Bandalasta.com

INTERESTING FACTS

The plastic "Releasable Fastening" fitted to the Brexton picnic boxes of the 1950's was patented (patent no. 664899) by Brexton and Thomas James Walker Brookes. (no relation!)

Adrian Brookes, Company Secretary and Director of Brookes & Adams, told us (2008) that B&A did a lot of moulding for Brexton and that there was a high probability that these fastenings were moulded by them.

Releasable Fastening

In 1935 Brexton & Brookes also patented (patent no. 444343) a "luncheon, provison or like of the kind carried as part of a picnic outfit and embodying a rigidly built lid, the latter detachably applied to said body by a number of resillient clips, said lid usually being supplied with a carrying handle.".

Brexton Picnic Box


INTRODUCTION

In the early days Brookes & Adams produced their own picnic sets, calling them "Compact Carrying Cases" examples of which can be seen in the Catalogue section of this site. In 1932, they commissioned a well known maker (presumably Brexton) to produce their own picnic outfits. The following is an extract from a 1933 Price List.: -

"The new 1932 "Bandalasta" Picnic Outfits are the finest value obtainable at a reasonable price. These cases are specially made for us by a well known maker of this class of goods and contain "Bandalasta" Ware wherever possible in order to save weight. We are concentrating on a small range of models only. Our cases are stocked in Dark Blue or Black covering with White fitting and are washable inside and out. Metal fittings are brass nickel plated, and the contents are securely held in place where necessary with spring clips, ensuring freedom from rattle or breakage. These outfits are exceedingly practical, light-weight and durable, and are offered at the lowest possible price consistent with the quality offered. We suggest that with the stock colour Blue or Black case the following "Bandalasta" colours are most suitable: - Brown Marble (H) "Banda-Rouge" (BR). Ivory - Marbled Orange and Green (NY8G). Ivory - Mottled Blue (NB15). Harlequin - Self colours: Blue, Orange, Red, Apple Green. "Bandalasta" in any other stock colours as per "Bandalasta" colour list may be fitted to order. "

Bandalasta Picnic Set

With Vacuum Flasks

Contents – consisting of Genuine Thermos Flasks; Glass Milk Bottles with Nickel-Plated Caps with wide necks for ease of washing; Bandalasta Pots with Bayonet Jointed Lids for Butter and Sugar; White Enamelled large size Provision Boxes; Stainless Knife, Fork and Spoon for each person; Bandalasta Nesting Cups and Saucers and Plates of any stock colour to choice.

BA2, 13” x 9” x 5½” 6½ lbs. £2 5 0
BA4, 19½” x 11½” x 6” 11 lbs. £3 7 6

With Spirit Kettle

Aluminium Kettle with screwed stopper to enable water to be carried, Stand and Wind Shield; Spirit Stove and Can for methylated spirit , (no teapot is provided as the kettle is used for both purposes); Bandalasta Pots for Butter, Sugar or Tea; White Enamelled large Provision Boxes and Stainless Cutlery.

BA12, 15" x 10" x 5" 6 lbs. 2 7 6
BA14, 19" x 11" x 6" 11 lbs. 3 10 0

Bandalasta Picnic Set
Bandalasta Picnic Set

And here's one in real life!

And here's a close up of the label.

Picnic Set Label

The Beatl Shop in Regent Street also put together sets, sometimes mixing Bandalasta, Linga Longa and ML wares in the same sets.

Bandalasta was also used extensively in high quality picnic sets, assembled by other companies such as Brexton, Coracle, Garrison and ILAT. Some were even specially produced for high class stores such as Abercromby & Fitch and Harrods, in fact Harrods were selling "Antler" picnic baskets with Bandalasta salt and pepper pots as recently as 1992.

This is a very complex aspect of collecting Bandalasta as it is difficult to determine what the picnic sets looked like in their original state. Over time pieces get broken and replaced with the wrong pieces, people try to cram more into the set than was originally intended and so on...

We tried, for a while, to record information on the various layouts of picnic sets, from eBay, antique fairs, auctions etc. but it proved to be almost impossible as no two picnic sets we saw ever seemed to be the same. However, in the interests of completeness, and the fact that we are asked about picnic sets more than any other Bandalasta item, we will endeavour (in time) to put together a useful, if not complete, picture.

Any information on the companies involved, original layouts etc, would be gratefully received.

THE BEATL SHOP

The rarest of all the picnic sets, those sold by the Beatl Sales Co. at the Beatl Shop in Regent Street, are probably the earliest in date. Assembled in wooden boxes with a rexine cover, they were mainly fitted with marbled Bandalasta and sometimes a mix of Bandalasta, Linga Longa and ML wares.

Beatl Picnic Set

Picnic Case covered in brown grained Rexine. This set is missing it's cutlery and something else (possibly a bottle for milk). All Bandalasta items in this set are marked "of BEATL"

Contents (if complete): Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(153), plates(139); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers (165,165A, B and C);Two Thermos flasks covered in rexine to match case; Four knives, forks; Two spoons; One Bandalasta topped glass bottle for cream, milk (possibly); Two metal food boxes.

For four persons, 20 in. x 11 in. x 5 in. Value complete £180 to £200, in this state £80 to £100 .

 

CORACLE

Some of the best, and earliest, sets were produced by "Coracle". These sets were assembled in both wicker baskets and rexine covered wooden boxes. The earliest confirmed date we have for Coracle sets fitted with Bandalasta is 1935 although it is quite possible that they were being made prior to this date. Coracle sets can be found fitted with both marbled and single coloured Bandalasta. Coracle sets fitted with single coloured Bandalasta were still being made in the 1950's. Often the Bandalasta items are also stamped "Coracle" on the base. Coracle also made picnic sets for Harrods of London and Abercrombie and Fitch of the USA.

Coracle sets are often found with Bandalasta topped glass bottles.

Coracle Picnic Set

"This case is covered Dark Blue, Green or Brown grained Rexine and lined White washable material. Chromium-plated locks and patent spring handles.

Contents: "Thermos" Stronglas flasks; Bandalasta ware (non-fragile) cups, saucers, plates and tumblers; sugar boxes; milk bottle; two Bandalasta food jars; large cake box; condiment pot; stainless knives with coloured handles to match Bandalasta; forks and teaspoons.

For four persons, 18 in. x 10½ in. x 7 in. Price £5  12  6."

Army, Navy stores catalogue 1939-1940

Wicker Picnic Basket. Some items marked "Coracle". (c. 1935)

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(194), saucers(153), plates(139); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers with divided lidded pot(165,165A, B, C and D); Two Bandalasta butter pots(206); One Bandalasta stacking salt and pepper pot (77 - probably not original to the set); Two rexine covered Thermos flasks; Four knives, forks and spoons; One metal bottle opener; Two Bandalasta topped glass bottles for cream or milk; Three Bandalasta sandwich boxes (558).

For four persons, 21 in. x 14½ in. x 6½ in. Value £180 to £200.

Coracle Picnic Set
Coracle Picnic Set - Harrods

Wicker Picnic Basket made by Coracle for Harrods of London (c.1950). Some items marked "Coracle".

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(153), plates(161); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers with divided lidded pot (165,165A, B, C and D); Two Bandalasta butter pots (206); Two matching plastic Thermos flasks; Four knives, forks and spoons; Three Bandalasta topped glass bottles for cream or milk; Two Bandalasta sandwich boxes (558).

For four persons, 21 in. x 12½ in. x 6½ in. Value £180 to £200.

Wicker Picnic Basket. Some items marked "Coracle". (c. 1940)

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(136), plates(161); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers (165,165A, B and C); Two Bandalasta butter pots (206); One Bandalasta butter or sugar pot (205D); Two white plastic Thermos flasks; Four knives, forks and spoons; Three chrome topped glass bottles for cream or milk; Three Bandalasta sandwich boxes (558).

For four persons, 21 in. x 13½ in. x 6½ in. Value £60 to £80.

Coracle Picnic Set
Coracle Picnic Set

Picnic case covered in dark blue Rexine. Some items marked "Coracle". (c. 1940)

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(136), plates(139); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers with divided lidded pot(165,165A, B, C and D); Four matching Rexine covered Thermos flasks; Four knives (with matching handles), forks and spoons; One metal bottle opener; One chrome topped glass bottle for cream or milk; Three Bandalasta sandwich boxes (558).

For four persons, 21 in. x 7 ½ in. x 12 in. Value £180 to £200 .

 

BREXTON

Brexton was the trade name of a company called "Brookes and Sexton", who also produced picnic sets under the name "Sirram". We have never seen a Sirram picnic set fitted with Bandalasta but Brexton ones often are. We are not sure if the Brookes side of the company was any relation to the Brookes of Brookes and Adams, but it does seem a bit of a coincidence.

Brexton sets are, probably, the most frequently found. Sets fitted with Bandalasta mainly date from the 1950's although evidence would suggest that they were being produced earlier than this (see side panel).

Brexton Picnic Set - Coronation

Picnic Case covered in red Rexine. This set was to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The buttons on the plate retaining strap are marked "Elizabeth 1953".

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(153), plates(139); A set of four nested Bandalasta beakers (165,165A, B and C);Two commemorative Thermos flasks; Four knives, forks and spoons; Seven Bandalasta topped glass bottle for cream, milk (or whatever); Two metal food boxes.

For four persons, 20½ in. x 15 in. x 5 in. Value £100 to £120.

Picnic Case covered in green Rexine. This set is probably a FAKE as the box is from the 1950's but the Bandalasta contents are earlier.

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(159), saucers(153), plates(139); Green rexine covered Thermos flask; Four knives, forks and spoons; Six Bandalasta topped glass bottle for cream, milk (or whatever); Two metal food boxes.

For four persons, 19 in. x 13 in. x 5 in. Value £60 to £80.

Brexton Picnic Set

 

ILAT

Producers of high quality picnic sets, certainly from as early as 1939 or before and sold in Harrods. Ilat picnic sets often contain rectangular Bandalasta plates which are marked only with the name ILAT in a diamond shaped lozenge with no reference to Bandalasta. It is fairly obvious that they are Bandalasta as they are always found in sets containing other Bandalasta items in the same colours (and see extract from Army & Navy Stores catalogue below).

Ilat Picnic Set

"This set is both distinctive and original, and adds a final master's touch to a masterpiece. The craftsmanship expended on this outfit will be readily appreciated by all.

Contents: Four large Bandalasta provision boxes, six Bandalasta cups, saucers, tray plates and drinking beakers, one roll nickel biscuit box, one Bandalasta sugar, butter and preserve pots, one large china-ware teapot, one large roll nickel kettle and stove, one roll nickel spirit container, one 1 pint "Ilat" milk bottle container, two quart "Thermos" flasks, three condiment holders, stainless cutlery.

For Six persons. Size: 32 x 5 x 6½ in. Price: £16  17  6"

Army, Navy stores catalogue 1939-1940

This set appeared on eBay, July 2008 (Pictures and info. suplied by Maurice)

Contents: Four Bandalasta Cups, Four Bandalasta Saucers, Four Bandalasta rectangular plates (marked ILAT), 2 Bandalasta sandwich boxes, 2 Bandalasta sugar bowls with lids, 1 metal box, four knives, forks and spoons, two Thermos flasks and one metal milk bottle holder containing milk bottle.

This set is marked with the original retailers mark for Drew & Sons, Piccadilly.

The set sold for £103.55.

 

GARRISON

Producers of high quality picnic sets and possibly some of the earliest. Garrison sets are often seen with marbled Bandalasta contents usually with other fittings of metal including spirit kettles etc.

Picnic Case covered in Dark Maroon Rexine (c1935).

Contents: Four Bandalasta cups(195), saucers(196), plates(139); Bandalasta salt & pepper pourers (not original to set); Four knives and spoons (No forks!!!); Ceramic "The Cube" teapot; Ceramic sugar pot; Rafia covered chrome topped glass bottle for cream or milk; Two roll nickel boxes; Spirit kettle with burner and fuel bottle.

For four persons, 22½ in. x 14 in. x 6 in. Value £120 to £150

Garrison Picnic Set

 

OTHER

A 4 person picnic set made by a firm called "Finnegans", with white Bandalasta fittings, appeared on eBay in 2004 and sold for 41.80.

A set from France, seems to be either for one or two persons. Inscription inside the box reads "KIRBY BEARD & CO. Paris Fabriqué en Angleterre"

Picture and info. supplied by Isabelle Haurat.

 

PICNIC SETS ON EBAY & ELSEWHERE

In this section we will list a selection of picnic sets from eBay. It will hopefully provide a useful guide to current prices.

Ebay - 10th August 2008 - An "Ilat" Picnic Box for 4 people in Yellow. Sold for 38.03

Swinderby Antiques Fair - 5th August 2008 - An "Ilat" Picnic Box for 6 people in Marbled White on White. On sale for 50.00, missing 1 knife and with a broken knife holder. (We were tempted to buy it, but you can have TOO many picnic sets!!)

EBay - 3rd August 2008 - A "Coracle" Wicker Picnic Basket for 4 people. Sold for 52.50 (a bargain!)