During his architecture and restoration studies in Venice and thanks to his Professor, Oswald Zoeggeler, Antonello became acquainted with the work of the Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik.

He travelled frequently to Ljubljana and Prague to study, where he met Professor Damjan Prelovsek, who illustrated the work of the great architect to him. The entrepreneurial spirit inherited from his father distracted him from his studies and oriented him towards the reproduction of several pieces of furniture. Following a lengthy and meticulous work of research and analysis of the greater part of the architect’s enormous production of furniture, the «Elza» chair was created, along with the «Matko» bookcase and several other objects, such as vases and Christmas trees dedicated to Agatha Freyer.

Gianni Tabarelli and Damjan Gale in Bolzano on occasion
of the show «The columns of Plecnik».

In 1940, at the request of Henriette Freyer, the architect Joze Plecnik furnished the shop she ran together with her husband, in the centre of Ljubljana. The premises, which still today is considered unique, was subsequently recognised by critics as the most beautiful shop in the Balkans. Mrs. Freyer also asked the architect to design several objects to offer her customers. Plecnik thus designed almost one hundred different types of branched candleholders, boxes and cases and a variety of other small wooden objects. The most original of these are undoubtedly the small Christmas trees, designed in the autumn of 1942. These small trees are an imaginative variation of a recurrent allegorical artistic theme in Plecnik’s work. Plecnik created these small wooden objects with the intention of unifying the national artistic tradition with the contemporary artistic current and, at the same time, with the desire to bring out the aesthetic potential of the material.

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