The beech and brass table designed by Gio Ponti for the dining room of the liner Conte Grande – €80,000 (£67,795) at Artcurial.

Image copyright: Artcurial

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Ponti and Lelli were the focus in a 177-lot sale of Italian design held by Artcurial (25/20/14% buyer’s premium) on October 28.

The multi-talented architect/designer Ponti (1891-1979) was well represented in this auction with examples of his metalware and furniture.

In the immediate post-war years Ponti designed the interiors for a number of ocean-going liners and several examples of pieces from these commissions featured in this auction.

One of them, a large rectangular dining table from c.1950, provided the sale’s highest price when it sold to a European collector for €80,000 (£67,795) – getting on for three times the low estimate.

The table, which had a beech top recovered with red linoleum set on beech and brass mounted supports, measured 8ft 2in (2.5m) in length and had a provenance to the dining room of the transatlantic liner Conte Grande.

The sale also featured two lots from 1949 that had a provenance to the first class reception room of the liner Conte Biancamano: a pair of Cassina edition wood framed armchairs upholstered in dark blue fabric that realised €6000 (£5085) and a pair of brass mounted walnut occasional tables with circular tops covered in blue linoleum that made €23,000 (£19,490).

Another Mid-century lot by Ponti achieved the second highest price of the day. This was a pair of caned armchairs with varnished walnut frames and white fabric upholstered cushions made c.1950 by Cassina that realised €55,000 (£46,610).


Angelo Lelli’s c.1950 designed Cavalletto metal floor lamp – €27,000 (£22,880) at Artcurial.

Image copyright: Artcurial

Italian design is well known for its innovative lighting and this auction featured a selection of Mid-century examples by some of the best-known names in this field: Max Ingrand (1908-69), Gino Sarfatti (1912-85) and Angelo Lelli (1911-79).

One of Lelli’s pieces proved sought after. A 6ft 10in (2.1m) high Cavalletto extending floor lamp in brass with adjustable black lacquer metal reflector was designed c.1950 by Lelli for Arredoluce, the company that he founded. It more than tripled its mid-estimate to sell for €27,000 (£22,880).