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GIO PONTI (1891-1979)
GIO PONTI (1891-1979)

A UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT DESK, CIRCA 1950

Details
GIO PONTI (1891-1979)
A UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT DESK, CIRCA 1950
sycamore, vellum, brass and glass, each side with frieze drawer, one side flanked by four drawers, the other by five drawers and two open shelves
31 in. (79 cm.) high; 101 in. (258 cm.) wide; 79 ¼ in. (201 cm.) deep

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Jeremy Morrison
Jeremy Morrison

Lot Essay

The present desk is a dramatic and intriguing example of a furniture type to which Ponti frequently returned. Throughout his long career, desks featured heavily in the designer’s portfolio, and contrary to what might be expected from case furniture, Ponti was unfailingly able to invest his desks with a sense of aerodynamic lightness. Concepts for storage clearly fascinated him, and for numerous commissions Ponti designed desks that were to be complimented by a furnished, or ‘living’ wall, that offered additional capacity for storage. In this way, the present desk, which is fitted with drawers to both sides, remains consistent with Ponti’s pragmatic ethos. However, rather than presenting as two separate components, this desk was sculpted to give the impression that it had evolved, directly and organically, from the very surface of its environment. The anthropomorphic qualities of the structure are enhanced by surfaces that are entirely and seamlessly clad in vellum, invoking the precedent of Carlo Bugatti’s ‘Snail Room’ exhibited at Turin’s International Exhibition of 1900. Any sensation of the desk’s massiveness is denied by Ponti’s masterful sense for balance and proportion, and his characteristic lightness of touch is revealed by the tapering wings of the shelves, supported on a single, delicate brass monopod.

This lot is sold with a certificate of authentication from the Gio Ponti Archive.

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