"Dezza" Armchair by Gio Ponti for Poltrona Frau

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


Iconic 1965 design by Gio Ponti for Poltrona Frau; ivory leather over ivory lacquered beechwood frame with two loose tufted cushions in mottled pony.


  • Condition
    Good. Very good vintage condition; some very slight dings to the finish at the legs.
  • Wear
    Minor losses
  • Dimensions
    28 in. H x 32 in. W x 30 in. D
    71 cm H x 81 cm W x 76 cm D
  • Seat Height
    16 in. (41 cm)
  • Seller Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Number of Items
  • Reference Number

About Gio Ponti (Designer)

An architect, furniture and industrial designer and editor, Gio Ponti was arguably the most influential figure in 20th-century Italian Modernism. Ponti designed thousands of furnishings and products — from cabinets, lamps and chairs to ceramics and coffeemakers — and his buildings, including the brawny Pirelli Tower (1956) in his native Milan, and the castle-like Denver Art Museum (1971), were erected in 14 countries. Through Domus, the magazine he founded in 1928, Ponti brought attention to virtually every significant movement and creator in the spheres of modern art and design.

     The questing intelligence Ponti brought to Domus is reflected in his work: as protean as he was prolific, Ponti’s style can’t be pegged to a specific genre. In the 1920s, as artistic director for the Tuscan porcelain maker Richard Ginori, he fused old and new; his ceramic forms were modern, but decorated with motifs from Roman antiquity. In pre-war Italy, modernist design was encouraged, and after the conflict, Ponti — along with designers such as Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso — found a receptive audience for their novel, idiosyncratic work. Ponti’s typical furniture forms from the period, such as the wedge-shaped “Distex” chair, are simple, gently angular, and colorful; equally elegant and functional. In the 1960s and ’70s, Ponti’s style evolved again as he explored biomorphic shapes, and embraced the expressive, experimental designs of Ettore Sottsass Jr., Joe Columbo and others.

     His signature furniture piece — the one by which he is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and elsewhere — is the sleek “Superleggera” chair, produced by Cassina starting in 1957. (The name translates as “superlightweight” — advertisements featured a model lifting it with one finger.) Ponti had a playful side, best shown in a collaboration he began in the late 1940s with the graphic artist Piero Fornasetti. Ponti furnishings were decorated with bright finishes and Fornasetti's whimsical lithographic transfer prints of things such as butterflies, birds or flowers; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts possesses a 1950 secretary from their “Architetturra” series, which feature case pieces covered in images of building interiors and facades. The grandest project Ponti and Fornasetti undertook, however, lies on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean: the interiors of the luxury liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

     Widely praised retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Art in 2001 and at the Design Museum London in 2002 sparked a renewed interest in Ponti among modern design aficionados. (Marco Romanelli’s monograph written for the London show, offers a fine overview of Ponti’s work.) Today, a wide array of Ponti’s designs are snapped up by savvy collectors who want to give their homes a touch of Italian panache and effortless chic.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2004

Typical response time: 1 - 2 Days

Located in New Orleans, LA

More from this Seller

Only One Continental Rosewood Armchair
Only One Continental Rosewood Armchair
One rosewood armchair in the Louis XV taste; foliate carving at the bottom rail and top crest; tripartite shield back; only one available
Saturday Sale Pair of Leather Lounge Chairs by Airborne International
Saturday Sale Pair of Leather Lounge Chairs by Air...
Airborne International
Two low armless lounge chairs by Airborne, so labelled; with tufted cushions, fixed at the back, loose at the seat; casters at the rear; three additional chairs available.
"Metric Line" Chair and Ottoman by Charles Hollis Jones
"Metric Line" Chair and Ottoman by Charles Hollis ...
Charles Hollis Jones
Acrylic, PVC
"Metric Line" chair and ottoman by Charles Hollis Jones for Hudson Rissman, c. 1968; the frames in beveled acrylic and nickel-plated steel; original white vinyl upholstery; contact deal...
Pair of Small Settees in Cotton Velvet
Pair of Small Settees in Cotton Velvet
Two attractive gently curving settees, one vintage French, one a copy; both covered in mouse-gray cotton velvet with down-filled loose cushions; tapering square legs.
Knoll Style Two-Seat Upholstered Sofa
Knoll Style Two-Seat Upholstered Sofa
Upholstery, Chrome
Handsome two-seat sofa in the style of Knoll; full-surround chrome-plated steel base; loose foam seat and back cushions; the whole upholstered in beige cotton weave.