Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design

Via Pitteri 10, Milan
Viewing: 15-16-17 December (10/13 – 14.30/18.30)
Auction: 19-20 December

For the first time, the ample and luminous spaces of the auction house in Via Pitteri 10, a former industrial structure built in the ‘50s, will host the Auction of Twentieth Century Decorative Arts and Design (19 December) and of Modern Antiques (20th December). With a total of about 1,000 lots, the auction is confirmed as a can’t-miss event for collectors and sector experts. Both the Twentieth Century Decorative Arts and Design auction and that for the enthusiasts of Modern Antique objects will be held in two sessions.

The catalogue mostly focuses on the work of some Milanese masters, represented for the first time by one-of-a-kind pieces and prototypes. Works by the following artists will be offered at auction: Eugenio Quarti, the refined cabinetmaker of Italian art nouveau, Mario Quarti, Piero Portaluppi, Gio Ponti, Tomaso Buzzi, Gabriella Crespi, Ettore Sottsass, Giovanni Guerrini, Aldo Rossi, Studio BBPR, Angelo Mangiarotti, Carlo De Carli, Max Ingrand, Gino Sarfatti, Ico Parisi, Paolo Buffa, Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, Luigi Caccia Dominioni and many others.

The noted architect of Villa Necchi-Campiglio and of the Hoepli planetarium, a brilliant exponent of Milanese bourgeois architecture from the ‘20s to the ‘40s, Piero Portaluppi, is represented by a wardrobe in Pompei red lacquered wood, decorated with the airbrush technique, an excellent example of the decorative style of the early ‘30s, coming from a private collection.

Gio Ponti is present with wide selection of traced and authenticated décor objects and drawings, all from private collections. Two “Pareti attrezzate”, complete with the original lamp of the period, from an apartment decorated in a condominium designed by Ponti in the ‘50s. Both include a small set of shelves, a cabinet and a table, all original. Along with the décor objects, there are about thirty drawings and sketches testifying to the designer’s creative versatility. Among them are three signed drawings for the Ceremonial Banner of the Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, from which some precious limited edition engravings were drawn. The top lots designed by this Milanese architect also include a pair of rare wall lamps, “Quadri luminosi” produced by Arredoluce and a striking painting on glass from the '60s, some majolicas and porcelains made in the ‘20s by Richard-Ginori’s Pittoria di Doccia, a “Distex 807a” armchair for Cassina and a “Continuum” bergère for Pierantonio Bonacina.

Tomaso Buzzi is represented by a table from a Milanese private collection which was originally commissioned by the current owner.

From Studio BBPR, there is a large free-standing display case, with sides and cabinets in wood, double exposure display windows and bronze-edged panels, originating from the décor of the Z.P. home in Milan in the ’50s and ‘60s, some of which were sold in previous editions of this auction. Of the same provenance are two variable-height living room tables and a parlor set from the ‘50s in beige leather.

An ample selection of objects in silver plate and gilt metal by Gabriella Crespi will be auctioned off, including one the only two precious rattan and brass cradles ever made by the artist. Some rather rare cups in gilded bronze and glass and two diamond-shaped brass wall lights stand out for their originality.

There are various décor items by Paolo Buffa, among which an elegant three-legged console and a beautifully inlaid foyer wardrobe. All the items have an authenticity certificate.

Ettore Sottsass jr, who is being celebrated in these days by an exhibition organized at the Milan Triennale, is represented by ceramics produced by Il Sestante and Bitossi in the ‘50s and ‘90s, and a sculpture dated 2006, of which only three were ever made, while Angelo Mangiarotti is present with a few décor objects, including a prototype of a round table with central support in marble, produced by Tisettanta and by Skipper, and some rare alabaster vases.

From Fontana Arte there are a rare mirror, shelves and several lamps, some designed by Max Ingrand in the ‘50s, others by Venini, Stilnovo and Arteluce.

There are also several décor items designed by Franco Albini, among which three LB7 bookshelves designed for Poggi.

Also worthy of note is a heretofore unseen sketch of Aldo Rossi’s design for the Congress Centre of the Municipality of Milan, dated 1991, and a collection of deco objects and décor items from France, formerly owned by the Milanese collector Bill Bowman.

To complete the array of the Auction of Twentieth Century Decorative Arts and Design, there are a number of lots of décor items and lamps designed by Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Ignazio Gardella, originally part of the custom-designed décor for a villa on Lake Garda, as well as a wide selection of pieces in Murano glass.

The two sessions of the Antiques Modern auction will feature lots of mass-produced items or articles of lesser value, but of sure interest to sector operators and aficionados.