In many ways, Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940) can be considered the father of expressive design. Father of the more well-known Ettore Bugatti, he was trained at the Brera Academy in Milan and the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris, and had an accomplished career as a furniture designer during the Art Nouveau era. While working with ceramics, musical instruments, silverware, and textiles, Bugatti is best known for his sensational furniture. Based on Islamic forms, he used inlays of exotic wood, copper, parchment, and mother of pearl, creating innovative and personal language. With success, he moved his
studio from Milan to Paris, where he supplied furniture for department stores Maison Dufayel and Au Bon Marché. His most sensational international enssamble was the Snails Room, showed at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art in Torin in 1902. A silver centerpiece he designed in 1907 fetched $338K last year at Christie's.