Gio Ponti - Design London Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Venice

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips wishes to thank Brian Kish for his assistance in cataloguing the present lot.

    The present occasional table is a rare example of the 1930s furniture designs by multidisciplinary Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti. Its grace and decorative details, typical of his early work, are achieved by using burl walnut to create a symmetrical pattern on the tabletop. Ponti chose this particular material for some of his most luxurious commissions such as Casa Marmont in Milan (1934). The skilful technique of quartering and displaying the wood visible in this piece underlines Ponti’s belief that ‘the man who works with simplicity, like an artisan – exists’. Characterised by refined rectangular side openings, the table embodies Ponti’s committed desire to create airy and luminous pieces, inspired by the contemporary ornate styles of Italy’s European neighbours.

  • 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.

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Rare occasional table

circa 1938
Burr walnut-veneered wood.
74.2 x 65.2 x 65.6 cm (29 1/4 x 25 5/8 x 25 7/8 in.)
Together with a certificate of expertise from the Gio Ponti Archives.

£6,000 - 8,000 Ω

Sold for £20,160

Contact Specialist

Antonia King
Head of Sale, Design


London Auction 9 November 2021