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OSVALDO BORSANI (1911-1985) AND ADRIANO SPILIMBERGO (1908-1975)
OSVALDO BORSANI (1911-1985) AND ADRIANO SPILIMBERGO (1908-1975)

A UNIQUE ILLUMINATED BAR CABINET FOR THE CASA TROGLIA, 1954

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OSVALDO BORSANI (1911-1985) AND ADRIANO SPILIMBERGO (1908-1975)
A UNIQUE ILLUMINATED BAR CABINET FOR THE CASA TROGLIA, 1954
manufactured by Tecno, Milan, vellum painted in relief by Adriano Spilimbergo, mahogany, brass, doors opening to reveal sgraffito gold leaf lining attributed to Lucio Fontana, seven tempered glass shelves, two verre egolmisé shelves, and mirrored back by Fontana Arte
55 in. (139.5 cm.) high, 45 ½ in. (115.5 cm.) wide, 15 ¾ in. (40 cm.) deep
tempered glass shelves marked Vitrex with pincer marks, mirrored back signed and dated Galvanit Fontana 2 Apr 1954

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Lot Essay

The late 1940's saw Osvaldo Borsani collaborating with the most prominent avant-garde artist in Milan, Lucio Fontana. Soon Borsani brought in other artists to contribute to interior design projects in and around Milan, among them Pomodoro, Sassu, Fabbri, Crippa, and Spilimbergo.

This striking bar cabinet was one such Milanese commission, for the Casa Troglia of 1954. Spilimbergo painted a still life, rendered in Tiepolo-inspired dissolving floral sprays on the bar's exterior surface while he treated the interior as an abstracted thicket or secret lair, an effect enhanced by the gold leaf sgraffito, which is believed to have been conceived by Lucio Fontana. The bar was placed in an interior entirely designed by Borsani and enhanced by Fontana wall ceramics. It sat on top of a Napoleon III-revival carpet festooned with medallions of pink, red, and white peonies. These jarring Baroque forces were tempered by the insightful modern lines of Borsani's furniture freshly produced by Tecno, the design firm he founded that year.

We would like to thank the Osvaldo Borsani Achive and Brian Kish for their assistance with the cataloguing of and notes for this lot.

cf. I. De Guttry, M.P. Maino, Il Mobile Italiano degli Anni 40 E '50, Bari, 1992, p. 113 for similar works by Borsani and Spilimbergo;
G. Gramigna, F. Irace, Osvaldo Borsani, Rome, 1992, pp. 188 and 194 for similar works by Borsani and Spilimbergo.

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