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Swid Powell

Swid Powell (USA, est. 1982)

The New York City–based tableware company Swid Powell produced some of the most distinctive china and silver of the 1980s in collaboration with international architects and designers. It enjoyed renewed attention in 2007, when the Yale University Art Gallery mounted the exhibition “The Architect’s Table: Swid Powell and Postmodern Design,” celebrating the donation to its collection of the company’s papers.


Swid Powell was established in 1982 by Nan Swid and Addie Powell, who met while working at the modernist furniture company Knoll. Their idea was to translate the aesthetics of postmodern design from the skyscraper to the dining table, and they brought into their preliminary discussions nine prominent architects. Among these were Philip Johnson, Stanley Tigerman and Richard Meier, all of whom expressed enthusiasm about making their designs accessible beyond the small group with the funds to commission buildings from them.


The first Swid Powell collection was launched in 1984, accompanied by a bold, graphic print campaign in keeping with the era’s advertising trends. The company’s best-known collaboration was with Robert Venturi’s Philadelphia-based firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, whose patterns — particularly the floral design Grandmother inspired by a tablecloth Venturi saw at the home of a colleague's grandmother — adorned Swid Powell porcelain as well as furniture and clothing.


The firm also partnered with architect Richard Meier, whose geometric designs were inspired in part by those of Josef Hoffmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Swid Powell also worked with Arata Isosaki, Ettore Sottsass, Zaha Hadid and George Sowden, creating products that incorporated the bright, saturated colors and popular and historical references, like Classical columns, that animated postmodern design in the 1980s. The Chicago Blue china pattern designed for Swid Powell by the firm Gwathmey Siegel references the distinctive patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright’s leaded glass windows. As you will see in the examples below, Swid Powell continued to produce fine, fashionable homewares throughout the decade and beyond.

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Swid Powell Collection Guido Galbiati Sterling Silver Tea Set 4pc Modern #3251
By Swid Powell
Located in Big Bend, WI
Swid Powell Collection by Guido Galbiati Exceptional Swid Powell Collection by Guido Galbiati 4-piece sterling silver tea set. This modernist set was made in Milano, Italy, and was ...
Category

20th Century Swid Powell

Materials

Sterling Silver

Richard Meier for Swid Powell, Very Rare Silver Plate Picture Frame, Marked RM
By Swid Powell, Richard Meier
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is one of the most rare and Avant Grade, Postmodern deign for the well known architect Richard Meier. made for Swid Powell, most of these pieces were made in Italy , This frame ...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Metal, Silver Plate

Postmodern Swid Powell Serving Spoon Set by Designer Michael Graves
By Swid Powell, Michael Graves (b.1934), Reed & Barton
Located in New York, NY
A Postmodern set of sterling silver plate salad serving spoons by Architect and Designer Michael Graves for Swid Powell Co., 1990. Each spoon bears the following on back as show in i...
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Swid Powell Skyscraper Silver Plate Tray Bar Barware Vintage Italian
By Swid Powell
Located in North Miami, FL
This fabulous elegonated rectangular silver plate tray and or serving tray by an artist for Swid Powell is signed but not terribly legible. It is the skyscraper tray from the 1980s. ...
Category

1980s European Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Calvin Klein for Swid Powell Silver Plate Caviar Bowl Barware
By Calvin Klein, Swid Powell
Located in North Miami, FL
This chic and modernist 1980s silver plate caviar serving bowl and or barware is hallmarked Calvin Klein- Swid Powell. The bowl was manufactured in Hong Kong and the glass insert in ...
Category

1980s Hong Kong Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Vintage Richard Meier for Swid Powell Silver Plated Bowl
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A Modernist bowl with a band of openwork squares, a motif favored by Josef Hoffmann and the Weiner Werkstätte, designed in silver plate by American architect Richard Meier (b. 1934) ...
Category

20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Robert Venturi Postmodern Serving Spoons with Column Design Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Robert Venturi, Reed & Barton
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful, chic and substantial set of designer Postmodern silver-plate serving, salad or platter spoons with pillar column handle design, designed by Robert Venturi for Swid Powel...
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Robert Venturi Postmodern Swid Powell Carving Set with Column Pillar Handle
By Swid Powell, Reed & Barton, Robert Venturi
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful, chic and substantial designer Postmodern silver-plate carving set with column handle designed by Robert Venturi for Swid Powell. Pieces where manufactured by Reed & Bart...
Category

1990s American Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate, Metal

Designer Postmodern Robert Isabell Vase for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell
Located in New York, NY
A rare, Robert Isabell 'Hole-in-One' bud vase for Swid Powell Co. A very beautiful, rare, and substantial Postmodern period sterling silver plate over brass 'Hole-in-One' vase by Ame...
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate, Brass

1990s Designer Postmodern Silver Dish by Richard Meier for Swid Powell
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in New York, NY
A designer Postmodern period sterling silver-plate dish by iconic American artist and architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell Co., circa early 1990s. Dish is square with perforated e...
Category

1990s Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Postmodern Art Glass Sculpture by Architect Frank Gehry for Swid Powell Co.
By Swid Powell, Frank Gehry
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful and substantial limited edition designer Postmodern art glass sculpture vessel glass goblet designed and signed by architect Frank Gehry for Swid Powell Co., circa 1990s....
Category

1990s Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Glass

Designer Postmodern Sterling Silver Baby Cup by Richard Meier for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Richard Meier
Located in New York, NY
A Postmodern period sterling silver baby cup by artist and architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell, circa early 1990s. A very beautiful, rare, and substantial Postmodern sterling s...
Category

1990s Argentine Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Sterling Silver

Swid Powell Dinner Set "Chicago Blues" Custom
By Swid Powell, Gwathmey Siegel & Assoc
Located in Chicago, IL
Gwathmey & Siegel inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright designed this pattern. Custom blue five-piece dinner set in original boxes. Dinner plate, soup bowl, salad plate, cup and saucer. ...
Category

20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Swid Powell for Calvin Klein Silver- Plate Three-Piece Coffee Service
By Swid Powell, Calvin Klein
Located in North Miami, FL
This modernist silver plate coffee service by Swid Powell for Calvin Klein is timeless. It has been all polished. Signed on the bottom. It is from the 1980s. It has a coffee pot the...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Ettore Sottsass, Candlestick for Swid Powell, Reed & Barton, Italy Chandelier
By Swid Powell, Ettore Sottsass
Located in Munster, NRW
Striking silver plated candlestick designed by Master Ettore Sottsass! Made by Swid Powell in collaboration with Reed & Barton, Italy - 1980s signed and stamped, 32.4cm high.  
Category

1980s Italian Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Steven Holl Rare Set of Bronze Candlesticks, 1986 Signed
By Swid Powell, Steven Holl
Located in New York, NY
Rare set of 3 architectural bronze candlesticks by Steven Holl for Swid Powell, American 1986. Signed “S. Holl / Swid Powell” on bottoms. Large W 5 inches D 5 inches H 20 inche...
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Bronze

Richard Meier Large Stainless Steel Bowl for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Richard Meier
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Very nice and simple and elegant Postmodern lines, by the well known architect Richard Meier. Marked RM on bottom.
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Stainless Steel

Swid Powell Sugar Pot Gwathmey Siegel Postmodern
By Swid Powell, Gwathmey Siegel & Assoc
Located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Swid Powell sugar pot designed by Gwathmey Siegel.  
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Swid Powell Ten Rare Buffet Plates "Taffeta"
By Swid Powell
Located in Stamford, CT
Swid Powell ten large rare "Buffet Plates". Measures 12" diameter pattern "Taffeta" artist signed Freddie Leiba. Beige white swirl. Never used pristine.  
Category

Late 20th Century Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Silver-Plated Scalloped Nut Dish by Michael Graves for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Michael Graves (b.1934)
Located in Palm Desert, CA
Here is a very famous design by Michael Graves for Swid Powell that is very difficult to find. The bowl is peen-hammered and sits on a fixed cruciform base. The initial drawings for ...
Category

1980s Italian Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Richard Meier for Swid Powell Silver Plated Set
By Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Swid Powell silver plated candlesticks, milk and sugar set, and small plate. By Richard Meier.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Swid Powell

Grandmother Tableware Set Designed by Robert Venturi with Denise Scott Brown
By Swid Powell, Robert Venturi
Located in Kansas City, MO
Grandmother tableware set by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown for Swid Powell, 1984. Set of four plates, four saucers and 20 cups. Dinner plate: 12 in. diameter Saucer: 9.13 ...
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Porcelain

Notebook Tableware Set by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, 16 Pieces
By Swid Powell, Robert Venturi
Located in Kansas City, MO
Set of eight plates and chairs eight cups from the Notebook dinnerware series designed by Robert Venturi with Denise Scott Brown for Swim Powell. Measure: Dinner plate 12 in diamete...
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Porcelain

Silver Plate Swid Powell Candlestick by Robert A.M. Stern
By Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Silver plate candlestick by Robert A.M.Stern for Swid Powell - perfect added to a special selection of modern candles or on it's own.
Category

20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Richard Meier for Swid Powell Silver Plated Peppermill
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Hingham, MA
Hefty and well constructed pepper mill designed by uber architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell and produced in Italy, circa 1985. Ref: Annette Tapert, Swid Powell - Objects by Ar...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate, Brass

Pair of Architectural Candlesticks 'Prototypes' by Steven Holl for Swid Powell
By Steven Holl, Swid Powell
Located in Denton, MD
These early prototypes were used as samples for the patination of the bronze. This coloration is more closely related to traditional antique techniques, and is quite rustic. The fina...
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Bronze

Pair of Ettore Sottsass Silver Candlesticks for Swid Powell and Reed and Barton
By Reed and Barton, Ettore Sottsass, Swid Powell
Located in Kansas City, MO
Striking pair of silver plated candlesticks designed by Ettore Sottsass and made by Swid Powell in collaboration with Reed and Barton, 1980s.  
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver

Silver Plate Portrait Frame by Tsao & McKown for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
One of three available, sold individually. Elegant portrait frames by contemporary designer TsAO & McKOWN for Swid Powell. Weighted silver plate. Marked TsAO & McKOWN for Swid Powell...
Category

Late 20th Century Argentine Mid-Century Modern Swid Powell

Single Silver Plated Candlestick by Elsa Rady for Swid Powell
By Elsa Rady, Swid Powell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This candlestick features an organic sculptural design. Weighted silver plate. Very substantial. Designed by Argentinian Ceramicist Elsa Rady (1943-2011) for Swid Powell. Signed and ...
Category

Late 20th Century Argentine Mid-Century Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Richard Meier Candlestick Holder
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Chicago, IL
Silver plated candlestick holder for Swid Powell. Shown and sold separately pair of other Meier candle stick holders.
Category

1980s American Art Deco Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Richard Meier Candlestick
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Chicago, IL
Richard Meier for Swid Powell, silver plated candleholder. Original patina can be polished if desired. Signed.
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Sterling Silver

Pair of Silver Plate & Brass Candlesticks by Ettore Sottsass for Swid Powell
By Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass, Swid Powell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A thoroughly modern pair of candlesticks, designed by Ettore Sottsass for Swid Powell, in the signature asymmetrical Memphis style. Stamped on the underside of the bobeche with both ...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Memphis Group Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate, Brass

"Meier White" Chop Plates by Richard Meier for Swid Powell
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A clean, contemporary china design, this group of five plates in the "Meier White" pattern by Richard Meier feature his signature design for Swid Powell.
Category

Late 20th Century Japanese Swid Powell