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Harry Bertoia

American, Italian, 1915-1978

Sculptor, furniture and jewelry designer, graphic artist and metalsmith, Harry Bertoia was one of the great cross-disciplinarians of 20th-century art and design and a central figure in American modernism. Among furniture aficionados he is known for the wire-lattice Diamond chair (and its variants such as the tall-backed Bird chair) designed for Knoll Inc. and first released in 1952. As an artist, Bertoia is revered for a style that was his alone. Bertoia’s metal sculptures are by turns expressive and austere, powerful and subtle, intimate in scale and monumental. All embody a tension between the intricacy and precision of Bertoia’s forms and the raw strength of his materials: steel, brass, bronze and copper.

Fortune seemed to guide Bertoia’s artistic development. Born in northeastern Italy, Bertoia immigrated to the United States at age 15, joining an older brother in Detroit. He studied drawing and metalworking in the gifted student program at Cass Technical High School. Recognition led to awards that culminated, in 1937, in a teaching scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, one of the great crucibles of modernism in America. There, Bertoia made friendships — with architect Eero Saarinen, designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Schust Knoll and others — that shaped the course of his life. He taught metalworking at Cranbrook, and when materials rationing during World War II limited the availability of metals, Bertoia focused on jewelry design. He also experimented with monotype printmaking, and 19 of his earliest efforts were bought by the Guggenheim Museum.

In 1943, he left Cranbrook to work in California with the Eameses, helping them develop their now-famed plywood furniture. (Bertoia received scant credit.) Late in that decade, Florence and Hans Knoll persuaded him to move east and join Knoll Inc. His chairs became, and remain, perennial bestsellers. Royalties allowed Bertoia to devote himself full-time to metal sculpture, a medium he began to explore in earnest in 1947.

By the early 1950s Bertoia was receiving commissions for large-scale works from architects — the first came via Saarinen — as he refined his aesthetic vocabulary into two distinct skeins. One comprises his “sounding sculptures” — gongs and “Sonambient” groupings of rods that strike together and chime when touched by hand or by the wind. The other genre encompasses Bertoia’s naturalistic works: abstract sculptures that suggest bushes, flower petals, leaves, dandelions or sprays of grass. As you will see on these pages, Harry Bertoia was truly unique; his art and designs manifest a wholly singular combination of delicacy and strength.

Average Sold Price
$2,293
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Harry Bertoia
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Diamond Chair
Diamond Chair
Bertoia Side Chair
Bertoia Side Chair
Bertoia Bird Chair and Ottoman
Bertoia Bird Chair and Ottoman
Bertoia Bench - 400Y/410Y
Bertoia Bench - 400Y/410Y
Harry Bertoia Industrial Wire Side Chair White Knoll Classic 1950s
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in National City, CA
AMBIANIC offers Classic Vintage Modern Industrial HARRY BERTOIA Wire Side Chair White 1952 Dimensions: 29.5 x 22.25 D x 18 W Original unrestored preowned vintage condition. Please re...
Category

1950s American Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Metal, Wire

Bird Lounge Chair with Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Early production bird lounge chair with ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll in black finish. The ottomans measure 23.5 w x 17 d x 13-14 ht. The chair seat slopes from 16 down to 8.5 i...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia

Materials

Wrought Iron

Vintage Harry Bertoia for Knoll Slat Bench Model 400
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Vienna, AT
Vintage Harry Bertoia for Knoll Slat bench model 400. Early version of this bench with white lacquered wooden slats. It's in good condition with some wear to the lacquered slats.
Category

1970s German Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Vintage Mid-Century Black Knoll Bertoia Side Chair, Original Yellow Seat Pad
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Buffalo, NY
Bertoia designed the patented diamond chair for Knoll in 1952. As a furniture designer, Bertoia is best known for the diamond chair and the bird chair, a high-backed model developed ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Iron

Wire Bar Stool by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, 1970s
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Lasne, BE
Black metal stool. Seat height 77cm. Wear due to time and age of the stool.
Category

1970s Central American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Metal

  • Wire Bar Stool by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, 1970s
  • Wire Bar Stool by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, 1970s
  • Wire Bar Stool by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, 1970s
  • Wire Bar Stool by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, 1970s
H 41.93 in. W 21.07 in. D 22.45 in.
Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
By Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Located in Paris, FR
Bird chair and its ottoman, vintage blue leather. By Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Dimensions of stool : 39 x 60 x 43 cm.
Category

1970s American Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Leather

  • Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
  • Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
  • Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
  • Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
H 38.59 in. W 38.59 in. D 38.59 in.
1960's Harry Bertoia Design for Knoll Associates Fitted Cover Wire Side Chair
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Early example of the Harry Bertioa for Knoll Associates side chair with fitted green seat and back cushion. Gloss black frame. Marked Knoll Associates 320 Park Ave. NY, NY Chair h...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia

Materials

Metal

Vintage Black & White Wire Barstools by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc, Set of 6
By Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Located in Eindhoven, Noord Brabant
This set of 6 vintage wired mesh barstools are designed in 1966 by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Inc. Manufactured in the United States. These barstools have black fabric cussions in 2 ...
Category

1960s American Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia

Materials

Metallic Thread

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Harry Bertoia Sellers

Casey Godrie, Amsterdam, 20th Century Icons & Props
4.7
Barbarella Home
4.8
Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6
Highland Park Modern
5.0
Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
4.8
More Harry Bertoia Designs
Bertoia Barstool - 428C
Bertoia Barstool - 428C
Average Price
$2,947
Number Available
4
Bertoia Barstool - 428C
By Harry Bertoia
Materials
Metal, Chrome, Fabric
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Bertoia Barstool - 427C
Bertoia Barstool - 427C
Average Price
$3,400
Number Available
1
Bertoia Barstool - 427C
By Harry Bertoia
Materials
Chrome, Fabric, Metal, Upholstery
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Harry Bertoia furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Harry Bertoia are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Harry Bertoia collection of furniture, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. 159 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 3 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Harry Bertoia were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by George Nakashima, Michael Taylor and Warren Platner. The prices for Harry Bertoia furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $400 and tops out at $295,000, while pieces like these can sell for $4,200 on average.

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