Decorative Plates By Piero Fornasetti

Decorative Plates By Piero Fornasetti – Italian designer Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) is the famous for his mysterious and quirky pieces. Fornasetti lived and worked in Milan all his life and was one of the most prolific decorative artists of the 20th century. He was a painter, sculptor, decorator and engraver. His style was one based on illusion, architectural perspectives, and a number of themes such as the sun, faces, playing cards, fish and flowers, from which he made seemingly endless variations.

Born in Milan in 1913, Fornasetti grew up under the influence of functionalist restraint but, by looking at his work, it’s obvious it didn’t restrain him.

His fruitful imagination created a dream-like magical world, and he applied his decorative vocabulary to an astonishing array of objects – ashtrays, chairs, plates, cabinets and dining tables were all transformed by the application of unexpected images.


Fornasetti rebelled against the concept of numbering, dating and signing his work. He was so sure that his style was unmistakable that he was indifferent to these significant marks that collectors use as proof of date and identity. After his death, his son Barnaba began to distinguish the re-editions from the original classics with the Fornasetti stamp.


The porcelain plates are black and white, though we have seen a black on gilt version of the companion “Eva” set. On the back of each plate it says “Fornasetti-Milano, Made in Italy” (in English) and shows a picture of a hand holding a brush; in the center there is a fig leaf, and a number from 1 to 12; at the top an arrow pierces a sign that says “Alto Haut Top”; and underneath the glaze the center is marked with the brand of a German porcelain manufacturer in an oval, under which “4 Germany 4” is printed. In addition to the specific answers of provenance and price, we’d like the information and sources used to determine them.


A Set of Twelve Coloured Piero Fornasetti Calendar Plates of the Sun, made in the early 1950’s.






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