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Paolo Buffa Furniture

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.

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Creator: Paolo Buffa
Dealer: Le Lampade
Set of Four Armchairs by Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Sag Harbor, NY
Set of two armchairs by Paolo Buffa. Provenance: Hotel Bristol Merano. Newly Upholstered in Linen
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Paolo Buffa Furniture

Materials

Linen, Walnut

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...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paolo Buffa Furniture

Materials

Brass

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Paolo Buffa Coffee Table Wood Glass 1950, Italy
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Previously Available Items
Armchair by Paolo Buffa
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H 29 in W 31 in D 31 in
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Pair of Armchairs by P. Buffa
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H 35 in W 28 in D 27 in
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Italian Game Table by Buffa
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Paolo Buffa furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paolo Buffa furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Paolo Buffa furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Paolo Buffa were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso, and Arflex. Prices for Paolo Buffa furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $660 and can go as high as $77,668, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $7,644.

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