ID: 44229 - 11
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Midcentury Model 180 Table by Carlo De Carli for Sormani, Italy 1971

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H: 75cm W: 124cm D: 124cm

Base W: 74cm D: 74cm

The Model 180 table designed by the esteemed Carlo De Carli for Sormani, Italy, dating back to 1971. This exquisite piece boasts a striking white lacquer base. The pristine lacquer against the rich rosewood top creates a captivating visual contrast, exemplifying the sophisticated design language characteristic of this iconic designer.

Carlo De Carli (1910-1999) not only left an indelible mark on 20th-century design as an architect and designer but also distinguished himself as one of Italy's leading and highly esteemed professors. His profound impact extended beyond the realm of physical design, encompassing a fundamental influence on the theoretical reflections and ethical principles shaping an entire generation of architects. After graduating in architecture from the Politecnico di Milan in 1934, De Carli maintained a strong connection with the university throughout his illustrious career. Serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture from 1965 to 1968 and teaching until 1986, he solidified his legacy as an influential academic figure.

A revered academic and prolific writer, De Carli's philosophy centred on the seamless integration of space, material, and the human body and gesture. With this ethos, he effectively fostered a dialogue between design, academia, and the craftsmanship world. His formative years included collaboration with the legendary architect and designer Gio Ponti, whose influence played a pivotal role in shaping De Carli's language and approach to design. Subsequently establishing his own studio, De Carli's designs gained widespread recognition, earning production by some of the most significant and innovative Italian design companies.

Established in 1961 by designer Luigi Sormani (1932-2017), the pioneering Italian furniture manufacturer Sormani revolutionized production techniques, moving away from traditional craftsmanship and hardwoods predominant in the 1950s. Opting for innovative materials like Rio Rosewood, lacquered wood, and later plastic and aluminium in the 1960s and '70s, Sormani embraced modernization. The brand's debut collection, Fleeting by Studio ABC, unveiled at the 1961 Milan Furniture Fair, marked the introduction of one of the first modular wardrobe systems.

In 1966, Sormani ventured into thermoformed items, incorporating moulds inspired by the automobile industry, exemplified by Richard Neagle's Nike and Auriga armchairs. This period also saw Sormani's exploration of extruded aluminium with the Ellisse Collection (1967) by Claudio Salocchi. Expanding globally, Sormani found success in the US and Japanese markets. The 1970s brought a collaboration with architect-designer Gio Ponti, yielding vibrant, modular storage units. In the early 1980s, the establishment of an engineering division facilitated turnkey projects, spanning residential and contract engineering, restoration, and interior decoration.

Collaborating with esteemed Italian designers, such as Joe Colombo, Carlo De Carli, and Pierre Cardin, among others, Sormani's portfolio includes iconic pieces like Gianni Songia's GS 195 Daybed (1963) and Joe Colombo's Rotoliving Unit (1969). Recognized with awards for advertising campaigns and corporate excellence, Sormani's work is showcased in renowned museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto. Despite facing challenges, the legacy continues through Gloria, Luigi Sormani's daughter, who has undertaken the restoration and archival reclassification of the family's extensive collection.

Condition: some crazing to the white lacquer foot, otherwise excellent vintage condition.

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The Old Cinema

Style Spotlight | Midcentury Modern

Midcentury modern is an iconic and accessible style with aesthetic elegance and functionality at its heart. With its clean lines, organic shapes and minimalism, midcentury modern furniture has a timeless appeal that continues to inspire contemporary designers.

The genre emerged after World War Two, when Western civilisation was in recovery and on the brink of a new modern era. The baby boom was in full swing, creating huge demand for new homes, new appliances and furniture that represented a firm departure from the traditional and ornate styles of the past.

Midcentury furniture is defined by its sleek and highly considered design, from production to consumer use. Ergonomic forms and geometric shapes set the tone for midcentury furniture and homewares but MCM is much more than just a look - pieces often have multi purpose functions such as extendable dining tables for entertaining and nesting tables that store away when not in use.

During the 1950s, new materials became available to designers and there was a rise in furniture created with moulded plywood, fibreglass, polyurethane foam and plastic laminates. America leant towards designing products that could be easily mass produced, whereas Scandinavia tended to stick to natural materials such as rosewood and leather, which earned them a reputation for quality and craftsmanship.

Throughout the midcentury period designers and architects emerged that are now regarded as design icons. Some of the most famous names include Poul Cadovius, Charles Eames, Robert Heritage, Arne Jacobsen, Kai Kristiansen, Gordon Russell, and Arne Vodder. Designer pieces and unattributed midcentury modern furniture both remain highly collectable due to their iconic style and practicality.

Image: A midcentury Danish 'Bar In A Box' designed by Erik Buch for Dyrlund c.1960