1919 | Armchair

Renzo Frau

Each “1919” armchair is numbered. The supporting structure is made from solid seasoned beech. The seat, backrest and armrest spring system consists of hand-tied steel biconical springs attached to jute belts. The seat is padded with rubberised horsehair while the backrest and armrests are in hand-shaped vegetable horsehair. The seat cushion is in goose down. The backrest design is obtained with manual capitonné processing. The castors and metal parts (plate holder arm, ashtray and number plate) can have a gold or gunmetal grey finish. The “1919” armchair is available in two versions: without plate and with ashtray plate or cup holder (both of which can be mounted on the left or right).

1919 | Armchair

Renzo Frau
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Visuals shown are for illustration purposes only. Actual finish and/or pattern may vary due to unique characteristics of natural raw materials

Plate

Finishing of the metal parts

Upholstery

Concept and Design

The “1919” armchair, named after the year in which it was designed, is actually archived under the code “128”. It is thought that it was custom-designed by Renzo Frau for Filiberto Ludovico of Savoy, Duke of Pistoia. Despite being commissioned by a specific customer, it became one of Poltrona Frau’s first and biggest public successes. Reinterpretation of the classic bergère model, compared with its progenitors the “1919” adds the strength of its characteristic capitonné, used for the backrest. Other details include the addition of a special extension to use as a footrest and a little optional bookstand with arm, designed to hold the ashtray of the Duke, a famous cigar smoker. 

Designed by
Renzo Frau

Lorenzo Frau, known as ‘Renzo’, was born in Cagliari in 1881. He left Sardinia for military service in Milan, which he completed successfully earning the title of lieutenant. He married Savina Pisati and moved to Turin, at the time a real hub of Italian culture. He initially worked as a sales representative for Gribaudi and then for Dermoide Patent, manufacturer of faux leather. Having moved to Great Britain for work, he was able to discover the Chesterfield model armchairs and immediately imagined its potential, successfully starting to import it into Italy. At the same time, however, he was also attracted by the models of French and Central European style. He therefore decided to create his own artisan production laboratory. It was 1912: Poltrona Frau was created. From the initial work ‘in style’, Frau quickly moved onto direct design. Poltrona Frau became not only a production pole, but also a meeting point for artists and intellectuals. Renzo Frau used these relations to consolidate the brand image: successful models ensued quickly, one after the other. As the First World War broke out, Frau was called to fight for his country and his wife Savina bravely took up the reins of the company. Frau’s armchairs thus began entering the most important buildings, also used by the royal family. Renzo Frau met an early death in 1926. He left an extensive archive of projects that would allow his wife to coherently pursue Poltrona Frau production in the years to come.

Coverings and finishes

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3ds
2d dwg / 3D dwg
professionals 1919 armchair dxf