Introduced by Cassina in 1965, the Model 121 chair was a very advanced design in its day, and has exuded chic since it first appeared in the apartments of architects and film directors. The result of a somewhat poetic desire on Tobia Scarpa's part to reconcile the delicate elegance of a flower petal with the tectonic solidity of a cube, the 121 chair amounts to a sculptural exploration of the yin/yang idea. Though apparently thin, the leather-covered back (the petal) and seat are perfectly contoured and flexible, which does much to contribute to the chair's great comfort. The solid rosewood frame (the cube) is quite sturdy, and handsome from any angle. The details of the 121 chair -- such as the tongue-and-groove thing going on where the back meets the seat (see image 8), and the emphatic saddle stitching on the edges of the leather surfaces (see images 9 and 10) -- are a delight. The chairs are in gorgeous condition, and retain their early, 1960s-era Cassina labels.
Domus 453, “Afra & Tobia Scarpa Mobili 1964-66”, Editoriale Domus, Milan, August 1967.
Giuliana Gramigna, Repertorio 1950/1980. Immagini e contributi per una storia dell'arredo Italiano, Mondadori, Milan, 1985, page 22.