RCA Model 40X-53 "La Siesta"

RCA "La Siesta"

In 1939, RCA introduced a series of radios which included sets which commemorated the New York Worlds Fair and the San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition.  In the same series was this radio, the model 40X-53 "La Siesta", which was decorated in a Mexican/southwestern motif. 

The case was made from a cheap grade of plywood, and no attempt was made to hide this fact.  The crude cabinet, with its bold grain patterns, was part of the rustic charm of this radio.  The grain on the front has actually become part of the image.  The "Mexican" is a separate piece of plywood that was nailed to the front of the case.  The images were silk-screened, and not hand painted, as is often assumed.

A previous owner slopped a coat of shellac on this radio, which has run in the area of the dial, but it served to protect the painted image which is often worn through to the wood around the knobs. 

RCA "La Siesta"