Portable Egg Case | Ding des Monats April 2020

Thing of the Month April 2020
Portable Egg Case

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Portable Egg Case. Former Soviet Union, 1970s. Collection Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge, Berlin. Photo: Armin Herrmann, 2020.

The fold-out, cream-coloured egg case made of plastic is composed of twenty oval-shaped elements in four staggered rows of varying lengths that rest upon two feet. The upper part of the container is formed by an arched handle. Between the individual oval containers, gaps in the form of rounded triangles are located. In case of a high light intensity, these empty spaces overlap and form hexagrams due to the semi-transparent material. Pairs of nubs and tabs in the upper parts serve as an opening and closing mechanism.

The portable egg case in this unusual shape was imported from the Soviet Union to East Germany in the 1970s. Designed for a safe transport of eggs, the volume of its oval containers is standardised to the size of hen's eggs. This formal strictness defines the container's narrow scope of use and limits the possibilities of appropriation. Thus, if you consider the egg-shell coloured case as a sculptural structure with oval shape, it follows the principles of unified form and function.

The portable egg case is part of the permanent exhibition of the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge.