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Zodiac Etched Art Deco Glass Cocktail Table Attributed to Pietro Chiesa


1930s Italian etched glass table attributed to Pietro Chiesa for Fontana Arte. 39 inch diameter glass top deeply engraved and etched with stylized Italian Art Deco zodiacal figures. Base is comprised of three 20 inch high irregular quadrilateral glass slabs joined by two brass rings and screws. Note last images for documented drawings "Lo Zodiaco" by Gio Ponti dated 1932. Bibliografia: L. Falconi, Gio Ponti Interior Objects Drawings, 1920-1976 , Milan 2004, page 71 passim, for the collaboration of Ponti with Luigi Fontana and the foundation and management, with Pietro Chiesa, of Fontana Arte.


  • Of the Period
  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Excellent. Ready to be placed. Very light surface scratches to the glass. The glass legs and brass structure with minimal traces of wear. Minute fritting to the screw holes on the leg panels..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 20 in. x Dm 39 in.

    H 50.8 cm x Dm 99.06 cm

  • Diameter
    39 in. (99.06 cm)
  • Seller location
    Hingham, MA
  • Item location

    1stdibs Gallery at 200 LEX

    200 Lexington Avenue

    New York, NY 10016

  • Reference number

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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

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