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Books and materials relating to the applied arts after WWI; their use in architecture & interior design; the design of handworked and manufactured objects including: ceramics, metalwork, wood, jewelry, textiles, glass, furniture, graphics, clocks & watches, toys, leather, etc.

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Gio Ponti Una Collezione, Milano, Sotheby's, 2005, first edition, 4to (10.5" x 8.5"), SB catalog, VG, cover has fold marks and a bend that follows(decreasing as it goes) through to pp.122.

160 pp., listing 79 lots for sale including Furniture, Ceramics and Paintings from a private collection. Profusely illustrated in color on glossy stock. The sale was held in Milano on April 18, 2005. Detailed caption text in Italian - abbreviated captions in English.

From the Sotheby's site regarding the sale:

The collection presented in this sale catalogue represents Gio Ponti's production at its best, starting from ceramics realised from the collaboration between the architect and the Richard Ginori manufactury (1923-30) and including decorations in classical style - inspired by the Etruscans, Greeks and Romans. The ceramics comprise examples of all the principal works from 1923-1930: the early and immensely popular "Il Pellegrino Stanco" (The Tired Pilgrim) and the first of the 'families', "The Passeggiata Archeologica" (The Archeologic Walk), as well all pieces from "Le mie Donne" (My Women), "La Venatoria" (The Hunting) and "Le mie Terre" (My Lands) families.

Two large urns with covers (height cm 50 each), including a blue and gold Triumphus Fortunae (1923) and La Passeggiata Archeologica (The Archeologic Walk) (1925) painted with gold, purple and grey, are respectively estimated Euros 22-28.000 and Euros 30-50.000.

An important pair of six-branch porcelain candelabra, also executed by Richard Ginori at the Doccia factory, height cm 45, modelled 'in the white' shaped as a tree trunk with stylized leaves, heightened with gilding are estimated at Euros 30-50.000.

Many of Ponti's ceramics are included in the sale, including the "Vaso con manici a Stuoia" (Two handled Vase with cross band decoration) (est. Euros 15-20.000) an early work designed in 1923, "L'Amazzone col giavellotto" (The Amazon with the Javelin vase)

designed circa 1928, (est. Euros 18-22.000) and of the same year, "Il Trasporto del Daino" (Carrying the Buck vase ) (est. Euros 12-18.000).

Also a charming white porcelain inkwell and cover from 1930, decorated with black Greek gods; a white glazed porcelain tea service comprising a teapot, a milk jug, a sugar bowl and 12 cups with saucers (est. Euros 1-1.500) and an oval service dish decorated with fishes (est. Euros 1-1.500). Furthermore, perhaps running contrary to current public thinking, are a pair of tobacco boxes (pink and blue), Le Delizie del Fumare, (The Pleasures of Smoking), 1923-1930, cm. 17 high and estimated Euros 5-8.000 each.

In the Furniture section of the catalogue, a fine selection of pieces designed by Gio Ponti starting from 1929, of particular note is the magnificent pair of 1929 walnut veneered pier cabinets with bronze mounted mirrors, illustrated in Ugo la Pietra's 1988 monograph devoted to the Milanese architect. This pair, designed by Gio Ponti for the Schejola apartment on via Pisacane 29 in Milan has an estimate of Euros 100-150.000. They are a perfect example of the architect's creativity, whose skill in the use of materials and care for detailing - in this case burr, walnut and gilt bronze - here are perfectly combined with his successful new elaboration of 18th century models into a 20th century aethetic. Stool, seats, writing tables, bedside tables and armchairs in various woods, some with Ponti's signature arrow decoration range in estimate from Euros 2.000 to Euros 15.000.

A very fine piece is the large writing desk dated 1931 and realized by Gio Ponti for R.B. da Turri di Varedo; it is a burr walnut veneered table with a free-standing letter rack. Highly architectural in form, decorated with arrows stretchers and bow-form rear stretchers, this piece of furniture carries an estimate of Euros 80-100.000

En suite with the writing desk and stamped on the reverse "Turri Mose fu Stefano/Fabbrica d'Arte/Bovisio/Milano", again dated 1931, are a trumeau and a sideboard, respectively estimated Euros 40-60.000 and Euros 30-50.000.

In the catalogue also a group of black lacquered dining furniture with square tapering legs - comprising console, credenza and table and chairs and cabinet carry estimates ranging from Euros 20.000 to 50.000 each.

Of particular interest for scholars is the maquette of the Torre Littoria (Torre del Parco) of Milan designed by Ponti in 1933 which stands in Milan; the maquette is a painted metal and wood model (height cm. 137) with electric mechanism to action the lift, estimated Euros 10-15.000. This tower (116 meters high) is situated in Parco Sempione and was inaugurated on August 10, 1933. In the summer of 1977 the tower was re-opened to the public thanks to the restoration realized by "Fratelli Branca".

Many sketches - pencil, ink and watercolour on paper - highlight the sale catalogue with estimates starting from Euros 300; among them, eight sketches for modernist dwellings, from circa 1930, ink on single sheet of paper, estimate Euros 400-600 and a project for a Summer House of the same year and same estimate. On black paper the tempera sketch (est. Euros 400-600) titled "Lo Zodiaco" (Zodiac): the Zodiac decoration has been used several times by Ponti, including for the pieces of furniture designed for Fontana Arte.

From the series "Le mie Donne" (My Women), is an ink and watercolour design for "Leonia", circa 1920, on brown paper, signed at bottom right 'Ponti', cm. 31x31, estimated Euros 2-3.000.

Among the paintings, a "Ritratto di profilo" (Profile Portrait), an oil on glass in the original painted wood frame, signed at the right bottom 'Ponti', cm. 27x19 (est. Euros 3-5.000) and "Senza Titolo (al bar)" (Untitled - at the Bar), circa 1930, an oil on panel in a fine original elaborate papier maché frame, signed at the right bottom 'Ponti', cm. 50x59 and estimated Euros 30-50.000 (illustrated).    [Book ID # 1650]


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