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Next Generation Living Homes

When you are part of design royalty, the perks run the gamut. One thing to always count on? Spectacular wedding gifts. As part of Christie's London "Thinking Italian" design sale on October 17—an extension of its "Thinking Italian" art auction on October 4—the auction house will offer a rare and important chair by Carlo Mollino that was once a wedding present for Gio Ponti's daughter, Lisa. Delivered as part of a set of six chairs, sectional, and settee, the sculptural set was gifted to Lisa Ponti in 1950 and subsequently housed in her Milan apartment.

Lisa Ponti and Luigi Licitra, with examples of the present lot at home in their Milan apartment, circa 1951.

Photo: Museo Casa Mollino, Turin

Carlo Mollino was a noted Italian designer of the 20th century—and close friend of Gio Ponti—whose furniture is now in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum and Musée Nationale de l’Art Moderne, Paris, among others. The chairs he constructed for Ponti were one of his most exciting creations; white upholstered seats perch on stiletto-like legs and a futuristic brass frame—an organic fusion of industrial and artisan.

The estimate for a singular chair is steep—Christie's expects the price to land between $262,000 and $393,000.

The six chairs saw the market for the first time in the 1980s and have found separate homes the world over. One pair has since remained in a European collection, another was snapped up by an American collector in 2005, and a fourth seat found a new home in 2014 through a New York auction. The fifth chair, which Christie's is offering, has not been seen on the market since 1997. The location of the sixth chair remains unknown. The chair will be on view in Christie's King Street beginning September 15, as part of an exhibition it organized for the London Design Festival.

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Next Generation Living Homes