Collection Online
wood, painted and gilt vellum, copper
97.0 × 45.0 × 40.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Milan, Lombardy, Italy
inscribed in red paint on rear of backrest c.: Bugatti
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with the assistance of Paula Fox, the NGV Women's Association and the NGV Supporters of Decorative Arts, 2008
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
18th & 19th Century Decorative Arts & Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

This chair design was first exhibited in Bugatti’s ‘Snail Room’ interior at the First International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts, Turin, in 1902. Carlo exhibited four interiors, all of which represented a remarkable advance in his design aesthetic. Within a few years Bugatti had transformed his heavy, rectilinear furniture into curvilinear, plastic forms entirely wrapped in vellum. In one resolved form he had dispensed with chair legs and incorporated the seat and backrest into one sinuous line. The single form of this Chair, composed of carved wooden elements covered in vellum, anticipates injection-moulded plastic chairs of the 1950s.