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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
$4,537
Styles
Materials
Paolo Buffa Striped Cotton Lounge Chair
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A Paolo Buffa Italian modern lounge chair reupholstered with a chocolate and creme cotton twill stripe from renowned fabric mill, DEDAR Milano. This lounge chair is compact size but ...
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Paolo Buffa

Materials

Cotton, Wood

  • Paolo Buffa Striped Cotton Lounge Chair
  • Paolo Buffa Striped Cotton Lounge Chair
  • Paolo Buffa Striped Cotton Lounge Chair
  • Paolo Buffa Striped Cotton Lounge Chair
H 33.5 in. W 28.5 in. D 21.25 in.
Large Paolo Buffa Red Marble Breccia, Brass, Rosewood Console Table, 1950
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Rome, IT
Rare elegant large console by Paolo Buffa, circa 1950 rosewood, red "breccia pernice" marble top and brass one large drawer with two brass handles brass feet and brass details go...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Breccia Marble, Brass

Paolo Buffa Pair of Armchairs from the Hotel Bristol, Merano
By Paolo Buffa
Located in New York, NY
Paolo Buffa pair of light blue velvet upholstered lounge chairs with tapering Italian walnut legs. Unlike traditional wingback chairs, these chic lounge chairs have a more sculptural...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Velvet, Walnut

Midcentury Fabric Black Shellac and Brass Italian Chairs, 1950
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Rome, IT
Very elegant and refined chairs by Paolo Buffa, with an all-Italian style, with a magnify backrest in black wood and brass. Very special and refined sets of four chairs; all-wood st...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Nightstands, Bed Side Tables by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Wonderful pair of Mid-Century Modern nightstands, bedside tables by Paolo Buffa. They feature one half floating clear glass top then underneath another " Fontana Del Arte" green-blu...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood

Paolo Buffa Armchairs
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of Paolo Buffa armchairs, Italy, circa 1940s Wood spindled back and arms Sculpted armrests and tapered legs.  
Category

20th Century Italian Paolo Buffa

Materials

Silk, Mahogany

  • Paolo Buffa Armchairs
  • Paolo Buffa Armchairs
  • Paolo Buffa Armchairs
  • Paolo Buffa Armchairs
H 32.25 in. W 21.5 in. D 27 in.
Side Table by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Sag Harbor, NY
Italian side table by Paolo Buffa for the Hotel Bristol. Etched rectangular glass with stars and circles motives hold by a mahogany pedestal base ending with a brass sabot.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

  • Side Table by Paolo Buffa
  • Side Table by Paolo Buffa
  • Side Table by Paolo Buffa
  • Side Table by Paolo Buffa
H 23 in. W 40 in. D 20 in.
20th Century Yellow Sheepskin Divano, Italian Two-Seat Sofa by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A vintage Mid-Century Modern yellow divano, designed by Paolo Buffa in good condition. The seat backrest has a floating back with gently outstretched arms. The large Italian two-seat...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Paolo Buffa

Materials

Metal, Brass, Iron

Browse all Furniture from Paolo Buffa
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Paolo Buffa Sellers

Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5 / 5
Authentic Provence Inc
5 / 5
Galleria Veneziani
5 / 5
LUIGIDESIGN
5 / 5
Thomas Gallery Ltd
5 / 5
Borfor Modernariato
5 / 5
Compendio Gallery
5 / 5
Donzella Ltd.
5 / 5
Artistic & myArtistic
4.9 / 5

Creators Similar to Paolo Buffa

Paolo Buffa Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paolo Buffa Furniture 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 Furniture collection, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock of these items we have 205 vintage editions, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of Paolo Buffa's original furniture was created in the mid-century modern style in Europe during the 20th century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso and Ico Parisi. The prices for Paolo Buffa furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at US$650 and tops out at US$69,500, while pieces like these can sell for US$8,163.