Skip to main content

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
$4,881
Styles
Materials
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 Mid-Century Modern Italian Bouclè Armchairs, 1950s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Puglia, Puglia
Beautiful pair of lounge armchairs designed by Paolo Buffa, Italy, 1950s. The structure is in oak wood and has been polished with shellac, maintaining the original patina. The seat a...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Bouclé, Oak

Mahogany and Sycomore Bar Cabinet by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Montreal, QC
Mahogany and Sycomore Bar Cabinet by Paolo Buffa decorated with fencing scenes. Interior fitted with four movable shelves Italy: circa 1950 Provenance: Blackman Cruz, Los Angeles Pri...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Mahogany

Italian Mid-Century Armchair Paolo Buffa Velvet and Walnut Maple Velvet Cushion
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Italian mid-century armchair Paolo Buffa design velvet and walnut wood gold velvet cushions.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Walnut, Velvet, Maple

Vintage Armchair Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1960s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Praha, CZ
- Made in Italy - Made of teak wood, original upholstery - Partially restored - Good condition.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Fabric, Wood

  • Vintage Armchair Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1960s
  • Vintage Armchair Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1960s
  • Vintage Armchair Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1960s
  • Vintage Armchair Designed by Paolo Buffa, 1960s
H 34.65 in. W 27.96 in. D 29.14 in.
Pair of Armchairs Designed by Paolo Buffa, Certificated
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Carpaneto Piacentino, Italy
Set of two cherrywood armchairs designed by Paolo Buffa, Italy 1950 ca. The armchairs have a cherrywood structure, with the backrest marked by thin vertical rods, stiffened by a st...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood, Cherry

Set of Four Paolo Buffa Armchairs, Italy, 1940s
By Paolo Buffa
Located in New York, NY
1940s Paolo Buffa chairs with wood frames. Set can be split. Price per chair. Condition: Good original condition Width 21” Depth: 21” Height: 35.25” Seat Height: 19”. ...
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Wood

1950s Paolo Buffa Fruitwood Dining Chairs Upholstered in Purple Velvet
By Paolo Buffa
Located in London, GB
Set of 6 1950's Italian Fruitwood dining chairs by Paolo Buffa recently reupholstered in a deep purple velvet. About the designer: Paolo Buffa is an Italian designer and archit...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa

Materials

Fruitwood

Browse all Furniture from Paolo Buffa
Shop Now

Paolo Buffa Sellers

Authentic Provence Inc
5.0
Vintage Domus SRL
4.8
Borfor Modernariato
5.0
Thomas Gallery Ltd
5.0
Donzella Ltd.
5.0
Naviglio in snc
4.6
Veneziani Arte
5.0
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5.0

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.

Recently Viewed

View More