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Some things are born to be a cult, some achieve cult status and some have cult status thrust upon them. it has always been diillcult to deline what it is that Iiits an object irom normality or eccentricity to the status oi a cult



object. What does having cult status Involve. One person who has attempted to answerthis question Is Dayan Sudjic. ‘Cuit Objects’ his recently published book, illustrated by Ian Oobble, ieatures a selection oi arteiacts deiined as having achieved cult status. It is a clever and humorous attempt to explain why some objects have gripped the public imagination. As his book demonstrates, cult objects need not be wildly expensive nor coveted by a select iew. Swiss army knives and Coca Cola bottles being two such examples. Some are prized ior their ugliness (Citroen Oeux Chevaux) as ior their inherent beauty (Perrier Bottles). Indeed, it seems that ugliness Is a positive boon when it comes to achieving cult status. There seems to be no hard and last nrle to achieving


such lame. What Sudjlc does Is select his cult objects and attempt to explain why they have become cults. The examples above illustrate some oi the items irom the book and show that price is Irrelevant as is the quantity sold.

The Burberry overcoat (top leit) originally iound iavour with oiiicers during the First World War and became popular alterwards because at its dashing associations. ‘It. . . had connotations oi the seasoned veteran, battered but unbowed - perhaps a little down at heel, but still proudly wearing part ol the unliorm in which he was demobilised.’

The Rolex Oyster (above right) spans ‘the divide between plain expensive and designer taste’. it owes much at Its cult appeal to the iact that James Bond

wore one, representing ‘snobbery with

violence’ as Sudjic puts It. The

Volkswagen Beetle (bottom leit) is the most popular carthe world has ever seen.

Designed by Ferdinand Porsche

a and iinanced by one Adoli Hitler, It was

. designed In the thirties and is still

; universal In appeal. The Braun shaver j (bottom'rlght) is a less well know cult. Its status is apparently due to the

masterful combination oi ivnctional

' black and shiny chrome as well as

linking It to the cult Porsche 911 during advertising. To lind out more and to discoverwhat you need to buy to be socially acceptable ‘cult-wise’ this book ls recommended as a witty and entertaining buy.

Cult Objects is published by Paladin In paperback at £5.95.

The List 1—14 November 47