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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
$3,901
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Gio Ponti
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Gio Ponti Leggera
Gio Ponti Leggera
Gio Ponti Superleggera
Gio Ponti Superleggera
Bilia Lamp
Bilia Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
'Pirellone' Rosewood XL Direction Table by Gio Ponti for RIMA, Italy, 1958
By Gio Ponti, RIMA
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Here is an extraordinarily XL dining- or conference table in rosewood with fantastic provenance: an important 'Pirellone' Direction Tables by Gio Ponti and Alberto Roselli for Rima P...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

Rare Desk by Gio Ponti
By Giordano Chiesa, Gio Ponti
Located in New York, NY
Mahogany, brass, back-painted glass. Made by Giordano Chiesa for the offices of Vembi Boroughs. Sculptural desk featuring three top locking drawers, four drawers with shaped wood han...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Rare Desk by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Desk by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Desk by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Desk by Gio Ponti
H 29.75 in. W 63 in. D 32.25 in.
Angular Vintage Velvet Sofa by Gio Ponti with Certificate
By Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, IT
Eccentric vintage grey corner sofa designed by the great Gio Ponti in the 1950s, of fine Italian manufacture. The sofa is fully upholstered in grey velvet, giving an unparalleled el...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Velvet

Gio Ponti Pair of Rare Armchairs Light Green Velvet, Italy 1960 Ca. Certified
By Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, IT
Pair of rare armchairs designed by Gio Ponti in 1960s. The shape with typical geometric Gio Ponti pattern together with harmonic proportions and walnut beautiful inclined legs , ch...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Velvet, Wood

Gio Ponti plate for Richard Ginori from the 1950s
By Richard Ginori, Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, MI
Gio Ponti Richard Ginori saucer, produced in the 1950s Excellent conditions.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Ceramic

Gio Ponti Red Wingback Chair, Mid-Century Modern Italian Design, 1950s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Antwerp, BE
Gio Ponti Red Wingback Chair, Mid-Century Modern Italian Design, 1950s An elegant pair of red wingback chairs, designed by Gio Ponti in the 50s. These Mid-Century Modern armchairs...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Wood & fabric Mid Century Modern folding chair Ninfea by Gio Ponti for Reguitti
By Gio Ponti, Fratelli Reguitti
Located in Varese, Lombardia
Folding chair in beech, brass and fabric. The structure has been restored maintaining the original color. The seat and backrest have been completely redone with a reinforced thick we...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Gio Ponti, pair Walnut Headboards with fitted bedside tables, Hotel Royal, 1955
By Giordano Chiesa, Gio Ponti
Located in Rome, IT
A pair of headboards by Gio Ponti from the furniture of the Hotel Royal in Naples, 1955. Manufactured by Giordano Chiesa by Dassi. walnut  and metal two tiered shelving, magazine rac...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

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Gio Ponti Sellers

Compendio Gallery
5.0
PrimoPiano Modern
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.7
The Craftcode
4.7
Vintage Domus SRL
4.8
Two Enlighten Los Angeles
5.0
Donzella Ltd.
5.0
Borfor Modernariato
5.0
More Gio Ponti Designs
Gio Ponti Leggera
Gio Ponti Leggera
Average Price
$8,581
Number Available
30
Gio Ponti Leggera
By Gio Ponti
Materials
Wood, Fabric, Ash, Hardwood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
The Leggera chair is as striking on its own as it is in any setting, which is just as Giò Ponti (1891–1979) intended.  The gifted Milanese architect — who also designed, taught and wrote — studied architecture at the esteemed Polytechnic University of Milan, graduating in 1921. A stint in an architectural office followed, as did award-winning porcelain designs for Richard Ginori. In 1928, Ponti launched the revered design journal Domus, promoting the Novocento movement, which decried the “fa...
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Gio Ponti Superleggera
Gio Ponti Superleggera
Average Price
$4,138
Number Available
11
Gio Ponti Superleggera
By Gio Ponti
Materials
Wood, Natural Fiber, Fabric
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Bilia Lamp
Bilia Lamp
Average Price
$3,272
Number Available
4
Bilia Lamp
By Gio Ponti
Materials
Glass, Metal, Blown Glass, Opaline Glass
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Average Price
$2,721
Number Available
1
Pirellone Floor Lamp
By Gio Ponti
Materials
Glass
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Gio Ponti furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Gio Ponti are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Gio Ponti furniture, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 487 vintage editions of these items, while there are 150 modern editions to choose from as well. 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 Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Ico Parisi and Osvaldo Borsani. Prices for Gio Ponti furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $200 and tops out at $229,789, while pieces like these can sell for $7,353.

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