Friday, March 6, 2009

Centopiedi bed | Pietro Salmoiraghi and Antonio Locatelli | Kartell, Italy | 1972

Centopiedi bedPietro Salmoiraghi
Antonio Locatelli
Kartell, Italy, 1972

Pietro Salmoiraghi was born in Milan in 1941 and Antonio Locatelli was born in Bergamo in 1931.  Together, they designed a bed (“letto”) base for Kartell that is amongst the rarest of Kartell’s designs.  It takes a single mattress and was given the designation 4545.  A double version for two (“matrimoniale”) was given the designation 4546 and could be used with the addition of a specially seamed mattress.  The bed was characterized by low cost of production, lightness, versatility, and ease of shipping and storage.  In space challenged dwellings, it can serve just as easily as seating as it can a place for sleeping.  One of its features is that it is hinged and can be folded in half.  The folded and extended dimensions are provided below.

Length opened 196 cm
Length folded 98 cm
Height opened 28 cm
Height folded 56 cm
Width 86 cm
The bed features 12 hollow, slightly tapered cylindrical tubes integrated into the body that serve as legs.  The look is not unlike that of a centipede, hence the name “Centopiedi.”  A dynamic design, it’s poised and ready to scamper away!
Centopiedi bed, white This Centopiedi 4545 in white, is for sale from 1stdibs for $4,800.  This example was documented in the “Pop Goes the Plastic” exhibition catalogue, Katonah Museum of Art, 1998.
The bed is made of ABS, the hinges of nylon.  It was produced in two colors, black and white.  It was designed in and production began in 1972.  Production continued until 1977.  The black in 4546 configuration is shown below in a photo from the Kartell Muesum.  Pandolfini estimated one in white at €800-900 ($1,000 to $1,100) in their 2003 “Design Italiano 1940-1990” sale.  This design has the distinction of being the first I’ve featured that I don’t have a copy of.

Centopiedi bed, black

The Centopiedi black in 4546 configuration from the Kartell Muesum.

Centopiedi bed, black

The Centopiedi black in 4545 configuration from the somewhereinspace blog.

Centopiedi bed, whiteCentopiedi bed, white Centopiedi bed, whiteCentopiedi bed, white Various bed views.

Cent3Centopiedi bed, white Centopiedi bed, white Hinge system.

The pictures above were provided with permission by fiandfran (thank you!).  The Centopiedi above in white was for sale, location Australia, with a starting bid of AU$499 (US$320).  There were four bids, with a winning bid of AU$520 (US$340).  The condition is particularly nice!  Check out the eBay store of fiandfran for other modern design items, especially of Scandinavian origin.

Selected Bibliography

Augusto Morello, Plastiche per design, Arcadia Edizioni,
Milano 1984, pp. 183–184.

Abitare n. 117/118, Agosto Settembre, 1973, p. 316.


Montalvo, P. R. (2003, November 26). Design Italiano 1940-1990. Retrieved January 18, 2009, from Pandolfini Casa d’Aste Web site: http://download.aperion.it/pandolfini/20031126design.pdf

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