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Brazilian Hardwood Table by Joaquim Tenreiro, 1947, Midcentury Design



This exquisitely crafted dining table, designed by Joaquim Tenreiro (1906-1992) in 1947, evokes a refined coexistence of traditional values and modern aesthetics. Its delicate shapes give the impression that the pieces float in the space. Tenreiro came to see the often heavy, overstuffed pieces that dominated the market as being incompatible with a tropical country like Brazil. He promoted furniture that was formally light, as described in his own words: “Lightness, which has nothing to do with the weight per se, but with grace and functionality in space.” Our pieces present original stamps of Tenreiro Móveis e Decorações, Tenreiro's first solo store, opened in 1953.


  • Creator
    Joaquim Tenreiro (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 28.15 in. (71.5 cm)Width: 70.87 in. (180 cm)Depth: 35.44 in. (90 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Clifton, NJ
  • Reference Number
    Seller: BO.JOT.007-0011stDibs: LU3979121091692

Shipping & Returns

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

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Joaquim Tenreiro

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 chairs, tables and 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.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Clifton, NJ
Vetted Seller
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Established in 2017
1stDibs seller since 2018
36 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 23 hours
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