Anna Castelli Ferrieri - Design London Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | Phillips
  • Catalogue Essay

    One word – plastics – must have been the catalyst for Kartell, the prominent Italian furniture manufacturer now known for its acrylic chairs. Founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli and his wife Anna Castelli Ferrieri, the company championed innovation and style in equal measures and became a progenitor of postwar Italian modernism. “Together they took great risks,” wrote curator Emilio Ambasz, who included designs by Anna Castelli Ferrieri in his seminal 1972 exhibition ‘Italy: The New Domestic Landscape’ at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Long before her experiments in polypropylene, Ferrieri worked with humbler materials – bent sheet steel, walnut, fabric – and harder edges.
    Following her graduation from Milan’s prestigious Polytechnic Institute in 1943, Ferrieri joined the studio of architect Franco Albini, “her maestro”. Between spring 1946 and summer 1947, Ferrieri’s sister-in-law and husband commissioned Ferrieri to refurbish their Milan apartment at Via F.lli Bronzetti 25. With typical brio, the young architect designed the Sturme-Castelli’s apartment top to bottom; she included in it designs by Franco Albini as well as her own. The apartment and its furnishings (Lots 114 –119) demonstrate the lessons taught to her by Albini. As Julie Iovine has written, “…reduction, function and rigorous beauty remained for her a lifetime philosophy.”
    (All citations: Julie Iovine, ‘Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Force in Postwar Modern Italian Design’, The New York Times, 28 June 2006, n.p.)


Unique wall-mounted flower box

c. 1946

Painted bent sheet metal, enamelled tubular metal.

65 x 60 x 35 x cm. (25 1/2 x 23 5/8 x 13 3/4 in.)

Produced by Ditta Pietro Crespi, Italy. Together with a copy of the original preparatory drawing and a copy of the original invoice for the metalwork.

£2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for £3,750


7 April 2011