The fashion of 1970s fashion has been simmering well in recent years, with interesting combinations of velvets, brocades, bell-shaped sleeves and wide belts.
TV series such as Made in Italywhere a young journalist works for a fashion magazine called Appeal in Milan, takes viewers into the world of glam circa 1974. Released in 2019, the series is a catalyst to help make the 1970s hip again.
“It was the perfect vehicle not only for the Missoni fashion of that time, but also for the resurgence of furniture and lighting, particularly from Italy,” says Anna Grassham, head of modern design at the auction house. at Sydney Leonard Joel’s auction.
Filled with lavish ensembles, much of the series’ furniture and lighting was designed by Mario Bellini, including his iconic camaleonda sofa, produced by B&B Italia and brought to market in the early 1970s. Sectionals, upholstered in vibrant orange, green or brown velvet, are now serious money grabbers, whether purchased new from outlets such as Space Furniture, or on the second-hand market.
Leonard Joel recently sold an original seven-seater camaleonda sofa in green velvet with an ottoman for $30,000. “We even sold one of those sofas for over $20,000, and the fabric was torn,” says Grassham, who finds prices for 1970s furniture and fixtures continue to appreciate.
Other 1970s designers popular with buyers included Italian Angelo Mangiarotti. His late 1960s and early 1970s marble dining and coffee tables in red, black or cream are extremely desirable, Grassham says. A black marble console, circa 1971, sold for over $12,000 late last year.
Mangiarotti’s eros dining tables are also popular, with one of his four-pillar tables selling at Leonard Joel for $20,000.
“People are attracted to items that are a bit glitzy, such as furniture and gold-embellished things,” says Grassham, who has seen a number of pendant lights from the 1970s sell for upwards of $10,000.
Jarrah Daniel, communications manager at Space Furniture, saw a resurgence of interest in 1970s furniture and lighting about two years ago.