Gino Sarfatti - Design London Thursday, May 12, 2022 | Phillips

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  • This extraordinary chandelier is a radical celebration of movement. In a striking composition, seven vividly painted brass tubes spring from a brass cylindrical mast stating their position in space and revealing the dynamism at the heart of Gino Sarfatti’s post-war lighting designs.

    The 1950s in Italy were characterized by fervent research across many design categories. During those years, Sarfatti found fertile ground to bring to life many creative theories he had conceived of before the war, without any stylistic hesitation. He had recently been freed from exile, and this freedom also manifested itself in his daring ideas for lighting. His studies in aeronautical engineering enabled him to achieve the much sought-after quality of weightlessness in light fittings, firmly placing them within the contemporary intellectual pursuit of Spatialism.


    The present model no. 2076 is the successor to the earlier wall-mounted model no. 192 from 1952. With both models, a formal comparison with the ancient game of ‘pick-up sticks’ can be made, revealing the freefall and juxtaposition of the colourful tubular elements which correspond to Sarfatti’s exploration of gravitational concepts in his lighting design of the fifties.


    The movement of the chandelier’s bright painted tubes is reminiscent of the ancient game of ‘pick-up sticks’
    • Provenance

      Private collection, Cremona
      Thence by descent
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Literature

      Alberto Rosselli, 'Disegno per l'industria', Domus, no. 289, December 1953, p. 60
      ‘Forme italiane a Zurigo’, Domus, no. 298, September 1954, p. 51
      Roberto Aloi, Esempi di Decorazione Moderna di Tutto il Mondo: Illuminazione D'Oggi, Milan, 1956, p. 186
      Andrea Branzi and Michele De Lucchi, eds., Il Design Italiano Degli Anni ’50, Milan, 1985, p. 221
      Marco Romanelli and Sandra Severi, Gino Sarfatti: Opere Scelte 1938-1973, Milan, 2012, pp. 231, 470

    • Artist Biography

      Gino Sarfatti

      Italian • 1912 - 1985

      Rising above the devastation of World War II, post-war Italian design reached new heights of productivity and ingenuity, particularly in the realm of lighting. Gino Sarfatti is among the most celebrated lighting designers from this fruitful period. Before founding his company Arteluce in 1939, Sarfatti studied aeronautical engineering. He brought the inventiveness of a self-taught outsider to the field of lighting design, while his mechanical background lent lightness and ingenuity of construction. Poetic underpinnings are also evident in lamps such as model no. 1034 (sometimes referred to as the "Vine" lamp), which features a nearly 8' twisting brass stem graced with nine delicate, articulating white shades like buds on a flower.

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Rare adjustable chandelier, model no. 2076

circa 1953
Brass, painted brass.
99.5 x 155.2 x 146.8 cm (39 1/8 x 61 1/8 x 57 3/4 in.), as shown
Manufactured by Arteluce, Milan, Italy.

Full Cataloguing

£30,000 - 50,000 Ω

Sold for £75,600

Contact Specialist

Antonia King

Head of Sale, Design
+44 20 7901 7944


London Auction 12 May 2022