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Swid Powell

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Zaha Hadid and George Sowden, creating products that incorporated the bright, saturated colors and popular and historical references, like Classical columns, that animated postmodern design in the 1980s.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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Creator: Swid Powell
Richard Meier Large Stainless Steel Bowl for Swid Powell
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
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 for Calvin Klein Silver Plate Three-Piece Coffee Service Vintage
By Calvin Klein, Swid Powell
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 and...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Silver-Plated Scalloped Nut Dish by Michael Graves for Swid Powell
By Michael Graves (b.1934), Swid Powell
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

Gwathmey Siegel for Swid Powell Courtney Vase in Silver-plate
By Gwathmey Siegel & Assoc, Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A Courtney bud vase designed by architects Robert Gwathmey (1938–2009) and Robert H. Siegel (b. 1939) for Swid Powell in the 1980s. The post modern design in silverplate was part of ...
Category

20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Richard Meier for Swid Powell Silver-Plate Skyscraper Bowl or Centerpiece
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in North Miami, FL
This large, commanding and modernist silver-plate bowl or centerpiece bowl is by Richard Meier for Swid Powell. It is from the skyscraper series and from the 1980s. Very postmodern. ...
Category

1980s North American Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Silver Candlesticks by Ettore Sottsass
By Ettore Sottsass, Swid Powell
Located in Vienna, AT
Silver plated candlesticks designed in the 1980 by Ettore Sottsass for Swid Powell/Reed and Barton.
Category

1980s Italian Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Brass

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

1990s American Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Set of 21 Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman's 'Tuxedo' for Swid Powell Various Porcelain
By Gwathmey Siegel & Assoc, Swid Powell
Located in Southampton, NY
Set of 21 Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman's design 'Tuxedo' for Swid Powell - Various Porcelain pieces 3 Salad plates 7.75" diameter 3 Dinner plates 11" diameter 3 Bowls 8.5" 3 Mugs 4 c...
Category

20th Century American Swid Powell

Materials

Porcelain

Swid Powell Steven Holl Plate Postmodern
By Swid Powell, Memphis Milano
Located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Swid Powell Steven Holl "Planar" Measures: Diameter 12" buffet plate. It looks never used.    
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

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

Swid Powell Dinner Set "Chicago Blues" Custom
By Gwathmey Siegel & Assoc, Swid Powell
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. 6 s...
Category

20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Silver Plated Letter Opener by Richard Meier for Swid Powell
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A vintage letter opener / paper knife with a pierced grid of squares under a spinning brass cube, designed in silver-plate by American architect Richard Meier (b. 1934) for Swid Powe...
Category

20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Brass, Silver Plate

Pair of Candlesticks Designed by Ettore Sottsass
By Ettore Sottsass, Swid Powell
Located in Providence, RI
Pair of silver-plated and brass candlesticks designed by Ettore Sottsass for Swid Powell, circa 1988. Candlesticks measure 13" tall x 3" wide x 3" deep. Fully signed. * Free shipp...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate, Brass

Postmodern Silver-Plate Skyscraper Bowl Richard Meier for Swid Powell, ca. 1990s
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in New York, NY
A designer Postmodern period sterling silver-plate bowl by iconic American artist and architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell Co., 1992, made in Italy. Piece is formally know as the ...
Category

1990s Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Pr. Postmodern Silverplate Candlesticks by Richard Meier for Swid Powell, 1980's
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in New York, NY
Incredible pair of post modern silver plate candlesticks, by Richard Meier for Swid Powell. Very hard to find, especially in pairs, this impressive set will complete a table setting,...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Swid Powell Serving Spoon Set by Michael Graves for Barton & Reed
By Michael Graves (b.1934), Swid Powell, Reed & Barton
Located in Southampton, NY
Swid Powell serving spoon seat by Michael Graves for Barton & Reed A Postmodern set of sterling silver plate salad serving spoons by Architect and Designer Michael Graves for Swid P...
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern 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 Ettore Sottsass, Memphis Group, 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

Cup & Saucer Designed by Michael Graves for Swid Powell Cityline Corinth
By Swid Powell, Michael Graves (b.1934)
Located in San Diego, CA
Beautiful set of single coffee cup and saucer designed by Michael Graves for Swid Powell, very rare set designed in 1987 in porcelain finish. The saucer is 6" in diameter.
Category

20th Century American Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Porcelain

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

Pair of Ettore Sottsass Silver Candlesticks for Swid Powell and Reed and Barton
By Ettore Sottsass, Swid Powell, Reed and Barton
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

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

Postmodern Swid Powell Serving Spoon Set by Designer Michael Graves
By Reed & Barton, Swid Powell, Michael Graves (b.1934)
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

Italian Silver Plate Swid Powell Candle Stick by Richard Meier
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Stunning and architectural, silver plate candle stick by Architect Richard Meier for Swid Powell - a collectors dream! Simple, yet stunning and very solid - Because of provenance ...
Category

20th Century Italian Post-Modern 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

Materials

Silver Leaf

Steven Holl Rare Set of Bronze Candlesticks, 1986 Signed
By Steven Holl, Swid Powell
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

"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

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Previously Available Items
Little Dripper Ceramic Coffee Pot by Michael Graves for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Michael Graves (b.1934)
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Perhaps Michael Graves' (1934-2015) most well-known design for Swid Powell, The Little Dripper (1986) is a 10 cup coffee pot born from Graves' preference for drip coffee and a lack o...
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Late 20th Century Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Silver Plate and Crystal Caviar Bowl Dish by Nan Swid for SwidPowell
By Swid Powell
Located in Atlanta, GA
Stylish modernist three-piece set including one bowl, a tray insert, and a crystal bowl insert with a mother-of-pearl spoon, designed circa 1980, by Nan Swid for SwidPowell and known...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Crystal, Metal, Silver Plate

Little Dripper Ceramic Coffee Pot by Michael Graves for Swid Powell
By Michael Graves (b.1934), Swid Powell
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Perhaps Michael Graves’ (1934-2015) most well-known design for Swid Powell, The Little Dripper (1986) is a 10 cup coffee pot born from Graves’ preference for drip coffee and a lack o...
Category

Late 20th Century Post-Modern Swid Powell

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Ceramic

Big Dripper Ceramic Coffee Pot by Michael Graves for Swid Powell
By Michael Graves (b.1934), Swid Powell
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Perhaps Michael Graves’ (1934-2015) most well-known design for Swid Powell, The Big Dripper (1986) is a 14 cup coffee pot born from Graves’ preference for drip coffee and a lack of a...
Category

Late 20th Century Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Michael Graves 1987 "The Little Dripper" for Swid Powell Coffee Pot
By Michael Graves (b.1934), Swid Powell
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Michael Graves for Swid Powell " The Little Dripper" Coffee Pot. Ceramic Pot, Dripping Form and sugar bowl. Inside Lip has one section missing under lid, not seen unless opened.
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Ceramic

Swid Powell for Richard Meier Silver-Plate Bowl Barware
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
Located in North Miami, FL
This lovely hallmarked Swid Powell for Richard Meier silver plate bowl is marked "Swid Powell R.M. Made in Argentina. It is simple and has an architectural style base. Great for serv...
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1980s Argentine Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Calvin Klein for Swid Powell Silver Plate Caviar Bowl Barware
By Swid Powell, Calvin Klein
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 ...
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1980s Hong Kong Modern Vintage Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Postmodern Swid Powell Porcelain Coffee or Tea Cups by Robert Venturi, Set of 3
By Robert Venturi, Swid Powell
Located in New York, NY
A scarce set of three (3) '90s Postmodern black and white "Dashes" porcelain coffee or tea cups by designer and architect Robert Venturi, circa 1990s, late 20th century, for Swid Pow...
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1990s American Post-Modern Swid Powell

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Porcelain

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. ...
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1980s European Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell

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Richard Meier for Swid Powell, Very Rare Silver Plate Picture Frame, Marked RM
By Richard Meier, Swid Powell
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

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. It comes with a mother of pearl serving spoon as an added bonus...
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1980s Hong Kong Modern Vintage Swid Powell

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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) ...
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20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell

Materials

Silver Plate

Swid Powell furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by Swid Powell are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our Swid Powell collection, there are many options to choose from, although silver editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 31 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many original furniture by Swid Powell were created in North America during the 20th century in the Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Richard Meier, Alessi and Michael Graves (b.1934).. The prices for Swid Powell furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $175 and tops out at $9,200, while pieces like these can sell for $1,767 on average.

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