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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
$4,318
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Paolo Buffa Scalloped Dresser
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Stunning Paolo Buffa sideboard with scalloped edges, circa 1940's. Incredible parquetry woodwork throughout. Two open cabinets with center drawers and signature tapered legs.
Category

1940s Italian Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Mahogany, Walnut

  • Paolo Buffa Scalloped Dresser
  • Paolo Buffa Scalloped Dresser
  • Paolo Buffa Scalloped Dresser
  • Paolo Buffa Scalloped Dresser
H 39.38 in. W 75.69 in. D 17.32 in.
Paolo Buffa Wardrobe in Walnut and Brass
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Paolo Buffa, wardrobe, walnut, ashwood and brass, Italy, 1950s This grand wardrobe is executed in warm Italian walnut with brass details. The doors are finished with vertical wood...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

  • Paolo Buffa Wardrobe in Walnut and Brass
  • Paolo Buffa Wardrobe in Walnut and Brass
  • Paolo Buffa Wardrobe in Walnut and Brass
  • Paolo Buffa Wardrobe in Walnut and Brass
H 70.87 in. W 100.79 in. D 25.01 in.
Gigantic Paolo Buffa Scalloped Cabinet
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Gigantic cabinet by Paolo Buffa. - Italy, circa 1940's Beautiful scalloped edges with four doors opening to reveal storage. Impressive in scale and parquetry wood is exceptional. ...
Category

1940s Italian Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Mahogany, Walnut

  • Gigantic Paolo Buffa Scalloped Cabinet
  • Gigantic Paolo Buffa Scalloped Cabinet
  • Gigantic Paolo Buffa Scalloped Cabinet
  • Gigantic Paolo Buffa Scalloped Cabinet
H 39.5 in. W 88 in. D 17.5 in.
1940s Italian Paolo Buffa Extendable Dining Table
By Paolo Buffa, Giuseppe Anzani
Located in London, GB
An extraordinary oval shaped extendable dining table by Giuseppe Anzani in collaboration with Paolo Buffa. Glass topped, inlaid mahogany and beechwood with brass sabots legs. Two ext...
Category

1940s Italian Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Glass, Beech, Mahogany

  • 1940s Italian Paolo Buffa Extendable Dining Table
  • 1940s Italian Paolo Buffa Extendable Dining Table
  • 1940s Italian Paolo Buffa Extendable Dining Table
  • 1940s Italian Paolo Buffa Extendable Dining Table
H 30.71 in. W 38.98 in. D 76.78 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

Midcentury Italian Walnut Armchair Style of Paolo Buffa, 50's
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Oud Beijerland, NL
Stunning Italian armchair in the style of Paolo Buffa, 1950's. This comfortable chair is made with magnificent craftsmanship regarding the very nice woodwork with elegant shapes. I...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Bouclé, Nutwood

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.
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

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Paolo Buffa Sellers

Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5 / 5
Authentic Provence Inc
5 / 5
Thomas Gallery Ltd
5 / 5
Galleria Veneziani
5 / 5
LUIGIDESIGN
5 / 5
Borfor Modernariato
5 / 5
Compendio Gallery
5 / 5
Donzella Ltd.
5 / 5
Naviglio in snc
4.5 / 5

Creators Similar to Paolo Buffa

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.