1 of 10 images

Eight 1950s Piero Fornasetti Musicalia Canapes or Coasters


Elegant and pure Fornasetti, these eight gilt, black and white dishes featuring neoclassical visions of musical instruments were an exclusive by Fornasetti for Bonwit Teller. To be used as canapé servers or coasters or perhaps even ashtrays in the Mad Men era. Here eight different designs. Measuring 4" in diameter, all have the Fornasetti label and Exclusive for Bonwit Teller on the reverse. Price is for the set of eight.


  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 0.25 in. x Dm 4 in.

    H 6.35 mm x Dm 10.16 cm

  • Diameter
    4 in. (10.16 cm)
  • Seller location
    Miami, FL
  • Sold As
    Set of 8
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About Fornasetti (Designer)

The Italian artist, illustrator and furniture maker 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 dishes, 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 reigns of the company after his father's death.

About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2007
Typical response time: 1 hr
Located in Miami, FL
20th Century Specialists
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
1950s Per Lutken Blown Glass Decanter Aristokra...
Holmegaard, Per Lutken Holmegaard
Danish Barware
Blown Glass
Designed by the gifted Director of Design of many years for Holmegaard in Denmark, this decanter in smoked blown glass is a Mid-Century classic. Exceptional organic form. Excellent c...
1954 Piero Fornasetti II Cortile Tole Tray
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Italian Serving Pieces
Piero Fornasetti created the Cortile designs in 1954. Showing polygonal courtyards, seen from above, they differed from the dome designs which are seen from below. This metal tray fr...
Brass and Wicker Wine Server, Carl Auböck, Aust...
Carl Auböck
Austrian Barware
Brass, Wicker
Smart and venerable, the unmistakable styling of Carl Auböck, a brass wine server with a woven wicker handle. Measurements: 9" long x 4" wide x 7 3/4" high.
Large 1950s Clemens & Huhn Textured German Pott...
Clemens & Huhn
German More Furniture and Collectibles
Dating from 1956, this rarely seen Mid-Century very textured and large German krug vase by Clemens & Huhn predates the coming hot lava days and exhibits a Classic urn form with a...
You May Also Like
Set of Piero Fornasetti Velieri Tallship Porcel...
Italian Ceramics
The set of eight Piero Fornasetti porcelain coasters each depict a different Spanish Galleon. The coasters come with their original blue box with a compass printed on the cover.
Paperweight Old Book by Piero Fornasetti
Italian Paperweights
Beautiful paperweight in the shape of an old book in decorated porcelain by Piero Fornasetti for Fornasetti Milano. In strong graphic design, reminiscent of 15th century woodcuts. Th...
Piero Fornasetti Il Giornale Desk Set, circa 1956
Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Italian Desk Sets
Ceramic, Porcelain
Desk set with a tray in the shape of a creased paper sheet and a pen holder in porcelain with the pattern of an Italian newspaper "Il Giornale" dated 1956. Both signed under the bas...
Werkstätte Hagenauer Brass Coaster Stand with ...
Karl Hagenauer, Whw Hagenauer, Werkstätte Hagenauer Wien
Austrian Barware
A beautiful Mid-Century brass coaster holder with six woven coasters from the 1950s, executed by Werkstaette Hagenauer, Austria. In very good condition with marginal patina on the br...
Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Fossil Dish, circa 1...
Italian Serving Pieces
Piero Fornasetti porcelain fossil dish, circa 1950s-1960s. The rectangular tray depicts fossils in naturalistic colors of black, white and gold. Dimensions: 3 3/4 inches x 5 1...
Vintage Italian Fornasetti Plate 'Tema E Varazi...
Italian Ceramics
A fine vintage porcelain plate by Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) decorated with the face of his muse, Lina Cavalieri, set within a lighty bulb with simulated illumination around the bu...
Rosenthal Fornasetti Porcelain Plate, Motiv 24,...
German Ceramics
Rosenthal Fornasetti porcelain plate, Motiv 24, 1980s. Wonderful rare example of the small range of plates made by Rosenthal in the 1980s from Piero Fornasetti designs. Dime...
West German 1950s Greek Goddess Ceramic Plate
German Ceramics
Ceramic, Clay, Pottery
Beautiful West German pottery decorative plate or vide poche dish with the design of a Greek Goddess surrounded by a geometric pattern. Blue, turquoise and white glazed ceramic ove...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries