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Mario Bellini

Italian, b. 1935

Milan-born architect and designer Mario Bellini just may be the closest thing to a modern-day Renaissance man: His creative output spans genres, from electronics to furniture to architecture to cars, comprising iconic designs in each. He has been the recipient of multiple prestigious Compasso d’Oro design awards, and more than 20 of his works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Born in 1935, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan before founding his own firm in his native city in the early 1960s. He soon branched out beyond architecture, however, first for the tech manufacturer Olivetti, where he served as chief industrial design consultant from 1963 to 1991. During that time, Bellini oversaw the design of some of Olivetti’s most popular typewriters.

His penchant for electronic design didn’t stop there: Bellini also designed cameras for Fuji, televisions for Brionvega and a slew of audio devices for Yamaha, then served as design consultant for Renault and devised the interior of the 1980 Lancia Trevi for Fiat. Meanwhile, his architecture work spans continents, including such modern gems as the Museum of Islamic Arts at the Louvre, the National Gallery of Victoria extension in Melbourne, the Dubai Creek Complex and the Milan Convention Centre in his hometown.

And then there’s the furniture: Over the last 70 years, Bellini has designed office furniture for Vitra; lamps for Artemide, Erco and FLOS; porcelain for Rosenthal and long-admired sofas and other seating for Kartell, Natuzzi, B&B Italia, Cassina and more.

His oft-imitated 1977 Cab chair for Cassina, comprising 16 individual pieces of saddle leather that create a “skin” over a minimal metal frame, remains one of the manufacturer’s best sellers today. His pudgy-legged, round tables for Cassina foreshadow Faye Toogood’s widely loved Roly Poly line. His postmodern Summa armchairs for Kartell, as well as his elegant Chiara floor lamp, still lure collectors on vintage furniture websites.

Bellini’s most famous contribution to furniture design, though, may be his 1970 Camaleonda sofa for B&B Italia (then C&B Italia). An entrant to the 1972 MoMA show “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” the seat takes its name from the Italian words for chameleon and wave. Its bulbous, modular form makes it infinitely flexible. The sofa was a runaway hit at the show and, once discontinued, remained so popular among vintage dealers that B&B Italia reissued it in 2020 with all recycled materials and interchangeable seat covers. “Of all the objects I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom,” Bellini said.

Browse an expansive collection of Mario Bellini furniture — including dining tables, armchairs, mid-century sofas and more — today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$8,165
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Mario Bellini
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Mario Bellini Area Floor Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Floor Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Desk Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Desk Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Ceiling Light
Mario Bellini Area Ceiling Light
Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp
Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp
Orange Cord Camaleonda Sofa by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, Original
By B&B Italia, Mario Bellini
Located in Grand Cayman, KY
Original early B&B Italia 2-piece Camaleonda sectional sofa by Mario Bellini in orange cord fabric. Consists of two lounge chairs of the largest 3x3 format in the series. Both have b...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Mario Bellini

Materials

Fabric, Cord, Foam, Plywood

Sectional Sofa Model ‘Bambole’ by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, Italy, 1970’s
By Mario Bellini, B&B Italia
Located in Antwerp, BE
Sectional sofa model ‘Bambole’ by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, Italy 1970’s. This sofa is an iconic piece of Italian design, also presented in MoMA's permanent collection. Can be pl...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Bouclé

1970s Mario Bellini 5-Piece Bambole Sofa Set for B&B Italia
By B&B Italia, Mario Bellini
Located in Grand Cayman, KY
Original "Le Bambole" sofa set designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia in superb condition. An icon of Mid-Century Modern Italian design, it was an instant success on launch in 1971...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Wool, Upholstery

Camaleonda Red Sofa by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, 1970s
By Mario Bellini, B&B Italia
Located in Padova, IT
The “Camaleonda” (Chameleon) sofa is Mario Bellini’s contemporary classic. The playful, modular design offers endless options for the user, which also inspired the model’s name. C...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Fabric, Cord, Foam

Pair of Mario Bellini CAB Stools for Cassina in Black Leather
By Mario Bellini, Cassina
Located in London, GB
Mario Bellini CAB bar stools in black leather. Includes original labels and embossed logo on the base. Made with a lengthy thinning process of the leather, the cut parts are stitc...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Post-Modern Mario Bellini

Materials

Steel

La Rotonda Dining Table by Mario Bellini, 1970s
By Mario Bellini, Cassina
Located in Ottenburg, BE
Mid century ash wood dining table by Mario Bellini for Cassina. The table has a striking tripod base made from solid ash wood and a clear beveled glass top. Design classic and ...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Glass, Ash

Le Bambole 2-Seater Sofa in Turquoise Leather, Mario Bellini for B&B Italia 70s
By B&B Italia, Mario Bellini
Located in Zagreb, HR
Genuine vintage Le Bambole sofa upholstered in rare turquoise leather. Designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia in 1972, Le Bambole sofa soon became an icon and true star of 1970s...
Category

1970s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Leather

Mario Bellini Set of Six 'Lira e Liuto' Dining Chairs in Leather
By Mario Bellini, Cassina
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Mario Bellini for Cassina, set of six ‘Lira e Liuto’ dining chairs, red leather, Italy, 1989 This special colored set of six ‘Lira e Liuto’ dining chairs has a beautiful red color...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Mario Bellini

Materials

Leather

Browse all Furniture from Mario Bellini
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Mario Bellini Sellers

More Mario Bellini Designs
Mario Bellini Area Floor Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Floor Lamp
Average Price
$7,828
Number Available
4
Mario Bellini Area Floor Lamp
By Mario Bellini
Materials
Metal
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Mario Bellini Area Desk Lamp
Mario Bellini Area Desk Lamp
Average Price
$4,409
Number Available
4
Mario Bellini Area Desk Lamp
By Mario Bellini
Materials
Ceramic, Metal
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Mario Bellini Area Ceiling Light
Mario Bellini Area Ceiling Light
Average Price
$1,607
Number Available
2
Mario Bellini Area Ceiling Light
By Mario Bellini
Materials
Metal, Ceramic, Fabric, Plastic, Synthetic
Styles
Mid Century Modern, Post Modern
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Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp
Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp
Average Price
$3,602
Number Available
1
Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp
By Mario Bellini
Materials
Metal, Steel
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Simplicity with a smile: These words go a long way in describing the Chiara floor lamp and the work of its designer, Mario Bellini (b. 1935). A visionary who prefers hands-on experimentation, Bellini’s 1964 fixture began with models of rolled paper and concluded, in his own words, as “a nun-shaped lamp that makes the light come out of her white hat.”  Known for his openly anthropomorphic yet sophisticated designs, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He graduat...
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Mario Bellini furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Mario Bellini furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These unique items are frequently made from animals' skin and are designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Mario Bellini furniture there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 265 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there are 29 modern editions to choose from as well. Many original furniture by Mario Bellini were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Afra & Tobia Scarpa, B & B Italia and Osvaldo Borsani if you are looking for additional options. Prices for Mario Bellini furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $197 and tops out at $52,031, while pieces like these can sell for $7,563.

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