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Marco Zanuso

Italian, 1916-2001

Italian designer Marco Zanuso helped cement his country’s place as a world leader in furniture design that used new materials in revolutionary ways.

Zanuso was part of a generation of furniture designers who encouraged a sharp departure from the traditionalism and classicalism that reigned over the design industry before the war. These designers, who are associated with what we now call mid-century modernism, experimented with new technologies and materials to deliver on the world’s newfound need for streamlined products that represented the future.

After graduating from the Polytechnic University of Milan in 1939 with a degree in architecture, Zanuso served in the Navy during World War II. Soon after the war, he opened his own design firm in Milan in 1945. He later became an editor at well-regarded design magazines Domus and Casabella. He used this editorial platform to both promote new Italian designs as well as his own pieces, some of which he made using unconventional materials like foam and latex. For instance, his famous Lady armchair from 1951 is a composition of foam rubber and Nastro Cord, a recently invented textile band of rubberized fabric that eliminated the need for metal springs. It was one of several pieces he designed for Italian manufacturer Arflex, along with the 1949 Antropus chair and the 1951 Sleep-o-matic sofa.

Zanuso often collaborated with other like-minded creatives. From 1955 until 1957, he was Olivetti’s architect, designing factories across Brazil, and for nearly two decades, he collaborated with German designer Richard Sapper. The pair’s most famous product is the 4999 children’s chair, manufactured in the 1960s by Kartell in Italy. The stackable chair was the first to be manufactured entirely of injection-molded plastic. Zanuso and Sapper also partnered on the 1962 Brionvega Doney 14, the first European-made portable transistor TV; its sleek, compact and curvy form deeply influenced the design of television sets that followed, which were far more sculptural in form than the rigid boxes that characterized early models.

From the 1970s onward, Zanuso taught architecture and industrial design at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He still exercised his creative talents, planning the headquarters for computer companies and renovating Italian theaters.

Each of Zanuso’s elegant works were demonstrative of a forward-looking sensibility. His projects saw an integration of novel industrial materials that not only helped emphasize the beauty of good design but also played a role in rendering these well-made products accessible to everyday consumers.

On 1stDibs, find a collection of vintage Marco Zanuso furniture, including armchairs, sofas, table lamps and other items.

Average Sold Price
$6,917
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Marco Zanuso
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Lady Armchair
Lady Armchair
Marco Zanuso Senior
Marco Zanuso Senior
Lady Divano Sofa
Lady Divano Sofa
Marco Zanuso 'Regent' Armchair in Bisson Bruneel Bouclé, Arflex, Italy, 1960s
By Marco Zanuso, Bisson Bruneel, Arflex
Located in The Hague, NL
This rare 'Regent' armchair was designed by Marco Zanuso and produced by Arflex in the 1960s. Characteristic for this iconic model are the generous, outward placed armrests and the d...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Metal, Brass

Marco Zanuso 'Lady' Chairs, Early Arflex Edition, circa 1951
By Arflex, Marco Zanuso
Located in Berlin, DE
Pair of 'Lady' armchairs by Marco Zanuso. Very early 'Arflex' edition with wooden frame, Italy, circa 1951.     
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Brass

Marco Zanuso Model 275 Table Lamp for Oluce
By Oluce, Marco Zanuso
Located in Glendale, CA
Marco Zanuso Model 275 table lamp for Oluce. Executed in white metal and opal perspex diffuser, this is one of the most refined Minimalist Italian designs of the midcentury era. Orig...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Marco Zanuso

Materials

Metal

Marco Zanuso Settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s
By Arflex, Marco Zanuso
Located in Berlin, DE
Marco Zanuso Regent settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s. Early edition Regent Settee designed by Marco Zanuso for Arflex, circa 1960. The piece is on walnut glides with a new upholstery ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

  • Marco Zanuso Settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s
  • Marco Zanuso Settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s
  • Marco Zanuso Settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s
  • Marco Zanuso Settee for Arflex, Italy, 1960s
H 32.28 in. W 31.5 in. D 33.46 in.
Pair of Folding Chairs Celestina 70s, 80s by Marco Zanuso for Zanotta, Italy
By Zanotta, Marco Zanuso
Located in Padova, IT
2 Celestina chairs by Marco Zanuso for Zanotta, 1978, 1990s. Famous leather folding chairs with a high quality finish. Marco Zanuso (Milan, May 14, 1916 - Milan, July 11, 2001) was ...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Metal

Pair of "Lady" Armchairs by Marco Zanuso for Arflex, Italy, 1950s
By Marco Zanuso, Arflex
Located in Paris, FR
Pair of "Lady" armchairs by Marco Zanuso for Arflex, Italy, 1950s. Model created in 1951. Editions by Arflex between 1951 and 2013
Category

1950s Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Brass

Mid-Century Modern 'Lady Arm Chairs' in Aquamarine Mohair by Marco Zanuso
By Marco Zanuso
Located in New York, NY
This striking and iconic pair of Mid-Century Modern "Lady Arm Chairs" was realized by the inimitable and legendary Marco Zanuso in Italy circa 1950. Representing one of the most reco...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Brass

Marco Zanuso for Arflex Pair of Lounge Chairs in Black Leather
By Marco Zanuso, Arflex
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Marco Zanuso for Arflex, pair of lounge chairs, model 'Regent', leather, metal, Italy, designed in 1960 Admirable pair of ‘Regent’ lounge chairs designed by Marco Zanuso in 1960. ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Marco Zanuso

Materials

Metal

Browse all Furniture from Marco Zanuso
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More Marco Zanuso Designs
Lady Armchair
Lady Armchair
Average Price
$8,767
Number Available
22
Lady Armchair
By Marco Zanuso
Materials
Fabric, Metal, Wood, Brass
Styles
Mid Century Modern
While the scoop-like form of the Lady armchair, designed in 1951 by Italian architect and furniture maker Marco Zanuso (1916–2001), might not be the most visually arresting chair on the auction block today, it’s one of the classic pieces of mid-century modern furniture and was quite revolutionary for its time.  Like many designers of the day, Zanuso was fascinated with new materials like polyurethane foam and elastic tape. In the 1940s, he began experimenting with them through a collaboration...
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Marco Zanuso Senior
Marco Zanuso Senior
Average Price
$9,952
Number Available
14
Marco Zanuso Senior
By Marco Zanuso
Materials
Metal, Brass, Fabric
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Lady Divano Sofa
Lady Divano Sofa
Average Price
$6,880
Number Available
3
Lady Divano Sofa
By Marco Zanuso
Materials
Fabric, Metal, Brass, Velvet, Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Marco Zanuso furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by Marco Zanuso are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our Marco Zanuso collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are currently 149 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there are also 12 modern editions to choose from. Many original furniture by Marco Zanuso were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Carlo De Carli, Tecno and Paolo Buffa if you are looking for additional options. Prices for Marco Zanuso furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at US$250 and tops out at US$32,246, while pieces like these can sell for US$6,635. 1stDibs

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