Fornasetti Furniture

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.

Piero Fornasetti Fish Plate, Passata de pesce 'Passage of Fish', circa 1950s
Piero Fornasetti Fish Plate, Passata de pesce '...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Dinner Plates
Pottery
Piero Fornasetti pottery fish plate, Passata de pesce (Passage of Fish), circa 1950s. The plate, with a pottery body, depicts a school of fish swimming together across the plate...
6 Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plates with Recipes Specialita Bolognese
6 Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plates with Recipe...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plates with Recipes from Bologna, Specialita Bolgnese, Set of Six, 1960-70. The set of six Specialità Bolognese porcelain plates, numbered 1-6, designed ...
Piero Fornasetti Arcimboldo Vegetali Plates, a Set of Three, 1955s-1960s
Piero Fornasetti Arcimboldo Vegetali Plates, a ...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Dinner Plates
Pottery
Piero Fornasetti pottery Arcimboldesca-Motif vegetable face plates, circa 1955s-1960s. Dimensions: 9 3/8 inch diameter x 1 inch height. The pottery plates are after Arcimboldo...
Fornasetti Brutus Dish
Fornasetti Brutus Dish
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Bowls
Porcelain
Shallow bowl made to resemble an ancient Roman coin engraved with the head of M. Junius Brutus.
Greco-Roman Coasters by Piero Fornasetti
Greco-Roman Coasters by Piero Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Ceramic
A set of eight coasters / small plates, in the original orange box with designs of Greco-Roman horse-drawn carriages. Plates are marked "Posateria - Made in Italy - Exclusively for S...
Fornasetti 'Architettura' Trumeau with Concave Top
Fornasetti 'Architettura' Trumeau with Concave Top
Fornasetti
Late 20th Century Italian Modern Cabinets
Wood
Italian modern Fornasetti 'Architettura' trumeau with concave top and illuminated niche. The piece has a wooden structure, lacquered and printed with 18th century inspired lithograph...
Couch Table, Manufactured by Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s
Couch Table, Manufactured by Fornasetti, Italy,...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofa Tables
Brass, Wood
Couch table, manufactured by Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s. The tabletop shows a multicolored underwater landscape with marine creatures.
Midcentury Fornasetti Iconic Face Plate, Tema e Variazoni N1
Midcentury Fornasetti Iconic Face Plate, Tema e...
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. A compelling composition, this is the first image he created in this series and the most icon...
Piero Fornasetti "Bosco Con Balaustra" Screen, 1950s
Piero Fornasetti "Bosco Con Balaustra" Screen, ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Modern Screens and Room Dividers
Brass, Lacquer, Wood
"Bosco con Balaustra" screen, in lacquer over wood lithographically printed with brass hinges by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s (Birds on back of screen).
Piero Fornasetti White 'Sole' Bar Chairs
Piero Fornasetti White 'Sole' Bar Chairs
Fornasetti
Late 20th Century Italian Neoclassical Revival Chairs
Metal
Piero Fornasetti set of three bar chairs with 'Sole' design on white background. The chairs have lithographically printed sun motifs and are raised on four black legs made specifical...
Piero Fornasetti, Portaombrelli Anni, 1960
Piero Fornasetti, Portaombrelli Anni, 1960
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s European Mid-Century Modern Umbrella Stands
Ceramic
Piero Fornasetti. Silkscreen umbrella stand, original 1960s. Measures: Diameter 22 x 50 cm.
Midcentury Piero Fornasetti Trompe L'oeil Cabinet Vintage, 1960s
Midcentury Piero Fornasetti Trompe L'oeil Cabin...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Wood
A lovely cabinet designed and manufactured by Piero Fornasetti in the sixties. The two doors of the front section are decorated with a trompe l'oeil double bookcase containing a var...
Small Fornasetti Porcelain Jewelry Box with Rom...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Jewelry Boxes
Porcelain
Small Fornasetti box of porcelain with a Janus reference text inside the lid, see detailed image.
Fornasetti Newspaper Hat Paperweight
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Paperweights
Porcelain
Porcelain paperweight in the form of a newspaper hat by iconic Italian artist Piero Fornasetti.
Piero Fornasetti Mahogany and Metal Italian Cig...
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Snuff Boxes and Tobacco Boxes
Metal
A box designed by Piero Fornasetti for atelier Fornasetti, mahogany interior, lithographically printed and hand colored metal. Good conditions overall.
Piero Fornasetti Box from Estate of Francesco S...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Boxes
Metal
Piero Fornasetti metal and wooden sliding compartment box. Retailed at Mark Cross, circa 1950 all original, from the estate of Francesco Scavulo.
"Chiavi" Fornasetti Side Table, Italy, 1950s
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern End Tables
“Chiavi” side table by Piero Fornasetti depicting ancient keys on a green marble background. Brass tripod base. Original label below top. Condition: Excellent vintage condition, m...
Piero Fornasetti STRUMENTI MUSICALI Coffee Table
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Metal
Coffee table by Piero Fornasetti. Fornasetti Milano label. Materials: Lithographic transfer print on lacquered wood, enameled metal.
"Tulipani" Fornasetti Dining or Centre Table, I...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Center Tables
“Tulipani” dining or centre table by Piero Fornasetti depicting colorful tulips on a black background. Wood base with brass feet. Original label below top. Condition: Good vintage...
"Viole" Fornasetti Side Table, Italy, 1950s
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
“Viole” side table by Piero Fornasetti depicting colorful violets on a black background. Brass tripod base. Original label below top. Condition: Excellent vintage condition, minor...
Barnaba Fornasetti Curved “Palladiana” Commode ...
Fornasetti
2010s Italian Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Wood
A curved “Palladiana” Commode by Atelier Fornasetti White and black. Lacquered and lithographically printed. Mahogany lined drawers. Plaque to drawer. Italy, circa 2017 Measur...
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.  
Fornasetti Side Table with Seashell Motif, Ital...
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. Cond...
Vintage Piero Fornasetti Table
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Side Tables
Brass
Wonderful table from the 1950s. Four tapered legs with brass detail leading up to a vertical shaft.
Vintage Italian Fornasetti Plate 'Tema E Varazi...
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 bu...
Fornasetti "Moro" Chair
Fornasetti
Early 2000s Italian Chairs
Wood, Lacquer
Comprised of lithographically printed and hand-colored lacquered wood back and seat. Never been used - in mint condition. Two available - each signed, dated and numbered.
Fornasetti "Sole" Chair
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Chairs
Wood
Lithographically printed and hand-colored wood, raised on four black legs. Stamped, numbered 5 out of an edition of 40 and dated 1993.
Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Yellow Umbrella Sta...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Other Vases
Piero Fornasetti umbrella stand, 1950.
Pair of Fornasetti Piggy Banks with Coins Made ...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian More Desk Accessories
Porcelain
A pair of white porcelain coin or piggy banks designed by Piero Fornasetti for Neiman Marcus. Gilt coin motif with scrollwork detailing at top and bottom. These retain the original s...
Piero Fornasetti Black Cast Iron and Brass "Sho...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1940s Italian Modern Abstract Sculptures
Brass, String, Iron
Early Fornasetti black painted cast iron tied shoe form with brass heel and finger ring. Detailed with tied string laces. Sculptural. Victorian. Functional. Decorative. Rarity. Boudo...
Pair of Perspex Table Lamps “Immaginario” Barna...
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Table Lamps
A pair of small table lamps by Barnaba Fornasetti “Immaginario” Printed and colored perspex Made by Fornasetti and Antonangeli Iluminazione. Paderno Dugano. Italy, 1995 Measure...
Piero Fornasetti Vintage Framed Print
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Modern Prints
A fun decorative piece of wall art. Ink on paper, appears to be in the original lacquered wood frame under glass. The print has not been taken out of the frame and appears to be in F...
Piero Fornasetti by Barnaba Fornasetti with Com...
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Post-Modern Contemporary Art
After Piero Fornasetti, executed by Barnaba Fornasetti with Compagnia del Tabacco, A methacrylate panel, circa 1990s, bearing makers mark 'Fornasetti'Decorated with an image of the s...
Piero Fornasetti "Orlik" Smoking Set, Table Lig...
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Ceramics
Porcelain
Vintage Piero Fornasetti hand-painted "Orlik" smoking set. Three-piece set including, table lighter, cigarette holder with black bisque interior and matching tray, which could be use...
Fornasetti Rare Complete Set of 12 Le Oceanidi ...
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 cre...
Piero Fornasetti ‘Seeds of Playing Cards’ Occas...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Metal
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 wi...
Piero Fornasetti Rare Multi Colored L'Arpie Gen...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Porcelain
Five rare Piero Fornasetti 4" coasters each offering different birds in a cage with a woman’s face.
Eight Mid-Century Piero Fornasetti Porcelain C...
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 c...
Italian Piero Fornasetti Rare Porcelain Tea/C...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1970s European Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
This Italian Fornasetti rare and vey special architectural black and white small porcelain tea/coffee set with original tray belonged to the son of Fornasetti and was purchased from ...
Piero Fornasetti Set of Eight Coasters of Chari...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Barware
Porcelain
Piero Fornasetti set of eight coasters of Chariots on a gold ground. Made exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue, 1960s. Each coaster similarly decorated with a chariot pulled by a t...
Midcentury Fornasetti Face Plate, Tema e Variaz...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Modern Dinner Plates
Porcelain
A dramatic porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) of Lina Cavalieri, the artist's muse. A surreal composition by a master designer. Very early Hutschenreuther Germany mark. ...
Pair of Small Perspex Table Lamps "Sole" by Bar...
Fornasetti
1990s Italian Table Lamps
A pair of small table lamps by Barnaba Fornasetti “Sole” Printed and colored perspex Made by Fornasetti and Antonangeli Iluminazione. Paderno Dugano. Italy, 1995 Measures...
Piero Fornasetti, Umbrella Stand, Motif of Hats...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Umbrella Stands
Brass
Umbrella Stand designed By Piero Fornasetti, 1950s. Motif of hats in brass, lacquered and lithographic transfer over Masonite board. Printed label with early Fornasetti mark and h...
Rare mirror designed by Piero Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Vintage 1970s Italian Wall Mirrors
Lacquer
1970s rare mirror by Piero Fornasetti.
Pair of Lamps by Piero Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Vintage 1970s Italian Table Lamps
Metal
News paper pair of lamps designed during 1970s.
Tall Lamp by Piero Fornasetti
Fornasetti
Vintage 1970s Italian Table Lamps
Lacquer
Nice lamps with neoclassical design.
Piero Fornasetti Set of 24 'Adam and Eve' Porce...
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 ...
Piero Fornasetti 'Trofei Musica' Box, Italy, 1950s
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Boxes
Mahogany, Wood
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 ...
Eight-Panel Folding Screen by Piero Fornasetti,...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Screens and Room Dividers
Wood
Eight-panel screen depicting a woodland scene (“Bosco”), lithographed wood hand-painted by Fornasetti himself. The verso depicts a grisaille vignette of game birds (“Selvaggina”) on ...
Piero Fornasetti Folding Screen
Fornasetti
Mid-20th Century Italian Screens and Room Dividers
Beautiful Obelischi folding screen by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1950s. Fornasetti Milano lithographic transfer-print on lacquered wood, brass. Signed with decal manufacturer's label t...
Fornasetti Butterfly Table with Brass Base 1950...
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...
'Palladiana' Architectural Chest of Drawers by ...
Fornasetti
2010s Italian Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Handsome architectural design in black on a pale ivory ground, the pattern applied by lithographic transfer under high gloss lacquer finish. The top of the chest of drawers is decora...
1950s by Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Italian De...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Boxes
Metal
Serigraphy on metal, wood box Excellent condition.
1950s by Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Design Met...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Boxes
Metal
Serigraphy on metal, wood box. Excellent condiction.
1950s by Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Italian De...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Boxes
Metal
Serigraphy on metal, wood box Excellent condition.
Fornasetti Trinket Dish
Fornasetti
Late 20th Century Ceramics
Ceramic
Hand decorated modern trinket dish depicting the cracked face of Lina Cavalieri, circa 1970s. Made in Italy.  
1960s Two Sets of Italian Design Piero Fornaset...
Fornasetti
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Porcelain
Porcelain
Two complete sets of Adam and Eve porcelain coasters by artist and illustrator Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s. Each set retains its original gold box and paper inserts to place in bet...
Signed Mid Century Fornasetti Italian Metropoli...
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-a...
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