Classics To Save Up For: Gio Ponti's Superleggera Chair

Classics To Save Up For: Gio Ponti's Superleggera Chair

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Maxwell Ryan
Oct 30, 2009

The world is full of millions of dining chair designs, so my approach is always to ignore the masses and look for classics that stand the test of time. I find that this approach either leads me to cheap classic chairs or really expensive classic chairs — rarely is there anything in the middle. Currently we have chairs from Cherner and Thonet, as well as a gaggle of vintage French chairs. I've always wanted a Prouve Standard chair, and I've always wanted a Superleggera Chair. One day. One day.

Let me then windowshop with you.

The Superleggera Chair was designed in 1957 for Cassina by the huge Italian designer, Gio Ponti. Inspired by the traditional Chiavari chairs Ponti had seen at the Italian seaside, the design was meant to be so strong and so light that a child could lift it up with one finger. A child can. It's a remarkably simple design that gains it's appeal from it razor thin looks, and its ability to go from modest to high fashion when dressed up in color.

I first saw a vintage version on display in a shop in Soho five years ago and never forgot it (above). Currently, I love the white version with the natural cane seat (above right). Please windowshop with me below and save the links for when you're finally ready. Enjoy!

Chair Superleggera; ashwood frame, natural or lacquer finish in the following colours: black or white. Seat in India cane.

>> All colors @ Cassinausa.com
>> Laquered Black @ MOSS for $1,690
>> Vintage Red Ones seen above @ Brian Kish

(NOTE: looking for vintage and used Superleggera is highly recommended. eBay, Craigslist,1st Dibs and auction houses like Treadway Toomey and Phillips are good places to start)

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