Gio Ponti, ‘Rare and important sofa prototype’, ca. 1950, Nilufar Gallery
Gio Ponti, ‘Rare and important sofa prototype’, ca. 1950, Nilufar Gallery
Gio Ponti, ‘Rare and important sofa prototype’, ca. 1950, Nilufar Gallery

This sofa was designed by Gio Ponti for the ocean liner Andrea Doria, which launched in 1951 and tragically sank in 1957. It is a two-seater variant of the armchair mod. 593 by Cassina. Unique prototype of a small group of examples fabricated by Cassina, the sofa and the armchairs were never put into actual production or retailed by the company. The only other known commission in which Ponti employed these models, with a slight difference in the leg’s profile, was for the interior of the Villa Arata in Naples in 1952.

The piece is supplied by a certificate of authenticity of the Gio Ponti Archives.

Bibliografia | Reference: Paolo Piccione, Gio Ponti: le navi: il progetto degli interni navali, 1948-1953, Viareggio, Italia, 2007, p. 148, figs. 180-81

About Gio Ponti

It takes a native son to build something as iconic as the Pirelli Tower, Gio Ponti’s 1960 masterpiece that soars over Milan. In 1928, the prolific architect and designer founded Domus, the influential design magazine to which he would contribute for the rest of his life. Along with building projects like the elegant Villa Planchart in Caracas, Ponti designed a number of now-iconic products, including the lightweight Superleggera chair and the curvy La Pavoni coffee machine of 1948. He was an enthusiastic leader of the post-war reconstruction, and a major influence on younger designers including Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass. In 2011, his prolific and wide-ranging career was the subject of the exhibition “Expressions of Gio Ponti” at the Triennale Museum in Milan. "Love architecture, be it ancient or modern,” Ponti said. “Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives."

Italian, 1891-1979

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

Italian Design Icons, Triennale Design Museum, Milan