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Afra & Tobia Scarpa Daybeds

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 furniture today on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Soriana Lounge Chair & Ottoman in Bouclé by Afra & Tobia Scarpa, 1960's
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Antwerp, BE
Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Cassina, reupholstered in ivory bouclé wool, Post-modern lounge chair with ottoman manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s. Reupholstered in ivory bouclé wool,...
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1960s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Daybeds

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Afra Tobia Scarpa Italian Midcentury Bed from the Seventies
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1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Daybeds

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Afra e Tobia Scarpa Mastro Daybed Molteni 1981
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These leather sofas were designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in the 1960s, and feature a painted wooden frame covered in leather. The sofas has removable cushions, and the seating is v...
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1970s Italian Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Daybeds

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Afra & Tobia Scarpa daybeds for sale on 1stDibs

Daybeds by Afra & Tobia Scarpa are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Afra & Tobia Scarpa daybeds, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 3 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original daybeds by Afra & Tobia Scarpa were created in the late 20th century in Italy in the modern style of the mid-century. Many customers also consider daybeds by Gio Ponti, Tito Agnoli and Arflex if you want to have additional options. Prices for Afra & Tobia Scarpa daybeds can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $1,850 and tops out at $12,117, while pieces like these can sell for $6,648 on average..

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