Ettore Sottsass Jr. (Italy, 1917-2007)

An architect, industrial designer, philosopher and provocateur, Ettore Sottsass led a revolution in the aesthetics and technology of modern design in the late 20th century.

     Sottsass was the oldest member of the Memphis Group — a design collective, formed in Milan in 1980, whose irreverent, spirited members included Alessandro Mendini, Michele de Lucchi, Michael Graves, and Shiro Kuramata. All had grown disillusioned by the staid, black-and-brown “corporatized” modernism that had become endemic in the 1970s. Memphis (the name stemmed from the title of a Bob Dylan song) countered with bold, brash, colorful, yet quirkily minimal designs for furniture, glassware, ceramics and metalwork. They mocked high-status by building furniture with inexpensive materials such as plastic laminates, decorated to resemble exotic finishes such as animal skins. Their work was both functional and — as intended — shocking.

     Sottsass's most-recognized designs appeared in the first Memphis collection, issued in 1981— notably the multihued, angular “Carlton” room divider and “Casablanca” bookcase. As pieces on these pages demonstrate, however, Sottsass is at his most imaginative and expressive in smaller, secondary furnishings such as lamps and chandeliers, and in table pieces and glassware that have playful and sculptural qualities.

     It was as an artist that Ettore Sottsass was celebrated in his life, in exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2006, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art a year later. Even then Sottsass’s work prompted critical debate. And for a man whose greatest pleasure was in astonishing, delighting and ruffling feathers, perhaps there was no greater accolade. That the work remains so revolutionary and bold — that it breaks with convention so sharply it will never be considered mainstream — is a testament to his genius.

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Large Green and Red Centrepiece by Ettore Sottsass

By Bitossi, Ettore Sottsass
Large Green and Red Centrepiece by Ettore Sottsass...
Bitossi, Ettore Sottsass
2010s Italian Centerpieces
Ceramic
This elegant centrepiece in white clay features a base in dark grey supporting a conic body made of concentric steps that are finished in red on the outside and in vivid matte green on ...
Limited Edition Tarzan Bowl by Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum Ceramics

By Ettore Sottsass, Cor Unum Ceramics
Limited Edition Tarzan Bowl by Ettore Sottsass for...
Ettore Sottsass, Cor Unum Ceramics
Vintage 1980s Dutch Post-Modern Serving Bowls
Palisander
Limited edition Tarzan bowl designed by Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum Ceramics in the Netherlands. Very beautiful large ceramic bowl, made in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Signed and ...
Gaya Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass, Upgroup
Gaya Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Upgroup
2010s Italian Centerpieces
Brass, Carrara Marble, Marble
Magnificent example of minimalist functional design by Ettore Sottsass for UpGroup, this bowl is composed of a circular base surmounted by a larger yet slimmer circle connected by two c...
Diu Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass, Upgroup
Diu Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Upgroup
2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Centerpieces
Brass, Other, Carrara Marble
Magnificent example of Minimalist functional design by Ettore Sottsass for Upgroup, this bowl is composed of a circular base surmounted by a larger yet slimmer circle connected by two c...
Ettore Sottsass Geometrical Ceramic Vase

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Geometrical Ceramic Vase
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Vase by Ettore Sottsass, part of the "geometrical" cast. Triple square form made in glazed dark green ceramics.
Alcor Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano

By Ettore Sottsass
Alcor Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Glass
Murano Glass
Alcor by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano in 1983. Vintage model. The mark on bottom tells "Memphis Milano by Compagnia Vetraria Muranese."
Ettore Sottsass Geometrical Ceramic Vase

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Geometrical Ceramic Vase
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Vase by Ettore Sottsass, part of the "geometrical" cast. Triple square form made in glazed dark green ceramics.
Murmansk Silver Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass
Murmansk Silver Fruit Bowl by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Centerpieces
Silver Plate
Murmansk silver fruit-bowl. Ettore Sottsass (Italian). Memphis Milano (Design: 1982; early production). Manufactured by Rossi & Arcandi, Vicenza for Memphis Milano, Italy. Silver pl...
Architectural Italian Signed Sterling Silver Geometric Overlay Sottsass Vase

By Ettore Sottsass
Architectural Italian Signed Sterling Silver Geome...
Ettore Sottsass
1990s Italian Modern Glass
Sterling Silver, Glass
This wonderful tall architectural cylindrical vase is signed on the bottom Argento Flavia Alves de De Souza for HWE Egizia by Sottsass Associati. It is sterling silver overlay in Greek ...
Fruit Tray Green by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass, Ceramica Gatti
Fruit Tray Green by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Ceramica Gatti
Early 2000s Italian Centerpieces
Ceramic
This unique ceramic fruit tray has a glazed base in a glossy white. The tray is glazed in a vibrant green with a matte finish, and glossy white rim. The interior is glazed in a lustrous...
Fruit Tray Black and Lilac by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass, Ceramica Gatti
Fruit Tray Black and Lilac by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Ceramica Gatti
Early 2000s Italian More Dining and Entertaining
Ceramic
This playful yet refined ceramic fruit tray is a superb addition to any home. The inside is glazed in a lustrous black. The exterior is glazed in a vibrant lilac with a matte finish. Th...
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic Vessel, Il Sestante, Italy, 1982

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic Vessel, Il Sestante, Italy...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Ceramics
Ettore Sottsass ceramic vessel designed in the 1960s for Il Sestante, Milan. In 1982 a number of the earlier models were re-issued by Il Sestante in colours specified by Sottsass and pr...
Set of Three Sottsass Marutomi Japan Utensils Vases

By Ettore Sottsass, Marutomi
Set of Three Sottsass Marutomi Japan Utensils Vase...
Ettore Sottsass, Marutomi
1990s Japanese Post-Modern Ceramics
Plastic
Sottsass Marutomi Japan. Sottsass designed this set for the Japanese company Marutomi. The objects are of painted plastic. They look like ceramic. They are painted with the Japanese Uru...
Ashtray by Ettore Sottsass, Model Yantra 38 for Habitat

By Ettore Sottsass
Ashtray by Ettore Sottsass, Model Yantra 38 for Ha...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Ashtrays
Ceramic
Artwork, ceramic astray made for Habitat by Ettore Sottsass.
Ettore Sottsass by Serafino Zani Tavola Rotonda Ro...
Ettore Sottsass
Early 2000s Italian Modern Centerpieces
Pewter
"Tavola Rotonda Rovescia" Ettore Sottsass by Serafino Zani Numa 2000s. Cast pewter hand-finished with brush polishing Measures: Diameter 30.5 cm Height 8.5 cm.
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic for Il Sestante, Italy, 1962

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic for Il Sestante, Italy, 19...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ettore Sottsass, Italy, two-piece orange and white ceramic ashtray from his designs for Il Sestante circa 1962. Signed to underside with model number 604. Perfect condition. Docu...
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic for Il Sestante, Italy, 1962, Signed and Documented
Ettore Sottsass Ceramic for Il Sestante, Italy, 19...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ettore Sottsass for Il Sestante, Italy, red ceramic bowl, model number 444, signed to underside. Documented, Fulvio Ferrari, Ettore Sottsass; Tutta la Ceramica . pp384.
Tarzan Bowl, Designed by Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum

By Ettore Sottsass
Tarzan Bowl, Designed by Ettore Sottsass for COR U...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Dutch Post-Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Beautiful large ceramic Sottsass Tarzan bowl, made in a limited edition of 100 pieces, signed and numbered. With the original luxury box.  
Ananke Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano

By Ettore Sottsass
Ananke Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Glass
Murano Glass
Ananke by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano vetri collection in 1986.The mark on bottom tells "E. Sottsass per Memphis by Compagnia Vetraria Muranese."
Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum Jane Bowl

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum Jane Bowl
Ettore Sottsass
1990s Dutch Post-Modern Centerpieces
Ceramic
Jane bowl, designed by Ettore Sottsass for COR Unum. Made in a limited edition of 100 pieces, signed and numbered. We currently have both Tarzan and Jane in stock!  
Pasifilla Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano

By Ettore Sottsass
Pasifilla Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Glass
Murano Glass
Pasifilla vase from Memphis Milano Vetri collection in 1986. Designed by Ettore Sottsass. Mark on the bottom tells "E. Sottsass per Memphis by Compagnia Vetraria Muranese."
Basilico Big Fruits Tray Ettore Sottsass Japanese Urushi Laquer Model A

By Ettore Sottsass, Marutomi
Basilico Big Fruits Tray Ettore Sottsass Japanese ...
Ettore Sottsass, Marutomi
Early 2000s Japanese Post-Modern Centerpieces
Plastic
Basilico fruits tray designed by Ettore Sottsass for Marutomi. This model is limited Japanese urushi laquer model. Japanese traditional urushi pigment is made from natural urushi tree,...
Pair of Ettore Sottsass Cups

By Ettore Sottsass
Pair of Ettore Sottsass Cups
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Tableware
Copper
Pair of Ettore Sottsass cups in enameled copper. Manufactured by Gallery Il Sestante. Ettore Sottsass was an Italian architect and designer of the late 20th century. His body of designs...
Imera Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano

By Ettore Sottsass
Imera Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Italian Post-Modern Glass
Murano Glass
Imera by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano vetri collection in 1986.The mark on bottom tells "E. Sottsass per Memphis Milano by Toso Vetri D'Arte."
Fruit Bowl "Sol" by Ettore Sottsass

By Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group, Canedese
Fruit Bowl "Sol" by Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group, Canedese
Late 20th Century Italian Centerpieces
Glass
Ettore Sottsass, Fruit Bowl "SOL" 1986 for Memphis Milano Signed: E. SOTTSASS PER MEMPHIS MILANO Multi-colored blown glass produced by: Gino Canedese & Figlio, Venedig.
Ettore Sottsass Vase for Bitossi

By Bitossi, Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass Vase for Bitossi
Bitossi, Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic vase designed by Ettore Sottsass for Bitossi. Handmade and painted. Signed and packed in original box. Free shipping for European destinations! We strive for a high level ...
Ettore Sottsass 1953 Ice Bucket Mela

By Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass 1953 Ice Bucket Mela
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1950s Italian Wine Coolers
Aluminum
"Mela" apple ice bucket designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1953 for Rinnovel. Measurements: H.17 x D.14 cm. Sottsass was born on 14 September 1917 in Innsbruck, Austria, and grew up i...
Vase by Ettore Sottsass, Societá Ceramica Toscana, Italy

By Ettore Sottsass, Societa Ceramica Italiana
Vase by Ettore Sottsass, Societá Ceramica Toscana...
Ettore Sottsass, Societa Ceramica Italiana
Vintage 1960s Italian Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Vase model "629" by Ettore Sottsass, Societá Ceramica Toscana, Italy Yantral series silver glaze
A Set of Ceramics by Ettore Sottsass for Bitossi

By Ettore Sottsass
A Set of Ceramics by Ettore Sottsass for Bitossi
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
The two vases and the plate offered belong to a limited edition of ‘lava glaze’ ceramic objects commissioned by the prominent Dutch department store ‘De Bijenkorf’ and were manufactured...