During the first half of the 20th Century, the face of Lina Cavalieri was one of the most recognized around the European opera houses. She was an Italian operatic soprano known for her supreme grace and beauty. An prolific Italian designer named Piero Fornasetti has since immortalized her famous face, applying her gravure to over 10,000 items. He was heavily influenced by Roman and Grecian styles, the ‘Greca pattern’ of which he applied to his personal bicycle.
The actual make is unknown, but the entire frame, forks and enclosed drive train was screen-printed with the pattern and, held in context with the body of Fornasetti’s work, becomes a two-wheeled extension of his flamboyant vision. It’s the essential townie for the Milanese cognoscenti and it’s currently up for sale by auction through Douglas Rosin Decorative Arts & Antiques in Chicago. If it wasn’t nearly 30 years old, it could almost be mistaken for a piece by Death Spray Custom.