Just a decade ago, the Italian designer and architect Gio Ponti was largely unknown outside the creative scene. But now his name is omnipresent. In autumn of 2018, Ponti was honoured with a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, while at Grand Basel, a one-to-one scale model of a never-built Alfa Romeo he designed was presented. The furniture and objects of Milan’s allrounder are now among the most sought-after items for collectors in a rapidly growing international market for rare design classics.
At a recent Phillips auction in London, many of the Ponti-designed lots sold for well beyond their pre-sale estimates. A wooden desk for example, which was estimated to make £60,000–80,000, realised an extraordinary £193,750 (incl. premium). Two folding coffee table prototypes raised £81,250 and £100,000, respectively, while the victorious bidder for a pair of chimneys, valued at £5,000–7,000, forked out £32,500. We’re curious to see which exceptional Ponti pieces will be the next to achieve World Record prices.