the red square and white writing. He designed The Italian Riviera Cups illy collection, where even the tiny space on an espresso cup can explode into a thousand colorful rays in your hands as you sip your coffee.

The decorations are taken from an installation by the artist at the Revoltella Museum in Trieste. It starts with a simple material: white French paper used throughout the world for printing banknotes. This gains value when the artist paints it in indelible colors, cuts it into thin strips, drops it and then presses it onto a china surface. Six colorful explosions for six espresso cups."

This set is mint, I'd rate it 9.5-10, and includes two cans of the original coffee, both pamphlet and postcards, pretty much everything Illy included in this box back 11+ years ago.

Italian Riviera by James Rosenquist, mint, in box with everything originally included. $425 plus S/H
Still Available as of July 15, 2007!

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Pamphlet and Cards
The boxes from 1996 included foam to protect the cups.
Cups and Coffee
These boxes contained two cans of coffee - decaf and regular.
The Saucers are also part of the artwork, one of the earliest sets to use the saucers as well as the cups.
All cups are signed and numbered.

Illy Nudes, 2003

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The much sought after, hard to find, may never be made again set of Illy "Nudes" - the illy cup shape done in crystal format. Illy stopped selling these over two years ago.

I have two sets of these cups. Both are identical, but one has one cup (only one cup) with a cosmetic crack in the handle. You can't feel the crack, and I know from personal experience, using a set of Nudes that have two handles cracked this way, that they won't break under normal use, but it's there nonetheless.

I originally had four sets of these Nudes, plus a set of six sent to me by Illy USA from the prototype run. Out of the four sets, three cups had handles with small cosmetic cracks. Out of the prototypes, another three handles (out of 6 cups, or 50% of them) had similar cracks. My guess is, it's a common problem with these Nudes.

I mention all this because I have two sets still mint in box, with pamphlets, coffee, brochure and postcard. I'll sell one of the two sets. One price for a set with no handle cracks, one with one handle cracked. So take your pick:

Illy Nudes - no cracks - complete with pamphlet, postcards, box, one can of illy coffee. Box condition is 9, cups are "10". $375 plus S/H.

Illy Nudes - one handle cosmetic crack - same as above, re pamphlet, box, coffee postcard, but the cups are 10 except one, with the crack. $325.00 plus S/H.
Still Available as of July 15, 2007!

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Box with protection
Box with protective overlay.
Brochure, Postcards
All included with the cups.
Nudes with Coffee
Nudes, matching saucers, all made in crystal, with can of coffee.
The Crack
Detail of the one cup with a cosmetic handle crack.

Suggested Trades
I'd always rather trade my illy collection sets rather than sell them, so if you have spare sets of any of the ones listed below and want to trade, let me know.

I was originally going to list suggested trade items under each cup, but it got too busy. So I'll put them here, based on price ranges. Match my asking price above to one of the categories below to see what I'll do a one:one swap for. And as always, I'm open to suggested trades, email me at coffeekid at gmail dot com with your suggestions.

Trade suggestions for cups priced $450-$500
Basket Playground complete boxed set with coffee;
The Coffee Dance espresso or cappuccino collections set, complete with box and coffee;
Arms, Legs, Feet, Parts cappuccino collection set, plus I pay you $75Cdn. if in mint condition;
China espresso collection set including box and coffee, plus I pay you $50 Cdn.

Trade suggestions for cups priced $375-$449
Any of the items in the $450-$500 range, but can be without box, or without coffee, or without pamphlet, etc.
Venexia cup, platinum handle or gold handle (I'll pay extra for gold), in box;
Los Ninos, boxed, collections set, with coffee, pamphlet;
Roma Aeterna espresso collection set, with box, pamphlet, coffee;
States of Mind collection espresso set, with box, pamphlets, and coffee;
Bus Stops espresso collection set, in box, with coffee, pamphlets, etc.

Trade suggestions for cups priced $300-$374
Any of the items in the $375-$449 range, but can be without box, or without coffee, or without pamphlet, etc. Will also consider incomplete sets from the $450-$500 range.
Schwung set, complete with all pamphlets, postcards, coffee in box set;
Ballerina Cupsp, complete sets only;
St. Martins collection espresso set, complete set only;
PS1 Collection, complete set, with pamphlet, coffee, etc in the box.

More to come soon!

Other Parts of the Illy Art Collection Cups Section.
Cup Database, 1991 to 1998 Cup Database, 1999 to 2005
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 ] 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 ]
Cup Photos and Stories, 1991-1999 Cup Photos and Stories, 1999-2005
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 ] I don't have photos of all my cups from this period (yet), but I have photographed many of them. I've also included some stories about how I obtained the cups. [ more ]

Got other illy cups sets you want to trade for one of the items I've listed above? Email me at coffeekid at gmail dot com with your suggested set for set straight swap, and let's get trading!

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