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Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Piero Fornasetti was, in a word, a rebel. While his mid-century design contemporaries focused on streamlined, architectural forms, Fornasetti was all about decorative whimsy, enchantment and Surrealism, adorning his dinner plates and other works with dozens of eclectic motifs that he drew himself.

While you’ll find everything from animals to historic Italian architecture printed on Fornasetti’s dinner plates, chairs, tables and other designs, the illustrator and furniture maker’s signature motif is the face of a mysterious woman, one loosely modeled after opera singer Lina Cavalieri, who became his fantastical muse.

Born in Milan, Fornasetti was a 20th-century Renaissance man, mastering drawing and painting, graphic design and product design. He trained at the prestigious Brera Academy of Fine Art in Milan for two years before being thrown out for his rebellious nature. But Fornasetti was a tour de force, exhibiting hand-painted silk scarves at the Triennale di Milano just a year later — works that would draw the eye of acclaimed designer Gio Ponti. Ponti and Fornasetti would collaborate on furnishings and interiors for decades, and it was for a Ponti-organized exhibition in 1947 that Fornasetti would design his first set of plates.

Having never worked with ceramics before, Fornasetti vigorously studied the medium by visiting studios and factories, working with experts to learn all aspects of design and production. His efforts resulted in a vast assortment of collectible plates, including 350 variations on the Lina Cavalieri motif that comprised the “Tema e Variazioni” (“Theme and Variation”) series. But his dinner plates feature many other quintessential Fornasetti-style illustrations, from characters from Italian plays to hot-air balloons to dissected fruits.

Today, the Fornasetti empire is managed by the designer’s son, Barnaba, who continues his father’s idiosyncratic legacy. The famous dinner plates are not only found on the tables of design tastemakers across the globe, but also in the collections of such institutions as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Find a collection of authentic Fornasetti dinner plates on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Fornasetti
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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Plate with Vegetable Face Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Fornasetti porcelain plate with face made with arranged vegetables. Stamped 11, Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy, Arcimboldesca'" and "Arzberg Germany" in green to the underside.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Set of Fornasetti Plates
By Fornasetti
Located in South Salem, NY
A set of eleven Piero Fornasetti plates. The plates are part of the Astrolabio series and each plate is stamped with the Fornasetti series mark. Fornasetti was a well known to have a...
Category

1960s Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Plate with Vegetable Face Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Fornasetti porcelain plate with face made with arranged vegetables. Stamped "4, Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy, Arcimboldesca'" and "Arzberg Germany" in green to the underside.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Astronomici Plate, #8
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti porcelain plate with number 8 in the Astronomici series. Astronomici means Astronomics. This is a rare pattern in black and white with gold highlights. Mark: A mo...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Piero Fornasetti Astrolabe Plate, Number Twelve in Astrolabio Series
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
The Piero Fornasetti porcelain plate depicts an astrolabe, it is number twelve of twelve in series. A ribbon above reads "Ad Habendum Horam Ineqvalem Et Qvatvor Angvlos Celi In Die"....
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Ceramic Julia Dinner Plate by Fornasetti for Rosenthal
By Fornasetti, Rosenthal
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 Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Mesi and Soli Pair of Plates 12 Suns 12 Months, 1955.
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti porcelain mesi and soli plates, 12 suns, 12 months, Pair of plates Mid-late 1950s. Piero Fornasetti "12 Mesi 12 Soli" series number five and six plates each numbere...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Porcelain Astro Labio Plate, Late 20th Century
By Fornasetti, Piero Fornasetti
Located in Uppsala, SE
Plate from the Astro Labio series by Pierro Fornasetti for his own company Fornasetti. The Astro Labio series has 12 different motifs and this is number 12. Made in the late 20th cen...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Recipe Plate, Ostrich Eggs and Green Peppers Omelette
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti Recipe plate, ostrich eggs and green peppers omelette, made for Fleming Joffe, 1960s. This rare Piero Fornasetti plate is from a series made for the Fleming Joff...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Milano 'Fiori' Pattern Porcelain Plates, Set of Twelve, circa 1965
By Fornasetti
Located in Kinderhook, NY
An incredibly rare set of 12 large porcelain dinner plates in the 'Fiori' pattern designed by Piero Fornasetti and produced by Fornasetti - Milano, circa 1965. There are two plates o...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Barnaba Fornasetti Calendar Plate for 2013 with Piero Fornasetti Self Portrait
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Barnaba Fornasetti Calendar Plate for 2013, with Piero Fornasetti Self Portrait, #518 of 700 The plate depicts an image of Piero Fornasetti based upon a self-portrait with month...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Pair of Fornasetti Musical Instrument Themed Plates
By Fornasetti
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Beautiful Italian musical instrument plates by Piero Fornasetti, an Italian versatile and eclectic artist, characterized by an unstoppable creative flair that made him one of the mos...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Commedia Dell'arte Maschere Italiane Porcelain Plates
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti set of four Porcelain Commedia Dell'arte Maschere Italiane Porcelain lates, Italian Masks, circa 1970s Each plate depicts a character from the Commedia Dell'ar...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Citta di Carte City of Cards Plates in Complete Set of 12
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
A rare full set of Piero Fornasetti Surreal style plates, "City of Cards", making a complete set of twelve which are printed with polychrome images of buildings made of playing cards...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Set of Six Strumenti Musicali Plates, 1950s-1960s
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti set of six strumenti musicali plates 1950s-1960s. The plates each depict a different selection of stringed instruments including guitars and lutes on a faux bois...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic, Pottery

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plate with Coats of Armour, the Armature Pattern
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
This rare Piero Fornasetti porcelain plate from the Armature pattern is number one in the series. The black and white lithographically-decorated and hand painted porcelain plate i...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Tori and Torerj Dinner Plates Rare Set of Six Vintage
By Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
These wonderful hard to find and hard to come by complete set of rare wonderful bullfight black and white vintage Mid-Century Modern porcelain dinner plates are the genius work and i...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Set of Twelve Specialità Vicente Plates by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Chicago, IL
Made by: Fornasetti Milano, Italy, c. 1970 Material: transfer-printed and gilt porcelain Size: 9.5 diameter in Description: Stamped manufacturer's mark to verso of each exam...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

Ceramic Plate with Vegetable Face Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Fornasetti porcelain plate with face made with arranged vegetables. Stamped "2, Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy, Arcimboldesca'" to the underside.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Plate with Vegetable Face Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Fornasetti Porcelain plate with face made with arranged vegetables. Stamped "1, Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy, Arcimboldesca'" and "Arzberg Germany" in green and hand gilt 3 to th...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Plate with Vegetable Face Fornasetti
By Fornasetti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Fornasetti Porcelain Plate with face made with arranged vegetables. Stamped "6, Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy, Arcimboldesca'" and "Arzberg Germany" in green, and hand gilt number...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Modern Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Vintage Piero Fornasetti Green Faux Malachite Plate, circa 1950
By Fornasetti
Located in London, GB
A rare and highly collectable faux malachite plate by Piero Fornasetti. Manufactured in the 1950s, this hand-colored decorative plate is one in a series of ‘faux malachite’ designs t...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Piemontesi Plates Set of 12, Italy, 1950s
By Fornasetti
Located in Munich, DE
Complete set of 12 plates of the "Ricette Piemontesi" series by Piero Fornasetti with original box. Each piece combines the description of a typical receipt of the traditional cuisin...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti Dinner Plates

Materials

Porcelain

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Piero Fornasetti Astrolabe Plate, Number Twelve in Astrolabio Series
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Piero Fornasetti Set of Eight Quand on Arrive Clock Coasters, When One Arrives
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Creamware Openwork Dessert Plates, Six Plates, circa 1860
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Previously Available Items
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Located in Litchfield, CT
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Piero Fornasetti Malachite Green Plate Stoviglie No. 4, Milano, Italy, 1955
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Rosenthal Fornasetti Temi E Variazioni Motiv 13 Plate, 1980s
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The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and white printed plate depicts a sergeant pepper-type military jacket with a left hand slipped between two buttons. Each button i...
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By Fornasetti, Rosenthal
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Fornasetti Dinner Plates for sale on 1stDibs.

Fornasetti dinner plates are available on 1stDibs for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Fornasetti Dinner Plates, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original dinner plates by Fornasetti were created in Europe during the 20th century in the modern style of the mid-century. Many customers also consider Dinner Plates by Piero Fornasetti, Richard Ginori, and Gio Ponti Dinner Plates if you are looking for additional options. Fornasetti dinner plates can vary in price depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $500 and tops out at $10,000, while pieces like these can sell for $933 on average.
Questions About Fornasetti Dinner Plates
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Fornasetti plates are hand-made in Italy. They continue a tradition of excellent craftsmanship that goes back to founder Piero Fornasetti, who established the atelier during the 1950s. Shop antique and modern Fornasetti plates from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.

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