1 of 10 images

Italian Paolo Buffa Style Settee


Italian settee with sculptural form in the manner of Paolo Buffa, circa 1950s. Walnut fully restored, newly upholstered in light grey velvet.


  • Dimensions

    H 31 in. x W 48 in. x D 33 in.

    H 78.74 cm x W 121.92 cm x D 83.82 cm

  • Seat height
    17 in. (43.18 cm)
  • Seller location
    Stamford, CT
  • Seller reference number
  • 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 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

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Typical response time: 1 hr
Located in Stamford, CT
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller
$6,000 / item
Jens Risom Loveseats, Model U-251
Jens Risom
American Loveseats
Wool, Walnut
Stunning and rare pair of Jens Risom for Jens Risom designs pair of loveseats, model U-251, circa 1950s. Sculptural walnut bases have been completely restored. Newly upholstered in a...
$9,000 / set
Seating Suite by Jens Risom
Jens Risom, Jens Risom Design Inc.
American Lounge Chairs
Linen, Walnut
Loveseat and lounge chair by Jens Risom for Jens Risom design. Newly upholstered in linen, walnut bases fully restored. Priced as set but also available individually. Chair di...
Gio Ponti Style Benches in Cognac Leather
Gio Ponti
Italian Benches
Brass, Leather
Pair of Italian benches on solid brass splayed legs, newly upholstered in cognac leather. Priced individually.
Italian Navy Blue Velvet Lounge Chairs with Spl...
Gio Ponti
Italian Armchairs
Brass, Velvet, Walnut
Stunning pair of lounge chairs featuring splayed walnut legs ending in brass sabots. Larger scale and extremely comfortable. Original from Italy, circa 1950s. In the style of Gio Pon...
You May Also Like
Midcentury Italian Paolo Buffa Style Settee or ...
Paolo Buffa
Italian Settees
Upholstery, Walnut
Midcentury Italian sofa settee or loveseat in the style of Paolo Buffa, walnut legs and arms, with cotton upholstery.
Italian Mid-Century Paolo Buffa Style Settee
Italian Settees
An Italian Mid-Century Paolo Buffa style settee, the brownish-black walnut frame with curvilinear open vented arms comprised of cross-hatched contrasting tapered wood rods newly upho...
Modern Italian Wingback Sofa in Blush Pink Velv...
Paolo Buffa, Gio Ponti
Italian Sofas
Gorgeous modern Italian wingback couch recently recovered in a lush light pink Kravet velvet with small tapered walnut legs. This three-seat would be a great statement piece and perf...
Paolo Buffa Style Sofa
Paolo Buffa
Italian Sofas
Upholstery, Wood
Sculptural sofa with sweeping open arms and dramatic Mid-Century Modern styling. Please confirm item location (NY or NJ) with dealer.
Mid-Century Italian Settee with Mohair and Geom...
Gio Ponti
Italian Settees
This is a beautifully designed Italian Mid-Century settee with Donghia mohair surround and Pollack geometrical fabric on the seating. With ebonized wooden legs (matching pair of chai...
Delicate Blue Velvet Italian Settee
Italian Settees
Velvet, Wood
Elegant petite Italian blue velvet settee with conical wooden legs. Newly upholstered and truly lovely.
Italian 19th century Baroque Style Settee
Italian Settees
Italian settee with a bold presence and unusual design, high back and strong, turned base, antique flame stitch fabric. Our pieces are left in lived-in condition, pending our custom...
Italian Mid-Century Modern Two Person Settee
Italian Settees
This 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern style two person sofa has been completely restored. The N-shaped metal legs are sturdy and have been painted a black color with dark walnut colo...