Piero Fornasetti (Italy, 1913–88)

The Italian artist, illustrator and furniture maker Piero Fornasetti was one of the wittiest and most imaginative design talents of the 20th century. He crafted an inimitable decorative style from a personal vocabulary of images that included birds, butterflies, hot-air balloons, architecture and — most frequently, and in some 500 variations — an enigmatic woman’s face based on that of the 19th-century opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti used transfer prints of these images, rendered in the style of engravings, to decorate an endless variety of furnishings and housewares that ranged from chairs, tables and desks to dishes, lamps and umbrella stands. His work is archly clever, often surreal and always fun.


Fornasetti was born in Milan, the son of an accountant, and he lived his entire life in the city. He showed artistic talent as a child and enrolled at Milan’s Brera Academy of Fine Art in 1930, but was expelled after two years for consistently failing to follow his professors’ orders. A group of his hand-painted silk scarves, displayed in the 1933 Triennale di Milano, caught the eye of the architect and designer Gio Ponti, who, in the 1940s, became Fornasetti’s collaborator and patron. Beginning in the early 1950s, they created a striking a series of desks, bureaus and secretaries that pair Ponti’s signature angular forms with Fornasetti’s decorative motifs — lighthearted arrangements of flowers and birds on some pieces, austere architectural imagery on others. The two worked together on numerous commissions for interiors, though their greatest project has been lost: the first-class lounges and restaurants of the luxury ocean liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.


Fornasetti furnishings occupy an unusual and compelling niche in the decorative arts: they are odd yet pack a serious punch. They act, essentially, as functional sculpture. A large Fornasetti piece such as a cabinet or a desk can change the character of an entire room; his smaller works have the aesthetic power of a vase of flowers, providing a bright and alluring decorative note. The chimerical, fish-nor-fowl nature of Fornasetti’s work may be its greatest strength. It stands on its own. Bringing the Fornasetti look into the future is Barnaba Fornasetti, who took the reigns of the company after his father's death.

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Early Rare 1950s Fornasetti Wastebasket

By Fornasetti
Early Rare 1950s Fornasetti Wastebasket
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Bowls and Baskets
Wonderful and rare early production Fornasetti wastebasket from the early 1950s with lithographed classical images and green faux marble decoration. Wonderful wear to surface.
1950s Fornasetti Roman Mosaic Face Plate, Tema e V...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Dinner Plates
Porcelain
An porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) of Lina Cavalieri, the artist's muse, inspired by ancient Roman mosaics. An intricate and dramatic composition by a master designer. E...
Two Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti "B...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Home Accents
Brass, Wood, Paper
Offered are two "Bosco con Balaustra" screens, in lacquer over wood lithographically printed with brass hinges by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s (Libreria on reverse).
Piero Fornasetti Dinner Plate Mongolfiere, Plate No 2

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Dinner Plate Mongolfiere, Plate N...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Dinner plate from the series Mongolfiere (Hot Air Balloon) designed by Piero Fornasetti in 1955. The plates came in a numbered set of 12 of which this is no. 2. It reads: Mongolfière Fo...
Piero Fornasetti Dinner Plate Giostra da Frutta, Plate No 2

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Dinner Plate Giostra da Frutta, P...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Platters and Serveware
Porcelain
Giostra di Frutta (Carousel of fruit) plate designed in the early 1950s by Piero Fornasetti in Italy. Plate no 2. It is in very good vintage condition.
Fornasetti Rare Complete Set of 12 Le Oceanidi Cer...
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Rare and exceptional complete set of 12 'Le Oceanidi' (Oceanids) lithographically printed plates from the mid-1950s depicting distant and fantastic worlds which feature visionary creatu...
Piero Fornasetti 'Trofei Musica' Box, Italy, 1950s
Piero Fornasetti 'Trofei Musica' Box, Italy, 1950s...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Boxes
Wood, Mahogany
Lithographic printed, black and gilt lacquered and hand-painted metal exterior with 'Trofei Musica' design covering mahogany interior compartment. Bottom covered in purple felt with man...
Fornasetti Side Table with Seashell Motif, Italy, 1960s

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Side Table with Seashell Motif, Italy, ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Piero Fornasetti tripod side table featuring the "Conchiglie in Tondo" motif with colored seashells on an off-white background. The base is lacquered black with brass hardware. Conditi...
Mirror by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s

By Fornasetti
Mirror by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Wall Mirrors
Mirrored convex glass, framed in lithographed wood, depicting numerous classical cameos. Original label on the back.  
Piero Fornasetti Tripod and Brass Serving Table, 1950s

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Tripod and Brass Serving Table, 1...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Metal, Brass
Early Piero Fornasetti side table Italy, 1950s Removable handle, serving tray Brass, enameled metal Early marking to underneath Measures: 23.5 height x 25.5 diameter in ...
Pair of 1980 Fornasetti Floor Lamps

By Fornasetti
Pair of 1980 Fornasetti Floor Lamps
Fornasetti
Vintage 1980s Italian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal, Glass
Pair of 1980 floor lamps by Piero Fornasetti, painted metal and etched glass.
Barnaba Fornasetti Curved “Leopardo” Commode with Three Drawers, Italy, 2017

By Fornasetti
Barnaba Fornasetti Curved “Leopardo” Commode with ...
Fornasetti
2010s Italian Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Wood
A curved “Leopardo” commode by Atelier Fornasetti. Lacquered, lithographically printed and hand colored. Mahogany lined drawers Plaque to drawer. Italy, circa 2017 Measures: 100 c...
Set of Five White and Gold Ceramic Plates by Piero Fornasetti

By Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Set of Five White and Gold Ceramic Plates by Piero...
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Bowls and Baskets
Gold Plate, Ceramic
Set of five decorated Plates from the "ricette d'Italia" series, designed and produced by Piero Fornasetti around 1960s. This set is composed by four plates with Turinese typical recip...
1954 Piero Fornasetti II Cortile Tole Tray

By Fornasetti, Fornasetti
1954 Piero Fornasetti II Cortile Tole Tray
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Serving Pieces
Metal, Enamel
Piero Fornasetti created the Cortile designs in 1954. Showing polygonal courtyards, seen from above, they differed from the dome designs which are seen from below. This metal tray from ...
Fornasetti Trumeau Grand Coromandel, 2015

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Trumeau Grand Coromandel, 2015
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Cabinets
Wood
The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and decorator Piero Fornasetti cultivated a highly original style throughout his career. Awe-struck by the past greatness of Italian art, Piero...
Fornasetti Curved Cabinet Notturno Color, 2015

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Curved Cabinet Notturno Color, 2015
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Cabinets
Wood
This curved cabinet has a lithographically applied graphic which is hand-finished and covered with a smooth lacquer. The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and decorator Piero Forna...
Italian Fornasetti Draftman's Porcelain Bowl/Desk Accessory

By Fornasetti
Italian Fornasetti Draftman's Porcelain Bowl/Desk ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Classical Roman Porcelain
Porcelain
Fornasetti for the man, for the architect, for the graphic designer for the draftsman. This bowl/dish/paper clip holder, etc is great for the desk. The label and backing was unfortunat...
Italian Fornasetti Enameled Metal and Brass Cameo Table or Desk Lamp/ SALE

By Fornasetti
Italian Fornasetti Enameled Metal and Brass Cameo ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Metal, Brass
The Roman appearances of historical leaders make up this special vintage Italian cameo lamp by Piero Fornasetti. It is enameled metal and new polished brass fittings. The original botto...
Collection of Five Objects by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s

By Fornasetti
Collection of Five Objects by Piero Fornasetti, ci...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Porcelain
Porcelain
Collection of vintage silk screen and transfer-printed decorative porcelain items by renowned Italian smart-alec Piero Fornasetti, including a 1963 paperweight in black and white with g...
Vintage Italian Fornasetti Plate 'Tema E Varazioni'

By Fornasetti
Vintage Italian Fornasetti Plate 'Tema E Varazioni...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Ceramics
Porcelain
A fine vintage porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) decorated with the face of his muse, Lina Cavalieri, set within a lighty bulb with simulated illumination around the bulb....
Piero Fornasetti Set of 24 'Adam and Eve' Porcelai...
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain plates with lithographic transfer-printed decoration on a vibrant and elegant gold ground, comprised of 12 ‘Adam’ and 12 ‘Eve’ plates. Each plate numbered and printed with des...
Piero Fornasetti, Ceramic Bust of Moor, Fornasetti, Italy
Piero Fornasetti, Ceramic Bust of Moor, Fornasetti...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Modern Sculptures
Metal, Ceramic
Ceramic bust of Moor with column in lacquered metal designed by Piero Fornasetti in circa 1950
Rare Vintage Fornasetti Tray Table on Stand

By Fornasetti
Rare Vintage Fornasetti Tray Table on Stand
Fornasetti
20th Century Italian Tray Tables
This Fornasetti table depicts Roman motif's in a circular pattern - the table is easy to move and perfect as a side table or end table... In true Fornasetti style we have a round piece ...
Two Complete Sets of Fornasetti Adam and Eve Coast...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Porcelain
Porcelain
Two complete sets of eight "Adamo Ed Eva" Porcelain Coasters by Piero Fornasetti. Mint condition, in original boxes.
Piero Fornasetti Umbrella Stand

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Umbrella Stand
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Racks and Stands
Steel, Paint
Umbrella stand depicting a basket of flowers in trompe l'oeil by Piero Fornasetti. Hand-painted and lithographic transfer-printed on steel. Retains removable tray and label.
Vintage Piero Fornasetti Strumenti Musical or Libr...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Home Accents
Wood
An iconic mid-size screen depicting a library shelf on one side and musical instruments on the verso. A period example, circa 1954. Measures: 53 1/2" high.
Fornasetti Coaster Set of Six

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Coaster Set of Six
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Designer: Fornasetti Manufacture: Fornasetti Period/style: Mid-Century Modern / Hollywood Regency, Country: Italy Date: 1950s.
Fornasetti Bocca Chair

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Bocca Chair
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Chairs
This chair has a lithographically applied graphic which is hand-finished and covered with a smooth lacquer. 13 of 60 made in 2016. The Italian artist and illustrator Piero Fornasetti ...
Fornasetti Corner Cabinet, Serratura, Red

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Corner Cabinet, Serratura, Red
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Corner Cupboards
This corner cabinet has a lithographically applied graphic which is hand-finished and covered with a smooth lacquer. 1 of 12 produced in 2016. The Italian artist and illustrator Piero...
1950s Fornasetti Face Plate, Tema e Variazioni, N107
1950s Fornasetti Face Plate, Tema e Variazioni, N1...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Modern Dinner Plates
Porcelain
A porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) of Lina Cavalieri, the artist's muse, wearing a necklace of beads that depict images of her face. A dramatic, surreal composition by a ...
Fornasetti Newspaper Hat Paperweight

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Newspaper Hat Paperweight
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Desk Accessories
Porcelain
Porcelain paperweight in the form of a newspaper hat by iconic Italian artist Piero Fornasetti.
Piero Fornasetti Pair of Scala a Chiocciola Di Notte Pillows, 1950s

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Pair of Scala a Chiocciola Di Not...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Textiles
Textile
This pair of Piero Fornasetti Scala a Chiocciola Di Notte pillows reflects Fornasetti's essential style using transfer prints rendered in the style of engravings to decorate an endless ...
Late 20th Century Pair Fornasetti Farfalle Butterf...
Fornasetti
Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Brass, Enamel
Late 20th century pair of Fornasetti Farfalle butterfly table lamps, Italy. Beautiful lamps as shown in photos. The iconic enameled butterfly design with brass details. Shades not ...
Biscuit Box by Piero Fornasetti Per Rosenthal

By Fornasetti, Rosenthal Studio Line
Biscuit Box by Piero Fornasetti Per Rosenthal
Fornasetti, Rosenthal Studio Line
Late 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
Amazing biscuit box designed by Piero Fornasetti per Rosenthal, perfect conditions because it's never used. Named "Il sole di Capri", circa 1980.
Set of Eight Porcelain Coasters with Chariots by Fornasetti
Set of Eight Porcelain Coasters with Chariots by F...
Fornasetti
20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Barware
Porcelain
Fantastic set of eight porcelain coasters/nut dishes with a gilded porcelain finish and featuring chariot riders.
Fornasetti Lux Gstaad Chair Green

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Lux Gstaad Chair Green
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Chairs
Wood
This chair has a lithographically applied graphic which is hand-finished and covered with a smooth lacquer. 19 of 20 produced in 2015. The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and de...
Piero Fornasetti ‘Seeds of Playing Cards’ Occasion...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Metal, Wood
Lithographic printed, lacquered and hand-painted on wood tabletop with image of card suits, hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds, atop black rubberized metal tripod base in black knots with ...
Pair of Medium Size Perspex Table Lamps "Sole" by Barnaba Fornasetti, Italy 1995

By Fornasetti
Pair of Medium Size Perspex Table Lamps "Sole" by ...
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Table Lamps
A pair of medium size table lamps by Barnaba Fornasetti “Sole” Printed and colored Perspex Made by Fornasetti and Antonangeli Iluminazione. Paderno Dugano. Italy, 1995 Measures: 60 cm h...
'Sole' (Sun) Chair by Fornasetti

By Fornasetti
'Sole' (Sun) Chair by Fornasetti
Fornasetti
2010s Italian Dining Room Chairs
Contemporary production of Piero Fornasetti's design from the Fornasetti studio run by his son Transfer printed and hand-colored decoration on wood, in tones of cheerful yellow mottled...
Musicale' 'Guitar' Chair, by Fornasetti

By Fornasetti
Musicale' 'Guitar' Chair, by Fornasetti
Fornasetti
2010s Italian Chairs
Shapely curved chair suggesting a guitar form, complemented by a whimsical pattern of frets, tuning pegs, decorative rosettes, etc. The design is transfer printed and hand-tinted in sca...
Five Piero Fornasetti Fleming Joffe Porcelain Reci...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Dinner Plates
Designer: Piero Fornasetti Manufacture: Fleming Joffe Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: Italy Date: 1960s.
Surrealist Ceramic Bowl Reminiscent of Fornasetti

By Fornasetti
Surrealist Ceramic Bowl Reminiscent of Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Early 2000s American Modern Bowls and Baskets
Ceramic
Whimsical and surrealistic ceramic bowl comprised of layers of "hands" forming the bowl. The bowl is inscribed "A Very Handy Bowl Indeed" on the inside of the piece. Reminiscent of piec...
Set of Piero Fornasetti  "Adam" and "Eve" Plates. Milan, Italy, circa 1960
Set of Piero Fornasetti "Adam" and "Eve" Plates. ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Dinner Plates
Porcelain
A beautiful set of 24 Pierro Fornasetti plates depicting full body images of Adam and Eve on Transfer-printed porcelain. Each plate is signed, titled and numbered: "Fornasetti Milano".
Fornasetti 'Teste Antiche' Umbrella Stand

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti 'Teste Antiche' Umbrella Stand
Fornasetti
20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Racks and Stands
Metal
Piero Fornasetti 'Teste Antiche' umbrella stand with lithography covered metal structure. Numbered 1/90 and signed, with Fornasetti hallmark and label. The piece comes without a tray. I...
Fornasetti 'Capitello Ionico' Chair

By Fornasetti
On Hold
Fornasetti 'Capitello Ionico' Chair
Fornasetti
20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Metal, Wood
Fornasetti 'Capitello Ionico' lacquered wooden chair in black with enameled metal legs and a lithographically applied graphic of the upper section of a classical Ionic order column on i...
 Eight Mid-Century Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Coasters "Adam"/ Barware / SALE

By Fornasetti
Eight Mid-Century Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Coas...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
These lovely and interactive set of eight Fornasetti porcelain Mid-Century barware coasters of the allegorical and biblical "Adam"are like a puzzle for you to play with. They are a comp...
Fornasetti Milano 'Fiori' Pattern Porcelain Plates...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Dinner Plates
Porcelain
An incredibly rare set of 12 large porcelain dinner plates in the 'Fiori' pattern designed by Piero Fornasetti and produced by Fornasetti - Milano, circa 1965. There are two plates of e...
Fornasetti Side Table with "Sun" Motif, Italy, 1960s

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Side Table with "Sun" Motif, Italy, 196...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Piero Fornasetti tripod side table featuring a "sun" motif with a man's face. The base is lacquered black with brass hardware. Marked under the top. Condition: Good vintage condition w...
Vintage Piero Fornasetti Table

By Fornasetti
Vintage Piero Fornasetti Table
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Side Tables
Brass, Acrylic, Wood
Wonderful table from the 1950s. Four tapered legs with brass detail leading up to a vertical shaft.
Decorative Piero Fornasetti Oval Tray, Italy, 1950s

By Fornasetti
Decorative Piero Fornasetti Oval Tray, Italy, 1950...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Serving Pieces
Pear and lemon motif tray by Piero Fornasetti. Produced in the mid-1950s as per the Fornasetti catalog. Original label on the back. Ideal as a kitchen or dining area decoration.
Fornasetti Butterfly Table with Brass Base 1950, 1...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern End Tables
Brass, Wood
Fornasetti Butterfly table with brass base 1950, 1970 midcentury Italian Rare Fornasetti butterfly table on tripod base. The top is wood and the base is brass. Measures: 22.44 in...
Surrealist Plates by Piero Fornasetti

By Fornasetti
Surrealist Plates by Piero Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Dinner Plates
Ceramic
A graphic and surrealist set of eight small dishes (coasters) depicting a variety of caged birds with women's heads from the Le Arpie Gentili series.
Signed Mid Century Fornasetti Italian Metropolitan...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
Offered is a rare signed Fornasetti Teatro Alla Scala (Otello) "play bill" pin tray for the opera, "Otello". Would look fabulous on a dressing table as a catch-all or next to a bed for...
Piero Fornasetti Architettura Trumeau

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Architettura Trumeau
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Modern Cabinets
Brass, Wood
Rare iconic piece of Italian design. Trumeau "Architettura" designed by Piero Fornasetti in 1950s. Had been exposed in exhibitions. Lithographically printed facades on the brass legs.
Fornasetti American Antiques Coasters

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti American Antiques Coasters
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Bowls and Baskets
Porcelain
Complete set of 8 Fornasetti Coasters in the American Antiques pattern. Includes original gold box. Fully signed to each.
Fornasetti Buffet Frutto Del Peccato

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Buffet Frutto Del Peccato
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Buffets
Wood
This is a limited edition buffet cabinet. Signed and dated, number 2 of 8 made in 2013. The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and decorator Piero Fornasetti cultivated a highly ...
Fornasetti Zebra Curved Cabinet

By Fornasetti
Fornasetti Zebra Curved Cabinet
Fornasetti
21st Century and Contemporary Italian Cabinets
Wood
This curved cabinet has a lithographically applied graphic which is hand-finished and covered with a smooth lacquer. 1 of 24 made in 2016. The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, an...
Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Mesi and Soli Plates 12 Suns 12 Months, 1955

By Fornasetti
Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Mesi and Soli Plates 12...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Dinner Plates
Porcelain
Piero Fornasetti porcelain mesi and soli plates, 12 suns, 12 months, Pair of plates Mid-late 1950s. Piero Fornasetti "12 Mesi 12 Soli" series number five and six plates each numbe...