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Piero Fornasetti

Piero Fornasetti (Italy, 1913–88)

The Italian artist and illustrator 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 dishes, 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.

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Piero Fornasetti Advertising Ashtray Made for Martini & Rossi, circa 1970
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A ceramic ashtray designed and made by Piero Fornasetti, the ashtray advertises a whisky distributed by Martini & Rossi. It's in perfect conditions and signed on the backside.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Piero Fornasetti for Rosenthal Porcelain Coffee or Tea Mugs Vintage
By Piero Fornasetti, Rosenthal
Located in North Miami, FL
This set of 4 Piero Fornasetti serigraphed transfer porcelain coffee or tea mugs for Rosenthal Classic Germany are from the 1980s. They are from the Julia Collection of Lina Cavalier...
Category

1980s German Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Map Coasters from the Antichi Planisfori Barware
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
This set of 4 Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti hand painted porcelain coasters are of antique maps. It is from the series of Antichi Planisferi. This was usually a set of 8 if ind...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Rosenthal Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plate Themes and Variation Pattern, Motiv 9
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Rosenthal Piero Fornasetti porcelain plate, Themes & Variation Pattern, Motiv 9 1980s The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and white printed plate with the face o...
Category

1980s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Sezoni Di Frutta Midcentury Small Plates or Coasters
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
This very rare and perhaps never used complete set of 8 Italian Piero Fornasetti porcelain small plates or coasters are signed and titled Sezoni Di Frutta. They are Mid-Century Moder...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plate Themes & Variation Pattern, Motiv 1
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Rosenthal Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Plate, Themes & Variation Pattern, Motiv 13, The 1980s (NY9319-crr) The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and white printed p...
Category

1980s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Calendar Porcelain Plate for the Year 1993
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Brussels, BE
Piero Fornasetti Calendar porcelain plate for the year 1993.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Calendar Porcelain Plate for the Year 1990
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Brussels, BE
Piero Fornasetti calendar porcelain plate for the year 1990.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Calendar Porcelain Plate for the Year 1988
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Brussels, BE
Piero Fornasetti calendar porcelain plate for the year 1988.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Side Tables with Instrument Illustrations
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Large pair of Piero Fornasetti labeled side table with brushed-brass, square tubular tripod bases and circular tops illustrated with musical instruments. Solid brass bases are not la...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti 'Farfalle' Butterflies on White Background Lamp Base, 1950s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- Vintage lamp base by collectible and coveted Italian designer Piero Fornasetti - Whimsical "Farfalle" design which translates to "Butterflies" - Classic and iconic Fornasetti des...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti 'Bicchieri di Boemia' Bohemian Stacked Glasses Lamp Base, 1950s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- Vintage lamp base by collectible and coveted Italian designer Piero Fornasetti - Whimsical "Bicchieri di Boemia" design which translates to "Bohemian Glasses" - Reminiscent of Al...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti Malachite Design Lamp Base, 1950s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- Vintage lamp base by collectible and coveted Italian designer Piero Fornasetti - Classic and desirable Fornasetti Malachite design - Vibrant green color - Currently fitted with ...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Lot of 6 Animated and Illustrated Plates by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in lyon, FR
Lot of 6 animated and illustrated plates by Piero Fornasetti. Very good condition Dimensions: Diameter 10.5 cm.
Category

1990s Italian Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

20th Century Piero Fornasetti Coat Rack in Wrought Iron and Printed Glass Pome
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Turin, IT
Coat rack designed by Piero Fornasetti in 1955, with structure entirely in red wrought iron, and unique blue printed glass pome, with detail in golden brass. Good condition, original...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Wrought Iron

Three Plates from the Astronomici Series by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in San Mateo, CA
Three Piero Fornasetti Astronomici plates. These are early original plates. They show some wear to the gold. There are glaze flakes around the edges of each one. One plate has a coup...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Italian Vintage Oval Tray "FIORI" by Piero Fornasetti, Italy, 1960s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
As all Fornasetti accessories, the oval tray is handcrafted using original artisan techniques. This tray is silk-screened by hand, painted by hand and covered with a smooth lacquer....
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Plastic

20th Century Piero Fornasetti Sux Plates Edition Martini & Rossi of Turin
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Turin, IT
Set of six plates in decorated porcelain designed by Piero Fornasetti for a special edition for Martini & Rossi, very popular company in Italy, and abroad, for the production of the ...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain Vida Poche Wealth Health and Happiness Bowl Barware
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
This wonderful and rare Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti serigraphed porcelain vida poche bowl states Wealth, Health and Happiness around the perimeter. There is a big red heart a...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Gilded Porcelain Chariot Coasters or Nut Dishes Vintage Barware
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
These charming set of 8 Piero Fornasetti vintage gilded porcelain chariot coasters are from the 1960s. They are the complete set of 8. They are hallmarked on the back Fornasetii Mila...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Gold

Piero Fornasetti Tema Porcelain Bowl Vintage
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
This amazing vintage Piero Fornasetti porcelain bowl is of the Tema Variation series and of the muse of Fornasetti's whom was the opera singer, Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti was the Fel...
Category

1980s Italian Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Pair of Piero Fornasetti for Rosenthal Mesi and Soli Porcelain Plates
By Rosenthal, Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
These delightful and whimsical Piero Fornasetti set of 2 porcelain hand painted plates are from a series called Mesi and Soli. They were executed by Rosenthal Germany between the 196...
Category

1960s German Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain, Paint

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain and Gilded Appetizer Bowls Midcentury S/6 Barware
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
These fabulous small Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti appetizer small serving bowls are porcelain with gilded gold edges, bottom and insides. They are the complete set of 6 and ar...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Gold

Fornasetti Metal and Wood Cigarette Box Made in Italy in the 1960s
By Fornasetti, Piero Fornasetti
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A green metal and wood box by Piero fornasetti. It's decorated with a sailing ship, mahogany inside wood is in perfect conditions.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Rosenthal Porcelain Plate, Motiv 28
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti Rosenthal plate, Motiv 28, Depicting the Face of Julia an a Woman's Back, 1980s The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and white printed plate ...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Rosenthal Plate, "The Fan" Motiv 26
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti Rosenthal Plate, "The Fan" Motiv 26, Depicting the face of Julia Behind a Fan, 1980s (NY9467-nmr) The striking Rosenthal Fornasetti gold-rimmed black and whit...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Porcelain and Gilded Coasters "Mitologia" S/8 Barware Vintage
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in North Miami, FL
This classic complete set of 8 Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti porcelain and gilded coasters are in their original cardboard faux bois painted box with a gilded flower. They are ...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Gold

Obelisk Étagère/ Shelf 'Architettura' by Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Obelisk étagère/ shelf 'Architettura' by Fornasetti, large scale with one side open fitted with ten shelves, each measuring 5-inches deep x 5.5-inches wide x 5.5 inches high, Decorat...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Neoclassical Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Piero Fornasetti Tray
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Meyrin, CH
Piero Fornasetti metal tray.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Teapot Warmer-Five Golden Rules for Teamaking
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Downingtown, PA
Piero Fornasetti teapot warmer, Five golden rules for Teamaking, 1980s (NY8909-npi) The warmer in two parts, the upper section with images of tea making and a lower plain tray....
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Original Boxed Set of Eight Banca Unione Advertising Coasters
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
Original stylish boxed set vintage Italian porcelain advertising coasters designed by Piero Fornasetti for Banca Unione and dating from the 1960s. The set comprises of eight coasters...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

'Butterflies' Dining Table by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s Italy, Signed
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This pièce de résistance collectors item is the 'Farfalle' (translated to 'Butterflies') dining table by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s, signed underneath with its original studio lab...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Wood

Piero Fornasetti Magazine Stand
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Magazine stand designed and manufactured by Piero Fornasetti in the 1950s. Lithographic transfer print depicting a basket of colorful flowers. Has brass legs and a center handle. Ori...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti Metal Tray
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Meyrin, CH
Piero Fornasetti metal tray.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Fornasetti Plate Capricorn Zodiac Sign Porcelain, 1963, Italy
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti plate Capricorn zodiac sign porcelain, 1963, Italy.
Category

1960s Italian Other Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti "Cat" Waste Basket, Italy, 1960s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Playful red waste basket by Piero Fornasetti masked by the cut out of a cat. Lithographic transfer print and brass hardware. Marked with original label. Condition: Excellent vint...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Piero Fornasetti Table Lamp
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
1950s cylindrical table lamp by Piero Fornasetti illustrating books of renowned authors. Lithographic transfer print and brass hardware. Marked with original label. Made for European...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti Set of Eight Vini e Liquori Coasters, 1950s, Wine and Liquors
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Raleigh, NC
Set of eight transfer-printed ceramic coasters designed by Piero Fornasetti in the 'Vini e Liquori' pattern, circa 1955. Each coaster depicts a bottle hang tag for a different alcoho...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Vintage Fornasetti Pistole Waste Basket, 1950s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A vintage example of a rare design by Piero Fornasetti.   
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Vintage Set 'Passata di Pesce' by Piero Fornasetti, 1955
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in JM Haarlem, NL
Complete set of six plates 'Passata di Pesce' (Passage of Fish) by Piero Fornasetti 1955. Screen printed in black lines on German porcelain and painted in color by hand in the studi...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Pair of Bookends 'Strumenti Musicali' by Piero Fornasetti, 1950-1960
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in JM Haarlem, NL
Vintage pair of bookends 'Strumenti musicali' (Musical instruments) by Piero Fornasetti, Milano, Italy, 1950-1960. These are original and not a reissued version. Black lacquered and ...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal

Pair of Bookends 'Cammei' by Piero Fornasetti, 1950-1960
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in JM Haarlem, NL
Vintage pair of bookends 'Cammei' (Cameos) by Piero Fornasetti, Milano, Italy, 1950-1960. These are original and not a reissued version. Red and white lacquered and folded metal, dec...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Gold Leaf, Metal

Set of 8 Gold, White & Black Fornasetti "Musicalia" Cocktail Porcelain Coasters
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Houston, TX
Offered is a signed set of eight Mid-Century Modern Italian Fornasetti, "Musicalia," gold gilt, black and white porcelain cocktail coasters with a musical instruments theme that were...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Piero Fornasetti Display Plate, Barney's New York Collection
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A Classic midcentury Italian Designed plate featuring an iconic image from Piero Fornasetti’s work, his muse the opera singer, Lina Cavalieri. Crisp black and white timeless design i...
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Fornasetti Coaster Set
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A seldom seen set from Fornasetti Original box.
Category

1950s European Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Ceramic

Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Porcelain Italian Pencil Holder, 1960s
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Ibiza, Spain
"Roma Foot" Piero Fornasetti pencil holder. Made of glazed porcelain. The Fornasetti mark is seen underneath the foot, as opposed to inside on the newer versions, Italy, 1960s.   
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Vintage Piero Fornasetti Display Plate, Barney's New York Collection
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A Classic midcentury Italian Designed plate featuring an iconic image from Piero Fornasetti’s work, his muse the opera singer, Lina Cavalieri. Crisp black and white timeless design i...
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Wall Clock
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Vienna, AT
Piero Fornasetti wall clock created in 1990s. Glass clock face with printed woman face and digits with quartz clockwork. Measures: Ø 37 cm.
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Glass

Fornasetti Plate n.5 “ Alfa Romeo“ Milano Porcelain, 1970, Italy
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti plate n5 “Alfa Romeo” Milano porcelain, 1970, Italy.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Other Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti Hand-Decorated and Printed Aluminium Tray, Italy, circa 1950
By Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti
Located in Milan, IT
Fornasetti's production is truly vast, during the 20th century, the objects that came out of Fornasetti's design hands have spanned every field of design. This hand-decorated and scr...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Aluminum, Brass

'Cammei' Coffee Table by Piero Fornasetti, c. 1960s Italy, Signed
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This unique collectors item is the 'Cammei' coffee table by Piero Fornasetti, signed underneath with its original label. The coffee table is made with lacquered wood that has a white...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

'Chiavi' Brass Tripod Side Table by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s Italy, Signed
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This rare collectors item is the 'Chiavi' side table by Piero Fornasetti, signed underneath with its original label. The side table is made with lacquered wood that has a black and g...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

'Viso Di Donno' Side Table by Piero Fornasetti, circa 1960s, Signed
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This fun and whimsical collectors item is a side table by Piero Fornasetti, signed underneath with its original label. The side table is affixed on top of a brass tri-pod base which ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Brass

Piero Fornasetti Wall Paper, 4 Rolls, in Stock
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in New York, NY
Four rolls of the famous and beautiful Piero Fornasetti wall paper. Each roll is 10 meters long and 52cm wide. The color is celadon. Produced by Cole & Son, England. The design is Te...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Paper

Piero Fornasetti Plate “Alfa Romeo" N 6 Porcelain, 1970, Italy
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Piero Fornasetti plate “Alfa Romeo” n 6 porcelain, 1970, Italy.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Other Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Fornasetti Plate “Alfa Romeo n 1” Porcelain, 1970, Italy
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Fornasetti plate “Alfa Romeo n 1 “ porcelain, 1970, Italy.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Other Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Piero Fornasetti “Plate Alfa Romeo N 2” Porcelain, 1970, Italy
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Milano, IT
Piero Fornasetti “Plate Alfa Romeo N 2” porcelain, 1970, Italy.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Other Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Porcelain

Rare "Trompe Oeil" Metal Umbrella Stand with Roman Figures by Piero Fornasetti
By Piero Fornasetti
Located in Montreal, QC
Rare "Trompe Oeil" metal umbrella stand with Roman Figures by Piero Fornasetti.
Category

1950s Italian Neoclassical Vintage Piero Fornasetti

Materials

Metal