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Sergio Rodrigues Mole Lounge Chair with Ottoman, 1957



This is the first design of Mole armchair! The design originated with a 1957 commission for the photographer Otto Stupakoff, who asked Rodrigues for a "spread-out" sofa for his studio. The design sat in Rodrigues’ company Oca showroom window on the Praca General Osorio in Ipanema for years without many commissions or local interest until the chair was prized and subsequently manufactured in Italy for European consumption. It has become an icon of Brazilian modern design internationally due to winning first prize in the IV Concorso Internazionale del Mobile in Cantu, Italy in 1961, where Arne Jacobsen proclaimed it as communicating the unique characteristics of Brazilian culture. The structure of jacaranda is typical of Brazilian furniture since the colonial period, but the low-set, thick and sturdy quality gave it an authentically Brazilian character. The leather straps and buckles that form the sling under-structure are associated with the gaucho culture of the pampas in the southernmost region of the country. The overstuffed and tufted brown leather cushions suggest a relaxed and easy-going vibe, the attitude of the Cariocas, inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sergio Rodrigues believes that one of the reasons why the chair was awarded was because it was considered one of the first postmodern pieces of furniture. "There was a Brazilian’s accent. It was a piece that easily revealed where it had been made. It could only have come from a place where there was a lot of wood and leather. And there was a certain informality in the design," said Sergio in February 2006. This Mole lounge chair has been reupholstered in brown leather. Reference: Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos in Sergio Rodrigues. Ed. Soraia Cals. Rio de Janeiro, 2000, pp. 47-52, ill. pp. 50 (color), 252 (color, ottoman), 258 (color, chair). P.S. Colors may vary. Buyer Pays Shipping Cost


  • Creator
  • Design
  • Dimensions
    Height: 30 in. (76.2 cm)Width: 43 in. (109.22 cm)Depth: 34 in. (86.36 cm)Seat Height: 15 in. (38.1 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Reupholstered. Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Houston, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU4912218111572

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Boca Raton, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Artist

Sergio Rodrigues

The prolific architect and designer Sergio Rodrigues is often called the "father of modern Brazilian design," but it is the second adjective in that phrase that deserves emphasis: Rodrigues’s great achievement was to create furniture in a style that captured the spirit, character and personality of his country.Modernity came slowly to 20th-century Brazil, politically and culturally. The nation finally realized genuine constitutional democracy in 1945, ushering in a new, progressive era in the arts. Until that time, heavy furniture based on historical European models had been the norm. In the late 1940s, designer Joaquim Tenreiro introduced sleek, minimalist chairs and cabinets; José Zanine Caldas, now best known for his later artisanal work, created plywood furnishings for mass-production; the Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi, a former editor for the Gió Ponti-founded magazine Domus, set up shop in São Paulo, designing elegant, flexible chairs set on slim metal frames.This was the heady scene into which Rodrigues, the son of an artistically prominent Rio de Janeiro family, arrived after graduating in 1952 from the national university. He established Oca Industries in 1955, a company that would become the preeminent maker of modernist furniture in Brazil. When architects Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer were tasked in 1956 with the whirlwind project to plan, design and build the new capital, Brasília, in five years, they used Rodrigues’s early chairs, with their softly-contoured lines and caned seats and backrests, to furnish many of the buildings.Rodrigues would realize the true expression of his talents in — and garner international awards and acclaim with — his Mole chair of 1957. The word mole means "soft" in Portuguese, but can be interpreted as "easygoing" or even "listless." Rodrigues's chair features a sturdy, generously proportioned frame of the native South American hardwood jacaranda, upholstered with overstuffed leather pads that flap like saddlebags across the arms, seat, and backrest. It is a chair that invites sprawling — perfect for the social milieu of the bossa nova and caipirinha cocktails; where a languorous afternoon spent chatting and joking is the apex of enjoyment. Most of the estimated 1,200 chairs, sofas, tables, beds and dressers Rodrigues designed in his long career are imbued, in one way or another, with this air of robust relaxation. Sergio Rodrigues was a designer true to the temperament of his people.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Houston, TX
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Established in 2017
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9 sales on 1stDibs
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