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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
$4,255
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Gio Ponti
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Leggera Chair
Leggera Chair
Superleggera Chair
Superleggera Chair
Bilia Lamp
Bilia Lamp
Pirellina Light
Pirellina Light
Gio Ponti Mid-Century Modern Office Chair in Metal and Black Leather 1930s Italy
By Gio Ponti
Located in Montecatini Terme, IT
A rare office or desk chair with a metal frame, seat, and back upholstered with black leather. Designed by the Italian master Gio Ponti for offices located in Montecatini a littl...
Category

1930s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

Rare Gio Ponti Walnut & Glass Coffee Table 1950
By Gio Ponti
Located in Longdon, Tewkesbury
Rare Gio Ponti walnut & glass coffee table 1950 Rare and important Gio Ponti Lattice Walnut & Glass Coffee Table Milan, Italy Circa 1950, the rectangular glass top with lattice fr...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Glass, Walnut

Gio Ponti Art Dèco Italian Lounge Armchair from Hotel Bristol Merano, 50s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Puglia, Puglia
To keep in mind: luxurious Art Deco style armchair designed by Gio Ponti for Hotel Bristol Merano Italy. Lounge armchair with low armrests with a sculptural shape. Made in Italy in...
Category

1950s Italian Art Deco Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Velvet, Beech, Fir

Gio Ponti Round Coffee Table in Walnut Wood Italian Manufacture 1940s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Montecatini Terme, IT
Round shaped coffee table with three legs, in walnut wood and brass details, designed by the Italian master Gio Ponti, manufactured from the late 1940s to the early 1950s in Italy. ...
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Wood, Walnut

Gio Ponti Round Coffee Table in Walnut and Metal Italian Manufacture, 1950s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Montecatini Terme, IT
Round coffee table realized in walnut wood with metal details, the tabletop presents an elegant circular decorative motif. It was designed by Gio Ponti, Italian manufacturer from...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

Gio Ponti Large Sideboard with Drawers in Wood Italian Manufacture 1950s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Montecatini Terme, IT
Large sideboard is entirely realized in wood, with four drawers on each side (for a total of eight drawers) and a central storage unit. Designed by Gio Ponti, Italian Manufacture...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Wood

Rare Custom Console by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti, Giordano Chiesa
Located in New York, NY
Ash wood with brass feet. Probably produced by Giordano Chiesa. A rare, custom Gio Ponti design with two large drawers, narrow, tapering legs, & brass feet. This piece has been authe...
Category

1940s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Rare Custom Console by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Custom Console by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Custom Console by Gio Ponti
  • Rare Custom Console by Gio Ponti
H 37.5 in. W 59 in. D 17.75 in.
Richard Ginori Plates by Gio Ponti Ceramic Italy 1920s-1930s
By Richard-Ginori San Cristoforo, Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, IT
Four Gio Ponti plates from the "Vendemmia" series, Richard Ginori San Cristoforo manufacture. The ceramic plates feature polychrome decorations with figures and bear the designer's s...
Category

1920s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Ceramic

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Gio Ponti Sellers

PrimoPiano Modern
5.0
Compendio Gallery
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.6
The Craftcode
4.7
Two Enlighten Los Angeles
5.0
Borfor Modernariato
5.0
Donzella Ltd.
5.0
Societa Antiquaria
4.9
More Gio Ponti Designs
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Average Price
$2,680
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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