Learn about Memphis Group

The Memphis Group, a design collaborative, was founded in Milan on the initiative of designer and architect Ettore Sottsass (1917 - 2007), in December 1980. The group derived its name from the Bob Dylan song 'Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again', said to be playing at their inaugural meeting. As well as Ettore Sottsass, its members included Michele de Lucchi, Barbara Radice, Nathalie du Pasquier, Marco Zanini and Martine Bedin. The group's work was shown for the first time at the Milan Furniture Fair in September 1981 and after that exhibitions were held annually until 1988, although the designs were not universally admired. Memphis group designers used new materials, particularly patterned laminated plastics, to achieve brightly-coloured and often kitsch effects and the group dominated Italian avant-garde design throughout the 1980s. Most pieces are marked, and some also bear the designer's name and the date and place of manufacture.
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Marigold Memphis Carnival glass punch bowl, with fifteen cups, punchbowl stands 25 cm high, 30 cm diameter

A 1980s steel framed chair in the style of Memphis, 80 cm high, 54 cm wide, 50 cm deep

Ettore Sottsass Memphis mirror, Couloured laminate with chrome piping, all faults. Missing side piece of laminate, (signed Sottsass 83), Italy, c 1983

Two Memphis style serving trays, c. 1988, manufactured by Nu-Deco, Australia, laminated wood, raised on powdercoated brass feet (2), height 6 cm, width 44 cm, depth 32 cm

Two Memphis style side tables, c. 1980, manufactured by Nu-Deco, Australia, laminated wood top, raised on enamelled wooden feet, stainless steel, stamped 'Nu-Deco, Mermaid beach, height 70 cm, width 40 cm, depth 58 cm

Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917-2007), Tahiti lamp, designed 1981, manufactured by Memphis Milano, Italy, enamelled metal and plastic laminate, retains decal label 'Memphis Milano, Ettore Sottsass, 1981', height 68 cm, labels: Charlotte and Peter Fi

Michele de Lucchi (Italian, b. 1951), first chair, designed 1983, manufactured by Memphis, Italy, varnished tubular steel frame, with enamelled wood seat, backrest and armrests, height 90 cm

Ettore Sottsass 'Mimosa' occasional table for Memphis Milano, Laminate and glass, 42 cm high, 42 cm wide, 42 cm deep, c1980s, Italy

Memphis style coffee table, coloured metal base, glass top (tiny chip), 32 cm high, 160 cm wide, 120 cm deep. Condition: the Memphis style coffee table is in excellent condition. It is on a painted metal base with a large piece of glass that has no chips o

A Memphis style tambour front cabinet, circa 1980, 245cm high, 43cm wide, 48cm deep

Side Table. Circular 'Memphis' style side table. Glass top, painted metal base. 51d cm

Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917-2007). 'Alfiere' etagere, designed 1980 for Memphis, manufactured by Zanotta, Italy, the tapered red briar back with two demilune laminated shelves and a tubular metal support, resting on a red marble base

Nathalie du Pasquier and George Sowden. Memphis wall clock, designed circa 1986 produced by Neos, Italy, plastic, battery mechanism, stamped 'Neos of Lorenz du Pasquier - Sowden made in Italy'

A silver gilt presentation dressing mirror, Continental, circa 1900 the silver gilt mirror frame formed as an ovoid laurel wreath, the bottom of which is secured with a bow, inset with diamonds and white sapphires to read To Melba from her company 1904 190

Italian Studio Alchemia pre- Memphis painted wooden folding screen. late 1970s. Length 230 cm x . Height 186 cm

Ettore Sottsass for Memphis. A good mid -1980s Mizar glass vase multi coloured blown glass signed to the base. Height 33 cm 

Italian Memphis light by Marco Zanuso. Sculptured wood on circular metal base. Italian plug

Michele de Lucchi for Memphis, 'Oceanic Lamp', polychrome painted tubular metal, originally designed in 1980, original Memphis label affixed to the base. Length 90 cm

Ettore Sottsass for Memphis, 'Bay Lamp' design in glass, aluminium and plexiglass. Originally designed in 1983. Height 50 cm

Callimaco floor lamp by Ettore Sottsass for Artimede, Italy, designed 1982 during the Memphis Milano period, 201 cm high

20th century ceramics, Arabia, Porthmeirion and B&G Christmas plates 1975-1981 and enamel Memphis style servers

Ettore Sottsass, Le Strutture Tulmano, c. 1979, laminate over pressboard, enameled steel, enameled aluminium, glass, Memphis for Studio Alchimia. Height 117 cm glass top length 61 cm. Depth 61 cm. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

Michele de Lucchi, Sinerpica lamp, Italy, 1980, enameled metal, Memphis for Studio Alchimia. Height 73 cm. Literature: Studio Alchimia Bau. Haus Art collection, manufacturer's catalog, unpaginated Il design in Italia Dell' Arredamento Domestico, Gramigna a

Marc Newson, prototype chair, c. 1982, unique handmade chair, hand stitched vinyl cushions, original condition, reflective of 1980's Italian Memphis design movement (A/F). Height 74 cm. Provenance: Gifted by the artist. Private Collection, Sydney

Ettore Sottsass, Sirio vase, Italy c. 1982, coloured glass, incised signature 'Sottsass', for Memphis, Italy

Martine Bedin, Super lamp, Italy designed 1985, plastic, rubber, for Memphis, Italy

Marco Zanuso, wave lamp, 1988, wood and steel, retains decal label, for Memphis, Italy

Michele De Lucchi, Memphis 'First' chair, 1983, silver enamelled metal frame supporting lacquered seat, back and spherical armrests, stamped 'Memphis Milano Michele De Lucchi 1983 Made in Italy'. Height 89 cm

A Norwegian glass lamp base by Sonnico of Oslo together with Memphis style ceramic and perspex lamp base (2) 23 cm high, 43 cm high

Michele Di Lucchi (born 1951), a lamp manufactured by Memphis Milano, Italy 57 cm height

Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), a Tahiti lamp, designed 1981, manufactured by Memphis, Italy enamelled metal, laminex 70 cm height, metal label, Memphis Milano / Ettore Sottsass / 1981 / Made in Italy. Literature: Charlotte and Peter Fiell eds, 1000 lights Vo

Michele de Lucchi for Memphis, 'First' chair, the frame of patinated tubular steel, the seat, back and arm rests of enameled wood, manufactured by Memphis, 1983 (A/F). Height 90 cm

Memphis group. 'The Lovers'. a two piece interlocking fibreglass Memphis sculpture in 70s Tangerine Orange. Purchased at the Milan furniture Fair in 1972

Ettore Sottsass for Memphis, 'Deneb' goblet, clear, purple, blue, red, green and yellow glass. Etched mark E. Sottsass per Memphis, Milano. Height 21 cm

Ettore Sottsass, Memphis 'Deneb' glass goblet, designed 1982, the bowl of blue glass with three applied loop handles in varying colours, the stem clear, on a deep purple circular foot, signed underside. Height 20 cm

A Crown Devon Memphis pattern vase, with stylish gold and black geometric design. Signed Colin Wellbourne. Height 22 cm

Zanotta, Memphis style sofa, in speckled fabric, stamped 016602 to base

Marco Zanini, Broccolic fruit bowl, c1985, stamped 'Memphis Milano made in Italy by Favia Motelupo F.no'. Height 13 cm. Width 37 cm

War movie posters collection: Huge collection including 6-sheet poster ('Tora! Tora! Tora!); 3-sheet posters (6); UK 2-sheet poster; US one-sheet posters (36); UK one-sheet posters (29); Belgian poster (1); German poster (1); Australian Onesheet posters (4

Ettore Sottsass, Tahiti table lamp, 1981, manufactured by Memphis, Italy, enamelled metal supported on a plastic laminate decorated base. Height 60 cm

Michele de Lucchi Oceanic lamp in lacquered steel, 1981 manufactured by Memphis, signed with original artists label. Height 76 cm. Length 100 cm. Depth 12 cm