Italian design has long been synonymous with quality, luxury, and modernity. This reputation also carries a price tag, but anyone who has purchased, collected, or even just experienced Italian furniture will tell you, it’s worth it. Completely worth it. We, of course, have some favorite luxury Italian furniture that you may wish to add to your collection.
Marco Zanuso Lady Chair
While his name may not ring a bell, his legacy carries on as the design of the Marco Zanuso Lady Chair. Modern furniture manufacturers mimic this design regularly. With its sweeping style, it brought a cozy appeal to mid-century modern design by making a chair in which you’d want to curl up. That’s not always an easy accomplishment in modern design, but Marco Zanuso achieved it in 1951 with his Lady Chair. While the knock-offs are plentiful, you may be able to get an original from 1stdibs for just under $5,000.
Franco Albini Tre Pezzi Armchair
Often considered to be the most important Italian “Neo-Rationalist” designers, Franco Albini was an architect, designer and university instructor in design. He is responsible for creating some of the mid-century’s most beloved furniture. Known for fusing his love of industrial design with furniture for the home, Albini’s Tre Pezzi Armchair serves as a perfect example of this style convergence. Originals of the Tre Pezzi aren’t particularly easy to come by, this pair sold at a Wright auction in 2014 for $21,250.
Ettore Sottsass Eastside Armchair
Ettore Sottsass was the founder of the Memphis Group and was known for his use of bold colors and forms from pop art and art deco. Designing everything from jewelry and lighting to buildings and office machines, he left an indelible mark that helped define the Post-Modernism movement in the late 20th century. Getting a vintage pair in top condition can be a challenge. The pair above, c. 1980, are from 1stdibs, but they’ve sold. Of course, you can always visit 1stdibs and set up an alert for the next great pair they find. There are reproductions you’ll encounter as well as later runs of the chairs from the 1990s, but if you can hold out for an original, you should.
Fiandra Sofa by Vico Magistretti
Initially an industrial designer, Vico Magistretti made his mark not only as an architect and furniture designer but also as a collaborator of humanist architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers. Many of his lamps are easily found today (mostly reproductions, of course) including the Eclisse from 1965 and the Oluce from 1977. Another impressive piece from the 1977 collection is the massive Fiandra Sofa. The one pictured is in near perfect condition having had only one owner and is available from Pamono for just under $10,000.
Gae Aulenti The Tour Table
One of the more contemporary designers on our list, Gae Aulenti created The Tour Table in the 1990s. Beyond furniture design, she was also known to be a prolific architect until her death in 2012. Her body of work spans industrial and exhibition design, graphics, stage design, lighting and interior design. The Tour Table is a surprising design because of the use of bicycle wheels. Since it’s just over 20 years old, it’s easier to find an original like this one at WeLivv for $8,190.00.
So, tell us, which piece speaks to you the most? If you appreciate the aesthetic of luxury Italian furniture, you may also appreciate Minimalist Luxury: 5 Iconic Furniture Designers.