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LIGHTING MIRRORS TABLES ART DECORATIVE OBJECTS JEWELLERY                                  Roomscape Mid Century Modern Furniture

Gaetano Sciolari Biography

Added 01 July 2014 at 18:23

While Sciolari Lighting has been around since 1892, it was their most famous offspring Gaetano Sciolari who went on to design for Italian manufacturer Stilnovo in the 1950’s.

Angelo Gaetano Sciolari (1927-1994), renowned Italian entrepeneur and designer, would not have engaged himself in the world of lighting if it hadn’t been for his father’s premature death. 

After graduating from the Faculty of Architecture, Sciolari began training as a film director however, after the death of his father in 1949, the 22 year old took over the family business. Although this new position meant a complete career change, Gaetano directed the company with great vision. 

Within a few years, he expanded the family business.  In 1954 the company won an international lighting and design competition. A major milestone included the  exclusive distribution of American Lightolier products making Sciolari the first Italian manufacturer of lamps sold in the US and therefore the biggest importer in the lighting market. 

Sciolari`s first designs were Atom inspired pendants, but in the 60’s he shifted to conventional chandelier forms like the Neoclassical Sciolari from the Ovali collection.

These designs however were far from traditional but instead refined, edgy & futuristic. Lines were clean & sculptural and materials such as crystals & ice glass sparkled with a sultry coolness.

Playfully Sciolari positioned satin finishes against highly polished metal for great optical effect. He broke the traditional rules by combining brass with chrome, to bring out the best of both metals.

By the early 70’s, Sciolari’s European style was imported to America by Lightolier & Progress Lighting. Their catalogues included Sciolari collections such as the Geometric series, Habitat series, Scultura & Futura.  

This vintage `Futura` Sciolari chandelier 12 lights, sold recently at 
, in chrome, brass & Lucite, was featured in this 1976 Lightolier catalogue. 
This original vintage piece by Gaetano Sciolari is a puzzled maze of imposingly futuristic curves & cuboids. The clever combination of mixed metals & finishes, along with the clear Lucite tips that reflect, glow & magnify the light, make this chandelier not only a light, but an illuminated sculpture.

 featured Cubic sculptural chandelier still has the original Sciolari maker`s label with the Cubic series logo.

This 1970`s large 21 lights Sciolari Chevron chandelier is of large proportions and has a high quality chrome & solid polished brass frame arranged in a zigzag or chevron shape.

A pair of these Cubic chandeliers were ideal for this futuristic scene in the 1970’s British sci-fi television series Space: 1999. 

By the 1980`s the look represented glamorous modern living and so a Sciolari chandelier was the perfect light choice for this 1983 episode of the TV show Dallas.

Sciolari was also the founder and first president of the trade association of Italian manufacturers of lighting fixtures, still very active today. 

Manufactures of Sciolari lighting included Stilnovo (Milan), Boulanger (Belgium) and Stilkronen (Germany). 

Look out for Sciolari designs named ‘Club’, ‘Futura’, ‘Cubic’ `Ovali` and ‘Sculpture’.

For vintage Sciolari demand is high and availability rare. Buyers appreciate the inimitable quality & detail along with the glamorous lifestyle of the period.

At Roomscape we have been dealing & stocking Gaetano Sciolari pieces for over 20 years, our passion for his designs started very early on, and Sergio being an architect, was attracted by the sculptural quality of the designs.  See a wide range of Sciolari Lighting on our web site - if we do not have it let us know and we`ll find it for you.

Each month we send out all our new stock arrivals and include a feature article like this one about Gaetano Sciolari. Fancy receiving our Newsletter in the future, just subscribe here.

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