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Fornasetti Decorative Objects

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 dinner plates, 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 reins of the company after his father's death.

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Creator: Fornasetti
Set of 6 Decorative Plates "Specialità Torinesi" by P. Fornasetti for Fiat
By Fornasetti, Piero Fornasetti
Located in Varese, Lombardia
Rare set of six decorated and gilded ceramic plates designed by Piero Fornasetti. This collection was specially created by the Fornasetti Atelier for Fiat in Turin. The decoration r...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Gold Plate

Small Jewelry or Key Dish by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A fabulous small trinket dish great for keys, jewelry, or change. Produced in Italy by Fornasetti.
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Decorative Ceramic Cat Bitossi Fiorato, Gold Flowers on Turquoise
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A coveted collector’s item as early as the 1950s, Fornasetti cats surprise with the sophisticated decorations that colour their surroundings with sheer exuberance.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Set of Four Malachite Fornasetti Plates
By Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Set of four Malachite Fornasetti plates.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Malachite

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Serratura Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Champagne Black/White Hand Painted
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Vase Clown Black/White/Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Vase Burlone Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Piero Fornasetti Mani Con Farfalle Vase
By Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Piero Fornasetti collaborated with Studio Ars Labor,Industrie Riunite (S.A.L.I.R.) on a series of cold -painted enamel vases in 1935. Originally debuted at the VI Triennial of Veni...
Category

1940s Italian Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Small Fornasetti Porcelain Jewelry Box With Roman Diety Janus in Profile
By Fornasetti
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Small porcelain box by Fornasetti with a Janus reference text inside the lid, see detailed image.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Vase Ajna Black/White/Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

1960s Iconic Velvet Wood and Metal Luxury Box by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
An extremely rare luxury box with Piero Fornasetti initials on the top, green sea velvet it's in good conditions, metal part it has normal signs of use and age. The box is one item o...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Tema E Variazioni Porcelain Plate #223 & #78
By Fornasetti
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Two vintage Piero Fornasetti "Tema e Variazioni" porcelain plates depicting the face of the famous opera singer Lina Cavalieri, no.223 & no.78 / made in Milano Italy circa 1960. Orig...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

1960s Piero Fornasetti Mid-Century Modern Enameled Cigarette Box
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
An iconic cigarette box designed by Piero Fornasetti for Atelier Fornasetti Milano, the enameled metal and the mahogany interior are in good conditions.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Vintage Fornasetti Oggetti Con Nastro Wastebasket / Trash Can
By Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A wonderful example of this form. This example was deaccessioned from the Fornasetti Archives. Original surface is very nice.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

1960s Piero Fornasetti Mid-Century Modern Cigarette Box
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A mahogany and red metal box with black decor depicting soldiers. It's designed by Piero Fornasetti and manufactured by Atelier Fornasetti.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Small Mid Century Piero Fornasetti Guitars and Zithers Box
By Fornasetti
Located in Henley-on Thames, Oxfordshire
A small Piero Fornasetti box decorated with guitars and zithers Metal, lithographically printed and hand coloured. Mahogany interior, Fornasetti label to the base. Italy, circa 1...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Paperweight
By Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Porcelain paperweight printed with two figures in a chariot pulled by six horses. Marked Fornasetti Milano Made in Italy on the underside.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Strumenti Red Wastepaper Basket Brass Frame Masonite Italy 1955
By Fornasetti
Located in Catania, IT
"Strumenti" wastepaper basket produced by Fornasetti Milano in Italy, 1955. The structure is in masonite and has brass frame. Superficial wastepaper is decorated with six different...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

Umbrella Handler by Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Saint-Ouen (PARIS), FR
Vintage umbrella handler in lacquered metal with a musical theme signed by Fornasetti, Italy, 1960s.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Siamese Cat Vintage Ceramic Sculpture by Piero Fornasetti 1960s Italy
By Fornasetti, Piero Fornasetti
Located in Rome, IT
Siamese cat with blu eyes sculpture in ceramic by the Italian Pietro Fornasetti. Made in Italy, circa 1960. The original stamp is still on the bottom (shown in pictures).  
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic, Porcelain

Set of Six Petite Plates by Piero Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A set of six (6) plates in the original box with designs by Fornasetti.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Postmodern Gilded Ceramic Vase with a Face Designed by Fornasetti Milano
By Fornasetti
Located in Doornspijk, NL
Lovely ceramic vase with a face on its front designed and manufactured by Fornasetti Milano. The base and the inside of this piece are gilded which gives the vase a rich texture. Sig...
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Gold Leaf

Fornasetti Umbrella Stand with Music Theme, Milano, circa 1980
By Fornasetti
Located in San Francisco, CA
A Piero Fornasetti painted metal umbrella stand of a musical theme with painted sheet music and musical instruments. Original label on the reverse. Italy, circa 1980s.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Other Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Obelisks Fornasetti Wooden Materials Imitation Lapis
By Fornasetti
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Obelisks Fornasetti wooden materials imitation Lapis. Measures: The great height 80 cm, base cm.12 x 12, small height cm.61, based cm.9 x 9, small scratches as photos.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

1950s by Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Italian Design Box
By Fornasetti
Located in Brescia, IT
Serigraphy on metal, wood box Excellent condition.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Vintage Ceramic Storage Jars, Italy, circa 1960
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
A wonderful collection of three ceramic storage jars designed by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960. These highly decorative pieces feature hand-coloured floral transfers within the glaze ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Commedia dell'Arte Paperweights
By Fornasetti
Located in Riverdale, NY
Pair of porcelain Fornasetti pebble paperweights. Motifs: Commedia dell'Arte by Piero Fornasetti Measures: 4" x 3" x 1.5".
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Rectangular Box with Smoking Motif
By Fornasetti
Located in Palm Desert, CA
Fornasetti long, rectangular, box with a charming illustration of three pipes. Hand colored Lithography on metal. Exterior metal box slides over a metal interior box, powder coated...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Tin

Set of Six Small Fornasetti Dishes
By Fornasetti
Located in Chicago, IL
6 gold leaf ceramic dishes rare design with original box.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Toleware Cat Form Waste Basket
By Fornasetti
Located in Essex, MA
Fornasetti toleware cat form waste basket. Signed on base. Provenance ; Estate of Jean Van Waveren.
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Other

Set of 12 Custom Commissioned Plates by Piero Fornasetti for Fleming Joffe Ltd
By Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
A rare collection of 12 custom commissioned plates made by Piero Fornasetti for New York small leather goods company, Fleming Joffe Ltd. in the 1960s. Given as New Years gifts to the...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Large Piero Fornasetti Labeled Wooden Box with Folding Lid
By Fornasetti
Located in Berlin, BE
Particularly large wooden box from Piero Fornasetti with the rare folding lid. The box is labeled on the bottom.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti "Tartaglia" Box from the Estate of Jose Ferrer
By Fornasetti
Located in Westport, CT
Fonasetti Metal enameled box sliding wood compartment
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Metal

1960s Vintage Alphabet Box Italian Design by Piero Fornasetti Wood Print Enamel
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
A very elegant rectangular ”Alphabet” box designed by Piero Fornasetti in the 1960s. Wooden structure cream enamelled top and sides decorated with letters of the alphabet in an ancie...
Category

1660s Italian Mid-Century Modern Antique Fornasetti Decorative Objects

Materials

Enamel

Fornasetti decorative objects for sale on 1stDibs

Fornasetti decorative objects are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of decorative objects by Fornasetti, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 38 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there are 15 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original decorative objects by Fornasetti were created in Italy during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider decorative objects by Raymor, Salviati and Gucci. Fornasetti decorative objects can vary in price, size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $325 and tops out at $9,600, while pieces like these can sell for $1,214 on average.
Questions About Fornasetti Decorative Objects
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Fornasetti is an art design company that produces furniture and home accessories decorated by hand. Piero Fornasetti established the company in Milan, Italy, during the 1950s as his atelier. As of December 2021, his son, Barnaba Fornasetti, heads the company. You'll find a selection of Fornasetti on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    You can buy Fornasetti directly from the brand's online store. In addition, numerous brick-and-mortar retailers around the world carry Fornasetti pieces. You can also shop for the brand's furniture and home décor on multiple online platforms. You'll find a collection of Fornasetti on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Piero Fornasetti was an Italian artist and designer born in Milan, Italy, in 1913. In 1950, he founded an atelier in the city, creating furniture and home decorations. Fornasetti died on October 9, 1988. His company, Fornasetti, continues to produce hand-decorated decor under the guidance of his son Barnaba Fornasetti. Find a collection of Fornasetti on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Fornasetti plates are hand-made in Italy. They continue a tradition of excellent craftsmanship that goes back to founder Piero Fornasetti, who established the atelier during the 1950s. Shop antique and modern Fornasetti plates from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To hang Fornasetti plates, thread a length of string through the two small holes found on the tops of their backs. Tie the string in a secure knot and then hang from a nail, screw or hook. Avoid using plate hanger hardware, as it could crack or damage the plates. You'll find a collection of Fornasetti plates on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, each and every Fornasetti design is hand made and hand painted. The colors are expertly applied by painters, ensuring no two items are alike. You’ll find a variety of Fornasetti designs from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    How you display Fornasetti plates is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to rest them flat on a low table or shelf, while others position them upright on plate stands. You can also thread string or twine through the two holes found on the back of every piece and display it as wall art. Find a collection of Fornasetti plates on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To burn a Fornasetti candle, first trim the wick to remove any soot. Then, light the candle and allow it to burn for up to three hours. Use a snuffer to extinguish the candle, as blowing out the flame can disturb the wax. Find a collection of Fornasetti on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Opera singer Natalina ‘Lina’ Cavalieri is the face that inspired Piero Fornasetti throughout his artistic career, from his plates to wallpaper and more. Lina Cavalieri was known as the most beautiful woman in the world during her lifetime from 1874-1944. It was eight years after Cavalieri’s death that Fornasetti came across her image in a magazine and was thereby inspired to replicate it repetitively. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic Fornasetti plates from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    No, every Fornasetti porcelain figurine is handmade. In fact, the brand produces all of their home decorative items by hand at their workshop in Milan, Italy. If you see indications that a figurine came from a factory, it is likely not an authentic Fornasetti. Shop a collection of expertly vetted Fornasetti on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Whether or not Piero Fornasetti images are in the public domain depends on the image. The artist produced more than 11,000 works during his lifetime. Only some no longer carry a copyright and are in the public domain. Shop a range of Fornasetti on 1stDibs.

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