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Glossy, sexy and desirable – an original Olivetti ‘Valentine’ typewriter makes a perfect gift for your lover

Glossy, sexy and desirable – an original Olivetti ‘Valentine’ typewriter makes a perfect gift for your lover

Designed by Ettore Sottsass with the British designer Perry King, the legendary portable Olivetti Valentine typewriter is one of the most famous examples of 1960s Italian design and signifies a time when Olivetti were leading the way in industrial design. It was the pre-digital precursor to Apple in it’s consideration of both style and mobility.

Valentine typewriter by Olievtti as seen in Alex's bedroom in A Clockwork Orange
The portable Valentine typewriter by Olivetti, designed in 1969

It was described at the time as an “anti-machine machine” to be used “anywhere but the office” and so this iconic typewriter makes a suitable choice for Alex’s bedroom in A Clockwork Orange (1971). It also makes an appearance in Les Témoins (The Witnesses) and in 1970 Richard Burton was papped arriving at Heathrow airport with a customised Valentine portable typewriter on one arm and his wife Elizabeth Taylor on the other. As Icon magazine puts it: “Glossy, sexy and desirable, it was the it-bag of its day”.

Alex's bedroom in A Clockwork Orange with typewriter seen on the left
Alex’s bedroom in A Clockwork Orange with typewriter seen on the left
Alex's room in Clockwork Orange
Alex’s room in Clockwork Orange with Valentine typewriter seen on the left
Les Temoins (The Witnesses)
Les Temoins (The Witnesses)

The iconic typewriter is still in demand among collectors, lovers of all things analogue and is included in most museums with a design collection (eg. MOMA in New York and the Design Museum in London).

The Valentine was available in white, green and blue, but its most famous and memorable is red – the colour of passion. Coupled with the fact it was originally marketed as a loyal, devoted companion, this characterful object is probably the most suitable gift we can think of to give your Valentine.

So, where can I buy one?

As luck would have it, there are several dealers who have them available to buy via Etsy at the moment and most ship worldwide:

HKItypewriters have one for $318.24 (approx £220):

HKItypewriters Olivetti Valentine typewriter
HKItypewriters Olivetti Valentine typewriter

TheLittleIrishShop also has an original 1969 model for $437 (approx £303):

Valentine typewriter from The Little Irish Shop on Etsy
Valentine typewriter from The Little Irish Shop on Etsy

Try also Retrospective Vintage who have one for $511.57 (approx £354):

Valentine typewriter from Retrospect Vintage Shop on Etsy
Valentine typewriter from Retrospect Vintage Shop on Etsy


Click on the shop name above to be taken to the relevant link to buy.

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