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Gio Ponti

Italian, 1891-1979

An architect, furniture and industrial designer and editor, Gio Ponti was arguably the most influential figure in 20th-century Italian modernism.

Ponti (1891–1979) designed thousands of furnishings and products — from cabinets, lamps and chairs to ceramics and coffeemakers — and his buildings, including the brawny Pirelli Tower (1956) in his native Milan, and the castle-like Denver Art Museum (1971), were erected in 14 countries. Through Domus, the magazine he founded in 1928, Ponti brought attention to virtually every significant movement and creator in the spheres of modern art and design.

The questing intelligence Ponti brought to Domus is reflected in his work: as protean as he was prolific, Ponti’s style can’t be pegged to a specific genre. In the 1920s, as artistic director for the Tuscan porcelain maker Richard Ginori, he fused old and new; his ceramic forms were modern, but decorated with motifs from Roman antiquity. In pre-war Italy, modernist design was encouraged, and after the conflict, Ponti — along with designers such as Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso — found a receptive audience for their novel, idiosyncratic work. Ponti’s typical furniture forms from the period, such as the wedge-shaped Distex chair, are simple, gently angular, and colorful; equally elegant and functional. In the 1960s and ’70s, Ponti’s style evolved again as he explored biomorphic shapes, and embraced the expressive, experimental designs of Ettore Sottsass Jr., Joe Colombo and others.

His signature furniture piece — the one by which he is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and elsewhere — is the sleek Superleggera chair, produced by Cassina starting in 1957. (The name translates as “superlightweight” — advertisements featured a model lifting it with one finger.) Ponti had a playful side, best shown in a collaboration he began in the late 1940s with the graphic artist Piero Fornasetti. Ponti furnishings were decorated with bright finishes and Fornasetti's whimsical lithographic transfer prints of things such as butterflies, birds or flowers; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts possesses a 1950 secretary from their Architetturra series, which feature case pieces covered in images of building interiors and facades. The grandest project Ponti and Fornasetti undertook, however, lies on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean: the interiors of the luxury liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

Widely praised retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Art in 2001 and at the Design Museum London in 2002 sparked a renewed interest in Ponti among modern design aficionados. (Marco Romanelli’s monograph written for the London show, offers a fine overview of Ponti’s work.) Today, a wide array of Ponti’s designs are snapped up by savvy collectors who want to give their homes a touch of Italian panache and effortless chic.

Find a range of Gio Ponti furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,369
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Gio Ponti
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Leggera Chair
Leggera Chair
Bilia Lamp
Bilia Lamp
Superleggera Chair
Superleggera Chair
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Italian Midcentury Parco dei Principi Lounge Chair by Gio Ponti for Cassina
By Cassina, Gio Ponti
Located in Vienna, AT
This excellent and iconic leather and suede lounge chair was designed by Gio Ponti for the Parco dei Principi Hotel Hotel Rome in 1964, where it was produced by Cassina and used at t...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Suede, Wood, Leather

Gio Ponti Set of Three Hexagonal Coffee Tables in Wood and Metal I.S.A. 1950s
By Gio Ponti, I.S.A. Italy
Located in Montecatini Terme, IT
Set of three hexagonal coffee tables with legs in painted metal and wooden/laminate top, designed by Gio Ponti and produced by ISA, 1950s, Italy, Literature: Fabio Fioroni, Alessand...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

Gio Ponti, 'Horned Mask', Silver Plated Bottle Cover, Sabattini, Italy 1978
By Gio Ponti
Located in DE
A silver plated half mask to be used as a wine bottle cover for table decoration, designed by Gio Ponti and manufactured by Sabattini, in Italy 1978. We left the silver tarnished, b...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Silver

Gio Ponti Small Desk Mid-Century Italian Design Laminate Brass Walnut
By Gio Ponti
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Gio Ponti small desk mid-century Italian design laminate brass walnut. including Certificate of exspertire Gio Ponti Archive.
Category

1950s European Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Gio Ponti Small Randaccio Mirror
By Gubi, Gio Ponti
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti small Randaccio mirror. Executed in brass and glass. Ponti created the Randaccio Mirror in 1925 for his home on Via Randaccio in Milan. Characterized by its atypical crown-...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Gio Ponti Small Randaccio Mirror
  • Gio Ponti Small Randaccio Mirror
  • Gio Ponti Small Randaccio Mirror
  • Gio Ponti Small Randaccio Mirror
H 18.82 in. W 16.54 in. D .63 in.
Gio Ponti Coffee Tables for I.S.A., Italy, circa 1950
By I.S.A. Italy, Gio Ponti
Located in Rovereta, SM
The set of seven modular coffee tables in metal, black formica laminate and oakwood designed by Gio Ponti for I.S.A. Italy, circa 1950. Modular tables have a hexagonal shape and have...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Wood

Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate Decorative Plate Blue Orange, 1960
By Gio Ponti
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate decorative plate blue orange, 1960.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Ceramic

Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate Decorative Plate Blue Orange, 1960
By Gio Ponti
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate decorative plate blue orange, 1960.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Ceramic

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Gio Ponti Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Gio Ponti Furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our Gio Ponti Furniture collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 488 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there are also 151 modern editions to choose from. Many of Gio Ponti's original furniture was created during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style in Europe. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Paolo Buffa, Mario Bellini and Osvaldo Borsani. The prices for Gio Ponti furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $200 and tops out at $236,293, while pieces like these, on average, can sell for $7,421.