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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
$4,270
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
Pirellina Light
Pirellina Light
High Back Sofa By Gio Ponti For ISA Bergamo in Bouclé Fabric Upholstery 1950s
By ISA Bergamo, Gio Ponti
Located in Almelo, NL
Elegant three seat high back sofa reupholstered in new bouclé fabric was designed by Gio Ponti and produced by the ISA company in Bergamo, Italy 1950s. ISA Bergamo was responsible fo...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Vase by Gio Ponti Produced by Richard Ginori, Italy, 1928
By Gio Ponti
Located in New York, NY
White porcelain vase decorated with gold leaves on the sides, raised on an oval socle. The front of the vase decorated with Copia, the Goddess of Abundance. OUR REFERENCE N10100
Category

1920s Italian Art Deco Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Blue Velvet Armchairs by Gio Ponti for Casa e Giardino
By Casa e Giardino, Gio Ponti
Located in Milano, IT
Gorgeous pair of blue velvet armchairs designed by Gio Ponti in the 1960s for the fine Italian manufacture Casa e Giardino. The armchairs have a rounded shape and have the structure...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Velvet, Wood

Gio Ponti 'Bilia Mini' Table Lamp in Blue for Fontana Arte
By Gio Ponti, Fontana Arte
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti 'Bilia Mini' table lamp in blue for Fontana Arte. Executed in a blue painted metal frame with a blown white glass diffuser, transparent cord with dimmer and plug. One of th...
Category

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

Materials

Metal

Gio Ponti 'Bilia' Table Lamp in Brass for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Gio Ponti
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti 'Bilia' table lamp in brass for Fontana Arte. Executed in a brushed brass metal frame with a mouth blown white glass diffuser, transparent cord with dimmer and plug. One of...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

1980s Gio Ponti for Cleto Munari Set of Three Modernist Silver Plated Plates
By Cleto Munari, Gio Ponti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A Gio Ponti set of three plates made for Cleto Munari, signed on the bottom, good conditions overall, Dimension of the medium one diameter cm 22, dimension of the small one diameter ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Silver Plate

Pair of Italian Vintage Lounge Chairs by Gio Ponti for ISA Bergamo
By Gio Ponti, ISA Bergamo
Located in New York, NY
A stunning pair of Italian vintage lounge or high back chairs designed by Gio Ponti in 1955 for Editions ISA, Bergamo. These elegant chairs feature high backs, a sculpted profile, an...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

Gio Ponti Model 516 Pair of Lounge Chairs, Cream White Painted Walnut, 1950
By Gio Ponti, Cassina, Figli di Amadeo Cassina
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Pair of armchairs, model “516”, originally designed by Ponti for the furnishing of Tranatlantico Conte Biancamano, Manufactured by Figli di Amadeo Cassina (Cassina), Italy, c. 1950 ...
Category

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

Materials

Textile, Walnut

Browse all Furniture from Gio Ponti
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Gio Ponti Sellers

Two Enlighten Los Angeles
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.6
Compendio Gallery
5.0
PrimoPiano Modern
5.0
The Craftcode
4.7
Borfor Modernariato
5.0
Donzella Ltd.
5.0
Societa Antiquaria
4.8
More Gio Ponti Designs
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Average Price
$2,769
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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