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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
$4,170
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
Gio Ponti ''Ninfea'' Chairs, 1958, Published with Certificate from Ponti Archive
By Fratelli Reguitti, Gio Ponti
Located in bergen op zoom, NL
Beautiful pair of 1958 Gio Ponti "Ninfea Pieghevole" folding lounge chairs finished in italian walnut with the original red fabric. This pair come with a hand signed certificate from...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Pair of Cassina no. 829 Highback Lounge Chairs by Gio Ponti, Parco dei Principe
By Figli di Amadeo Cassina, Gio Ponti, Cassina
Located in CULEMBORG, GE
Listed is a rare set of two Cassina no. 829 highback lounge chairs, designed by Gio Ponti for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento in the 1960s. In 1961, engineer and entrepre...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Set of Gio Ponti Reed & Barton "Diamond" Sterling Silverware
By Gio Ponti
Located in New York, NY
Set of sterling silver flatware, designed by Gio Ponti for Reed and Barton, in the diamond pattern. A total of 18 place settings are available. Priced at $890 per five-piece place ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Sterling Silver

Gio’ Ponti “Venini” Sconces Murano Glass Brass 1980 Italy
By Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, IT
Gio’ Ponti “VENINI “ sconces Murano glass brass 1980 Italy.
Category

1980s Italian Other Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Murano Glass

Pair of Chiavari Gio Ponti Style Mid-Century Modern Italian High Back Chairs 50s
By Gio Ponti
Located in Puglia, Puglia
This pair of Chiavari chairs with a typical high back were designed by Gio Ponti.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Beech, Fabric

Fine Gio Ponti Fruitwood and Leather Dwarf Bookcase
By Gio Ponti
Located in Hollywood, FL
The red leather top with three shelves flanked by fruitwood sides terminating in brass caps-from the university of turin-sold with "Certificate of Authenticity" from the ponti archiv...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Wood, Leather

Gio Ponti Exceptional Asymmetric Cabinet in Mahogany, Glass, Skai, Italy 1950s
By Gio Ponti
Located in New York, NY
Gio Ponti (1891 - 1979) An exceptional and rare asymmetrical credenza by modernist master Gio Ponti, in mahogany with five drawers angled subtly outwards, a glass writing desk, pol...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Art Deco Gio Ponti Richard Ginori Withe Porcelain Coffee Set, Italy 1933
By Richard Ginori, Gio Ponti
Located in Sacile, PN
"Barbara White Porcelain with Gold accents coffee set by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori. "Barbara" coffee set , designed by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori in 1933, consisting of: Cof...
Category

1930s Italian Art Deco Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Porcelain

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Gio Ponti Sellers

Compendio Gallery
5.0
PrimoPiano Modern
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.6
The Craftcode
4.7
Two Enlighten Los Angeles
5.0
Vintage Domus SRL
4.8
Borfor Modernariato
4.8
Donzella Ltd.
5.0

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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