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Fornasetti Tables

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
Tray-Top Table By Piero Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in London, London
Tray table By Fornasetti Milano Lithographically decorated Enamelled steel Flower and bow images Folding black stand Tray and stand with Fornasetti labels Italy ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Rectangular Tray Braccio Con Pistola on Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Round Tray Città di Carte Hand-Colored on Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Rectangular Tray Coromandel Silver Leaf on Carmine Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Me...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Round Metal Tray Farfalle Butterflies Hand Painted on Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, it is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Measures...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Table Bocca Red Lips Brass Tripod Base
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthseis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. Meas...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Brass

Fornasetti Round Tray Gift Tema e Variazioni n°171 Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Table Bocca Red Lips Brass Tripod Base
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthesis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. Meas...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Brass

Fornasetti Table Top Cortile Celeste Architectural Motif, Wooden Legs
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthseis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Table Top Bocca Red Lips Hand Colored, Wooden Legs
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthseis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Tray Holder Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 25 x 60 cm wood tray. The image shows the tray on its holder (the tray is not included in ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Tray Holder for a Tray Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 60 cm diameter metal round tray. The second image shows the tray on its holder (the tray ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Tray Holder Tray Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 40 cm diameter metal round tray.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Coffe Table / Movable Tray Brass Metal, 1950, Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti coffe table with movable tray.
Category

1950s Italian Other Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Brass

Fornasetti Table
By Fornasetti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This table is a unique piece. Oval crystal tabletop, wooden base upholstered in original Fornasetti fabric.    
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Crystal

Table Cammei Blue on Sponged Brown, Column Base, Vintage
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthesis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. ...
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Table
By Fornasetti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Fornasetti Table, unique piece. Oval crystal tabletop, wooden base upholstered in original Fornasetti fabric.
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Crystal

Piero Fornasetti Italian Green Side Table, 1960s
By Fornasetti
Located in Delft, NL
Piero Fornasetti Italian Green Side Table, 1960s Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) An Italian brass tripod wood and metal enamel with Roman cameo coin in a circle design side table...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal, Brass, Enamel

Piero Fornasetti Metal Steamboat Tray, Early 1950s
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti metal steamboat tray, early 1950s. An oval metal serving tray with high sides on a white ground with steamboats in the round. This is a rare Fornasetti subject.  
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Side Table, 1960s
By Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Piero Fornasetti ‘Seeds of Playing Cards’ side table or occasional table composed of lithographic printed, lacquered and hand-painted on wood tabletop with image of card suits, heart...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Italian Couch Table with Marine Motives, Manufactured by Fornasetti, 1950s
By Fornasetti
Located in Wolfurt, AT
This Italian sofa table was manufactured by Fornasetti in the 1950s. The top of the table shows a strongly coloured underwater landscape with sea creatures and rests on a solid brass...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti, Roman Medallions, Coffee Table, 1960s, Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Stockholm, SE
Coffee table by Italian designer Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1960s. Top with details of Romanesque imagery/ Roman medallions. Lithographic print on lacquered wood and metal base. Manufa...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Tables

Exceptional Table by Piero Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Rare occasional table featuring classically-rendered decorative faces on a brass tripod base. Great vibrant coloring and attractive fading. (Please confirm item location NY or NJ ...
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Wood

'Pistole et Chiavi' "Pistols and Keys" Desk by Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia
'Chiavi et Pistole' desk designed by Gio Ponti (1891-1979) and Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988). A stunning black lacquer four-drawer desk on brass sabots. Printed with pistol and key mo...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Fornasetti Tray Table
By Fornasetti
Located in Wargrave, Berkshire
Piero Fornasetti butlers tray and supporting metal base. Tray depicts the scene in a large theatre as viewed from the back of the stage, underside of tray with designers label applie...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Piero Fornasetti Table, circa 1990, Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Nice, Cote d' Azur
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), Table with antic medallions, Metal polish screen printed and colorful decor with applications of gold leaf, Production Fornasetti, circa 1990, Italy. ...
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Coffee Table "Le Farfalle", Original Label, 1950s
By Fornasetti, Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Iconic coffee table by Piero Fornasetti and produced by Atelier Fornasetti in 1950. The coffee table has original label under its top. The table top is made of a silkscreened aluminu...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Tables

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

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Fornasetti tables for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs Fornasetti tables are available for sale. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of Fornasetti tables to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock, we have 18 vintage editions of these items, while there are 22 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original tables by Fornasetti were created in the Modern style in Italy during the 21st Century and Contemporary. Many customers also consider tables by Tecno, Paolo Buffa and Afra & Tobia Scarpa if you want additional options. Prices for Fornasetti tables can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $379 and tops out at $39,500, while pieces like these can sell for $2,187 on average.
Questions About Fornasetti Tables
  • 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
    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 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
    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 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
    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 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.
  • 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.

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