Paolo Buffa - Design London Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Cantú

  • Catalogue Essay

    The quest for cultural identity after the First World War split the artistic community into two camps, those supportive of tradition and those in favour of modern furniture production and use of contemporary material. It was Paolo Buffa’s ability to combine traditional elements with modern design and forms, applying ‘ancient solutions to modern problems’, which enabled him to establish himself as a reference point in this debate.

    Buffa acquired his architectural experience whilst working for acclaimed architects and designers including Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia. After 1928, Buffa started his independent practise and turned his attention to cabinetmaking workshops in Brianza, an area renowned for traditional manufacture of the highest standard. Buffa’s position as an established architect allowed him to work with the most skilled artisans, including Fratelli Lietti, Marelli e Colico as well as Cassina di Meda. Guiding these cabinetmakers and acquainting them with the fast paced modernity allowed Buffa to produce furniture of the highest manufacturing quality whilst simultaneously introducing a modern language.

    This important and rare dining table perfectly demonstrates Buffa’s approach in furniture production: geometric inlays representing a more traditional aesthetic are counterbalanced with the voluminous contemporary base, executed with the greatest attention to detail. His innate sense of traditional elegance is evident in the delicate lines of both the armchairs and the side table. As with every Buffa design, the forms at first glance seem highly recognisable, under closer inspection, however, Buffa’s modern interpretation become evident.


Rare dining table

circa 1949
Teak, teak-veneered wood, birch marquetry.
77.2 x 191 x 111 cm (30 3/8 x 75 1/4 x 43 3/4 in.)
Possibly manufactured by Serafino Arrighi, Cantú, Italy. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Paolo Buffa Archive.

£7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for £27,500

Contact Specialist
Sofia Sayn-Wittgenstein
+44 207 901 7926


London Auction 20 September 2017