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Joaquim Tenreiro

Brazilian, Portuguese, 1906-1992

The Portugese-born furniture designer Joaquim Tenreiro was a pioneer of modernism in Brazil, where his work paved the way for the successes of such mid-20th-century design greats as Sergio Rodrigues, Jorge Zalszupin, and Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian-Brazilian architect whose futuristic São Paulo buildings are only part of her legacy.

Tenreiro’s vintage tables, chairs and storage cabinets are known for their simplicity of line and an elegance that is enhanced by the use of richly grained South American hardwoods such as jacaranda and imbuia

Tenreiro’s father and grandfather were both master woodworkers, under whom he trained in the craft. He had artistic leanings and in the late 1920s enrolled as a university student at the School of Arts and Crafts in Rio de Janeiro, where he joined a group of upstart modernists protesting the staid, retrograde curriculum at the college. At the time, Brazil was culturally mired in a 19th-century mindset that was reflected in an upper-class preference for academic painting and reproduction furnishings in antique European styles. But the progressive spirit that Tenreiro and his colleagues fostered slowly gained force.

With the terms “lightness” and “functionality” as his bywords, Tenreiro opened a furniture-design business in 1943, where one of his first clients was the legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. The arrival of Brazil’s first democratically elected government, in 1945, lent modernism official sanction, which culminated in the construction of the new capital, Brasília. Tenreiro eventually stepped away from design in the late 1960s to devote his time to sculpture and painting. 

To appreciate how revolutionary Tenreiro’s work seemed, one must imagine the heavy, ornately carved, deeply varnished furniture that was the standard for top-end Brazilian interior design in the 1930s. Tenreiro’s chairs and sofas employed slender, softly angular frames that were only lightly stained to highlight the grains of the local woods. He preferred chairs and chaises with caned seats and backrests that “breathe” in the tropical climate, and as a carpenter and joiner he wanted to show off the beauty of Brazilian wood.

Two versions of a three-legged side chair introduced in 1947 serve as a veritable manifesto for a new age in Brazilian design: Using the stack-lamination technique, Tenreiro bonded together a gently contoured seat made of alternating layers of different-colored native woods to produce a magnificent stripe effect. These chairs, like all Tenreiro works, demonstrate the enduring power of simple design and superb construction — with a teaspoon of flair.

Find vintage Joaquim Tenreiro furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$8,581
Styles
Materials
Joaquim Tenreiro for Laubisch & Hirth, Pair of Armchairs, 1940's
By Joaquim Tenreiro, Langbach & Tenreiro
Located in PARIS, FR
Pair of armchairs realized in Pau Marfim ebenisé and cotton fabric of coral color. The backrest is hexagonal, the armrests curved and the legs tapered cylindrical section. The quali...
Category

Mid-20th Century Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Upholstery, Hardwood

Chaise Longue by Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, circa 1942
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in PARIS, FR
Coming from the past as a Reclaimer, the Tenreiro Chaise Longue is a Modern Brazilian icon, a collector piece. An association of curvy architectural line and topical rosewood. Probab...
Category

1640s Brazilian Modern Antique Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Upholstery, Jacaranda, Palisander

Pair of Precious Wood Sideboards by Tenreiro Joaquim
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in Milano, IT
Splendid pair of wooden sideboards designed by Tenreiro Joaquim in the 50's, of precious Italian manufacture. The sideboards are made of precious wood, very beautiful, with spectacu...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Wood

1960s brown wood and cane Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
By Joaquim Tenreiro, Jorge Zalszupin, Langbach & Tenreiro
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Set of six chairs, Brazilian design, wood and cane, Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, 1960. Stunning set of famous Joaquim Tenreiro chairs. The boldness of the high-quality wood is tempered...
Category

1960s Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Cane, Wood

  • 1960s brown wood and cane Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • 1960s brown wood and cane Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • 1960s brown wood and cane Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • 1960s brown wood and cane Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
H 28.35 in. W 21.66 in. D 20.87 in.
Set of 6 Curva Dining Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in Soho, London, GB
Set of 6 Curva dining chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro manufactured by Tenreiro Movèis & Decorações (circa 1960). Literature Soraia Cals, Tenreiro, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, p. 127 Aric C...
Category

1960s Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Cane, Jacaranda

  • Set of 6 Curva Dining Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • Set of 6 Curva Dining Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • Set of 6 Curva Dining Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
  • Set of 6 Curva Dining Chairs by Joaquim Tenreiro
H 31.89 in. W 19.69 in. D 16.93 in.
Joaquim Tenreiro, Set of Eight Dining Room Chairs, Brasil, 1950
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in Barcelona, ES
Joaquim Tenreiro Pair of dining chairs Manufactured by Tenreiro Moveis e Decoraçoes Brasil, 1950 Jacaranda wood, cane From the archives of Side Gallery, Barcelona Measureme...
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Cane, Jacaranda

Joaquim Tenreiro U Armchair - Cane and Rosewood set of four available.
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in Houston, TX
A stunning set of four chairs. They were designed by the Brazilian master designer and woodworker Joaquim Tenreiro. The dining chairs' main feature is their wide, luxurious cane seat...
Category

Mid-20th Century Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Cane, Jacaranda, Rosewood

Joaquim Tenreiro Estruturais Rosewood & Cane Dining Chairs, Set of Eight 1960s
By Joaquim Tenreiro
Located in Longdon, Tewkesbury
Joaquim Tenreiro Estruturais rosewood & cane dining chairs, set of eight Magnificent set of eight Joaquim Tenreiro ‘structural’ rosewood & cane dining chairs also known as ‘Estrutur...
Category

Late 20th Century Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Joaquim Tenreiro

Materials

Cane, Rosewood

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Joaquim Tenreiro furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Joaquim Tenreiro furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our Joaquim Tenreiro collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 75 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many original furniture by Joaquim Tenreiro were created in South America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler, José Zanine Caldas and , Jean Gillon. Prices for Joaquim Tenreiro furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $3,560 and tops out at $98,808, while pieces like these can sell for on average $27,825.

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