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Gio Ponti

Italian, 1891-1979

An architect, furniture and industrial designer and editor, Gio Ponti was arguably the most influential figure in 20th-century Italian modernism.

Ponti (1891–1979) designed thousands of furnishings and products — from cabinets, lamps and chairs to ceramics and coffeemakers — and his buildings, including the brawny Pirelli Tower (1956) in his native Milan, and the castle-like Denver Art Museum (1971), were erected in 14 countries. Through Domus, the magazine he founded in 1928, Ponti brought attention to virtually every significant movement and creator in the spheres of modern art and design.

The questing intelligence Ponti brought to Domus is reflected in his work: as protean as he was prolific, Ponti’s style can’t be pegged to a specific genre. In the 1920s, as artistic director for the Tuscan porcelain maker Richard Ginori, he fused old and new; his ceramic forms were modern, but decorated with motifs from Roman antiquity. In pre-war Italy, modernist design was encouraged, and after the conflict, Ponti — along with designers such as Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso — found a receptive audience for their novel, idiosyncratic work. Ponti’s typical furniture forms from the period, such as the wedge-shaped Distex chair, are simple, gently angular, and colorful; equally elegant and functional. In the 1960s and ’70s, Ponti’s style evolved again as he explored biomorphic shapes, and embraced the expressive, experimental designs of Ettore Sottsass Jr., Joe Colombo and others.

His signature furniture piece — the one by which he is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and elsewhere — is the sleek Superleggera chair, produced by Cassina starting in 1957. (The name translates as “superlightweight” — advertisements featured a model lifting it with one finger.) Ponti had a playful side, best shown in a collaboration he began in the late 1940s with the graphic artist Piero Fornasetti. Ponti furnishings were decorated with bright finishes and Fornasetti's whimsical lithographic transfer prints of things such as butterflies, birds or flowers; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts possesses a 1950 secretary from their Architetturra series, which feature case pieces covered in images of building interiors and facades. The grandest project Ponti and Fornasetti undertook, however, lies on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean: the interiors of the luxury liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

Widely praised retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Art in 2001 and at the Design Museum London in 2002 sparked a renewed interest in Ponti among modern design aficionados. (Marco Romanelli’s monograph written for the London show, offers a fine overview of Ponti’s work.) Today, a wide array of Ponti’s designs are snapped up by savvy collectors who want to give their homes a touch of Italian panache and effortless chic.

Find a range of Gio Ponti furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
US$4,431
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Iconic Designs from Gio Ponti
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Leggera Chair
Leggera Chair
Bilia Lamp
Bilia Lamp
Superleggera Chair
Superleggera Chair
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Pirellone Floor Lamp
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Brass
By Gio Ponti, Gubi
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 medium mirror in brass. The F.A. 33 mirror was originally designed by Gio Ponti in 1933 for Fontana Arte, the period’s most prominent lamp, glass, and mirror manufa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Brass
H 31.49 in. W 21.25 in. D .98 in.
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Black Brass
By Gio Ponti, Gubi
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 medium mirror in black brass. The F.A. 33 Mirror was originally designed by Gio Ponti in 1933 for Fontana Arte, the period’s most prominent lamp, glass, and mirror ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Medium Mirror in Black Brass
H 31.49 in. W 21.25 in. D .98 in.
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Large Mirror in Black Brass
By Gio Ponti, Gubi
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti F.A. 33 large mirror in black brass. The F.A. 33 Mirror was originally designed by Gio Ponti in 1933 for Fontana Arte, the period’s most prominent lamp, glass, and mirror m...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Danish Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass

  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Large Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Large Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Large Mirror in Black Brass
  • Gio Ponti F.A. 33 Large Mirror in Black Brass
H 57.48 in. W 27.16 in. D .98 in.
Fontana Arte Hand Mirror by Italian Architect Gio Ponti
By Gio Ponti, Fontana Arte
Located in Chicago, IL
A hand mirror, model number 2032, designed by Gio Ponti for Fontana Arte with beveled glass edges and black glass backing. Comes with original box and certificate of authenticity. M...
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Mirror

Gio Ponti 'Bilia Mini' Table Lamp in Yellow for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Gio Ponti
Located in Glendale, CA
Gio Ponti 'Bilia Mini' table lamp in yellow for Fontana Arte. Executed in a yellow painted metal frame with a blown white glass diffuser, transparent cord with dimmer and plug. One o...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Gio Ponti

Materials

Metal

Gio Ponti, 'Horned Mask', Silver Plated Bottle Cover, Sabattini, Italy 1978
By Gio Ponti
Located in DE
A silver plated half mask to be used as a wine bottle cover for table decoration, designed by Gio Ponti and manufactured by Sabattini, in Italy 1978. We left the silver tarnished, b...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Silver

Original 1960s Pirellina Table Lamp Gio Ponti for Fontana Arte No Reproduction
By Gio Ponti, Fontana Arte
Located in München, DE
Original Pirellina glass table lamp designed by Gio Ponti and manufactured by Fontana Arte. An original design Classic from the 1960s. No new reproduction. Made in Italy. The lamp ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Brass, Nickel

Elegant No. 829 Armchair and Stool by Gio Ponti for Cassina
By Gio Ponti
Located in Munich, DE
Adjustable armchair and stool designed for the Parco dei Principe in Sorrento. Original velvet upholstery offers great comfort in various seating positions.
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gio Ponti

Materials

Wood

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Gio Ponti furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture Gio Ponti are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Gio Ponti furniture, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 487 vintage editions of these items, while there are 150 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of Gio Ponti's original furniture was created during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style in Europe. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Ico Parisi and Osvaldo Borsani. Prices for Gio Ponti furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $200 and tops out at $229,789, while pieces like these can sell for $7,353.