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Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

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
Early Production #920 Sofa by Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, c 1966, Signed
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This early production Model #920 modular four-seat sofa by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina was designed in circa 1966 and this example is from the earlier years of production as ev...
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina Settee in Brown Leather
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, two-seat sofa brown leather, walnut, Italy, 1966. This high quality settee is designed by Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina in 1966. The design is ...
Category

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

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Cassina 'Soriana' Four Seater Sofa by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in Bouclé
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Antwerp, BE
Afra and Tobia Scarpa, soriana, Cassina, Italy 1970s, bouclé wool Manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s, the Soriana collection was meant to express beauty and comfort by using a w...
Category

1970s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

Chrome

Black Leather Coronado Sofa by Tobia & Scarpa for B&B, Italy, 1970s
By B&B Italia, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Escalona, Toledo
Italian sofas designed by Afra & Tobia Scarpa. Introduced in 1966, after more than forty years, it remains the symbol of relaxation. Its revolutionary personality in terms of design ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

Leather, Wood

Pair of Tobia Scarpa Leather Settees
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Fantastic pair of leather settees by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Meritalia. Clean lines and Classic form, sitting on tubular legs. The entire pieces is wrapped in leather. Removable se...
Category

1980s Italian Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

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Afra & Tobia Scarpa "Soriana" Leather Lounge Suite For Cassina, circa 1970s
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Englewood, NJ
Very Cool and Comfortable Italian Mid Century Modern leather upholstered "Soriana" suite by, Tobia & Afra Scarpa designed for Cassina. The suite is made up of one settee, two lounge ...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

Leather

Cassina Soriana Four Seater Sofa by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in green Peter Dunham
By Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Antwerp, BE
Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Soriana, Cassina, Italy 1970s, reupholstered in Peter Dunham Manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s, the Soriana collection was meant to express beauty and ...
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1970s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Afra & Tobia Scarpa Settees

Materials

Chrome

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Afra & Tobia Scarpa settees for sale on 1stDibs

The Afra & Tobia Scarpa settees are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Afra & Tobia Scarpa sofas, there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 6 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of Afra's original sofas were created in the mid-century modern style in Italy during the 20th century. Many customers also consider sofas by Mario Bellini, B&B Italia and Vico Magistretti if you’re looking for additional options. Prices for Afra & Tobia Scarpa sofas can vary depending upon size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at US$1,665 and tops out at US$28,000, while pieces like these can sell for US$19,425.

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