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Fornasetti

The Italian artist, illustrator and furniture maker Piero Fornasetti was one of the wittiest and most imaginative design talents of the 20th century. He crafted an inimitable decorative style from a personal vocabulary of images that included birds, butterflies, hot-air balloons, architecture and — most frequently, and in some 500 variations — an enigmatic woman’s face based on that of the 19th-century opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti used transfer prints of these images, rendered in the style of engravings, to decorate an endless variety of furnishings and housewares that ranged from chairs, tables and desks to dinner plates, lamps and umbrella stands. His work is archly clever, often surreal and always fun.

Fornasetti was born in Milan, the son of an accountant, and he lived his entire life in the city. He showed artistic talent as a child and enrolled at Milan’s Brera Academy of Fine Art in 1930, but was expelled after two years for consistently failing to follow his professors’ orders. A group of his hand-painted silk scarves, displayed in the 1933 Triennale di Milano, caught the eye of the architect and designer Gio Ponti, who, in the 1940s, became Fornasetti’s collaborator and patron. Beginning in the early 1950s, they created a striking a series of desks, bureaus and secretaries that pair Ponti’s signature angular forms with Fornasetti’s decorative motifs — lighthearted arrangements of flowers and birds on some pieces, austere architectural imagery on others. The two worked together on numerous commissions for interiors, though their greatest project has been lost: the first-class lounges and restaurants of the luxury ocean liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

Fornasetti furnishings occupy an unusual and compelling niche in the decorative arts: they are odd yet pack a serious punch. They act, essentially, as functional sculpture. A large Fornasetti piece such as a cabinet or a desk can change the character of an entire room; his smaller works have the aesthetic power of a vase of flowers, providing a bright and alluring decorative note. The chimerical, fish-nor-fowl nature of Fornasetti’s work may be its greatest strength. It stands on its own. Bringing the Fornasetti look into the future is Barnaba Fornasetti, who took the reins of the company after his father's death.

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Creator: Fornasetti
Set of Mid-Century Modern Coasters by Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
Set of six porcelain coasters, series "Mitologia" depicting Greek and Roman Gods. These were designed for the New York Department store Bonwit Teller. Signed to underside.
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

1950s Enameled Original Box by Piero Fornasetti 'r'
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti, Aldo Tura
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Wonderful and extraordinary vintage Fornasetti box. It has an enameled metal cover with Fornasetti's iconic graphics, showing people silhouette in black and beige. The inner compartm...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Polipo Octopus
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Material: Silk Size: 45 cm × 45 cm Made in Italy Cush...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Piero Fornasetti 'Pipe' Trinket Box, Italy, circa 1950
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
A vintage trinket box by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1950. The lacquered, metal exterior features colored transfers with ‘pipe’ motif, whilst the wooden mahogany insert has beautifully c...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Plate-Box of Chocolates, Number 362, Themes & Variations
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Fornasetti Tema E Variazioni plate-box of chocolates, Number 362, Themes & Variations, Atelier Fornasetti. A gold-colored variation of Fornasetti's Tema E Variazioni series...
Category

1990s Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Sardine Fishes on Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Cushion cover material: Silk The inner is included Size: 2...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Peccato Originale Original Sin
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features a snake holding the forbidden fruit ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Cushion Ape Bee from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Tray Holder for a Tray Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 60 cm diameter metal round tray. The second image shows the tray on its holder (the tray ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Bookends Serratura on Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
There can be wit and unpredictability in the order: this was Fornasetti idea when he designed his first bookends. The mix of images with their functional design make these accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Set 12 Porcelain Plates Adamo Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
This set of twelve hand-decorated porcelain plates, as a whole, forms the figure of Adamo. You can use the ensemble for ornamental purposes or as wall plates, thanks to the two holes...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Umbrella Stand Palloni Hot-Air Balloons Handcolored on White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the umbrella stand is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth l...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Sardine Fishes on Blue
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Cushion Cover Material: Silk The inner is included Size:...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Egocentrismo Black or White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Cushion Silenzio from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Piero Fornasetti Gilded Plate Falstaff by Guiseppe Verdi, Italy, 1970s
By Fornasetti
Located in Vienna, AT
A beautiful gilded porcelain plate "Falstaff by Guiseppe Verdi" by Piero Fornasetti, Milano from the 1970s. Diameter 10", stamped on its backside. In very good condition with light w...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Cushion Mano Hand from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Champagne Black/White Hand Painted
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Set of 2 Silk Cushions Grande Pesce Fish
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. It is a set of two cushions depicting the famous Fornasetti d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Vintage Fornasetti Porcelain Themes & Variation Plate, #84
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Vintage Fornasetti Porcelain Themes & Variation plate #84, Barnaba Fornasetti, Fornasetti Studio. The Fornasetti porcelain plate in the Themes & Variation pattern depicts the fac...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Stool Gift from the Series Tema e Variazioni Handcrafted Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 46 cm This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is sil...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Paper Basket Mani Hands Black and White Metal Brass
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the paper basket is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Fornasetti Bar Stool Farfalle Butterflies Hand Colored on White Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 79 cm. This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is si...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Ashtray Dish
By Fornasetti
Located in Copenhagen, K
Vintage Fornasetti porcelain dish as a ashtray or pin tray, with the print of French newspaper, Le Figaro.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Bar Stool Farfalle Butterflies Hand Colored Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 79 cm. This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is si...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Cylindrical Handmade Black Pleated Silk Lampshade
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
This cylindrical lampshade in silk with a metal frame is the ideal complement to create, together with the base, a lamp that becomes an art object. Any minor discrepancies between...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Mano Hand
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration plays with the anatomic theme in a surreal an...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

1950s by Piero Fornasetti Midcentury Italian Design Metal Box
By Fornasetti
Located in Brescia, IT
Serigraphy on metal, wood box Excellent condition.
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Cylindrical Lamp Base Comme Des Fornà, Black White Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The cylindrical shape allows Fornasetti's imagination to create surprising decorative effects in which the shapes follow one another endlessly. The architectural design makes this ha...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Cushion Abbaglio from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Ceramic Julia Dinner Plate by Fornasetti for Rosenthal
By Rosenthal, Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
A "Julia" porcelain plate with surrealism designs by Piero Fornasetti for Rosenthal, an iconic series from 'Temi e variazioni' (“Themes and Variations”). These plates were made for d...
Category

Late 20th Century German Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Duck Ceramic 1960 Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti duck ceramic 1960! Italy.
Category

1960s Italian Other Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Silk Cushion High Fidelity Cat
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Cushion cover material: Silk The inner is included Size:...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Chair Lux Gstaad Hand Painted Pink Ponpon Green Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti's take on the most classical piece of design, the chair, is a groundbreaking achievement in imagination. The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Tray Holder Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 25 x 60 cm wood tray. The image shows the tray on its holder (the tray is not included in ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Vase Pirata Black or White or Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another Classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Chair Ortensia Hydrangea Hand-Colored Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti's take on the most classical piece of design, the chair, is a groundbreaking achievement in imagination. The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Serratura Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Bookends Gift Tema E Variazioni N. 171 Black/White/Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
There can be wit and unpredictability in the order: this was Fornasetti idea when he designed his first bookends. The mix of images with their functional design make these accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Bar Stool Tergonomico Handcrafted Black and White Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is silk-screened by han...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Chair Silviasub Scuba Mask Handcrafted Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti's take on the most classical piece of design, the chair, is a groundbreaking achievement in imagination. The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Round Tray Tema e Variazioni N°1 Black/White Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is hand-crafted using original artisan techniques. Measures: 60cm Diameter This tray is silk-screened by hand and covered with a smooth lac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Decorative Panel Lux Gstaad Hand Painted Purple/Pon Pon Red Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti panels are amongst the best expressions of the mix of functional design and aesthetic exploration. Like all Fornasetti accessories, this panel is handcrafted using ori...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Cushion Chiave Key from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Table Top Cortile Celeste Architectural Motif, Wooden Legs
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthseis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Paper Basket Casa Con Colonne Architectural Motif Black and White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the paper basket is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Handmade Centrepiece Tema E Variazioni n°399 White Black Burnished Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The art of the table is manifested in this hand-decorated porcelain centrepiece with gold accents: Fornasetti's unmistakable decorative style makes it a true collector's item. Any...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Paperweight
By Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Porcelain paperweight printed with two figures in a chariot pulled by six horses. Marked Fornasetti Milano Made in Italy on the underside.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Rare Complete Set of 12 "Le Oceanidi" Plates, Italy, 1950s
By Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Rare and exceptional complete set of 12 'Le Oceanidi' (Oceanids) lithographically printed plates from the mid-1950s, Italy. Each plate tells a story depicting distant and fantastic ...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Cylindrical Metal Lamp Base Architettura Black and White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The cylindrical shape allows Fornasetti's imagination to create surprising decorative effects in which the shapes follow one another endlessly. The architectural design makes this ha...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

1960s Set of Six Fornasetti Tea Cups and Saucers White and Gold Ceramic Signed
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
A good vintage Set of six Fornasetti porcelain tea/coffee cups and saucers with geometrical gold decor. Each cup and saucer bearing the signature and logo. Made in Italy ca.1960s ...
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Table
By Fornasetti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Fornasetti Table, unique piece. Oval crystal tabletop, wooden base upholstered in original Fornasetti fabric.
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Crystal

Fornasetti Vase Clown Black/White/Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Frame with Convex Mirror Farfalle Butterflies Color on White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the mirrors turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. Measures: Ø28 cm. This mirror frame is handcrafted using original artisan techni...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Glass, Wood

Fornasetti Paper Basket Architettura Black and White Handcrafted Metal Brass
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the paper basket is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. The shap...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal, Brass

Fornasetti Frame with Convex Mirror Farfalle Butterflies Color on Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the mirrors turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. This mirror frame is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is silk-...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Glass, Wood

1950s Piero Fornasetti Mongolfiere Midcentury Art Ceramic Plate Milano, Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Nierstein am Rhein, DE
A beautiful "Palloni" or "Mongolfiere" art porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti, Milano Italy dated 1955. The porcelain plate has a black transfer print on a white ground with hand-pa...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Round Tray Gift Tema e Variazioni n°171 Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Fornasetti are available on 1stDibs for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Fornasetti furniture there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock, we have 170 vintage editions of these items, while there are 112 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Fornasetti 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 Aldo Londi, Bitossi and Archimede Seguso. Fornasetti furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $253 and tops out at $39,500, while pieces like these can sell for $1,485.

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