Pair of "121" Chairs in Rosewood and Leather by Tobia & Afra Scarpa

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


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.

Cassina (Manufacturer), 
Afra & Tobia Scarpa (Designer)
Of the Period
Place of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Materials and Techniques
Wear consistent with age and use
32 in. H x 19 in. W x 22.5 in. D
81 cm H x 48 cm W x 57 cm D
Dealer Location
Los Angeles, CA
Number of Items
Reference Number
Contact The Seller
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Los Angeles, CA
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Pair of "Bastiano" Chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa
Pair of "Bastiano" Chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa...
Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Something of an update of Gerrit Rietveld's avant-garde "Crate" chair, the "Bastiano" was itself a highly influential design. It is often mistaken for being a product of the 'seventies,...
Standard Chair "Tout Bois" by Jean Prouvé
Standard Chair "Tout Bois" by Jean Prouvé
Jean Prouvé
Jean Prouvé's "Tout Bois" chair was an all-wood version of his famous steel "Standard Chair." Because the exigencies of world war made supplies of steel unobtainable in 1942, Prouvé r...
Aluminum "BA3" Chair by Ernest Race
Aluminum "BA3" Chair by Ernest Race
Ernest Race
Introduced at the V&A Museum's "Britain Can Make It" exhibition of 1946, Ernest Race's "BA3" chair was the UK's first icon of Mid-Century Modernism, an early sign of the optimism that b...
Jugendstil Chair by Richard Riemerschmid
Jugendstil Chair by Richard Riemerschmid
Richard Riemerschmid
Brass, Upholstery, Hardwood
The architect Richard Riemerschmid was a leading exponent of the Munich Seccession and designed many varied objects whose influence was felt internationally. His style was characterized...
Pair of "Gabriella" Chairs by Gio Ponti
Pair of "Gabriella" Chairs by Gio Ponti
Gio Ponti
The typology of folding chairs was at one point an object of much interest in Italy. Deriving from 19th century Campaign furniture, but expressing the revolutionary values of temporarin...
Two "Broadway" Chairs by Gaetano Pesce
Two "Broadway" Chairs by Gaetano Pesce
Gaetano Pesce
Resin, Stainless Steel
Designed by the great iconoclast Gaetano Pesce in 1993 and produced by Bernini, the "Broadway" chair is made from stainless steel and cast resin (a favorite material of Pesce's). Availa...
Pair of Early Cantilever Chairs
Pair of Early Cantilever Chairs
Angelo Luigi Colombo
From around 1930, Angelo Luigi Colombo's factory in Milan, Italy produced a version of the famous Mart Stam cantilever chair under license from Thonet. The Colombo company has a fascina...
Prototype Chair by Charles Eames
Prototype Chair by Charles Eames
Charles Eames
This molded plywood chair was an experimental maquette used at the Eames Office for testing dimensional variations in the DCW chair. The legs and central spine are segmented, and where ...
Pair of "W199" Armchairs by Walter Gropius
Pair of "W199" Armchairs by Walter Gropius
Ben Thompson of Design Research, Walter Gropius
The legendary Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius designed the rarely seen "W199" armchair in 1951 with Benjamin Thompson, a fellow professor at Harvard. Gropius' teaching career came to a...
Very Early "DCW" Chair by Charles Eames
Very Early "DCW" Chair by Charles Eames
Charles and Ray Eames
Plywood, Rubber, Steel
The "Molded Plywood" collection of chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames and their collaborators in the middle of the 1940s, and introduced after the end of WWII, has the distinction...
19th Century Swiss Chair
19th Century Swiss Chair
This is a particularly elaborate example of a traditional Swiss chair. It was made in the 19th century in the Alpenzell region of Switzerland, and features beautiful carving in a baroqu...
Pair of Marcel Breuer for Knoll "Wassily" Chair Frames
Pair of Marcel Breuer for Knoll "Wassily" Chair Fr...
Marcel Breuer, Knoll International
Chrome, Steel
Designed in 1925 by Bauhaus exponent Marcel Breuer, the model B3 chair is best known as the "Wassily" chair, named after painter Wassily Kandinsky (an early admirer and owner of the rev...