“I was born into a family of wretched good taste and I use wretched good taste as the key to liberate the imagination.” - Piero Fornasetti
The eclecticism of the Forbes collection is mirrored in and enhanced by the objects designed by Piero Fornasetti. Fornasetti’s design aesthetic successfully plays with classicism and surrealism, cloaking objects in a veil of mystery and magic. These objects transport their viewer to Fornasetti’s secret dream world.
Among these is a rare “Malachite” bicycle, one of fewer than 10 examples produced, designed and made in 1984 (Lot 209). The frame is wrapped in a transfer-printed design in imitation of the rich green and black-banded mineral, a stone used in ornament and jewelry for thousands of years.
Another early example in the Forbes collection, the “Citta de Carte” and “Bosco” screen from the early 1950s is labeled by the Fornasetti archives, indicating it was among the first made of this design (Lot 207); one side depicting a city of cards, in a playful, castle-like formation amongst a barren landscape dotted with figures in Renaissance dress. The opposite side of the screen with of dense forest landscape.
Perhaps the most iconic of the designer’s works in the sale, the rare “Trumeau Architettura,” is one of a handful of this model produced in the 1970s (Lot 208). The design debuted at the IX Milan Triennale and is featured in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Fornasetti’s timeless designs continue to enrich interiors today and are a must-have for collectors of important 20th century design.