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MHC.1 / MHC.2
Molteni & C >
Werner Blaser >
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Storage-Sideboards >
Storage-Sideboards >

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The prototype of the first item of modern furniture ever produced by Molteni&C, the chest of drawers designed by Werner Blaser in 1955, is available again in a limited and numbered edition of 100 pieces, made of avodiré wood just like the original. Never produced on an industrial scale, it won the Cantù “Prima mostra selettiva - Concorso internazionale del mobile”, a competition designed to re-qualify the image of Italian furniture making. The jury included Gio Ponti, Alvar Aalto, Romano Barocchi, Carlo De Carli and Finn Juhl. The unusual joinery features a simple three-fork joint. “I had travelled widely in Japan”, says Werner Blaser, “and the details reflect the influence of that world. And since the competition was anonymous, the jury presumed that I was a Japanese designer, while I was actually from Basel!”. Born in 1924 and a student of Alvar Aalto, Blaser studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and in Japan. He opened his own studio in Basel in 1959 and for a long time worked with Mies van der Rohe, publishing various books about the latter’s architecture.

The second piece dates to a few years later, 1959. Again competing in the Selettiva, it won third place. This time, the jury included Luigi Caccia Dominioni and the designer really was Japanese, from Tokyo, Yasuhiko Itoh. His bookcase is a prototype made of bent wood, a complex procedure for that time. Itoh, born in 1933, studied at Waseda University, and he then spent several months in Molteni’s production department working with the Molteni experts. The result is an elegant and refined item of furniture, re-made today, again in a limited and numbered edition of 100 pieces.