Ernest Race was commissioned by Jack Pritchard to create the Bottleship Mark 2 (originally designed by Egon Riss in the 1930s) in 1963.
Instead of the original bent birch structure, Ernest opted for a more linear shape while respecting the original brief of the product, which serves to store book and magazines and as a side table. Once the foldable top is opened, the Bottleship Mark 2 unveils a hidden compartment devised to store glasses and spirit bottles.
Today, Isokon Plus has decided to make the piece in cherry veneer as well as birch ply, in keeping with the rest of the Isokon product range and the original Bottleship. In fact, the company has measured a piece from the V&A’s permanent collection in order to stay true to the original design, along with taking direction from some original drawings.
Ernest Race was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1913, and after graduating in interior design from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, he joined the lighting firm, Troughton & Young, as a draughtsman. After visiting a weaving village in India in 1937, he returned to London and opened a shop in Knightsbridge to sell textiles and carpets.
His best-known designs are the BA3 Aluminium Chair and the Antelope Chair, commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain.