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Alfredo Ravasco
(Genova, 1873 - Ghiffa, Verbania, 1958),
Centerpiece with Fish,
1930-1935 circa Lapis lazuli, agate e coral,
58 x 106 cm
Milan, FAI, Villa Necchi Campiglio

Ravasco is one of the most famous goldsmiths active in Milan in the first half of the 20th century. Working in precious materials, the artist realized not only extremely sought after jewelry for women, but also objects for use and furnishings, such as coffers, crosiers, and so forth, among which may be noted, for example, the case for the hair of Lucrezia Borgia at the Ambrosiana Painting Gallery. Ravasco also is known in city circles for having restored the golden altar in the church of S. Ambrose. The centerpiece has always belonged to the Necchi Campiglio family. Of geometrical lines and lively naturalistic details in a style reminiscent of Art Déco, it already was part of the original dining room decoration of 1935.

Bibliography: Paola Venturelli, Alfredo Ravasco, Milan, Skira 2003, pp. 70-711

Piero Portaluppi
(Milano, 1888-1967),
Heater Cover,
1935, Brass, 81 x 44 x 21,5 cm
Milano, FAI, Villa Necchi Campiglio

The vaguely oriental geometrical design for three of the heater covers in the Necchi home was executed by Portaluppi around 1935. The decorative motif was used again by the architect for the legs of a walnut table of the same home, thus confirming the strong influence of Oriental art, as well as Art Déco, on the work of Portaluppi, be it for ornamentation or, as in this case, functional objects. It should be remembered that all the heaters in the house are protected by various kinds of metal grills, always in a geometrical style; those in the rooms and salons are in brass, while those in the bathrooms are in nickel.

Bottega di Giovanni Socci (Firenze),
Field Desk,
first quarter of the 19th century. Mahogany, 87 x 106 cm
Milano, FAI, Villa Necchi

This beautiful Empire-style piece of furniture hides a complex closure mechanism, which permits it to fold into itself around the book rest, the lateral wings and the seat. Angelo Campiglio put this desk in his study most probably in the years after the Second World War. This is plausible since the room originally had a walnut desk designed by Portaluppi in the 1930s that, along with much of the original furnishings, was relegated by the owners to the servants’ rooms around the 1950s.

 

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