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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
$4,788
Styles
Materials
Paolo Buffa Wood Coffee Table, Italy 1940s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Milan, IT
Paolo Buffa side table, Italy 1940s.
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood

Lot of Four Midcentury Chairs Design Paolo Buffa, 1950s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in taranto, IT
Lot of four chairs in walnut production from the 1950s based on a design by paolo buffa measurements: height 100 cm, depth 50 cm, width 48 cm, seat height from the ground about 47...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Faux Leather, Walnut

Pair of Italian 1950's Night Stands Bed Side Tables by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Remarkable and rare set of 2 night stands or bed side tables by Italian designer Paolo Buffa. The tables feature a floating glass shelf on top, a glass covered table top with a beaut...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass, Copper

Console by Paolo Buffa, 1940s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Brussels, BE
Paolo Buffa is an Italian designer who created furniture in a classical and elegant style. Well active in the 1940s, his style gives a lightness to the furniture he created while bei...
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Marble, Brass

  • Console by Paolo Buffa, 1940s
  • Console by Paolo Buffa, 1940s
  • Console by Paolo Buffa, 1940s
  • Console by Paolo Buffa, 1940s
H 31.5 in. W 29.93 in. D 10.24 in.
Paolo Buffa Mid-Century Modern Italian Mahogany and Walnut Round Table, 1950s
By La Permanente Mobili Cantù, Paolo Buffa
Located in Puglia, Puglia
Paolo Buffa Round table with rounded poplar top, the top is covered in walnut with a herringbone pattern, central column in poplar covered in walnut with the same motif. Feet in mah...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Brass

1950s Paolo Buffa Herringbone Book-Matched Walnut Bar Cabinet w/ Fencing Motif
By Paolo Buffa
Located in New York, NY
This rare and stunning Mid-Century Modern bar cabinet was designed by the legendary Paolo Buffa and realized in Italy, circa 1950. It offers a square volumetric body sitting on taper...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Bronze

Elegant Paolo Buffa Armchair
By Paolo Buffa
Located in London, GB
An Italian armchair of elegant design by Paolo Buffa. The architectural ebonised legs supporting a comfortable sprung seat and curved back, newly upholstered in grey wool.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Beech

  • Elegant Paolo Buffa Armchair
  • Elegant Paolo Buffa Armchair
  • Elegant Paolo Buffa Armchair
  • Elegant Paolo Buffa Armchair
H 35.44 in. W 25.2 in. D 25.2 in.
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

Browse all Furniture from Paolo Buffa
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Paolo Buffa Sellers

Authentic Provence Inc
5.0
Vintage Domus SRL
4.8
Borfor Modernariato
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.6
Thomas Gallery Ltd
5.0
Veneziani Arte
5.0
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5.0
Marco Polo S.r.l.
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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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