Posts tagged #Mid Century

Mid-Century Modern Lighting: new collection of Mid Modern Floor and Table Lamps

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Mid-Century Modern Lighting Design: an Italian passion. There is a whole new world behind the history of lighting and Italian lighting design. Italy produced some of the most acclaimed Italian lighting designs. Now you can enjoy some of these interesting designs through our website.

Designitalia Italian Modern is offering a  curated and refined collection of Mid Century lighting who has just arrived in our studio gallery. Rare and early editions of mid modern lighting mostly floor and table lamps, works by famous architects such as Ettore Sottsass, Gio Ponti, Gavina, Achille e Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti, Gal Aulenti, Paolo Rizzato, Max Ingrand and Gino Sarfatti, lamps produced by iconic mid modern light companies such as Stilnovo, Fontana Arte, Venini, Arredoluce and more. A truly unmatched selection, rare and untouched collector pieces. 

 

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These a true pieces of art are resistant to the passing of time, they are able to modify the space around them through their geometry and light sources. Gino Sarfatti one of the biggest lighting designer of all times, designed more than 600 lamps. He retired before the lighting design boom of the 80s, but his retirement did not prevent him to become one of the most revered lighting designer of all times. He was the first one to bend the light, to flex the lamps toward the people so they can meet halfway through, an excellent example was the   Mod 607 lamp.

 

Our 20th Century lighting collection mostly focuses on unique floor lamps and table lamps in their original conditions often sold at auction houses worldwide as true Mid Century modern lighting collector pieces. It’s not anymore about the light, its about its history and its social and cultural value. It is awareness of the importance of each piece, whether this be space age, post modern, or prewar. 

 

Let’s shed some light upon.

20th Century Italian Design part 1: history defines a new movement

We are not surprised that Italian design has reached the highest level of popularity worldwide. We all looking to embellish our homes with wonderful Italian furniture which we stare at, standing fiercely in those beautiful showroom or printed over some of the most popular magazines. It is not anymore perceived as a trend, but more likely as a movement.  And 20th Century Design has made a sharp and impressive come back, with Italian 20th Century Furniture leading the market. As of today, a Beautiful Carlo Mollino wardrobe desktitled “ Psiche Armadio “  is for sale at a famous New York Auction house starting at 250,000$. 

Carlo Mollino "Psiche Armadio" from the Ada and Cesare Minola House, Turin, Circa 1944-46

But how far back Italian design dates? We could historically place the beginning of Italian Design somewhat immediately after a long and dark period, which saw Italy bending on its knees in the middle of the 20th Century: World Wars. It all started because of the Wars. Italy had lost almost everything, but not it’s citizens’ pride, citizens could not wait to start over and fuel back that fire which always had defined them, impatiently looking at a more profitable second half of the 20th Century. Italians needed to get back to work, to open their stores once again, to lead a normal life and to hope for a brighter future. 

The first sign of Design becoming an active part of society had something to do with mobility. In 1945 we were gifted with the first project of a motor scooter, the evergreen Vespa, designed by Corradino D’Ascanio, still an icon in our modern days. But the Vespa was not an isolated great project, because two years later a new exciting product was conceived, this time designed by two aeronautical engineers: the Lambretta scooter by Innocenti. Transportation and mobility also saw the creation of the beautiful and iconic Fiat 500 reflecting how Italian Design may become timeless, and not many remember another interesting project which we can call a predecessor of the Smart, the captivating Isetta compact car by Ermenegildo Preti.  Among other projects we must mention the Berlinetta Cisitalia which will be then permanently exhibited at the Moma Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1958 Olivetti who created some of the most technologically engineered aesthetically appealing typewriters such as Letters 22 and Lexicon 80 started a collaboration with Ettore Sottsass. So we have a clear picture on how industry, engineering, architecture were all united into the process of creating new ideas. 

Vespa Motor Scooter 

This need of a new start brought Italy years of economic wealth and the Design set its root into the field of Industrial Design with the creation of mass production affordable and reusable every day objects, made of plastic and other low cost materials. Architects and Engineers were again involved in creating every day objects, from cutlery to furniture for the mass.

 

But when does Italian Design became recognized internationally? We could see its peak in 1972 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated a whole exhibition named “Italy: the new domestic landscape” . The preface of the catalog started with this sentence: It has been a long -standing assumption of the modern movement that if all man’s products were well designed, harmony and joy would emerge eternally triumphant". Can we still affirm such idea 43 years later?

to be continued on chapter two...stay tuned!

A new different way to purchase our Italian Mid Century furniture collection


Explore a new concept of purchasing high end quality furniture, shop our Italian Mid Century modern design products on 1stdibs.

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We have partnered with luxury online marketplace 1stdibs to bring our products to collectors and design professionals and general consumers worldwide. The site offers a curated selection of high end and hard to get around products, from antiques to vintage furniture and fashion to fine art. Our Italian Mid Century collection of furniture ranges from sofas and armchairs to dining tables, case pieces, and decor items. 

 

We import authentic and original Italian 20th Century modern design, artworks by Paolo Buffa, Osvaldo Borsani, Marco Zanuso, Gio Ponti, Massimo Vignelli and many more. You can browse our collection of 20th Century design sofas, chairs, storage and case pieces and accessories through our website or by looking for Designitalia Mid Century Modern on 1stdibs.  

 

Mid Century modern Italian design: The master supremacy of Italy's creations.


A talk with our senior purchasing manager about love, history and beauty of Italian Design.

 

In the course of my career I often find myself answering the same recurring question from my customers- how is it possible that Italians are so great in making amazing furniture? We all know Italian design and creativity is known worldwide but still most people can’t come to terms with this sort of supremacy. I often thought of a simple way to explain this very thin line between beauty and functionality which Italians are able to master at their best.

 The most simple product may be functional but not necessarily meet that aesthetic taste most people seek. Italian design is able to immediately come to terms with these two important factors and blend them effortlessly almost in a seamless way.  There is an explanation, after all, and it is found in the history of our country, Italy, a history which goes way back and prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. 

Like music and art, Italian design has centuries old deep historical and social roots. Italians have lived in a country where everything was already established, constructed and built over the ages and therefore our approach to construction and, more specifically, function was not a prisoner of bare-bone necessity.  Instead, it had latitude and an allowance to be driven by passion for a sense of aesthetic where “beauty” could be reached by going beyond the daily humdrum and routine.  Let’s just think for a moment: since centuries Italians have been educated in aesthetics. They lived in a country where roads were already there, and bridges, aqueducts, big buildings, theaters, museums. Our predecessors built all of those with the intention for us to use them, and thankfully most of them are still in use nowadays. In our history, the great Papacies were funding big public and private works and the wealthy families where hiring sculptors, painters, and artists to embellish their castles and their cities and public spaces. These artists not only exploited aesthetical boundaries but bound them with a sense of functionality that our predecessors, the Romans, already refined.  This is why we have this sense of beauty in our background because we live in it, daily. It’s like having a piano teacher father and an opera singer mother and end up making music the purpose of your life. It’s the country itself, Italy, to make Italians a country of builders and visionaries. Think about this country and its natural wonders, a country which lacks in oil or coal but has always been rich in marbles and travertine natural materials which are perfect for constructions. And think about its landscapes, which are the canvas for magnificent inspiration by the most acclaimed international artists of all times.  

It is with this backdrop that we can come to better understand the roots of the post war mid century Italian design.  A credenza was not just a box to hold dishes and similarly, a sofa was not just a few cushions and a wood frame on which to sit. They had to be more, they had to tell a story, they had to embellish and accentuate the surrounding environment or, at times, they just had to float and disappear into that environment but, above all, they had to be pieces of art standing on their own right. At the root of this focus on form was the fact that most post-war designers were architects by training or highly specialized artisans and craftsmen.  In some cases these designers were cross fertilizing design innovations across industries – be that the automobile industry, furnishings, appliances, graphics etc.   So the end result of this cross fertilization and emphasis on design was the advent of the ‘Made in Italy’ label reflecting a centuries old cultural emphasis on design and quality across multiple products. Unfortunately with the advent of globalization, mass production and the constant search for production efficiencies a lot of this has been lost over the years.  Even Italy and its culture is subject to these new realities, but for those of us who have an admiration for the creative spirit of those times,  the products of Buffa, Ponti, Borsani, Zanuso, Vignellis, are magnificent standard bearers of the true essence of ‘Made in Italy’.

Rita Mantellini

Senior purchasing manager Mid Century Italian furniture 

Mid Century Italian modern design: Restoring Mid Century Italian furniture to its original beauty


Through our dedicated work and our continuous collaboration with a team of Italian restorers base in Northern Italy, we carefully restore each piece to bring it back to life again. Ready to fulfill your home.

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A Message from our team of Italian restorers:

 “For over three generations our family has been restoring antique furniture as well as 'modernariato'- otherwise know as mid-century modern. To this day, we are still very passionate in our efforts to maintain the same standards of craftsmanship of the original manufacturers when restoring these little works of art. 

In our restoration projects we use no industrial machinery, almost all our tools are the very same ones used at the original time of manufacture and throughout the process we follow the original furniture makers' methodology- down to the final layer of varnishing and lacquering.

Although our pieces may appear 'new' after a restoration project, our paramount concern is to maintain the original integrity of the piece as dictated by the designer and manufacturer.  With the exception of  parts that are beyond repair and may impede every day use - locks, handles and padding- we substitute no parts. And, because we believe every piece has a history and a life story to tell, we leave the smallest imperfections to remind you. 

In the studio - Mid Century Italian design - Art deco Furniture - dining table 

In the studio - Mid Century Italian design - Art deco Furniture - dining table 

 
Art Deco armchair - restoration in progress

Art Deco armchair - restoration in progress

 

We outsource and import authentic Italian mid Century modern design, pieces from architects and designers such as Paolo Buffa, Osvaldo Bersani, Gio Ponti, Cini Boeri, Marco Zanuso, Franco Albini and many more. Mid Century Italian furniture restored in Italy and ready for your home. Collector pieces and one of a kind ones.

Mid Century Italian modern design: The world of Poltronova and the Saratoga Collection

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Poltronova was founded by Sergio Cammilli in 1957 and its designs ranged from furniture to home accessories.   Immediately Mr Camilli brought a new mindset in the industry as he set out to create a furniture manufacturer that would leave its footprint in the history of  furniture design.  Starting with Ettore Sottsass Jr, who became his art director in 1958, Poltronova collaborated with a series of great architects and designers who teamed up to create truly one of a kind timeless pieces that are still considered design milestones in the  industry. These designers included Gae Aulenti, Giovanni Michelucci, Massimo Vignelli, Paolo Portoghesi, Ron Arad, Nigel Coates and many others.  In an effort to combine form and function and change the user experience, Poltronova also began to collaborate with famous artists such as Mario Ceroli,  Nespolo, Ruffi and Max Ernst and in so doing left its mark on the art scene.

 

The success of these design efforts is reflected in the multiple industry awards and publications the company has garnered over the years;  the Compasso d’Oro in 1957, the publication of the book Fare Mobili con Poltronova in 1970 coupled with the Smau prize in the same year and, finally,  the Top Ten prize in 1984.  Furthermore, Poltronova participated in numerous  landmark design exhibitis and events , such as “La Casa Abitata” in Florence in 1965, "Eurodomus 3" in Milan in 1970, and "Italy: The New Domestic Landscape" at Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1972.

 

Owning piece belonging to the Mid Century Italian Design era, in this case being a Poltronova signature piece, is like being part of modern Italian design’s history. Through the acquisition of Mid Century Italian furniture you will be thrown back to a creative time frame in Italy’s post war modern era. We are proud to present a few of the pieces from the designers that have contributed to the fame and success of Italian design.  


The complete living collection of Saratoga by Poltronova designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli is now available. Contact us to purchase this rare collector set.

The complete living collection of Saratoga by Poltronova designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli is now available. Contact us to purchase this rare collector set.

 

We specialize in authentic Mid Century Modern Italian design, with pieces by world acclaimed Italian architects and designers such as Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa, Osvaldo Bersani, Marco Zanuso, Franco Albini and many more.