Rigitule 'Table Servante' Trolley by Mathieu Matégot
Ateliers Mathieu Mategot, France, designed in 1953
H 28" x W 32" x D 18"
The drinks trolley seems to have been one of Mategot's favourites. They symbolize a time of peace and leisure, whilst 'theoretically' lightening the load of household work. They also represent a blurring between the indoors and the outside, at a time when the everyday living space was being extended to balconies and gardens. He was to produce over 20 drinks trolley permutations.
After the war Mategot took part in a major revival of the decorative arts, which had become reliant on the elegant but expensive materials inherited from Art Deco. The war had forced all cultural assumptions to be re-examined while also dramatically interrupting traditional supply channels. The necessities of reconstruction and limited budgets thus called on all creators to be imaginative with easily accessible materials.
The Conflict had left behind mountains of abandoned military hardware, now abundant scrap, and so Mategot turned his eyes and imagination upon metal, a material he had come to know whilst a prisoner of war - when assigned to a factory in Germany he had utilised offcuts of perforated sheet metal to make a toy car. Post-war he immediately set out to target everyday objects that seemed stylistically left-behind or outmoded, such as the aforementioned tea or drinks trolley
And so he began to use perforated steel that he lacquered in black and poetically named "Rigitulle". To help with the manufacture he invented a machine capable of pleating and folding steel which gave his creativity an incredible freedom.