A unique oak and glass table for the Casa Orengo, designed by Italian architect Carlo Mollino in 1949.
Image source: https://iveseenthat.tumblr.com/post/44430885884/carlo-mollino-casa-orengo-1949
Carlo Mollino’s Glass and Oak Table, known as the Reale, is an astonishing piece of furniture finely crafted and surely ahead for its times. In fact, it’s exceptional how Mollino was able – in the 1950s – to create, using only solid wood and capable artisans, a slender, lean and slim structure equaled only by the contemporaneous master designers the like of Franco Albini.
Image source: https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/table-mod–Real/29645A9E61DDD779
A True Masterpiece of Constructive Intelligence
The Reale table is a true masterpiece: created with a compact, transparent skeleton it is embellished with a crystal top that seems to frame it. Articulate and complex shapes reveal a constructive intelligence of a perfect mechanism where every element slots together thanks to a precise and custom-designed metal joint system.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carlo_mollino,_scrivania_cavour,_progetto_del_1949,_prodotto_nel_2003.JPG
The Collaboration with Zanotta and the Timeless Elegance of the Reale Table
In the mid-Eighties, Zanotta came across Carlo Mollino’s work and began producing items of furniture designed by this eclectic Italian architect, among which there was also the Reale: a glass and oak table which took its name from the insurance company it was designed for.
Critically refusing International Stylistic theories, Mollino proposed Zanotta a table where materials and their experimental qualities are gathered harmoniously together: the organic and engineering aspects blend in a timeless elegance, in a pure taste for challenge. The “authentic” architect – as he loved to be called – becomes, thanks to a real personal style, the symbol of an era where Modernism meets Surrealism.
Image source: https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Casa-Orengo/6CCF64AA79CDD2F1
The table is available in several different versions. I can be found with a 15 mm thick, plate glass top with or without beveled edges, or a 20 mm thick top either in white Carrara marble, in black Marquina marble or in Emperador marble, with stain-resistant protective varnish, in clear matt polyester. The frame is available in natural – or in Canaletto walnut dyed -oak or painted with an open pore black or white finish.
Image source: https://triennale.org/en/events/carlo-mollino-hyperformal-allusions
The Reale table is worldwide known for a record auction sale at Sotheby’s in 2005, where it was sold at the incredible prize of more than 3 and a half million dollars.
Nowadays, specimens of the Reale table can be found in the Larte Restaurant in Milan; Hotel La Finca in Orihuela, Alicante and Louis Vuitton boutique in Bogotá.
Image source: https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Reale-Dining-Table/99F8C012A0C08C0E
- Designer: Carlo Mollino;
- Year of Design: 1949;
- Manufacturers: Zanotta;
- Provenance: Turin, Italy;
- Materials: glass and oak.