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Altamira Catalog Circa 1956

About the Item

Mid-1950’s catalog for the fabled Altamira design center, located at 18 E 50th St in New York City, one of the top U.S. venues for high-end Italian design. Altamira commissioned a line of furniture from Gio Ponti in 1953, crafted by Giordano Chiesa in Milan. Included were some of Ponti’s iconic mid-century designs, such as the Distex lounge chair, a lattice-work round coffee table with multi-colored enamels by Paolo di Poli, hanging cabinets with abstract drawer configurations, and a self-described masterpiece, the two-drawer desk, model AP 1025. Ponti’s collaboration extended to the Altamira showroom itself, where he created room settings of his furnishings—his first interior architecture executed in the United States. But while Ponti was certainly featured in the catalog—the cover presents a photomontage with his Distex lounge chair and his work (including the aforementioned items) occupies the first 6 pages—he was hardly the only Italian design luminary in the Altamira stable. Included in the catalog, too, was work by Ponti’s fellow “interior architects” Melchiorre Bega, Nino Zoncada, Ico & Luisa Parisi (featuring an architectural setting made in Italy and assembled in the New York showroom), Ignazio Gardella, Cesare Lacca, Luigi Vietti, Franco Albini, and Mario Rinaldi. All told, Altamira commissioned or curated some of the best and presently most prized Italian designs of the period. 4to, 25 pages, wrap-around photomontage wrappers, fully illustrated with b/w photos, many of interior settings. Catalog design by Robert and Jack Strimban with photographs by Louis Reens, Giorgio Casali, and Peter Eco. A scarce record of this key entrepôt of important, blue-chip mcm design, and a highly useful reference source.
  • Creator:
    Altamira (Retailer),Gio Ponti (Designer)
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 11 in (27.94 cm)Width: 8.5 in (21.59 cm)Depth: 0.1 in (2.54 mm)
  • Style:
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    1956
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. In quite good original condition but for minor rubbing and bumping to the wrappers and an impression and shadow of a paperclip in the middle of the outer edge.
  • Seller Location:
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU828539022082
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