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Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Italian

Widely recognized as superstars of postmodern Italian design, husband-and-wife team Afra and Tobia Scarpa (1937–2011; b. 1935) collaboratively created chairs, sofas and other furniture that work equally well in both traditional and cutting-edge environments.

Ranging from architecture and interior design to furniture and clothing, the Scarpas’ practice from its beginnings in the mid-1950s to the 21st century has included a diverse scope of projects combining new technology with thoughtful function and sculptural yet simple forms.

Afra Bianchin and Tobia Scarpa met as architecture students at the Università Iuav di Venezia. In a class led by architect and furniture designer Franco Albini, they created their first collaborative piece, the Pigreco armchair, later produced with Gavina. After graduating in 1957, Tobia worked for Murano glass company Venini & Co. before the couple opened a studio in Afra’s hometown, Montebelluna, in 1960. (Tobia, the son of famed glass artist and architect Carlo Scarpa, was born in Venice.)

For Afra and Tobia, a close collaborative process was pivotal to the success of their designs. The duo was also prolific — they designed for the most influential European manufacturers, including B&B Italia, Cassina, Knoll and FLOS. With respect to the latter, Afra and Tobia were among the legendary Italian lighting maker’s earliest collaborators, and their pioneering designs for the brand included the Papillon lamp, one of the first fixtures to use halogen technology. Their most recognized designs include the Bastiano sofa (1962), the Vanessa bed (1959), the Coronado sofa (1966) and the Soriana seating collection (1970). Work on the Soriana sofa began in late 1969 for an early 1970 debut, and it feels as radical today as it did in its heyday.

Architecture was also a central part of Afra and Tobia’s practice, which spanned residential buildings and factories for Italian companies such as Benetton. Their commissions for the global fashion brand included numerous industrial projects, from textile plants to storefronts. By 1985, Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work was celebrated in a 30-year retrospective at Center Four in Queens, New York. Looking around the 30,000-square-foot exhibition space, Afra joked to the New York Times, “Seeing all those things makes us feel very tired, and now we feel that maybe we worked too much.”

It was not too much for their legacy, as Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work continues to inspire new generations. Scarpa designs are in collections at the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The couple was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1970 for the Soriana armchair.

Find vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa lounge chairs, dining chairs, floor lamps and other furniture today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$7,950
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Afra & Tobia Scarpa Black Leather and Monk Dining Chair for Molteni, Set of 8
By Molteni & C, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Vicenza, IT
Set of eight “Monk” dining chairs designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Molteni in 1973. Made of black leather and ash wood. Fully restored in Italy. Interesting is the ‘flat’ s...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Leather, Ash

Soriana Lounge Chairs by Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, 1970s Set of 2
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Lasne, BE
Armchair in leather black and metal . Stamped Cassina. Wear due to time and age of the chair. Measure: Seat height 35cm.
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Metal

Afra & Tobia Scarpa cognac leather bed model Morna for Molteni Italy
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in IT
Afra  & Tobia Scarpa - bed frame in cognac-colored leather - composed of headboard with integrated bedside tables and mattress base. Model "Morna" Molteni Italy 1972 Restored - wood ...
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Leather

Vintage Scarpa for Cassina Soriana Ottoman in Leather, Italy-1969
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A piece with a special place within the canon of 20th century design—the Soriana ottoman. With a vise-like grip, the metal structure holds the armchair, with its biodegradable intern...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Steel

Tobia & Afra Scarpa for Molteni Set of Four 'Monk' Chairs in Leather
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Molteni & C
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Molteni, set of four 'Monk' dining chairs, ash, leather, Italy, 1974. Set of four 'Monk' chairs by Italian designers Afra & Tobia Scarpa. The red brown leath...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Leather, Ash

Early Pierre Chapo T21D Dining Table with Afra & Tobia Scarpa Monk Chairs
By Molteni & C, Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Pierre Chapo
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Dining set with Pierre Chapo T21D dining table paired with Afra and Tobia Scarpa Monk chairs. Pierre Chapo, dining table, model 'T21D', solid elm, France, 1970s This table is one...
Category

1970s French Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Elm, Leather, Walnut

Afra e Tobia Scarpa Artona desk Maxalto Italy 1975
By Maxalto, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Roosendaal, Noord Brabant
Beautiful writing desk model 7737 from the Artona series designed by Afra e Tobia Scarpa and manufactured by Maxalto in Italy, 1975. The top has a striking burl-wood veneer with a me...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Afra & Tobia Scarpa 'Benetton' Stools in Mixed Wood and Cognac Leather
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Benetton, stools, oak, walnut, wenge, ash, Italy, 1970s We present exquisitely crafted stools designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for the Benetton shop. These ...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Leather, Ash, Oak, Walnut, Wenge

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Afra & Tobia Scarpa furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Afra & Tobia Scarpa furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Afra & Tobia Scarpa furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 599 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 2 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Afra & Tobia Scarpa were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Mario Bellini, Gio Ponti, and Vico Magistretti. Prices for Afra & Tobia Scarpa furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $373 and can go as high as $109,295, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $8,728.

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