Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto 'Artona' Cabinet in Pau Ferro
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Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto, cabinet, model 'Artona', pau ferro, glass, leather and brass, Italy, circa 1975.
This cabinet is designed by Afra & Tobia Scarpa during the first period of the Artona collection. It combines the characteristic solid striped pau ferro and the use of a high-quality finishing and leather handles. The piece contains many shelves and the outer cabinets feature both glass and leather doors. Together, this grand pair provides plenty of space to display special objects and offers enough storage facilities.
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 are a duo of Italian architects and designers mostly known for their postmodern style. Afra Bianchin was born in 1937 in Montebelluna while Tobia Scarpa, son of the architect Carlo Scarpa, was born in 1935 in Venice. The couple met when they were both studying at the Venice Institute of Architecture and married afterwards. From 1957 until 1961, Tobia worked as a glass designer at the Murano glassworks of Venini. However, in 1960, the duo started to collaborate, and they set up one of the most successful and well-known professional studios. Together, they worked for companies such as Flos Gavina, B&B Italia, and Knoll. The couple won numerous amounts of awards like the Compasso d’Oro and the International Forum Design. Throughout their career, the duo carried out commissions for well-known companies, including Benetton. Overall, their designs are known for their modernist aesthetic, prioritizing elegance and comfort. However, at the same time, their pieces are admired for the ease with which they lean towards classical designs. Moreover, the creations show their deep understanding for materials. Today, many of their works can be found in major museums such as Museum of Mod¬ern Art of New York, Musée du Lou-vre, National Museum of Design New York and many more.
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