Founded in 1472, the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the oldest bank still in operation. As would be expected, they have had a few renovations since then – some of the most elegant of which took place during the 1950’s, when the bank hired architects and industrial designers from within the Gio Ponti circle to revamp the the interiors with a new modernist eye. Many of these new designs were created within pre-existing Renaissance palazzos which heightened the sense of sophistication, refinement, and historical context. The gallery L’art de Vivre (978 Lexington Avenue 212-734-3510) is known for their exquisite selection of 20th century design for 21st century living. They buy what they love with an eye for high quality beautiful pieces. Made for the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in the 1950s from mixed pale woods combined with bronze and steel accents and shaped like the then innovative Gio Ponti Pirelli building in Milan (which inspired the Pan Am/MetLIfe building here in NYC) this handsome desk (pictured below) is a perfect example of the high caliber furniture one can find at L’art de Vivre.
Seated on this gorgeous desk, I am wearing a Gucci cognac corduroy suit, vintage Dior pocket square, Russian floral print silk/cotton shirt by Gucci, Paul Smith wool scarf, brown python belt with silver double horse head buckle, and python loafers – both by Gucci.