Gio Ponti Plaques, ca. 1925

Value (2004) | $20,000 Auction

My dad bought these at an estate sale about... probably in the late '60s from an elderly couple that were friends of theirs and they had purchased them in Italy. When I did a little research on them, I found they were made by a designer named Gio Ponti in the early '20s. He'd been trained as an architect and this was his first real job. When he was asked about this period of his life, he felt he was a failed architect and that he was just a draftsman now, so these where his draftings. But he rose to be the head of design for this company, and then he later was kind of considered to be the godfather of modern Italian design and fulfilled his ambitions of being an architect and designed the Pirelli Tower. That's about all I know about him.

Well, when doing these, he did work for the Richard Ginori ceramic manufacturer, and I will show you a mark on the back. He was there between 1923 and 1930, so that's when these would've been done. And here is the mark right here. This is made in Italy, and these have a wonderful, very modern, very industrial look to them. They're extremely exciting. Even something like this, which is in black and white, is so strong graphically. The way these are decorated... these are partly transfer-printed, but they're also painted by hand over that. Now, he did these designs for many different media. He did plates, he did vases, and he did tiles. Now, we have had several tiles-- much smaller, eight-inch tiles-- go from $550 to $1,500 a tile. Large ones like this, which are so rare and so fabulous-- easily $5,000 apiece.

Oh, no. Really?



Yeah, these are really great. This kind of stuff is so hot right now.

I love them. I would never sell them.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2004)
$20,000 Auction
St Paul, MN (June 26, 2004)

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