Posts tagged #Mid Century Modern Italian design

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.  

 

A lovely and elegant console table by Paolo Buffa


When it comes to Mid Century furniture our Italian purchasing manager put a lot of effort in researching unique Mid Century modern  Italian pieces. Our main goal is to select furniture pieces which will blend naturally with customers other contemporary and modern pieces.   During one of the many trips to Italy we have scored a versatile and elegant console table whose design is attributed to Architect Paolo Buffa. 

This beautiful console table dates 1940 but still preserve a modern flair making it versatile and of greater use in a hallway or entryway. There is a neat and meticulous work behind this authentic Mid Century piece. There are 6 practical drawers. The details of this Mid Century console table are shown in the threaded maple borders which extend into the legs as well.

The front drawers are exquisite with maple threads each depicting a maple inlay star beneath the handles. This is a modern Mid Century furniture pieces, authentic Italian Mid Century piece which has been restored in Italy by a third generation Italian restorer. 

 

Our company outsource and import high end Mid Century Modern Italian furniture | Mid Century furniture pieces by architects and designers such as Paolo Buffa, Gio Ponti, Osvaldo Borsani, Marco Zanuso, Lella and Massimo Vignelli, Franco Albini and many more. #Italian #MidCentury #furniture 

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.