1982, Telecom Australia (Telstra) had already introduced their “Premium”
range of telephones as an alternative to the standard rental telephone service.
These telephones had additional features and were a sale only item.
Based on surveys conducted through the early ’80’s the Telecom “Decorator” range of telephones was released to cater for personal tastes in décor.
The initial telephones were pulse
signalling dial phones without any enhanced facilities, such as, abbreviated
dialling, last number redial, hands free etc. The telephones were a high priced
luxury item at around one week’s average salary. Although quite a number were
sold, they are now reasonably rare.
The range was comprised of seven different telephones, namely
Ø 1. Minette Leather
Ø 2. Minette Onyx
Ø 3. Minette Porcelain
Ø 4. Regale Onyx
Ø 5. Regale Rosewood
Heritage Hand Painted Craquelle
Information from Bob Estreich's site
Premium or Purchased Phones - The Decorator Range
For some time customers had been bringing in poor-quality antique-style phones from overseas. Most of these came from Singapore and had low-voltage ringers, which quickly failed. Telecom sourced a range of styles to meet this market, and did some redesigning of the electronics to make them more reliable and better insulated in lightning strikes. The result was a range of high quality well finished phones. They were generally fitted with cloth cords and gold plated metalwork. They were not particularly popular due to their high price (over $450 for the top models) but were steady if unspectacular sellers from their launch in October 1984.- I know of two still working today.