1 of 13 images

Joe Colombo 4801 for Kartell Lounge Chair


Very nice example of the Classic Colombo Interlocking Plywood 4801 for Kartell designed 1963. This example is in very good, original condition, showing only light cosmetic wear, normal and consistent with age. Designed by Joe Colombo for Kartell, sculptural, graphic, and comfortable, truly an iconic piece. Seat height 13 inches, in original orange paint finish.


  • Date of manufacture
  • Period
  • Condition
    Good. Slight cosmetic wear to finish - normal and consistent with age..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 23 in. x W 25 in. x D 24 in.

    H 58.42 cm x W 63.5 cm x D 60.96 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • 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 Kartell (Manufacturer)

The Italian design giant Kartell transformed plastic from the stuff of humble household goods into a staple of luxury design in the 1960s. Founded in Milan by Italian chemical engineer Giulio Castelli (1920–2006) and his wife Anna Ferrieri (1918–2006), Kartell began as an industrial design firm, producing useful items like ski racks for automobiles and laboratory equipment designed to replace breakable glass with sturdy plastic. Even as companies like Olivetti and Vespa were making Italian design popular in the 1950s, typewriters and scooters were relatively costly, and Castelli and Ferrieri wanted to provide Italian consumers with affordable, stylish goods.

They launched a housewares division of Kartell in 1953, making lighting fixtures and kitchen tools and accessories from colorful molded plastic. Consumers in the postwar era were initially skeptical of plastic goods, but their affordability and infinite range of styles and hues eventually won devotees. Tupperware parties in the United States made plastic storage containers ubiquitous in postwar homes, and Kartell’s ingenious designs for juicers, dustpans, and dish racks conquered Europe. Kartell designer Gino Colombini was responsible for many of these early products, and his design for the KS 1146 Bucket won the Compasso d’Oro prize in 1955.

Buoyed by its success in the home goods market, Kartell introduced its Habitat division in 1963. Designers Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper created the K1340 (later called the K 4999) children’s chair that year, and families enjoyed their bright colors and light weight, which made them easy for kids to pick up and move. In 1965, Joe Colombo (1924–78) created one of Kartell’s few pieces of non-plastic furniture, the 4801 chair, which sits low to the ground and comprised of just three curved pieces of plywood. (In 2012, Kartell reissued the chair in plastic.) Colombo followed up on the success of the 4801 with the iconic 4867 Universal Chair in 1967, which, like Verner Panton’s S chair, is made from a single piece of plastic. The colorful, stackable injection-molded chair was an instant classic. That same year, Kartell introduced Colombo’s KD27 table lamp. Ferrierei’s cylindrical 4966 Componibili storage module debuted in 1969.

Kartell achieved international recognition for its innovative work in 1972, when a landmark exhibition curated by Emilio Ambasz called “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” opened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. That show introduced American audiences to the work of designers such as Gaetano Pesce; Ettore Sottsass, founder of the Memphis Group; and the firms Archizoom and Superstudio — all of whom were using wit, humor and unorthodox materials to create a bracingly original interior aesthetic.

Castelli and Ferrieri sold Kartell to Claudio Luti, their son-in-law, in 1988, and since then, Luti has expanded the company’s roster of designers. Kartell produced Ron Arad’s Bookworm wall shelf in 1994, and Philippe Starck’s La Marie chair in 1998. More recently, Kartell has collaborated with the Japanese collective Nendo, Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola and glass designer Tokujin Yoshioka, among many others. Kartell classics can be found in museums around the world, including MoMA, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 1999, Claudio Luti established the Museo Kartell to tell the company’s story, through key objects from its innovative and colorful history.

About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2013
Typical response time: <1 hr
Located in New York, NY
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
Low Slung Lounge Chair by Century Furniture Com...
Century Furniture
American Lounge Chairs
Great Art Deco Revival low slung lounge chair with cream lacquer frame, brass feet, and upholstered seat and back. The chair is in very good condition, showing only light cosmetic we...
Baughman for James Inc. Recliner Lounge Chair
Milo Baughman, James Inc.
American Lounge Chairs
Upholstery, Wood
Classic Milo Baughman for James Inc. reclining lounge in very good, original condition. This example has the original fabric, which is usable, the cushioning is somewhat misshapen fr...
Classic Soriana Lounge Chair by Scarpa for Cassina
Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Italian Lounge Chairs
Designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, made in Italy. This example is in an unusual Burgundy color leather, it is in great, original condition, and retains the original label...
Lounge Chair by Langlos Fabrikker AS Stranda No...
Westnofa Furniture, P.I. Langlos Fabrikker AS Stranda
Norwegian Lounge Chairs
Upholstery, Teak
Rare example, high back lounge chair, made by P.I. Langlos Fabrikker AS Stranda Norway Westnofa. Solid teak frame supports tweed upholstered continuous seat and back. Arm height 20 i...
You May Also Like
Joe Colombo Plywood 4801 Lounge Chair No 42, Ka...
Joe Colombo, Kartell
Italian Armchairs
Early 4801 Lounge Chair by Joe Colombo in very good condition Number 42 This chair is formed from 3 pieces of plywood which lock together without any mechanical fixings. Produced ...
4801 Lounge Chair by Joe Colombo for Kartell
Joe Colombo
Italian Lounge Chairs
Constructed out of three interlocking pieces of molded plywood. No glue, screws or nails used! This design required two years of development prior to its production. The 4801 lounge ...
Pair of Joe Colombo Chairs No. 4801, Black Plyw...
Joe Colombo, Kartell
Italian Armchairs
A pair of "interlocking" lounge chairs by Joe Colombo for Kartell, Italy, manufactured in Mid-Century. Joe Colombo's iconic 4801 armchair was designed in 1963/1964. A modern chair w...
Red Lacquered Sculptural Joe Colombo No. 4801 “...
Joe Colombo, Kartell
Italian Chairs
A red lacquered sculptural Joe Colombo No. 4801 “Interlocking” chair. The body is composed of three separate pieces of molded interlocking plywood without any metal fittings. Designe...
Iconic Mid-Century Orange Armchair by Joe Colom...
Joe Colombo, Kartell
Italian Armchairs
Curved wrapped playwood original orange lacquered. This icon of the Italian Mid-Century was designed by Joe Colombo in the 1964 and produced by Kartell.
Joe Colombo Plywood Lounge Chair '4801'
Joe Colombo
Italian Lounge Chairs
Leather, Plywood
Original Colombo lounge chair with three interlocking bent plywood sections. Vintage series only made 1963-1964 for Kartell in Italy. This example still has rare removable leather c...

Joe Colombo Tube Chair

Joe Colombo Tube Chair
Joe Colombo
Italian Chairs
Iconic tube chair by Joe Colombo, 1969. Manufactured by Flexform, PVC plastic, tubular steel, rubber, polyurethane foam, synthetic jersey-knit upholstery.
Joe Colombo Elda Lounge Armchair for Comfort It...
Joe Colombo, Comfort, Italy
Italian Lounge Chairs
Leather, Fiberglass
Joe Colombo Elda lounge armchair for comfort Italy design leather, 1963 For comfort / Italy, polyester shell with fiberglass, white shell, upholstery white leather. The cushions are...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries