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Joe Colombo Illuminated Rosewood Coffee Table, 1963, Original Bernini Label



Rare and stunning illuminated rosewood and acrylic (plexiglass) coffee table by visionary Italian designer Joe Colombo. The table is signed to the underside of the base with the original 'Bernini' manufacturer's label. Colombo designed this illuminated coffee table in 1963 for 'Bernini' Italy and it formed part of his famous 'Combi' modular range of elements that could be ordered separately or in combinations of storage elements which stacked one atop another to form a multi purpose sculptural form column. This fine example is finished in luxurious flamed rosewood which was the rare high end option over the cheaper standard Italian walnut finish. Sandwiched between the two circular rosewood elements is a white acrylic plexiglass light diffuser which when illuminated from the inside creates a wonderful cozy low level lighting effect with a wonderfully warm tone. The circular rosewood tabletop features a central, removable, enameled steel container which could be used as a planter or to store glasses, bottles etc. The April, 1966 issue of the famous Italian design periodical 'Rivista dell Arredamento' illustrates Jo Colombo's visionary range of modular furniture from his inventive small foldaway micro kitchen, to the 'combi' range of stackable sculptural storage elements and this illuminated coffee table with a sculptural form plant installed in the central container. This table is also illustrated in a color photo featured in Raimondi and Carla de Benedetti's book 'Italian living design ' where you see it installed in a 1968 Joe Colombo designed interior next to a pair of his iconic space age Sella' lounge chairs and a range of his 'combi' storage elements. We give a nod to this photo by also photographing this table next to one of our own Joe Colombo 'Sella' lounge chairs (not included !) to give you a better idea of scale. The rosewood and plexiglass elements sit atop a rolling anodized aluminum ring so even with the weight of a heavy plant or additional 'combi' storage elements stacked on top the table can still be easily moved for the cleaning of carpets, repositioning of furniture etc. The underside of the base ring element is supported on the original four nylon rolling castors which are in very nice shape. The table is illuminated by three tubular incandescent light bulbs which are accessed by removing four bolts around the perimeter of the black enameled planter box, these can be replaced with more modern tubular LED bulbs should you wish. Please refer to the last couple of images which illustrate the electrics. A lovely unrestored original example in very nice condition, a rare opportunity to acquire a Italian design Classic. Literature: 'Rivista Dell Arredamento', April 1966, page 37 'Italian living design, Raimondi and Carla de Benedetti, 1990.


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    Ships From: bergen op zoom, Netherlands
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About the Designer

Joe Colombo

He died tragically young, and his career as a designer lasted little more than 10 years. But through the 1960s, Joe Colombo proved himself one of the field’s most provocative and original thinkers, and he produced a remarkably large array of innovative furniture, lighting and product designs. Even today, the creations of Joe Colombo have the power to surprise. Cesare “Joe” Colombo was born in Milan, the son of an electrical-components manufacturer. He was a creative child — he loved to build huge structures from Meccano pieces — and in college he studied painting and sculpture before switching to architecture. In the early 1950s, Colombo made and exhibited paintings and sculptures as part of an art movement that responded to the new Nuclear Age, and futuristic thinking would inform his entire career. He took up design not long after his father fell ill in 1958, and he and his brother, Gianni, were called upon to run the family company. Colombo expanded the business to include the making of plastics — a primary material in almost all his later designs. One of his first, made in collaboration with his brother, was the Acrilica table lamp (1962), composed of a wave-shaped piece of clear acrylic resin that diffused light cast by a bulb concealed in the lamp’s metal base. A year later, Colombo produced his best-known furniture design, the Elda armchair (1963): a modernist wingback chair with a womb-like plastic frame upholstered in thick leather pads. Portability and adaptability were keynotes of many Colombo designs, made for a more mobile society in which people would take their living environments with them. One of his most striking pieces is the Tube chair (1969). It comprises four foam-padded plastic cylinders that fit inside one another. The components, which are held together by metal clips, can be configured in a variety of seating shapes. Tube chairs generally sell for about $9,000 in good condition; Elda chairs for about $7,000. A small Colombo design such as the plastic Boby trolley — an office organizer on wheels, designed in 1970 — is priced in the range of $700. As Colombo intended, his designs are best suited to a modern decor. As you see on these pages, if your tastes run to sleek, glossy Space Age looks, the work of Joe Colombo offers you a myriad of choices.
About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in bergen op zoom, Netherlands
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