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Gio Ponti Furniture

Gio Ponti (Italy, 1891–1979)
Gio Ponti (Italy, 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.

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
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Creator:Gio Ponti
Dealer:Sam Kaufman Gallery
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Set of Eight "Leggera" Dining Chairs by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti, Figli di Amadeo Cassina
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A fine set of eight "Leggera" dining chairs by the éminence grise of 20th-century Italian design, the great Milanese architect Gio Ponti. Built of beautifully-figured solid ash and g...
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Leather, Ash

Pair of "Gabriella" Chairs by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

"Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Porcelain

Related Items
Pair of "Gabriella" Chairs by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
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1970s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

"Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
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1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Porcelain

Pair of Marcel Breuer for Knoll "Wassily" Chair Frames
By Knoll, Marcel Breuer
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1960s American Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Dining Table by Marvin Drandell
By Marvin Drandell
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21st Century and Contemporary American Gio Ponti Furniture

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Steel, Brass

Vintage Set of 1923 Door Handles by Walter Gropius
By Walter Gropius
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1920s German Bauhaus Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Drinks Set by Edmund Ronaky
By Edmund Ronaky
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Liqueur Set by Jacques Blin
By Jacques Blin
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1950s French Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Set of Nine Hand-Painted Faience Dinner Plates by Stig Lindberg
By Stig Lindberg
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1940s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Earthenware, Faience

Pair of Work Stools by Cor Alons
By Cor Alons
Located in Los Angeles, CA
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1950s Dutch Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Plywood, Rubber, Steel

"Taurus" by J. W. Kaufman
By J. W. Kaufman
Located in Los Angeles, CA
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21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Gio Ponti Furniture

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Resin

Warren McArthur Folding Chairs
By Warren McArthur
Located in Los Angeles, CA
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1940s American Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Portrait of Picasso in His Studio by Richard Ham
By Richard Hambleton
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1940s American Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Previously Available Items
Collection of Colorful Bowls by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
These 13 porcelain bowls are each decorated with a roundel of pure color. Designed by Gio Ponti and produced by Ceramica Franco Pozzi in the late 1960s, these bowls, especially when ...
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1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Porcelain

1936 Wall Clock by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
“Woe to the machine that confesses the strain in its work. We appreciate – in machines, like in men – hermetic organisms, skillful work, and elegance in exertion.” -- Gio Ponti De...
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1930s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

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Steel, Aluminum

  • 1936 Wall Clock by Gio Ponti
  • 1936 Wall Clock by Gio Ponti
  • 1936 Wall Clock by Gio Ponti
  • 1936 Wall Clock by Gio Ponti
H 3.75 in. Dm 16 in.
Sterling Silver Coffee and Tea Service by Gio Ponti and John Axel Prip
By John Prip, Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Reed & Barton’s “The Diamond,” a sterling silver dinner service comprising flatware and serving pieces, was designed in 1958 by Gio Ponti and John Axel Prip. The angular waistlines, ...
Category

1950s American Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Sterling Silver

"Hotel Parco Dei Principi" Ceramic Tile by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
In creating the interiors for the two Parco dei Principi hotels (one in Rome, the other in Sorrento), Gio Ponti designed several different patterns for use on the ceramic floor tiles...
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Earthenware, Macassar

"Hotel Parco Dei Principi" Ceramic Tile by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
In creating the interiors for the two Parco dei Principi hotels (one in Rome, the other in Sorrento), Gio Ponti designed several different patterns for use on the ceramic floor tiles...
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Macassar, Earthenware

Porcelain Tea Set by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A tea / coffee pot and a sugar bowl in fantastic pink porcelain with 24 ct. gold-plated decoration. This service was designed by Gio Ponti for Richard-Ginori, where Ponti served as d...
Category

Early 20th Century Gio Ponti Furniture

Faïence by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is the best Gio Ponti tile I have ever seen, depicting six stylized faces in profile. It would have made a terrific cover for The New Yorker. Were the 1920s chic, or what?<br />...
Category

Early 20th Century Italian Gio Ponti Furniture

  • Faïence by Gio Ponti
  • Faïence by Gio Ponti
  • Faïence by Gio Ponti
  • Faïence by Gio Ponti
H 15.25 in. W 15.25 in.
Set of Six Spreaders by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
These stainless steel spreaders were designed by Gio Ponti in 1954 as part of his "Domus" flatware service. Distinguished by its sculptural beauty and high quality of manufacture, Po...
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Stainless Steel

  • Set of Six Spreaders by Gio Ponti
  • Set of Six Spreaders by Gio Ponti
  • Set of Six Spreaders by Gio Ponti
  • Set of Six Spreaders by Gio Ponti
H 7.2 in. W 1.2 in. D .25 in.
"Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A plate designed by Gio Ponti as part of the "Fantasia Italiana" series, produced in the late 1960s by Ceramiche Franco Pozzi. This plate, besides being one of the most graphically p...
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Gio Ponti Furniture

Materials

Porcelain

  • "Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
  • "Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
  • "Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
  • "Fantasia Italiana" Plate by Gio Ponti
H 14.75 in. W 14.75 in. D 1.25 in.

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