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This elegant cabinet is an important example of Pierluigi Colli’s work as it unites the characteristics his designs are known for: the sides and legs in carved walnut, the meticulously crafted geometric door handles and the thuya wood inlaid in the doors and top. The exotic thuya was Colli’s preferred burl wood. Contrasting wood textures and appealing grains, the different techniques used and the geometrical lines give the cabinet a sumptuous and refined appearance. Its execution and appearance form an exceptional combination of both the traditionally decorative and the more modernist aesthetics of the Italian Art Deco.

Colli’s designs express a so-called Turinese elegance, characterized by the accuracy of their execution and the use of luxurious materials. The designs were tailored to each clients’ specific wishes and requirements.

Provenance: private residence, Turin.

Biography: The history of the prestigious Colli furniture factory dates back to 1831, when Giuseppe Martinotti founded the Martinotti factory located on the Via Barbaroux 9 in Turin. This company produced furniture of the highest quality and participated in major international exhibitions such as the Centennial Exhbition in Philidelphia, in 1876. For an exhibition in Turin, the company collaborated with MIRAM, a textile company specializing in the production of embroideries, carpets, curtains and pillows. Pietro Colli, the father of Pierluigi, was the founder of MIRAM and took over the Martinotti business in 1926, creating a business capable of producing virtually every aspect of interior design.

After attending the l’Ecole des Art Decoratifs in Paris, Pierluigi Colli (1895-1968) follows in the footsteps of his father. Through his frequent travels to Paris, where he also attended the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs, Pierluigi was very well aware of the international design tendencies. Not only did Colli become a very dynamic and passionate entrepreneur, he also steered the family business into a more modern direction, using the extraordinary craftmanship and experience already present. Unsurprisingly, some of the most renowned architects including Carlo Mollino, Gio Ponti and Gabetti & Isola turned to Colli when realizing their designs.

Bibliography: Il mobile italiano degli anni 40-50, Irene De Guttry, page 138-141