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

    Via Giuseppe Dezza 49, Milan
    Private collection, Milan

  • Exhibited

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

  • Literature

    Lisa Licitra Ponti, Gio Ponti: The Complete Works 1923-1978, London, 1990, illustrated p. 195
    Ugo La Pietra, ed., Gio Ponti, New York, 1996, illustrated pp. 251-52

  • Catalogue Essay

    It’s Really Her!
    By Salvatore Licitra
    Founder and Curator, Gio Ponti Archives

    The present ‘Distex’ armchair, model no. 807, designed by Ponti in 1953 and manufactured by Cassina, has something special which distinguishes this example from its sisters that inhabited other interiors designed by the architect during that period. It is precisely the armchair that Ponti selected to be part of the furnishings of his own apartment on the eighth floor of Via Dezza 49, Milan. A ‘demonstration’ apartment, which Ponti loved to create in order to illustrate a new modern lifestyle. The armchair’s creamy white faux leather upholstery harmonised perfectly with the sofa and armchairs, model no. 845, created at that time by Ponti for Cassina.

    The interior was designed to offer long views through the enfilade alongside the facade of the building, which was punctuated with the famous finestre arredate (furnished windows). In this luminous gallery Ponti would often come across his armchair and certainly would have admired from a distance its suspended seat. When seated Ponti would contemplate the detail he had studied to create the angle between the seat and the backrest in order for the armchair to deserve the appellation ‘relax’; a name he would have preferred to use but could not as it had already been used by others for their furnishings.

  • 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 'Distex' armchair

circa 1953
Vinyl, brass.
81.5 x 77 x 104.5 cm (32 1/8 x 30 3/8 x 41 1/8 in.)
Manufactured by Cassina, Meda, Italy. Together with a certificate of expertise from the Gio Ponti Archives.

£30,000 - 50,000 Ω

Sold for £37,800

Contact Specialist

Antonia King

Head of Sale, Design



London Auction 30 June 2021