A rare Gabriella Crespi "Struzzo" lamp from her "Animali" series with real ostrich egg centre and gilt metal surround. Mounted on circular lucite base and signed on the gilt metal base "Gabriella Crespi".
Large pieces of this quality are rare to find, especially in good original condition. Re wired with new brass fittings and antique cord flex and switch. With original shade that does have some wear on the bottom edge, but would be easy to replace to the exact dimensions and style if required. This piece was produced in 1970.
She designed all the pieces herself and did not have a factory, or separate studio. She would make detailed drawings at home and bring them to various artisans around Milan. In the 1960s and 70s a designer could dream up a piece and quickly have a prototype made, sometimes overnight, by a fine woodworker or metalsmith in Milan.
She would sculpture models in wax, and others would make the moulds. Her "Animali" and bird series, including this large ostrich were begun in clay and then made using the lost-wax bronze casting process and then silver or gilt plated. She embraced this process between 1970 -1974 to create 12 animals. They were meant as sculptures that were very life like, each one representing something different in the natural world and she merged them with natural pieces like the ostrich egg, that symbolised birth and life.
At the height of her success, Crespi maintained a showroom and warehouse in Milan and a showroom and glamorous apartment in the historic Palazzo Cenci in Rome, where her pieces were set against Umbrian frescoes. In New York, she sold to the trade through Casa Bella and for a time at Neiman Marcus. She had a 20 year collaboration with Christian Dior designing and producing a lot of their homeware lines, all with her distinctive style.
Produced mainly in the 1960's and 70's, her creations graced some of the most elegant homes in the world. Elizabeth Arden ''fell in love with my designs, and wanted everything in the collection,'' Crespi said. Thomas Hoving, Princess Grace, Sophia Loren, Jean Pierre Guerlain, Phillippe De Gaulle, Gunther Sachs and the Shah of Iran were other aficionados who collected her pieces at the time and more recently Stella McCartney, Lenny Kravitz, Prince Emanuele Filberto di Savoia and other collectors who see her work as a gem in the history of decorative arts.