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Gio Ponti 803

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Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs Model 803
By Gio Ponti, Cassina
Located in New York, NY
Gio Ponti for Cassina pair of armchairs model 803 with sky blue velvet upholstered back and seat, faux leather sculptural arms, and rosewood legs, Italy, circa 1954. Fully restored,...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Velvet, Faux Leather, Rosewood

  • Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs Model 803
  • Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs Model 803
  • Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs Model 803
  • Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs Model 803
H 29.5 in. W 29.5 in. D 31 in.
Gio Ponti Armchairs Model 803 for Cassina, Italy, 1954
By Gio Ponti
Located in Brussels, BE
Gio Ponti Armchairs Model 803 for Cassina, Italy, 1954 - New green velvet upholstery.
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Armchairs

Materials

Velvet

Gio Ponti Pair of Armchairs, Model "803" Manufactured by Cassina Italy, 1955
By Gio Ponti
Located in Barcelona, ES
Gio Ponti Pair of armchairs, model «803» Manufactured by Cassina Italy, 1955 Walnut, fabric. From the archives of Side Gallery, Barcelona Measurements 80 cm x 75 cm x 81.5 H...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Armchairs

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Pair of Armchairs, Mod. 803, Design by Gio Ponti, Cassina Production Italy, 1954
By Gio Ponti
Located in Napoli, IT
Pair of armchairs, mod. 803, designed by Gio Ponti and produced by Cassina, Italy, 1954. Full restored and newly upholster in cotton velvet rust with rust satin sides. Bibliography...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Wood

Gio Ponti Rare Model 803 Version with Brass Feet Armchairs, New Light Gray Marl
By Gio Ponti
Located in Brussels, BE
Gio Ponti rare model 803 version with brass feet armchairs, new light gray marl upholstery.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
By Gio Ponti
Located in Den Haag, NL
Gio Ponti arm chair model 803, Italy 1954 Cassina 
Italy, 1954 
vinyl, upholstery, walnut
 29.5 w x 33 d x 31 h inches Gio Ponti: l'Arte Si Innamora dell'Industria, La Pietr...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Armchairs

Materials

Fabric

Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
By Gio Ponti
Located in Den Haag, NL
Gio Ponti armchair model 803, Italy, 1954. Cassina, Italy, 1954. Faux leather upholstery, walnut. Measurements: 29.5 W x 33 D x 31 H inches. Excellent condition, newly uphols...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Faux Leather

  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
H 31.11 in. W 29.53 in. D 33.08 in.
Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
By Gio Ponti
Located in Den Haag, NL
Gio Ponti armchair model 803, Italy, 1954. Cassina, 
Italy, 1954. 
Vinyl, upholstery, walnut
. Measurements: 29.5 W x 33 D x 31 H inches. Gio Ponti: l'Arte Si Innamora dell'I...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Armchairs

Materials

Fabric

  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
  • Gio Ponti Armchair Model 803, Italy, 1954
H 31 in. W 29.5 in. D 33 in.
Gio Ponti Model 803 Mid-Century Italian Lounge Chair
By Cassina, Gio Ponti
Located in Berkeley, CA
Gio Ponti lounge chair for Cassina, model 803, circa 1954. Finely reupholstered in a vintage teal wool fabric. Fabric sample available upon request.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Wool, Walnut

Gio Ponti Biography and Important Works

An architect, furniture and industrial designer and editor, Giò Ponti was arguably the most influential figure in 20th-century Italian Modernism. Ponti designed thousands of furnishings and products — from cabinets, lamps and chairs to ceramics and coffeemakers — and his buildings, including the brawny Pirelli Tower (1956) in his native Milan, and the castle-like Denver Art Museum (1971), were erected in 14 countries. Through Domus, the magazine he founded in 1928, Ponti brought attention to virtually every significant movement and creator in the spheres of modern art and design.

 

The questing intelligence Ponti brought to Domus is reflected in his work: as protean as he was prolific, Ponti’s style can’t be pegged to a specific genre. In the 1920s, as artistic director for the Tuscan porcelain maker Richard Ginori, he fused old and new; his ceramic forms were modern, but decorated with motifs from Roman antiquity. In pre-war Italy, modernist design was encouraged, and after the conflict, Ponti — along with designers such as Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso — found a receptive audience for their novel, idiosyncratic work. Ponti’s typical furniture forms from the period, such as the wedge-shaped Distex chair, are simple, gently angular, and colorful; equally elegant and functional. In the 1960s and ’70s, Ponti’s style evolved again as he explored biomorphic shapes, and embraced the expressive, experimental designs of Ettore Sottsass Jr., Joe Colombo and others.

His signature furniture piece — the one by which he is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and elsewhere — is the sleek Superleggera chair, produced by Cassina starting in 1957. (The name translates as “superlightweight” — advertisements featured a model lifting it with one finger.) Ponti had a playful side, best shown in a collaboration he began in the late 1940s with the graphic artist Piero Fornasetti. Ponti furnishings were decorated with bright finishes and Fornasetti's whimsical lithographic transfer prints of things such as butterflies, birds or flowers; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts possesses a 1950 secretary from their Architetturra series, which feature case pieces covered in images of building interiors and facades. The grandest project Ponti and Fornasetti undertook, however, lies on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean: the interiors of the luxury liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

Widely praised retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Art in 2001 and at the Design Museum London in 2002 sparked a renewed interest in Ponti among modern design aficionados. (Marco Romanelli’s monograph written for the London show, offers a fine overview of Ponti’s work.) Today, a wide array of Ponti’s designs are snapped up by savvy collectors who want to give their homes a touch of Italian panache and effortless chic.

Finding the Right Armchairs for You

Armchairs have run the gamut from prestige to ease and everything in between. 

Long before industrial mass production democratized seating, armchairs conveyed status and power. In ancient Egypt, the commoners took stools, while in early Greece, ceremonial chairs of carved marble were designated for nobility. But the high-backed early thrones of yore, elevated and ornate, were merely grandiose iterations of today’s armchairs. 

Modern-day armchairs, built with functionality and comfort in mind, are now central to tasks throughout your home. Formal dining armchairs support your guests at a table for a cheery feast, a good drafting chair with a deep seat is parked in front of an easel where you create art and, elsewhere, an ergonomic wonder of sorts positions you at the desk for your 9 to 5.

When placed under just the right lamp where you can lounge comfortably, both elbows resting on the padded supports on each side of you, an upholstered armchair — or a rattan armchair for your light-suffused sunroom — can be the sanctuary where you’ll read for hours. If you’re in the mood for company, your velvet chesterfield armchair is a place to relax and be part of the conversation that swirls around you. Maybe the dialogue is about the beloved Papa Bear chair, a mid-century modern masterpiece from Danish carpenter and furniture maker Hans Wegner, and the wingback’s strong association with the concept of cozying up by the fireplace, which we can trace back to its origins in 1600s-era England, when the seat’s distinctive arm protrusions protected the sitter from the heat of the period’s large fireplaces. 

If the fireside armchair chat involves spirited comparisons, your companions will likely probe the merits of antique and vintage armchairs such as Queen Anne armchairs, Victorian armchairs or even Louis XVI armchairs, as well as the pros and cons of restoration versus conservation.

Everyone seems to have a favorite armchair and most people will be all too willing to talk about their beloved design. Whether that’s the unique Favela chair by Brazilian sibling furniture designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, who repurpose everyday objects to artful effect; or Marcel Breuer’s futuristic tubular metal Wassily lounge chair; the functionality-first LC series from Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret; or the Eames lounge chair of the mid-1950s created by Charles and Ray Eames, there is an iconic armchair for everyone and every purpose. Find yours on 1stDibs right now.