Thursday, February 12, 2009

Domed Containers | Anna Castelli Ferrieri | Kartell, Italy | 1973

Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed containers Anna Castelli Ferrieri
Kartell, Italy, 1973

Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed containers My Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed container group (the containers 7301/2/3/4 and the domed lids 7321/2/3/4). Pay no attention to the helmet ice bucket. Nothing to see here.

I’ve changed my mind.  I think I’ll go with the Kartell Museum site for her birthday: Anna Castelli Ferrieri was born in 1920 (though the New York Times says 1918). She studied architecture at Milan Polytechnic Institute from 1938 until 1943, from which she was one of the first women to graduate. In 1943 she married Giulio Castelli, a chemical engineer. In 1946 she founded an architecture practice. She and her husband founded Kartell in 1949. In 1949 Anna Castelli Ferrieri took part for the first time in the Congrès Internationale d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), of which she was also a co-organizer. In 1952, she became a member of the Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica. In 1956, she co-founded the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI). She was primarily an architect until the mid 1960s, and quite a successful one. Some of her architectural projects are listed here, notably the Kartell headquarters building in Binasco outside of Milan.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri worked in industrial design starting in the mid 1960s, designing objects for Kartell as well as Apelli e Varesio, Artex, Lanerossi, Nirvana, Oltolinie, Sambonet, and Ycami. In 1966, Anna Castelli Ferrieri became a design consultant with Kartell. She participated at the exhibition “Italy: the New Domestic Landscape” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York with several pieces including the modular “Componobili” storage system (4970/84), still in production today. In 1976, she became art director of Kartell. She twice received the “Compasso d'Oro” prize, in 1987 (K 4870 chair for Kartell) and in 1994 (Hannah flatware for Sambonet).

K 4870 chair             Hannah flatware Left: I couldn’t find a good link to the K 4870 chair, so here is a picture from eBay. Right: Hannah flatware. Image source.

In 1991, Anna Castelli Ferrieri's “Interfacce della materia: Esperienze Progettuali: Sedie e Comportamenti” (The Interfaces of Material: Design Experiments: Chairs and Behavior) was published, in which she calls for responsible behavior on the part of designers.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri died in 2006 following complications from lung disease.

The “Domed Containers” designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri come in five (maybe six?) sizes and three colors, the colors of the Italian flag: green, white, and red. The series is quite rare and was originally marketed with bases and lids as separate items. Flat lids and domed lids are interchangeable, but the domed lids are the ones that give the hot look. Both the containers and domed lids are made from injection molded ABS.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed containers This group of 3 was for sale at $445. (Link dead for now, retromodern.com is updating their site)

Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed containersAnother domed container group (7301/2/4 and 7321/2/4). This time in red. Thanks Jorge.

The containers are cylinders that have the same height as they do diameter. A 1 mm lip recessed at the bottom of the cylinder makes it appear like the container is floating on whatever surface it’s set on. It’s a nice touch. For the container, the number label appears only on the box. The imprint on the container reads, “Kartell per alimenti Made in Italy” in a circle around the injection molding stub. The domed lids are labeled


Kartell ® 732X



Even though this listing is for the domed containers, the flat lids of series 731X also fit, as shown below.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri domed containers with flat lid Left: 7304 container, 7314 flat lid. Right: 7324 domed lid.

There is another, container that has a rounded base instead of a straight base, the 710X series called “Ciotola.” For these rounded bowls, there is a model 7106 that has a diameter of 30 cm! I don’t know if a cylindrical container or lid of any kind exists for this item, hence the “?” in the table below. The bowls will be the subject of the next post.

Kartell designations for domed container components

height diameter container flat lid domed lid
10 cm 10 cm 7301 7311 7321
12 cm 12 cm 7302 7312 7322
14 cm 14 cm 7303 7313 7323
18 cm 18 cm 7304 7314 7324
22 cm 22 cm 7305 7315 7325
26 cm or 30 cm ? 26 cm or 30 cm ? ? ? ?

More information about or images of this series would be greatly appreciated, especially the existence of larger sized containers and domed lids.


Iovine, J.V. (2006, June 28). Anna Castelli Ferrieri, 87, Force in Postwar Modern Italian Design, Dies . Retrieved January 26, 2009, from New York Times Web site: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/28/arts/design/28ferrieri.html

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