Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto 'Artona' Console Cabinet in Walnut and Leather
Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto, console cabinet model 'Artona', walnut burl, walnut, ebony, leather, brass, Italy, 1975/1979
This console cabinet is designed as part of the ‘Artona’ line by Afra & Tobia Scarpa. It features a top with vivid walnut burl and portruding round ends. Three drawers and two doors are covered with cognac leather that adds a beautiful, soft touch to the design. Like typical for the ‘Artona’ line the wood features dark lines in ebony that add a certain elegance to the design and testify great craftsmanship.
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’ line was their first project and also functioned 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 Modern Art of New York, Musée du Louvre, National Museum of Design New York and many more.
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