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Vintage Lettera 35 Typewriter by Mario Bellini for Olivetti, 1970s



Designed by Italian powerhouse designer and architect Mario Bellini in 1972, the Lettera 35 is a portable mechanical typewriter manufactured beginning in 1974 by Olivetti, the world-renowned Italian typewriter maker. With a sleek, low-profile design and cast metal body, it’s perfect for the writer who likes to go about their work at home or on the road while using a beautifully designed tool for writing. Chassis is cast metal with off-white enameled paint and off-white keys. Fits perfectly into hard plastic case without rattling around. In good vintage condition with light wear consistent with age and use. Works great and has a new ribbon. Includes original owner’s manual and original case. Marked on front “Olivetti Lettera 35” and “Made in Spain” on rear. Measures: 14" x 13" x 5".


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    Ships From: Brooklyn, NY
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About the Designer

Mario Bellini

Milan-born architect and designer Mario Bellini just may be the closest thing to a modern-day Renaissance man: His creative output spans genres, from electronics to furniture to architecture to cars, comprising iconic designs in each. He has been the recipient of multiple prestigious Compasso d’Oro design awards, and more than 20 of his works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Born in 1935, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan before founding his own firm in his native city in the early 1960s. He soon branched out beyond architecture, however, first for the tech manufacturer Olivetti, where he served as chief industrial design consultant from 1963 to 1991. During that time, Bellini oversaw the design of some of Olivetti’s most popular typewriters.

His penchant for electronic design didn’t stop there: Bellini also designed cameras for Fuji, televisions for Brionvega and a slew of audio devices for Yamaha, then served as design consultant for Renault and devised the interior of the 1980 Lancia Trevi for Fiat. Meanwhile, his architecture work spans continents, including such modern gems as the Museum of Islamic Arts at the Louvre, the National Gallery of Victoria extension in Melbourne, the Dubai Creek Complex and the Milan Convention Centre in his hometown.

And then there’s the furniture: Over the last 70 years, Bellini has designed office furniture for Vitra; lamps for Artemide, Erco and FLOS; porcelain for Rosenthal and long-admired sofas and other seating for Kartell, Natuzzi, B&B Italia, Cassina and more.

His oft-imitated 1977 Cab chair for Cassina, comprising 16 individual pieces of saddle leather that create a “skin” over a minimal metal frame, remains one of the manufacturer’s best sellers today. His pudgy-legged, round tables for Cassina foreshadow Faye Toogood’s widely loved Roly Poly line. His postmodern Summa armchairs for Kartell, as well as his elegant Chiara floor lamp, still lure collectors on vintage furniture websites.

Bellini’s most famous contribution to furniture design, though, may be his 1970 Camaleonda sofa for B&B Italia (then C&B Italia). An entrant to the 1972 MoMA show “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” the seat takes its name from the Italian words for chameleon and wave. Its bulbous, modular form makes it infinitely flexible. The sofa was a runaway hit at the show and, once discontinued, remained so popular among vintage dealers that B&B Italia reissued it in 2020 with all recycled materials and interchangeable seat covers. “Of all the objects I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom,” Bellini said.

Browse an expansive collection of Mario Bellini furniture — including dining tables, armchairs, mid-century sofas and more — today on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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Established in 2015
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