For many design enthusiasts and lovers of fine furniture, the name Kartell needs no introduction. The Italian company, founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli, is renowned for its innovative use of plastics and its iconic designs. While Kartell is known for its contemporary and modern pieces, vintage Kartell pieces from the 1950s to the 1980s are gaining attention for their timeless design aesthetics.
The Legacy of Vintage Kartell
During the 1950s and 1960s, Kartell collaborated with renowned designers such as Joe Colombo and Gino Colombini to produce pieces that have become design classics. The Tubo chair, designed by Colombini in 1969, is an excellent example of the high-quality craftsmanship and innovative use of materials that Kartell is known for. The chair features a transparent acrylic frame and a leather seat, which creates an effect of lightness and elegance. The Lampara di Kartell, designed by Colombo in 1967, is another iconic piece. The lamp features a curved plastic tube with a reflective interior, which creates a unique lighting effect.
The Popularity of Vintage Kartell
In recent years, vintage Kartell pieces have gained popularity among collectors and design enthusiasts. The appeal of these pieces lies in the fact that they are not only beautiful but also functional. Many vintage Kartell pieces, such as the Mobil and Componibili storage units, are still in use today and are as useful as they were when they were first designed. Additionally, vintage Kartell pieces are more sustainable than contemporary plastic furniture as they were produced before the widespread use of synthetic materials and were made to last.
Collecting Vintage Kartell
Collecting vintage Kartell pieces can be a rewarding but challenging endeavor. Many vintage pieces are rare and hard to find, and prices can range from affordable to exorbitant. However, there are several tips that collectors can follow to start their collection. One tip is to search for pieces at vintage furniture stores, flea markets, and online auctions. Another tip is to build a network of other collectors and sellers to keep informed about upcoming sales.