Re-edition of Mercury 1961 available on 1stDibs

Re-edition of Mercury 1961 available on 1stDibs


Mercury, the armchair and sofa model designed by sculptor Rito Valla in 1961 for IPE, is returning with a limited edition by Visionnaire available on 1stDibs for sale at

Mercury was presented in the two sofa and armchair versions in 1961 at the first edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan by IPE, a company founded in 1959 in Bologna by brothers Pompeo and Vittorio Cavalli. Immediately recognized as an experimental company, it was the first to interpret a revolutionary system involving the use of polyethers moulded around lightweight metal reticular structures as a substitute for kapok, horsehair, springs, elastic cords and nails in the manufacture of padded furniture. The company was able to adapt this engineering and new construction method to soft and rounded shapes that were previously impossible to achieve, perfectly embodied by Mercury, the first example of this approach. Due to this unique characteristic, the few original examples remaining today have a very high technical and economic value. The contemporary style of the model designed at the time by sculptor Rito Valla convinced Visionnaire – a brand founded in 2004 as a spin-off of IPE, which has become a point of reference for the meta-luxury lifestyle – to reissue the model with current polyethers and put it back on the market.


“Visionnaire’s products, - explains Art Director Eleonore Cavalli, granddaughter of IPE’s founders, - combine craftsmanship and exclusivity, becoming one-off or very limited-run collector’s items. In recent years, our brand has become increasingly focused on experimenting with the relationship between art and design and on offering desirable products. Reissuing a legendary model designed by Professor Rito Valla seemed a natural step to us, fully in line with the brand’s creative direction. The partnership with 1stDibs allows us to be part of the leading marketplace for collectible, luxury furniture.”