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Paolo Buffa

Italian, 1903-1970

With a surname that loosely translates to a synonym for “bizarre” in Italian, Milanese designer and architect Paolo Buffa is best known for capturing the best of both old and new in his plush, enveloping lounge chairs and wingback chairs as well as his range of modern tables, each dazzling and provocative but built using classical techniques.

Purposely playful and airy, mid-century Italian interiors encouraged merriment and socializing. Buffa’s work was well suited to this, but unlike the postwar designers who established recognizable trademarks and signatures, his vintage furniture for Cassina and other firms — the sculptural side tables and case pieces of walnut and solid oak, the luxurious sheepskin sofas — differed considerably from one design to the next, making them appealing to a range of interior decorators and socialites with specific taste. The son of a highly sought-after artist, Giovanni Buffa, Paolo graduated in 1927 from Politecnico di Milano. He then spent time working under architects and designers Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia. Ponti, who himself crafted thousands of furnishings and endlessly creative rooms, was so taken with the young designer that in 1928 he featured his simple and elegant rosewood dressing table in his new magazine, Domus.

After opening a firm with his regular collaborator Antonio Cassi Ramelli, Buffa became one of the leading tastemakers of Italian mid-century modern furnishings, designing for villas and residential buildings across the country. His style was a mix of Art Deco, Rationalism, neoclassicism and a bit of whimsy. He used high-quality materials and regularly worked with local ateliers known for their fine craftsmanship to produce his designs, such as Serafino Arrighi and Marelli & Colico. In 1940, he partnered with the Mario Quarti furniture studio on the royal palace of Albania’s King Zog, with Buffa designing the furniture, and in 1951, Egypt’s King Farouk enlisted him to redecorate his yacht.

While Buffa’s transcendent pieces are now collector’s items, there are a few still in production, such as those he made with Angelo Marelli. His eponymous firm, the Italian furniture producer Eredi Marelli, still manufactures some designs based on Buffa’s archives.

Find a collection of vintage Paolo Buffa furniture today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,582
Styles
Materials
Vintage Desk in Wood and Brass by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Milano, IT
Beautiful wooden desk designed by Paolo Buffa in the 50's, from the house on Lake Como, fine Italian craftsmanship. The desk is finely crafted in wood. The structure is supported by...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

  • Vintage Desk in Wood and Brass by Paolo Buffa
  • Vintage Desk in Wood and Brass by Paolo Buffa
  • Vintage Desk in Wood and Brass by Paolo Buffa
  • Vintage Desk in Wood and Brass by Paolo Buffa
H 29.14 in. W 35.44 in. D 20.87 in.
Italian Mid-Century Modern Tall Sideboard Cabinet Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1950
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Traversetolo, IT
Magnificent Italian sideboard designed by Paolo Buffa in the 50s. Underlining the upper floor is wood veneer arranged in a herringbone pattern. The doors have three panels each embel...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

Italian Mid-Century Modern Chest of Drawers by Paolo Buffa, 1950s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Traversetolo, IT
Wonderful Italian sideboard or chest of drawers designed by Paolo Buffa in the 1950s. Truly refined the used wood combination in maple for the drawers and walnut for the furniture re...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

Pair of Midcentury Wool and Wood Italian Armchairs after Paolo Buffa, 1950s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Roma, IT
These wonderful and iconic armchairs were produced in Italy during the 1950s. The Armchairs have the original floral wool upholstery. The harmony of the lines and the elegant and ...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood, Wool

Grande Credenza by Paolo Buffa in Wood, Brass and Glass, Italy, 1950's
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Paolo Buffa (1903-1970) architect, designer Paolo Buffa was the son of artist Giovanni Buffa, long-considered a modern innovator of early 20th century applied arts. The elder Buffa ...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

Paolo Buffa Eight-Legs Grande Credenza in Wood, Brass and Glass, Italy, 1950's
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Paolo Buffa (1903-1970) architect, designer Paolo Buffa was the son of artist Giovanni Buffa, long-considered a modern innovator of early 20th century applied arts. The elder Buff...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

Paulo Buffa Round Pedestal Table Walnut
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Pasadena, CA
Paulo Buffa round pedestal table walnut from the 1940’s.   
Category

1940s Italian Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood, Walnut

Pair of Paolo Buffa Wing Back Lounge Chairs
By Paolo Buffa
Located in London, GB
A pair of Italian wing back lounge chairs by Paolo Buffa, in walnut. Extremely comfortable and newly upholstered in ivory boucle.
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Walnut

  • Pair of Paolo Buffa Wing Back Lounge Chairs
  • Pair of Paolo Buffa Wing Back Lounge Chairs
  • Pair of Paolo Buffa Wing Back Lounge Chairs
  • Pair of Paolo Buffa Wing Back Lounge Chairs
H 38.59 in. W 26.78 in. D 31.11 in.
Browse all Furniture from Paolo Buffa
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Paolo Buffa Sellers

Vintage Domus SRL
4.8
Authentic Provence Inc
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.7
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5.0
Marco Polo S.r.l.
No Reviews Yet
Thomas Gallery Ltd
5.0
Artistic & myArtistic
4.9

Paolo Buffa furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by Paolo Buffa are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Paolo Buffa collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular.. We have 199 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Paolo Buffa was created in Europe during the 20th century in the modern style of the mid-century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Joe Colombo, Franco Albini and Marco Zanuso. Prices for Paolo Buffa furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $576 and tops out at $69,500, while pieces like these can sell for $7,850 on average.

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