Gio Ponti lacquered wood, upholstery and brass Triennale armchairs by ISA Bergamo, $90,000 (£71,200) at Wright.

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The rare design is one produced for ISA (Industria Salotti e Arredamenti), the luxury furniture firm.

To achieve the effect of ‘weightlessness’ in a wing-back chair, Ponti deconstructed the traditional form and inserted a metal frame within the wooden structure of the upholstered backrest to reinforce it.

This pair, with manufacturer’s labels to the back stretchers, have a provenance to Count Luigi Baldini of Ravenna whose family owned several important Ponti designs.

Estimated at $70,000-90,000, they sold at the top guide.

Sit-down protest?


Namoradeira tete-a-tete rocker by Jose Zanine Caldas, $42,000 (£33,200) at Wright.

A rare sight at auction in the US was a signature example of ‘protest furniture’ by the Brazilian designer Jose Zanine Caldas (1919-2001). Previously in a collection in Sao Paulo, the Namoradeira tete-a-tete rocker c.1963-67 came for sale from a vendor in New York.

It was estimated at $50,000- 70,000 but sold a little short at $42,000 (£33,200).

For more than a decade in the 1940s Zanine Caldas ran a workshop in Sao Paulo making detailed scale models for top Brazilian architects and later plywood furniture inspired by European modernism. However, he soon tired of capitalism and instead moved back to his native Bahia where he began to make furniture that was later called Móveis Denúncia - protest furniture.

Inspired by local vernacular crafts and the natural resources around him, pieces such as this rocker were often fashioned form a single piece of Brazilian hardwood. The piece, with the branded signature Zanine, is pictured in the artist’s biography that was published in 2020.

Several examples of this form have been sold by Piasa in Paris including one dated c.1980 sold for €56,000 (£48,000) on April 4.