Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design

Location: Via Pitteri, 10 Milan

Auction: 19, 20 June 2019

Viewing 14, 15, 16 June 2019 (10 am/1 pm - 2/6 pm)

The Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design auction of 19 and 20 June is characterised by the richness of the areas represented and by the rarity of several works, including some unique pieces, for a total of 764 lots subdivided into three sessions.

The artworks of the first session, which will be held on Wednesday 19 June 2019 (starting at 3.30pm), are divided into distinct sections according to type, chronology and author.

The sale starts with lighting fixtures, in which all the main Italian designers will be represented. Along with the appliances designed by Sergio Mazza, Vico Magistretti, Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, Gae Aulenti, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, BBPR, some rare specimen by Umberto Riva, who was recently celebrated by an exhibition at the Galleria Sozzani in Milan and in a book. Some rare masterpieces of the most appreciated Italian lighting designers, such as the two floor lamps with three arms by Angelo Lelii for Arredoluce, three rare wall lights, model “121”, by Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce, the floor lamp model “365” by Giuseppe Ostuni for O-Luce, the famous illuminated mirror model “2044” by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte and two large lamps designed by BBPR for the Mediolanum building in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

The second part is dedicated to Murano glass and Italian wrought iron: the first features works by Ercole Barovier, Serena Dal Maschio, Vittorio Zecchin, Venini, Thomas Stearns - of which an exhibition is imminent at Le Stanze del Vetro in Venice - and two very rare glass sculptures by the Japanese artist Ritsue Mishima, exhibited in 2003 in Milan at the famous exhibition “Immaginando Prometeo”. To conclude the irons of Alessandro Mazzucotelli, Carlo Rizzarda and Alberto Gerardi.

The third part is dedicated to important international design represented here by a protagonist of the Wiener Werkstätten, Koloman Moser, author of a display table in ebonized wood, and by the great master of international modernity Adolf Loos, with the “Elephant Trunk Table”, passing through Bob Wilson and Ron Arad,  respectively with the yellow chair “Wings on Rock” and “Lectern”, a steel sculpture lectern. 

Finally, the fourth part includes a large group of furnishings from the major Italian architects of the 20th century: Piero Portaluppi, with two pieces of furniture from the 1920s and 1950s; Osvaldo Borsani with a large group of furnishings among which the most remarkable is a small table with a triangular top decorated by Lucio Fontana, Paolo Buffa with two beautiful mahogany armchairs and furnishings from various periods, BBPR and Gio Ponti, with a rare nineteenth-century chest of drawers from the 20s and with the  “Sogno del re”, a suggestive oil on panel dated 1951.

Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, Ico Parisi, Gianfranco Frattini, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Carlo De Carli, Augusto Romano, Bruno Munari, Gabetti and Isola, Gaetano Pesce, and the genius Marzio Cecchi complete the session with numerous seats and furnishings.

The fifth part is dedicated to a pleasant rediscovery: the furnishings of the brothers Eugenio and Ermenegildo Soncini for the nursing home La Madonnina in Milan, from 1957. Friends of Gio Ponti and protagonists of the post-war reconstruction and of the Milanese economic boom, the two, one engineer the other architect, design every single piece of furniture in the clinic, a true example of modernity and innovation.

To conclude the first day of the sale two unique pieces by Ettore Sottsass  placed side by side with furnishings and objects from his extensive production: the pair of easels in ash and rosewood, made by the cabinetmaker Renzo Brugola in 1965 and one of the four sofas designed specifically for the "Alcantara" exhibition in 1982.

The second session (Thursday,  the 20th of June, at 10.30am) will be more specifically dedicated to the Italian art ceramics and the decorative arts, while the third session (at 3.30pm) will be very eclectic in content and values, with a collection of exceptional artworks by Nanni Valentini from the Villa “La Murela” by Lino Sabattini, along with some specimen by Bruno Gambone, Marcello Fantoni and Carlo Zauli, today one of the most appreciated Italian ceramic artists. Fornasetti and Gabriella Crespi introduce the last section of the session and sale, dedicated to objects and works designed or formerly property of Lino Sabattini and coming from his private collection.