"Rochetto" Vase by Ettore Sottsass

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


Designed by Ettore Sottsass, and made by Bitossi from 1956-1959, the "Rochetto" series of ceramics are some of the earliest works by the great iconoclast to give an indication of the aesthetic direction he would pursue in the 1960s and beyond. In the 1950s Sottsass was not yet the consummate rebel against modernist orthodoxy that he would later become famous for being, but the impulse was there, as evidenced by some of his work, including his "Rochetto" vessels.

The graphic effect of this bottle-form vase, with its stacked horizontal bands differentiated by color and texture, subtly anticipates Sottsass' later, more radical departures from modernist taste, and even his important contributions to design as a pioneer of post-modernism.

Signed 1390/A/28 ITALY. Please note that this is a vintage piece from the 1950s. None of the designs from the "Rochetto" series have ever been "re-editioned" by Bitossi.


    Excellent. Perfect condition. No damage or repairs..
    11.5 in. H
    29 cm H
    Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Reference Number

About Ettore Sottsass (Designer)

An architect, industrial designer, philosopher and provocateur, Ettore Sottsass led a revolution in the aesthetics and technology of modern design in the late 20th century.

     Sottsass was the oldest member of the Memphis Group — a design collective, formed in Milan in 1980, whose irreverent, spirited members included Alessandro Mendini, Michele de Lucchi, Michael Graves, and Shiro Kuramata. All had grown disillusioned by the staid, black-and-brown “corporatized” modernism that had become endemic in the 1970s. Memphis (the name stemmed from the title of a Bob Dylan song) countered with bold, brash, colorful, yet quirkily minimal designs for furniture, glassware, ceramics and metalwork. They mocked high-status by building furniture with inexpensive materials such as plastic laminates, decorated to resemble exotic finishes such as animal skins. Their work was both functional and — as intended — shocking.

     Sottsass's most-recognized designs appeared in the first Memphis collection, issued in 1981— notably the multihued, angular “Carlton” room divider and “Casablanca” bookcase. As pieces on these pages demonstrate, however, Sottsass is at his most imaginative and expressive in smaller, secondary furnishings such as lamps and chandeliers, and in table pieces and glassware that have playful and sculptural qualities.

     It was as an artist that Ettore Sottsass was celebrated in his life, in exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 2006, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art a year later. Even then Sottsass’s work prompted critical debate. And for a man whose greatest pleasure was in astonishing, delighting and ruffling feathers, perhaps there was no greater accolade. That the work remains so revolutionary and bold — that it breaks with convention so sharply it will never be considered mainstream — is a testament to his genius.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2005

Typical response time: 3 hours

Located in Los Angeles, CA

  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Vase by Guido Gambone
Vase by Guido Gambone
Guido Gambone
An excellent slab-built vase of rectangular section, made in the early 1950s by Guido Gambone, post-war Italy's most celebrated ceramist. Decorated with abstract, almost glyphic designs...
Vase by Roger Capron
Vase by Roger Capron
Roger Capron
This square-section vase sits on a square base, axially rotated 45 degrees, giving the piece a rather special appearance. The top of the vase has two semicircular cutaways which give so...
Vase by Guido Gambone
Vase by Guido Gambone
Guido Gambone
A tall vase by the greatest Italian ceramist of the post-war period. A stylized leaf decorates one half of the surface of the vessel, the other side being a variegated color field in a ...
Cylinder Vase by Alan Wallwork
Cylinder Vase by Alan Wallwork
Alan Wallwork
This cylindrical vase was coil built, its lower third unglazed and decorated with bands of impressed decoration resembling runic characters. This is a representative example of British ...