Piero Bottoni - Design London Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Casa Minerbi, Ferrara, Italy

  • Literature

    Irene de Guttry and Maria Paola Maino, Il mobile déco italiano, Bari, 1988, p. 98, fig. 12 for an example of the dining table in concrete from the Villa Muggia
    Domus (Milan) no. 153, September 1940, p. 76; no. 717, June 1990, p. 18 for an example of the dining table in concrete from the Villa Muggia

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1930 the Minerbi family hired architect Piero Bottoni to design a suite of furniture for their Milan apartment, an initial project that led to a larger later commission, Casa Minerbi at 15 -29 via Giuoco del Pallone in Ferrara. Bottoni realised the project in three stages, the first of which was an intervention in 1935-1937. According to drawings, he designed furniture for three new rooms—a dining room, antechamber and studio—attached to the existing building. Among the drawings is a rendering of the present lot 157, the Minerbi dining table, circa 1950, which Bottoni realised in pear wood and is similar in form to the previous one in reinforced concrete table he designed for Villa Muggia (1936-1938), an18th century hunting lodge saved from demolition by Bottoni together with Mario Pucci. The dining table is seen (in the archive image on in this page) fanked by twelve dining chairs (lot 158), a possible collaboration with Mario Pucci, whose name appears on drawings of the chair, a model that had probably been designed for serial production, as it appears in other projects.

    Between 1953 and 1961, Bottoni undertook an extension of Casa Minerbi by integrating existing adjacent buildings and by developing a new internal circulation for a new apartment, although this included an ancient salon with important frescoes. Bottoni opened these rooms to the public whilst retaining their private use by the Minerbi family. In this renewed configuration, Bottoni repositioned his earlier prewar furniture together with additional, newer works.

    No known drawings exist for the pair of armchairs which Bottoni included in Casa Minerbi (lot 159), although we can trace their design to similar
    examples for two contemporary Milan projects, Casa Boffito (1935) and Casa Tonegutti (1935 -1936). For the Casa Boffito, Bottoni designed two similar models, one with bentwood support rings on the closed sides, the other with more accentuated curved spiral side supports. The latter model most closely relates to the pair of armchairs in Casa Minerbi, which however has two winged headrests that are not present in the drawing. The shape and structure of the seat and the padding in all the different variants is the same as these examples from Casa Minerbi.


Important dining table and wall-mounted serving shelf unit, commissioned for the Casa Minerbi, Ferrara

Pear-veneered wood, pear wood.
Table: 77.4 x 308.4 x 100.6 cm (30 1/2 x 121 3/8 x 39 5/8 in.); shelf: 99.2 x 119.9 x 38 cm (39 x 47 1/4 x 14 7/8 in.)

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £134,500

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London 26 September 2013