Mid-Century Modern ‘Mercury’ Swivel Lounge chair by Rito Valla, Italy 1963
Stunning 'Mercury' lounge chair by Rito Valla for IPE Bologna, Italy 1963. One of the best designs produced by IPE (Imbottiture Prodotti Espansi). Hard to find design object; only produced for two years. Distinguished bold shaped form on an exceptional metal swivel base with tapered walnut legs and brass supports. The chair is reupholstered in a high quality brick red velvet. In excellent condition.
The strongpoint of IPE's immediate success was their reliance on polyurethane, a chemical material that was highly innovative for those years since it was soft and tough and, until that particular time, utilized solely for the padding and stuffing of the car seats of Lancia motor cars. IPE was one of the very first companies to follow the example of Lancia and it revolutionised the traditional construction methods of seats. The Mercury lounge chair was exhibited, highly successfully, at the first edition of Milan’s International Furniture Fair in 1961.