Gio Ponti - Design London Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private collection, Padua

  • Exhibited

    ‘Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti Archi-Designer’, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 18 October 2018-5 May 2019

  • Literature

    'Maggior spazio godibile in minor superficie', Domus, no. 490, September 1970, p. 29
    Ugo La Pietra, ed., Gio Ponti: L’arte si innamora dell’industria, Milan, 2009, p. 379

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1970, Gio Ponti presented his ‘Apta’ series at Eurodomus, Milan, the third of a series of four fairs organised by the architect that were dedicated to the modern home. The designs were conceived as part of Ponti’s concept for la casa adatta (the adapted house), which incorporated sliding walls and flexible furnishings to achieve an integrated interior with more usable living space. Comprising tables, chairs (lot 124), desks (lot 96), cabinets, daybeds and a magazine rack (lot 125) that incorporated either hinges or castors, Ponti created a series of playful, geometric furniture that was lightweight, compact and mobile. Re-thinking traditional furniture typologies intended for specific rooms, the designs were instead versatile, unifying the interior space and responding to the changing requirements of its habitants. The furniture was produced by cabinetmaker Walter Ponti in San Biagio. Describing his collaboration with the workshop, the architect, then nearly eighty years old, compared it to ‘...the good old days of Giordano Chiesa, good old Proserpio, and Monti... and the dear Cassinas who made chairs, the days that I enjoyed such a long time ago’ (Domus, no. 490).

  • Artist Biography

    Gio Ponti

    Italian • 1891 - 1979

    Among the most prolific talents to grace twentieth-century design, Gio Ponti defied categorization. Though trained as an architect, he made major contributions to the decorative arts, designing in such disparate materials as ceramics, glass, wood and metal. A gale force of interdisciplinary creativity, Ponti embraced new materials like plastic and aluminum but employed traditional materials such as marble and wood in original, unconventional ways.

    In the industrial realm, he designed buildings, cars, machinery and appliances — notably, the La Cornuta espresso machine for La Pavoni — and founded the ADI (Industrial Designer Association). Among the most special works by Gio Ponti are those that he made in collaboration with master craftsmen such as the cabinetmaker Giordano Chiesa, the illustrator Piero Fornasetti and the enamellist Paolo de Poli.

    View More Works


Rare magazine rack, from the ‘Apta’ series

circa 1970
Painted wood, steel, acrylic.
64.6 x 60.2 x 39.2 cm (25 3/8 x 23 3/4 x 15 3/8 in.)
Manufactured by Walter Ponti, San Biagio, Italy. Together with a certificate of expertise from the Gio Ponti Archives.

£3,000 - 5,000 Ω

Sold for £3,780

Contact Specialist

Antonia King

Head of Sale, Design



London Auction 30 June 2021