The “1919” armchair, named after the year in which it was designed, is actually archived under the code “128”. It is thought that it was custom-designed by Renzo Frau for Filiberto Ludovico of Savoy, Duke of Pistoia. Despite being commissioned by a specific customer, it became one of Poltrona Frau’s first and biggest public successes.
Reinterpretation of the classic bergère model, compared with its progenitors the “1919” adds the strength of its characteristic capitonné, used for the backrest. Other details include the addition of a special extension to use as a footrest and a little optional bookstand with arm, designed to hold the ashtray of the Duke, a famous cigar smoker. Each “1919” armchair is numbered. The supporting structure is made from solid seasoned beech. The seat, backrest and armrest spring system consists of hand-tied steel biconical springs attached to jute belts. The seat is padded with rubberised horsehair while the backrest and armrests are in hand-shaped vegetable horsehair. The seat cushion is in goose down. The backrest design is obtained with manual capitonné processing. The castors and metal parts (plate holder arm, ashtray and number plate) can have a gold or gunmetal grey finish. The “1919” armchair is available in two versions: without plate and with ashtray plate or cup holder (both of which can be mounted on the left or right).
Lorenzo Frau, known as ‘Renzo’, was born in Cagliari in 1881. He left Sardinia for military service in Milan, which he completed successfully earning the title of lieutenant. He married Savina Pisati and moved to Turin, at the time a real hub of Italian culture.