Carlo Mollino

Lounge Armchair

Auction Closed

December 8, 05:46 PM GMT


100,000 - 150,000 USD

Lot Details


Carlo Mollino

Lounge Armchair

circa 1953

designed for the residence of Mr. Fulgido Pomella in Casa del Sole, Cervinia, Italy

produced by Ettore Canali

maple, brass, original Resinflex upholstery

29½ x 32 x 33¾ in. (74.9 x 81.8 x 85.7 in.) as pictured

Acquired directly from Mr. Pomella by Fulvio Ferrari, 1985
Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
Private Collection
Christie's New York, December 7, 2001, lot 474
Fulvio Irace, ed., Carlo Mollino, 1905-1973, Milan, 1989, p. 37
L’étrange univers de l’architecte Carlo Mollino, exh. cat., Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1989, p. 121
Rossella Colombari, Carlo Mollino: Catalogo dei Mobili, Milan, 2005, p. 53
Giovanni Brino, Carlo Mollino: Architecture as Autobiography, New York, 2005, p. 344
Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, London, 2006, p. 179 (for the present lot illustrated)
Napoleone Ferrari, Mollino, Casa del Sole, Turin, 2007, p. 102 (for the present lot illustrated)

The present lot is registered in the library of the Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, as number CM 350-1.

The present armchair was designed in 1953 for the apartment of Fulgido Pomella at Casa del Sole in the ski resort town of Cervinia. Pomella was an engineer working for the Olivetti company in Ivrea, then a leading manufacturer for high-quality typewriters and calculators. Striking a vibrant balance between futurism and tradition, Casa del Sole was intended as a convenient condominium made of small rational apartments, foreshadowing the idea of the modern-day ski resort. After designing the building and its interior, Carlo Mollino was asked in 1953 to design furniture for the complex, including the present armchair. “Mr. Pomella is the only owner in the Casa del Sole who asked Mollino to design a fireplace armchair, whose sole function was to provide a relaxing environment for its owner to relax after a day out on the radiant ski slopes,” explain Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari, Founders and Curators of Museo Casa Mollino in Turin. “Only two unique pieces were handmade by Ettore Canali for his apartment.”

The chair was conceived with a reclining back using a rack system, as well as a maple frame and arms which broaden out in the shape of a leaf and have a natural maple finish that nicely complements the original green Resinflex upholstery. Resinflex is the commercial name for an extremely resistant vinyl fabric produced by the Resinflex company in Turin. According to the Ferraris, “the original vinyl upholstery is robustly functional and perfectly suited for a mountain home like Casa del Sole. The Pomella armchair is a ‘machine’ that shows off its shiny brass fittings and fastenings, while bearing strong resemblance with the illustrations from Mollino’s own book about skiing techniques. The structure of the armchair is characterized by a sinuous collaboration of seat, back and wood elements. Only the armrest is granted a masterfully sculpted organic shape which comforts and embraces the human body. The piece simultaneously emanates an air of serene order and snappy dynamic tension characteristic of Carlo Mollino's very best designs.”