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Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Italian

To many people, postmodern design is synonymous with the Memphis Group. This Italian collaborative created the most radical and attention-getting designs of the period, upending most of the accepted standards of how furniture should look.

The Memphis story begins in 1980, when Ettore Sottsass, then a beacon of Italian postmodernism, tapped a coterie of younger designers to develop a collection for the Milan Furniture Fair the next year, determined that all the new furniture they were then seeing was boring. Their mission: Boldly reject the stark minimalism of the 1970s and shatter the rules of form and function. (Sottsass’s Ultrafragola mirror, designed in 1970, embodied many of what would become the collective’s postmodern ideals.)

The group decided to design, produce and market their own collection, one that wouldn’t be restricted by concerns like functionality and so-called good taste. Its debut, at Milan’s 1981 Salone del Mobile, drew thousands of viewers and caused a major stir in design circles.

So as a record of Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile” played on repeat, they took their name from the song, devised their marketing strategy and plotted the postmodern look that would come to define the decade of excess — primary colors, blown-up proportions, playful nods to Art Deco and Pop art. A high-low mix of materials also helped define Memphis, as evidenced by Javier Mariscal’s pastel serving trays, which feature laminate veneer — a material previously used only in kitchens — as well as Shiro Kuramata’s Nara and Kyoto tables made from colored glass-infused terrazzo.

An image of Sottsass posing with his collaborators in a conversation pit shaped like a boxing ring appeared in magazines all over the world, and Karl Lagerfield furnished his Monte Carlo penthouse entirely in Memphis furniture. Meanwhile, members like Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Kuramata, Paola Navone, Peter Shire, George Sowden, Sottsass and his wife, journalist Barbara Radice, went on to enjoy fruitful careers.

Some people think of the Milan-based collective as the design equivalent to Patrick Nagel’s kitschy screenprints, but for others Memphis represents what made the early 1980s so great: freedom of expression, dizzying patterns and off-the-wall colors.

Eventually, the Reagan era gave way to cool 1990s minimalism, and Memphis fell out of fashion. Sottsass left the group in 1985, and by 1987, it had disbanded. Yet decades later, Memphis is back and can be traced to today’s most exciting designers.

“As someone who was born in the 1980s, Memphis at times feels like the grown-up, artsy version of the toys I used to play with,” says Shaun Kasperbauer, cofounder of the Brooklyn studio Souda. “It feels a little nostalgic, but at the same time it seems like an aesthetic that’s perfectly suited to an internet age — loud, colorful and utilizing forms that are graphic and often a little unexpected.”

Find a collection of vintage Memphis Group seating, tables, decorative objects and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Memphis Group
Nilo Vase, Designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1983 for the Collection Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Beirut, LB
The Nilo vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1983 for Memphis Milano 1981-1988. A classic by Sottsass, the Nilo porcelain vase is part of three 'rivers' vases designed...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

14 Astidamia Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Astidamia glass vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is part of the “Astidamia Glass” collection. Made in blown Murano glass, and signed “E.Sottsass ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Aldebaran Glass Fruit Bowl, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Aldebaran Glass Fruit Bowl was designed for Memphis in 1983 by Ettore Sottsass. This bowl features a tapering cylindrical shape with three green handles, with the side decorated ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Carrot Flower Vase, by Nathalie du Pasquier from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Nathalie du Pasquier, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Carrot ceramic vase was originally designed by Nathalie du Pasquier in 1985 for Memphis Milano. The transmuted ceramic arises in geometric compositions that expose the humor and ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Alioth Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Alioth Glass Vase was designed by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis in 1983. The Venetian glass vase features blue fusions and black threads. Signed on the base. Ettore Sottsass was b...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

32 Ananke Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Ananke Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is glass blown, and signed on the base, for further information please see authenticity info below....
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

12 Amaltea Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Amaltea Vase was designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is part of the “Amaltea Glass” collection. Made in Murano. Signed “E.Sottsass per Memphis”. Signed on the base. Et...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Baykal Flower Vase, by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Marco Zanini, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Baykal Flower Vase was originally designed by Marco Zanini in 1982. Marco Zanini was born in Trento in 1954. He graduated in architecture at the University of Florence and perfects...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Altair Glass Flower Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Altair Glass Flower Vase was designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982. Signed on the base, please see below for further information. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. I...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Alcor Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Alcor Glass Vase was designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1983 for Memphis. Signed on the base. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. In 1939 he graduated in architecture at...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Murmansk Silver Plated Brass Fruit Bowl, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Murmansk Fruit Bowl in Brass with plated Silver. The "Murmansk" is a fruit bowl is one of the first designs produced by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis in 1982. The sleek bowl is plated ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass, Silver

21 Clesitera Glass Vase by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Clesitera glass vase with pendant, was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is blown glass, and signed on the base, for further information please see authent...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Cucumber Ceramic Flower Vase, by Martine Bedin from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Martine Bedin, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Cucumber flower vase was originally designed by Martine Bedin in 1985 for Memphis. An object not thought for simple use but for a long contemplation, the ceramic vase is a true c...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

30 Pasifila Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Pasifil Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986 for Memphis. It's part of the “Vetri Glass” collection, made in blown Murano glass. Signed on the base, for ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

26 Niobe Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Niobe Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is made out of blown glass and signed on the base. For further information please see authenticity i...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Metropole Clock, by George Sowden for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, George Sowden, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Metropole Clock in plastic laminate, designed in 1982, George Sowden. George Sowden was born in Leeds, UK in 1942. He studied architecture at Gloucestershire College of Art in the 1...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Plastic

Deneb Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Deneb vase in multicolored glass was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982 for Memphis. Signed “E.Sottsass per Memphis Milano”. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Volga White Vase, by Matteo Thun from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Matteo Thun, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Volga Vase for one flower in decorated white porcelain, was originally designed in 1983 by Matteo Thun for Memphis Milano. Born 1952 in Bolzano, Italy. Matteo Thun studies under Os...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

13 Malide Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The 13 Malide glass vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is part of the “Malide Glass” collection. Made in Murano glass, and signed on the base “E.Sottsa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Parana Ceramic Fruit Bowl, by Masanori Umeda from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Masanori Umeda, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Trigonal ceramic fruit bowl in pastel colors was originally designed by Masanori Umeda in 1983 for Memphis Milano. Was born in 1941 at Kanagawa in Japan. He obtained his diploma fro...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Nilo Porcelain Vase by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Nilo vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1983 for Memphis Milano 1981-1988. A classic by Sottsass, the Nilo porcelain vase is part of three 'rivers' vases designed...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Garda White Porcelain Amphora, by Matteo Thun from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Matteo Thun, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Garda White Porcelain Amphora was originally designed by Matteo Thun in 1982 for Memphis Milano. Born 1952 in Bolzano, Italy. Matteo Thun studies under Oskar Kokoschka at the Sa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

31 Imera Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Imera Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is made out of blown glass, and signed on the base, for further information please see authenticity ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Blown Glass

Sol Glass Fruit Bowl, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Sol glass fruit bowl was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982. Signed on the base, for further information please see authenticity info below. Ettore Sottsass was bo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Sirio Glass Flower Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Sirio glass vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982. Signed on the edge of the Stand: "E. Sottsass per Memphis Milano”. For further information please see authen...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Mizar Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Mizar vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982. The piece features clear and blue glass with multicolored handles. Ettore Sottsass was born in Innsbruck in 1917. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Broccoli Fruit Bowl, by Marco Zanini from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Marco Zanini, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Ceramic three-level fruit bowl originally designed by Marco Zanini in 1985 for Memphis Milano. The three geometrical shapes in three colors complete the idea of a trilogy. Marco Zan...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Tigris Porcelain Vase by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The "Tigris" porcelain vase, comprised of stacked, spouted and coiled forms covered in powder blue, white and black glazes, Memphis Milano collection. The Tigris Vase was originally ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Chad Teapot, by Matteo Thun from Memphis Milano
By Matteo Thun, Memphis Group, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Chad teapot was originally designed by Matteo Thun for Memphis, in 1982. The decorated white porcelain pot's shape is more interested in its form, making it curious and delicate ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Rigel Glass Bowl, by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Group, Marco Zanini, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Rigel Glass Bowl was originally designed by Marco Zanini in 1982. The piece features blue, black, green, red and clear glass with lid and stem. Signed on the base, for further in...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Cauliflower Fruit Bowl, by Nathalie du Pasquier from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Nathalie du Pasquier, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Cauliflower ceramic fruit bowl was originally designed in 1985 for Memphis Milano by the ingenious pattern designer of the Memphis Group, Nathalie du Pasquier. Enthusiastic, expl...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Contemporary Polychrome Memphis Table Lamp Designed by Ettore Sottsass, Italy
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass
Located in Copenhagen K, DK
Ettore Sottsass Italy, contemporary Polychrome enameled metal “duck” with pivoting head mounted on a black and white bacterio-patterned laminate base. New production of the “T...
Category

2010s Italian Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Enamel

Colorado Ceramic Teapot, by Marco Zanini from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Marco Zanini, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Colorado teapot in ceramic was originally designed by Marco Zanini in 1983. Marco Zanini was born in Trento in 1954. He graduated in architecture at the University of Florence a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Orinoco Ceramic Vase, by Masanori Umeda from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Masanori Umeda, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Orinoco Vase in ceramic, was originally designed in 1983 by Masanori Umeda. Was born in 1941 at Kanagawa in Japan. He obtained his diploma from the Kuwasawa School of Design in Tok...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Celery Serving Plate, by Michele De Lucchi from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Michele de Lucchi, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Celery serving plate was originally designed by Michele De Lucchi in 1985. Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and graduated in architecture in Florence during the per...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Victoria Ceramic Flower Vase, by Marco Zanini from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Marco Zanini, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
Victoria Flower vase in ceramic with ceramic flower, was originally designed in 1982 by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano. Marco Zanini was born in Trento in 1954. He graduated in ar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Ceramic

Alpha Centaury Glass Flower Vase, by Marco Zanini for Memphis Milano Collection
By Memphis Milano, Marco Zanini, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Alpha Centaury Glass Flower Vase was designed by Marco Zanini in 1982. Signed on the base, please see below for further information. Marco Zanini was born in Trento in 1954. He ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Kariba Fruit Bowl, by Matteo Thun from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Memphis Group, Matteo Thun
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Kariba fruit bowl was originally designed by Matteo Thun in 1982 for Memphis. Born 1952 in Bolzano, Italy. Matteo Thun studies under Oskar Kokoschka at the Salzburg Academy of A...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

25 Astimelusa Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Astimelusa Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The vase is part of the “Vetri Glass” collection, and made out of blown Murano glass. Signed “E.Sottsass...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Blown Glass

Alaska Silver Plated Brass Flower Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Alaska Silver Plated Brass Flower Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1982. The vase is also available in solid 925 sterling silver. For the Sterling Silver Alaska...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass, Silver Plate

33 Neobule Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Neobule Glass Vase was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. The Vase is glass blown and signed on the base, for further information please see authenticity info below....
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

34 Agelada Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Agelada Glass Vase with pendant was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986 for Memphis. It's part of the “Vetri Glass” collection. Made in blown Murano glass, and signed ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

2 Fililla Glass Vase, by Ettore Sottsass from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Fililla Glass Vase is blown glass, with a pendant and was originally designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1986. Signed on the base, for further information please see authenticity info...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Blown Glass

Titicaca Porcelain Vase, by Matteo Thun from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Matteo Thun, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Titicaca porcelain vase was originally designed by Matteo Thun in 1982, winks an eye to the largest lake in South America, its design follows a line of experimentation with a dis...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Porcelain

Labrador Brass-Plated Silver Sauce-Boat, by Andrea Branzi from Memphis Milano
By Andrea Branzi, Memphis Group, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Labrador sauce-boat was originally designed by Andrea Branzi in 1982. This piece is featured in brass with plated silver 925, or in solid 925 silver. Prices may vary for the soli...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass, Silver

46 Nami Glass Vase, by Marco Zanini from Memphis Milano
By Memphis Group, Marco Zanini, Memphis Milano
Located in Pregnana Milanese, IT
The Nami Glass Vase was originally designed by Marco Zanini in 1986 for Memphis. Sculptural vase features a conical base on a glass pedestal, with opal glass plate topped by a green ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Memphis Group Decorative Objects

Materials

Glass

Memphis Group decorative objects for sale on 1stDibs

Memphis Group decorative objects are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of glass and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of decorative objects of the Memphis Group, although beige editions of this piece are particularly popular. 0 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 46 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original Memphis Group decorative objects were created in modern style in Italy during the 21st century and contemporary. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider decorative objects by Luciano Gaspari, Barberini & Gunnell and Memphis Milano. Prices for decorative objects from Memphis Group can vary depending upon size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at US$377 and tops at US$5,539, while pieces like these can sell for US$3,568 on average.

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