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Fornasetti

The Italian artist, illustrator and furniture maker Piero Fornasetti was one of the wittiest and most imaginative design talents of the 20th century. He crafted an inimitable decorative style from a personal vocabulary of images that included birds, butterflies, hot-air balloons, architecture and — most frequently, and in some 500 variations — an enigmatic woman’s face based on that of the 19th-century opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti used transfer prints of these images, rendered in the style of engravings, to decorate an endless variety of furnishings and housewares that ranged from chairs, tables and desks to dinner plates, lamps and umbrella stands. His work is archly clever, often surreal and always fun.

Fornasetti was born in Milan, the son of an accountant, and he lived his entire life in the city. He showed artistic talent as a child and enrolled at Milan’s Brera Academy of Fine Art in 1930, but was expelled after two years for consistently failing to follow his professors’ orders. A group of his hand-painted silk scarves, displayed in the 1933 Triennale di Milano, caught the eye of the architect and designer Gio Ponti, who, in the 1940s, became Fornasetti’s collaborator and patron. Beginning in the early 1950s, they created a striking a series of desks, bureaus and secretaries that pair Ponti’s signature angular forms with Fornasetti’s decorative motifs — lighthearted arrangements of flowers and birds on some pieces, austere architectural imagery on others. The two worked together on numerous commissions for interiors, though their greatest project has been lost: the first-class lounges and restaurants of the luxury ocean liner Andrea Doria, which sank in 1956.

Fornasetti furnishings occupy an unusual and compelling niche in the decorative arts: they are odd yet pack a serious punch. They act, essentially, as functional sculpture. A large Fornasetti piece such as a cabinet or a desk can change the character of an entire room; his smaller works have the aesthetic power of a vase of flowers, providing a bright and alluring decorative note. The chimerical, fish-nor-fowl nature of Fornasetti’s work may be its greatest strength. It stands on its own. Bringing the Fornasetti look into the future is Barnaba Fornasetti, who took the reins of the company after his father's death.

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Piero Fornasetti Malachite Green Plate Stoviglie No. 4, Milano, Italy, 1955
By Fornasetti
Located in Graz, AT
A ceramic or porcelain dish with an emerald green faux malachite ground and painted in gold by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, manufactured in midcentury in 1950s. This hand-colored decora...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Duck Ceramic 1960 Italy
By Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti duck ceramic 1960! Italy.
Category

1960s Italian Other Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Rosenthal Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plate, Themes & Variations, Motiv 18
By Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Rosenthal Piero Fornasetti porcelain plate, themes & variations, Motiv 18 The 1980s The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and white printed plate with the face of L...
Category

1980s German Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Sun Floor Lamp by Fornasetti, Italy, 1990s
By Fornasetti
Located in SAINT-OUEN, FR
Floor lamp sun face in soft stamped plastic by Fornasetti for the editor Antonangeli Illuminazione.
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Plastic

Cylindrical Lamp Base Comme Des Fornà, Black White Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The cylindrical shape allows Fornasetti's imagination to create surprising decorative effects in which the shapes follow one another endlessly. The architectural design makes this ha...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Civette Owls
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features the famous Fornasetti owls, the most...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Round Tray Marianne Hand Colored on Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Cushion Chiave Key from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Curved Cabinet Farfalle Butterflies Hand Colored on White Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The curved cabinet shape was designed by Barnaba Fornasetti in 2003 and now it can be considered one of the most iconic pieces of furniture in the Italian atelier's collection. L...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Cushion Silenzio from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Cushion Mano Hand from the Series Tema e Variazioni Cotton
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration features two variations from the famous Forna...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Cotton

Fornasetti Bookends Serratura on Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
There can be wit and unpredictability in the order: this was Fornasetti idea when he designed his first bookends. The mix of images with their functional design make these accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Serratura Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Egocentrismo Black or White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Wooden and Metal Box Champagne Black/White Hand Painted
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the boxes turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. The Fornasetti boxes are a whimsical place to keep your most precious items. This ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Bookends Strumenti Musicali Gold on Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
There can be wit and unpredictability in the order: this was Fornasetti idea when he designed his first bookends. The mix of images with their functional design make these accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Handmade Decorative Centrepiece Rosone Black White Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The art of the table is manifested in this hand-decorated porcelain centrepiece with gold accents: Fornasetti's unmistakable decorative style makes it a true collector's item. Any...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Handmade Wood Frame with Convex Mirror Cammei Gold Sponged Bordeaux
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the mirrors turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. This mirror frame is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is silk-...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood, Glass

Fornasetti Round Tray Coromandel Hand Painted with Silver Leaf Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This round tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacqu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Round Tray Città di Carte Hand-Colored on Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Consolle Architettura Celeste Architectural Motif Handcrafted Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The consolle is handcrafted using original artisan techniques, like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture. This consolle is silk-screened by hand, hand-finished and covered with a smoo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Corner Cabinet Architettura Celeste Architectural Motif Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The dream-laden fantasy of the Fornasetti furniture turns every nook into a corner of the imagination. Like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture, it is handcrafted using original ar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Consolle Ortensia Hydrangea Hand Colored Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The consolle is handcrafted using original artisan techniques, like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture. This consolle is silk-screened by hand, hand painted and covered with a smoot...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Rectangular Tray Serpente Snake Carmine Red Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. The...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Rectangular Tray Coromandel Silver Leaf on Carmine Red
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Me...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Cylindrical Metal Lamp Base Viso Black/White, Iconical Fornasetti Face Decor
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The cylindrical shape allows Fornasetti's imagination to create surprising decorative effects in which the shapes follow one another endlessly. The metafisical face design makes this...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Table Top Cortile Celeste Architectural Motif, Wooden Legs
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthseis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Bookends Gift Tema E Variazioni N. 171 Black/White/Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
There can be wit and unpredictability in the order: this was Fornasetti idea when he designed his first bookends. The mix of images with their functional design make these accessorie...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Tray Holder Tray Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 40 cm diameter metal round tray.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Vase Pirata Black or White or Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Another Classic of the Fornasetti catalogue, vases' uncommon shape mixed with the timeless beauty of Lina Cavalieri, Piero Fornasetti’s enduring muse, bring to life one of the most d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Fornasetti Consolle Occhi Eyes from the Tema e Variazioni Series Black White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The consolle is handcrafted using original artisan techniques, like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture. This consolle is silk-screened by hand, hand-finished and covered with a smo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Chair Linangea Hydrangea Hand Colored Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti's take on the most classical piece of design, the chair, is a groundbreaking achievement in imagination. The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Stool Bocca Red Lips Hand Colored Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 46 cm This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is sil...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Paper Basket Architettura Black and White Handcrafted Metal Brass
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the paper basket is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. The shap...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal, Brass

Fornasetti Rectangular Tray Braccio Con Pistola on Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Mea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Umbrella Stand Palloni Hot-Air Balloons Handcolored on White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the umbrella stand is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth l...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Cylindrical Handmade White Pleated Silk Lampshade
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
This cylindrical lampshade in silk with a metal frame is the ideal complement to create, together with the base, a lamp that becomes an art object. Any minor discrepancies between...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Tray Holder for a Tray Black Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti trays become elegant coffee tables by adding this black wood base. Is suits a 60 cm diameter metal round tray. The second image shows the tray on its holder (the tray ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Umbrella Stand Farfalle Handcolored on White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the umbrella stand is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth l...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Handmade Centrepiece Tema E Variazioni n°399 White Black Burnished Gold
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The art of the table is manifested in this hand-decorated porcelain centrepiece with gold accents: Fornasetti's unmistakable decorative style makes it a true collector's item. Any...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Cylindrical Handmade Black Pleated Silk Lampshade
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
This cylindrical lampshade in silk with a metal frame is the ideal complement to create, together with the base, a lamp that becomes an art object. Any minor discrepancies between...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Cylindrical Handmade White Silk Lampshade
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
This cylindrical lampshade in silk with a metal frame is the ideal complement to create, together with the base, a lamp that becomes an art object. Any minor discrepancies between...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Screen Scaletta Black/White Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The screen is handcrafted using original artisan techniques, like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture. Measures: cm 200 x 205 H. This screen is silk-screened by hand, hand-finished a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Buffet Citta' Che Si Rispecchia Cabinet Wood Handcrafted Black/White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti pieces, the buffet is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece of furniture is silk-screened by hand, hand-finished and covered with a smooth la...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Silk Cushion High Fidelity Cat
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Cushion cover material: Silk The inner is included Size:...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Mano Hand
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. The decoration plays with the anatomic theme in a surreal an...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Set of 2 Silk Cushions Grande Pesce Fish
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. It is a set of two cushions depicting the famous Fornasetti d...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Curved Chest of Drawers Scimmie Grey Shades, Chromed Details
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture, it is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This corner cabinet is silk-screened by hand, hand-panited and covered with a smooth lac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Silk Cushion Polipo Octopus
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti cushions will add to each room an unexpected detail thanks to the most iconic Italian atelier designs. Material: Silk Size: 45 cm × 45 cm Made in Italy Cush...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Silk

Fornasetti Table Bocca Red Lips Brass Tripod Base
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
A Fornasetti table is the perfect synthesis of the artist's vision: a perfect balance of functional design and visionary illustrations that bring new meaning to a common object. Meas...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Fornasetti Round Tray Serratura Keyhole Handcrafted Red Metal
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer. Measures: 40cm diame...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Umbrella Stand Palloni Hot-Air Balloons Hand Colored on Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the umbrella stand is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth l...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Brass, Metal

Fornasetti Paper Basket Casa Con Colonne Architectural Motif Black and White
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the paper basket is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This piece is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Metal, Brass

Fornasetti Stool Gift from the Series Tema e Variazioni Handcrafted Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 46 cm This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is sil...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Stool Ortensia Hydrangea Hand Colored Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surprising detail of your house. Measures: H 46 cm This stool is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is sil...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Chair Lux Gstaad Blue Ponpon Pink Hand Painted Wood
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Fornasetti's take on the most classical piece of design, the chair, is a groundbreaking achievement in imagination. The Fornasetti chairs and stools are going to be the most surp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Frame with Convex Mirror Farfalle Butterflies Color on Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti accessories, the mirrors turn an everyday action into an aesthetic experience. This mirror frame is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. It is silk-...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood, Glass

Curved Chest of Drawers Farfalle Color/Black
By Fornasetti
Located in MILANO, IT
Like all Fornasetti pieces of furniture, it is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This corner cabinet is silk-screened by hand, hand-panited and covered with a smooth la...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Fornasetti Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

The Fornasetti furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. In our Fornasetti collection, there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. 174 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 101 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Fornasetti were created in Europe during the 20th century in the modern style of the mid-century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider Furniture by Bitossi Furniture, Piero Fornasetti Furniture and Archimede Seguso Furniture. Fornasetti Furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. On Amazon, the price for these items starts at $250 and tops out at $39,500, while pieces like these can sell for $1,445 on average.

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