Afra & Tobia Scarpa 'Artona' Cabinet
Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Artona cabinet, rosewood, glass and leather, Italy, circa 1975.
This cabinet was designed during the first period of the Artona collection, it combines the characteristic solid striped rosewood and the use of a high quality finishing and leather handles. The piece provides many shelves and other storage spaces featuring both glass and leather doors. The Artona line by the Scarpa duo was in fact the first line ever produced by Maxalto, the specialist division of B&B Italia. Maxalto was originally set up in 1975 as a high-end division of B&B Italia to focus exclusively on the production of artisanal, mostly wood furniture. The Artona was their first project and also functions as a counter-message against the common prevailing use of plastics in furniture design during the postwar period.
Afra (1937-2011) & Tobia (1935-) Scarpa both studied on the Venice Institute of Architecture. Tobia first worked for the Italian glass manufacturer Venini. From 1960 on the couple opened their own design office. Their work includes architecture and everyday items like furniture and clothing. Tobia & Afra designed for numerous major Italian and international companies like Flos, Gavina, B&B Italia, Cassina, Knoll International and many interior projects for numerous companies worldwide.
Please note that the bottom and edges of the cabinet show natural signs of use and age.
Mastropietro, Mario and Rolando Gorla, An industry for design. The Research, Designers and Corporate Image of B&B Italia. Milan: Edizioni Lybra Immagina, 1999, p. 493 (variation).