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Paolo Buffa Buffet / Sideboard in Walnut and Brass, Mario Quarti, Milan, 1942



This exceptional counter-buffet / sideboard was designed by Paolo Buffa and produced by Mario Quarti in Milan, Italy, circa 1942. The sideboard stands on four grooved, turned twist legs in solid walnut with brass tips. Molded and edged top in veneered walnut wood, six front drawers with cast brass handles in a singular braid pattern. The elegant design is completed by the raised decorative panel in carved walnut wood, made in the same singular braid pattern as the handles. The details, the materials and techniques used perfectly illustrate the high level of Mario Quarti's craftsmanship as well as the originality and elegance of Paolo Buffa's designs. The piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Paolo Buffa Archives.


  • Creator
    Paolo Buffa (Designer),Mario Quarti (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 40.16 in. (102 cm)Width: 66.93 in. (170 cm)Depth: 17.72 in. (45 cm)
  • Style
    Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. Very good, partly restored condition. The top has been refinished.
  • Seller Location
    The Hague, NL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1803325899182

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Paolo Buffa

With a surname that loosely translates to a synonym for “bizarre” in Italian, Milanese designer and architect Paolo Buffa is best known for capturing the best of both old and new in his plush, enveloping lounge chairs and wingback chairs as well as his range of modern tables, each dazzling and provocative but built using classical techniques.

Purposely playful and airy, mid-century Italian interiors encouraged merriment and socializing. Buffa’s work was well suited to this, but unlike the postwar designers who established recognizable trademarks and signatures, his vintage furniture for Cassina and other firms — the sculptural side tables and case pieces of walnut and solid oak, the luxurious sheepskin sofas — differed considerably from one design to the next, making them appealing to a range of interior decorators and socialites with specific taste. The son of a highly sought-after artist, Giovanni Buffa, Paolo graduated in 1927 from Politecnico di Milano. He then spent time working under architects and designers Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia. Ponti, who himself crafted thousands of furnishings and endlessly creative rooms, was so taken with the young designer that in 1928 he featured his simple and elegant rosewood dressing table in his new magazine, Domus.

After opening a firm with his regular collaborator Antonio Cassi Ramelli, Buffa became one of the leading tastemakers of Italian mid-century modern furnishings, designing for villas and residential buildings across the country. His style was a mix of Art Deco, Rationalism, neoclassicism and a bit of whimsy. He used high-quality materials and regularly worked with local ateliers known for their fine craftsmanship to produce his designs, such as Serafino Arrighi and Marelli & Colico. In 1940, he partnered with the Mario Quarti furniture studio on the royal palace of Albania’s King Zog, with Buffa designing the furniture, and in 1951, Egypt’s King Farouk enlisted him to redecorate his yacht.

While Buffa’s transcendent pieces are now collector’s items, there are a few still in production, such as those he made with Angelo Marelli. His eponymous firm, the Italian furniture producer Eredi Marelli, still manufactures some designs based on Buffa’s archives.

Find a collection of vintage Paolo Buffa furniture today on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
Located in The Hague, Netherlands
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Established in 2015
1stDibs seller since 2016
128 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
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