Gio Ponti Leggera Set of Ten, Cassina Labels

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Gio Ponti for Cassina, Italy, 1951. A very elegant "Harlequin" set of ten Leggera dining chairs reupholstered in Kvadrat colors, five examples retain their original Cassina labels. Wood frames have a nice warm patina.
  

Details

  • Date of Manufacture
    1950s
  • Period
    1950-1959
  • Condition
    Good
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    32.28 in. H x 17.32 in. W x 17.32 in. D
    82 cm H x 44 cm W x 44 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Wargrave, United Kingdom
  • Number of Items
    10
  • Reference Number
    LU83956861433

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 2007

Typical response time: 4 hours

Located in Wargrave, Berkshire

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Gio Ponti, Nnfea Chair
Gio Ponti, Nnfea Chair
Gio Ponti
Gio Ponti for Reguitti, Italy, circa 1958. A rare "Ninfea" folding chair with the original cane in excellent condition. Wood frame also in perfect order.
Franco Albini Luisa and Luisella Dining Chairs
Franco Albini Luisa and Luisella Dining Chairs
Franco Albini
Franco Albini for Poggi, Italy. A set of two Luisa and four Luisella dining chairs, all professionally reupholstered in Supersoft Nubuck leather. Armchairs feature the wonderful “knuckl...
Paul Tuttle Pair of Zeta Lounge Chairs, Labelled
Paul Tuttle Pair of Zeta Lounge Chairs, Labelled
Paul Tuttle
Paul Tuttle, Switzerland, 1960s. A pair of "Zeta" lounge chairs for Strassle, CH. Plated steel cantilevered "Z" frames, natural supersoft Vegetan leather, beautifully patinated and co...
Mies van Der Rohe; Vintage Barcelona Chairs with Knoll Labels, circa 1960s
Mies van Der Rohe; Vintage Barcelona Chairs with K...
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, for Knoll International, USA. Pair of vintage 1960s Barcelona chairs with original tan leather cushions, pressed steel frames and labels to underside. Some w...
Marco Zanuso, Pair of Early Lady Chairs
Marco Zanuso, Pair of Early Lady Chairs
Marco Zanuso
Marco Zanuso for Arflex, Italy, 1951. A pair of lady chairs reupholstered in very high grade cream linen with side panels accented in grey. This pair of chairs feature metal interior fr...
Marco Zanuso Pair of Martingala Armchairs for Arflex, Italy, 1950s
Marco Zanuso Pair of Martingala Armchairs for Arfl...
Marco Zanuso
Marco Zanuso for Arflex, Italy, 1954. A pair of Martingala armchairs, fully refurbished after being stripped back to the framework , new soft grey linen upholstery with contrasting crea...
Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen, Denmark, Pair of CH22 Armchairs, 1950s
Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen, Denmark, Pair of CH22...
Hans J. Wegner
Hans Wegner, Denmark, designed 1951, a pair of CH22 armchairs of oak and paper cording. In fine vintage condition with renewed seat cords, makers mark stamped to underside of arm on bot...
Erwine & Estelle Laverne Pair of Buttercup Chairs from the Invisible Series
Erwine & Estelle Laverne Pair of Buttercup Chairs ...
Erwine & Estelle Laverne
Erwine and Estelle Laverne, circa 1960, a pair of Buttercup chairs in clear Lucite with sheepskin seat cushions. Some light age appropriate scratches to Lucite. Priced for the pair...
Franco Albini Luisa Chairs
Franco Albini Luisa Chairs
Franco Albini
Franco Albini Luisa chairs, Poggi, Italy, circa 1955. Beautifully reupholstered in super soft cream nubuck, contrasts beautifully with the dark wood frames. Priced per chair.
Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair for AP Stolen, Denmark, 1950s
Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair for AP Stolen, Denmark...
Hans J. Wegner
Hans Wegner, 1951 design for AP Stolen, Denmark. The iconic Papa Bear chair, newly reupholstered and refurbished in cream or grey Kvadrat fabrics. Oak paws and legs.
Fabricius & Kastholm Executive Armchair
Fabricius & Kastholm Executive Armchair
Preben Fabricius
Preben Fabricius & Jørgen Kastholm for Alfred Kill, Germany, 1960s. An executive armchair with down filled removable black leather one-piece pad retained by polycarbonate shell, all sup...
Laverne 'Invisibles" Group Lucite Daffodil Chair, 1960s
Laverne 'Invisibles" Group Lucite Daffodil Chair, ...
Erwine & Estelle Laverne
Erwine and Estelle Laverne for "Laverne Originals", USA, from the 'Invisible" series of furniture designed in 1960, a Daffodil chair in Lucite, almost completely scratch free and retain...