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Tobia Scarpa

Italian, b. 1935

Widely recognized as superstars of postmodern Italian design, husband-and-wife team Afra and Tobia Scarpa (1937–2011; b. 1935) collaboratively created chairs, sofas and other furniture that work equally well in both traditional and cutting-edge environments.

Afra Bianchin and Tobia Scarpa met as architecture students at the Università Iuav di Venezia. In a class led by architect and furniture designer Franco Albini, they created their first collaborative piece, the Pigreco armchair, later produced with Gavina. After graduating in 1957, Tobia Scarpa worked for Murano glass company Venini & Co. before the couple opened a studio in Afra’s hometown, Montebelluna, in 1960. (Tobia, the son of famed glass artist and architect Carlo Scarpa, was born in Venice.)

Ranging from architecture and interior design to furniture and clothing, the Scarpas’ practice from its beginnings in the mid-1950s to the 21st century has included a diverse scope of projects combining new technology with thoughtful function and sculptural yet simple forms.

For Afra and Tobia, a close collaborative process was pivotal to the success of their designs. The duo was also prolific — they designed for the most influential European manufacturers, including B&B Italia, Cassina, Knoll and FLOS. With respect to the latter, Afra and Tobia were among the legendary Italian lighting maker’s earliest collaborators, and their pioneering designs for the brand included the Papillon lamp, one of the first fixtures to use halogen technology. Their most recognized designs include the Bastiano sofa (1962), the Vanessa bed (1959), the Coronado sofa (1966) and the Soriana seating collection (1970). Work on the Soriana sofa began in late 1969 for an early 1970 debut, and it feels as radical today as it did in its heyday.

Architecture was also a central part of Afra and Tobia’s practice, which spanned residential buildings and factories for Italian companies such as Benetton. Their commissions for the global fashion brand included numerous industrial projects, from textile plants to storefronts. By 1985, Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work was celebrated in a 30-year retrospective at Center Four in Queens, New York. Looking around the 30,000-square-foot exhibition space, Afra joked to the New York Times, “Seeing all those things makes us feel very tired, and now we feel that maybe we worked too much.”

It was not too much for their legacy, as Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work continues to inspire new generations. Scarpa designs are in collections at the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The couple was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1970 for the Soriana armchair.

Find vintage Tobia Scarpa table lamps, sofas, dining chairs and other furniture today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$5,600
Styles
Materials
Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
By Cassina, Tobia Scarpa
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Three Seater Sofa model Soriana designed by Tobia Scarpa in 1969. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. A design armchair with soft, generous contours, designed to bring home casual,...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Metal

  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
H 27.96 in. W 98.43 in. D 41.34 in.
Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
By Tobia Scarpa, Cassina
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Three seater sofa model Soriana designed by Tobia Scarpa in 1969. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. A design armchair with soft, generous contours, designed to bring home casual,...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Metal

  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
  • Tobia Scarpa Three Seater Sofa by Cassina
H 27.96 in. W 98.43 in. D 41.34 in.
Set of Two "Pigreco" Chairs by Tobia Scarpa for Gavina
By Tobia Scarpa, Gavina
Located in Milan, IT
Pair of set of Pigreco armchairs by Tobia Scarpa for Gavina. Designed by Tobia Scarpa as final university exam on Franco Albini class.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Wood, Fabric

FLOS Ariette 2 Medium Dimmable Wall Lamp by Tobia Scarpa
By Tobia Scarpa, Flos
Located in New York, NY
It looks like a stunning wall sculpture: organic, airy, and breathtaking, the Ariette wall lamp is a work of art by Tobia Scarpa. Providing diffused light, it features a synthetic fa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Fabric, Plastic

FLOS Ariette 1 Small Dimmable Wall Lamp by Tobia Scarpa
By Flos, Tobia Scarpa
Located in New York, NY
It looks like a stunning wall sculpture: organic, airy, and breathtaking, the Ariette wall lamp is a work of art by Tobia Scarpa. Providing diffused light, it features a synthetic fa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Fabric, Plastic

Italian Mid-Century White Metal Jucker Table Lamp by Tobia Scarpa for Flos, 1963
By Tobia Scarpa, Flos
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian mid-century white metal Jucker table lamp by Tobia Scarpa for Flos, 1963 Jucker adjustable table lamps in white metal. Produced by Flos in 1963 on a project by Tobia Scarpa...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Metal

Occhi Vase by Tobia Scarpa, Model Referenced under Number 8524, Venini, Italy
By Venini, Tobia Scarpa
Located in Brussels, BE
"Occhi" vase (model referenced under number 8524) Quadrangular shaped vase from the occhi series. Made up of an arrangement of red and clear glass murrines and black and clear glas...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Glass, Art Glass, Blown Glass

FLOS Foglio Light in White by Tobia Scarpa
By Flos, Tobia Scarpa
Located in New York, NY
Resembling a shirt cuff, the contemporary Foglio wall lamp from design master Tobia Scarpa is a mixture of timeless and contemporary design. The lamp’s body is formed by power-painte...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Tobia Scarpa

Materials

Steel

  • FLOS Foglio Light in White by Tobia Scarpa
  • FLOS Foglio Light in White by Tobia Scarpa
  • FLOS Foglio Light in White by Tobia Scarpa
  • FLOS Foglio Light in White by Tobia Scarpa
H 8.3 in. W 3.8 in. D 14.6 in.
Browse all Furniture from Tobia Scarpa
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Tobia Scarpa Sellers

Arttolive by Ralph Grützmacher e.K.
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Unforget Decorative Arts
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More Tobia Scarpa Designs
Tobia Scarpa Foglio Sconce
Tobia Scarpa Foglio Sconce
Average Price
$2,094
Number Available
15
Tobia Scarpa Foglio Sconce
By Tobia Scarpa
Materials
Metal, Steel
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Tobia Scarpa furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Tobia Scarpa furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our Tobia Scarpa collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. 89 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 20 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Tobia Scarpa were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Tommaso Barbi, Achille Castiglioni and Angelo Brotto. The prices for Tobia Scarpa furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $345 and tops out at $20,000, while pieces like these can sell for $3,400 on average.

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