June 15 2009, 10:55am

Italian. Circa 1950. Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), one of Europe's most celebrated and innovative post-war decorative artists, produced only one design for corner furniture. Dating from the early 1950s, the present piece uses one of Fornasetti's favourite decorative motifs, the shell. He used trophies of shells, along with other natural forms, to decorate a myriad of objects from furniture and fabrics to glassware and ceramics. It is likely that the present piece was the product of Fornasetti's lengthy collaboration with the great Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti, which began in the late 1940s. Ponti had achieved fame as a furniture designer as early as the 1920s, and his strong appreciation of orament made Fornasetti his ideal partner. 'In our age of pronounced distrust of decoration, wrote Ponti in 1962, 'Fornasetti happily reveals its importance.'