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Piero Fornasetti Le Arpie Gentili Coaster Set and Box, circa 1960

$950per set

About

Piero Fornasetti Le Arpie Gentili coaster set and box, circa 1960. A set of six coasters each depicting a caged female harpy with the original gold box. Diameter: 4 inches Harpy- In Greek mythology and Roman mythology, a harpy (plural harpies, Greek: harpyia, pronounced [hárpyi?a]; Latin: harp?ia) was a half-human and half-bird personification of storm winds, in Homeric poems. They were generally depicted as birds with the heads of maidens, faces pale with hunger and long claws on their hands. Roman and Byzantine writers detailed their ugliness. Pottery art depicting the harpies featured beautiful women with wings. Ovid described them as human-vultures.

Details

  • Creator
    Piero Fornasetti (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: .3 in. (7.62 mm)Diameter: 4 in. (10.16 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 6
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1960
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Downingtown, PA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: ny8814-mnm1stDibs: LU861010640231

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Downingtown, PA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Piero Fornasetti

The Italian artist and illustrator 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.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Downingtown, PA
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1stDibs seller since 2009
254 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
Associations
The Art and Antique Dealers League of AmericaAntiques Associations Members
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