Design Masterworks 19 May 2016

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12

Gio Ponti


A Unique cabinet from Villa Arreaza, Caracas

Giordano Chiesa
Italy, 1954
Italian walnut, lacquered wood, brass
43¼ w x 21 d x 35 h in (110 x 53 x 89 cm)

result: $64,000


estimate: $70,000–90,000

Cabinet features four drawers. Sold with a certificate of expertise issued by the Gio Ponti Archives.

provenance: Blanca Arreaza, Caracas, Venezuela | Thence by descent
literature: Gio Ponti 1891-1979, Master of Lightness, Roccella, ppg. 68-71 discuss commission Gio Ponti: The Complete Work 1923-1978, Ponti, ppg. 180-181 discuss commission

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The Diamantina

Ponti's Villa Arreaza, Caracas

In the 1950s Gio Ponti was given carte blanche on the architectural and interior design of three villas: two in Caracas, Venezuela and one in Tehran, Iran. Villa Arreaza in Caracas, also known as The Diamantina for the diamond motif on its exterior and interior walls, was one of these important villas.

Villa Arreaza, Caracas

Commissioned by Blanca Arreaza in 1954, the villa took four years to complete. From the open floor plan and furnishings to objects and décor, Gio Ponti considered every aspect of the villa’s design. Ponti employed a bold color scheme of blues and whites alongside contrasting geometric patterns of diamonds, stripes and blocks of color which he applied to the walls, furniture and floors, alike. He used varied ceiling heights, folding walls and large windows to connect the interior for the villa to nature. Likewise the custom furnishings — modern and functional — added to the beauty and the comfort of the home. Dedicated to the ideas of Joie de Vivre, Ponti endowed Villa Arreaza with life.

Villa Arreaza was partially demolished and altered in the 1990s but a number of furnishings survived. The following cabinet was originally included in Don Manuel Arreaza’s dressing room. The cabinet has remained in the family collection until now.