An outstanding pair of black leather and chrome Genni reclining lounge chairs with matching ottomans originally designed by Gabriele Mucchi in 1935.
The pair are in excellent vintage condition save a couple of marks in the chrome on the front of one ottoman as shown in the pictures. They date from the late 1980s and have been clearly Cherished and looked after with no rust or flaking of the chrome and no stains, marks, holes or tears in the soft leather. As shown in the 2nd to last picture, the chairs are adjustable in two positions that represent a 10cm rotation in height and angle - one more upright, the other more a lazy recline; perfect to savour a drink after a long, hard day.
These reclining lounge chairs were designed by a true artist who very much fitted the mould of the modern renaissance man. Gabriele Mucchi was born in Turin in 1899 and throughout his life was best known as a painter although his skills in many other areas also led him to acclaim as an engineer, architect, teacher and designer. He was a deep thinker and intellectual who formed part of the Italian avant-garde and Realist movements and in 1934 he created the Via Marcora house, one of Milan's earliest examples of Rationalist architecture.
He designed the Genni lounge chair in 1935 and the first example was produced in 1936. Clearly influenced by Bauhaus, the design has much in common with Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe but also echoes the extraordinary Transat chair designed by Eileen Grey in 1927 - in fact I’ve always considered Mucchi’s interpretation to be a far more accessible and comfortable version of it. And the Genni name? As all good things, it stems from love…
Mucchi’s life partner was the sculptor Jenny Wiegmann (known as Genni) who he had first met within the artistic melting pot of Caffè Aragno in 1930. She was married at the time to the sculptor Berthöld Müller but the two maintained a close friendship and eventually married in Milan in 1933. They spent much of their time together and often also exhibited in unison in Paris, Berlin, the USA and Italy; a trend that continued throughout their lives together until Genni sadly passed away after a long illness in 1969.
Of the chair, he said it represented both beauty and strength as well as an eminent practicality and therefore named it in honour of his wife who he said exhibited all the same qualities.
It’s a story that makes me love the chair even more, but I’ve also always been captivated by how modern the design still looks. And it is still produced today by Italian furniture company Zanotta who re-discovered Mucchi’s design back in 1982 - and ever since it has been one of their most enduring and successful designs. A truly fitting tribute to Mucchi’s wife, Genni.
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A pair of black leather and chrome Gabriele Mucchi Genni reclining lounge chairs
Leather and Chrome
Bauhaus, Iconic 20th Century
Era or date of production
Chairs: H72-82 X W58 X D110cm
Seat Height: sloping from 40cm at the front to 30cm at the rear
Arm Height: 52cm
Ottomans: H39 X W56 X D68cm
Number of pieces included in price
Excellent vintage condition
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