Mario Asnago and Claudio Vender - Design London Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | Phillips

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  • With its restrained form and pure aesthetic, the present table is a notable example of the transformative design project led by the Italian architects Mario Asnago (1896-1981) and Claudio Vender (1904-1986) in the early decades of the twentieth century. Following their studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Asnago and Vender first established the Studio Asnago-Vender Architetti on the Via Cappuccio in Milan in the 1920s. It was during the ensuing period that the pair began to spearhead an experimental, rationalist vision through their building and furniture designs, primarily for private clients and retail spaces in Milan and beyond.


    The present model table exhibited at the ‘Architettura Attuale e la Tradizione Italiana’ stand at the VI Milan Triennale in 1936.
    Photo Crimella. © Triennale Milano – Archivi.

    The model offered here was originally designed and executed for the Architettura attuale e la tradizione italiana display of the Milan Triennale in 1936. The present version is exceptionally rare, as one of the few original examples produced immediately following the Triennale in 1937. A brass plate on the base is engraved with the number ‘XVI’, placing it in the sixteenth year of the Fascist era, or the period between 28 October 1937 and October 27, 1938. The positive response to some of the earliest versions of the model, including this one, would lead the studio to reproduce it in various forms for specific clients. Eventually, a different version was serially produced between 1983 and 2020.


    Visually and conceptually, this table is an unusually early example of the facets of modern design that were to become prevalent in the post-war period. The structure distinctly evokes the principles of pure rationalism in its uniformity and rigidity. Tubular legs of steel are arranged and welded together in a minimal geometric order, complete with the original white enamel paintwork. The construction is further supported by a framework of two X shapes that laterally intersect it down the middle; a signature motif often found in Asnago-Vender designs. The transparent glass tabletop is equally understated, complementing the sleek lightness and simplicity of the structure to accentuate the sense of spaciousness that it brings to the room.

    • Literature

      Ornella Selvafolta, ed., Rassegna, no. 4: Il Disegno del Mobile Razionale in Italia 1928/1948, October 1980, pp. 4, 75

    • Catalogue Essay

      The present model table was exhibited at the 'Architettura Attuale e la Tradizione Italiana' stand at the VI Milan Triennale, 1936.

Property from a Private Collection, Germany


Rare table

circa 1937
Painted steel, glass.
76 x 290 x 80 cm (29 7/8 x 114 1/8 x 31 1/2 in.)
Base with brass label impressed XVI. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Archivio Asnago Vender Architetti.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for £25,400

Contact Specialist

Antonia King
Head of Sale, Design
+44 20 7901 7944


London Auction 26 April 2023