A dining set composed of four “Africa” dining chairs and an “Artona” table, designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto in 1975.
Made of walnut, burl, and ebony.
Originally hand-finished and assembled one by one, “Africa” presents a support structure in solid wood with a thin rectangular section. In this model, the pattern of thicknesses of the veneers achieves the most significant impact; beyond the seat level, in curved plywood covered with leather, a back takes form with great sculptural force. The perfect correspondence of the curved lines is achieved by making this part out of a single piece of wood, divided and finished in two specular components.
The table features a round top based on the well-known construction technique using blocks of briar framed by walnut and ebony. The base is square, and this provides a solid but quaint base to the round top. Sophisticated details and various colors accompany the black lines in the piece. The Artona line by the Scarpa duo was the first line ever produced by Maxalto, the specialist division of B&B Italia. Maxalto was initially set up in 1975 as a high-end division of B&B Italia to focus exclusively on the production of artisanal, mostly wood furniture. The Artona was their first project and functioned as a counter-message against the general everyday use of plastics in furniture design during the postwar period.