The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

Large coffee table by ALDO TURA

Friday 19 August 2016, by Barbara Cogollos

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Aldo TURA (1909 - 1963) is a designer of furniture, specialized in furniture papered with parchment. Born in Forlì, his interest in professions related to the creation of furniture appears in the 1930s. Exiled during the fascism, he settles in France and stays there until the end of the war. It is in France that he learns to work the parchment in the French Art Deco style. However, he quickly moves away from it: whereas the Art deco movement concerns geometrical lines, TURA designs items with fluid forms and lines. After his return in Italy at the end of the war, he opens a workshop in Milan, then, in 1960, a factory in Lazzate, Lombardy.

Mainly active between the end of the 40s and the 50s, Aldo TURA is an eclectic character, both designer and artist. Characterized by an innovative style which goes against the fashion of the rationalist austerity, Aldo TURA’s furniture are one of the rare examples of Italian furniture in parchment. His furniture, of a high-end craft, are produced in small series: these are "sculptures-furniture", resulting from a strong and innovative inspiration, and can have as well unusual forms, or which can be decorated with illustrations of architectures or medieval knights.
Because of his exceptional skill as craftsman and artist, he experiments a wide range of materials as the eggshell, the parchment, the leather and the wooden veneer. The making of a piece of furniture in parchment is particularly meticulous and contains numerous difficult stages, such as the tanning and crusting. This shows perfectly the ambition of TURA to create exceptional and esthetic pieces of furniture with natural materials.

During the 40s and 50s, the Italian furniture is a new luxury craft which seduces the rich western collectors, particularly in the United States and in Germany. In this context, the luxury and the creativity of the furniture of TURA quickly seduce the customers and the designers, who find in his creations an alternative to the functional furniture of that time.

In his furniture directory, the servings occupy an important place: particularly rich and elaborated, their tray is in parchment with brass details. In addition to the furniture, the "master of the parchment" is also interested in service objects: he designs coffee sets, ice buckets, vases and mirrors.
Since a few years, we see a renewed interest for Aldo TURA’s furniture, which are often present in auctions of Italian design, where they are acquired for important sums.
Several recent sales are particularly notable: at Christie’s a cabinet was sold for approximately 9000 euros in 2011; the auction house Quittenbaum in Germany sold a table and four chairs for 10 000 euros, and in 2012 the auction house Boetto in Genoa sold a mobile bar of TURA for 8000 euros (see opposite photo).
Most of these sold furniture are in parchment, the key material of Aldo TURA’s production. The table we present is made with parchment, a material which provides it a warm and sophisticated aspect.

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