Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia - Design New York Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jacksons, Stockholm
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2000

  • Literature

    "Psiche," Domus, no. 8, August 1928, p. 35 for a similar example

  • Catalogue Essay

    A pioneer of Italian modernist design, Gio Ponti revolutionized the concept of the typical Italian home. Inspired by various materials and styles, Ponti created a living space for the average Italian based on quality and style, aiming to introduce a more modern, aesthetic, lifestyle to the middle class. Ponti partnered with designer Emilio Lancia to create a series of modern furniture and objects entitled Domus Nova for the everyday home to be sold at the department store La Rinascente. Ponti also staged many other exhibitions to display his work and convey his concept of the modern lifestyle, such as his 1929 Schejola apartment and House at via Randaccio in Milan. Later, Ponti would go on to design entire Domuses; ten Milanese apartments styled and organized according to the modern way of life he imagined for the middle class. Ponti’s ideas became even more widespread with the distribution of his interior design publication, Domus, established in 1928. With Domus, Ponti helped to forge a space within the design world for the average Italian—fine craftmanship and style were no longer for the elite alone—and everyday citizens were invited to participate in a formerly exclusive modern lifestyle.

    Known for his slender and elegant furniture, Ponti’s works often embody atypical combinations of materials and genres with a sense of irony and whimsy, often calling upon Italian neoclassical styles to create a contemporary aesthetic without abandoning the fundamentals of the past. Some of Ponti’s most characteristic work of the 1920s and early 30s includes bookcases, sideboards, and tables made of briarwood or polished walnut, often incorporating bronze decoration. This chest of drawers designed circa 1928 is a strong representation of Ponti’s style at that time. Composed of burl walnut and featuring brass fixtures, the chest closely resembles works from Ponti’s 1929 Schejola apartment in Milan. The objects in the Schejola apartment were a part of Ponti and Lancia’s Domus Nova production for La Rinascente and are among the first prototypes for their idealized Italian home; the present lot a fine example of Italian modernist design in its early stages.

Property from a Private Collection, New York


Chest of drawers

circa 1928
Burl walnut, burl walnut-veneered wood, brass.
36 1/8 x 45 3/8 x 21 3/4 in. (91.8 x 115.3 x 55.2 cm)
Together with a certificate of expertise from the Gio Ponti Archives.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $21,420

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist

Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090



New York Auction 7 December 2022