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Sergio Rodrigues 'Tonico' Jacaranda, Leather and Alpaca Armchairs, 1960s Brazil

US$48,000per set


If you are looking for the most unique and coveted rare pair of armchairs for you or your client, look no further, this pair of Sergio Rodrigues 'Tonico' lounge chairs are the best examples you can find, and we will explain why below. First, this pair was produced under supervision by Sergio in his own factory in Brazil - but - exclusively for the US market, distributed for a very short time by Brazilian Interiors in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the gallery of this listing is a photo of the Brazilian Interiors catalogue that displays this model and confirms production was supervised by Sergio in his own factory in Brazil. The unique attribute on this pair of 'Tonico' lounge chairs is the addition of paddle arms whereas normal production of the Tonico design was without armrests. This addition adds greater comfort to these already incredibly comfortable chairs. Secondly, 'Tonico' lounge chairs, loveseats and sofas are already incredibly rare - this pair with paddle arms are even more exceptionally rare and special. Of Sergio's designs, the 'Tonico' line is the most sought after by collectors and art collectors - this pair possesses greater rarity and also have the additional value of provenance which makes them much more valuable and desirable for collectors over the typical Tonico chairs you might find. Third, as you can see in the photos, we restored these in incredible fashion - with luxurious Alpaca Bouclé and the most expensive leather you can buy - custom produced Edelman Cavallini (Hair-On Hide) in 'Dusty Rose' color-way and Edelman All-Grain in matching 'Dusty Rose' color. We used the alpaca bouclé for the seat and seat back with Edelman All-Grain leather for contrasting piping, bolster cushion and frame wrapping. And then the exquisite Edelman Cavallini was used for the arm pads and straps. The results of this are the most unique and special 'Tonico' chairs you will ever find. In addition, the frame was fabricated from solid Brazilian Jacaranda (Rosewood) with incredibly beautiful grain - Rosewood is an endangered species so furniture can no longer be produced with it making it more valuable and special, especially for collectors and investors in art and design. The signature look of the Tonico are the finials which hold the adjustable straps in place, which are also in Jacaranda Rosewood. Brazilian Modern is fantastic alternative to the usual suspects seen in Mid-Century Modern design furniture. The use of clean lines and minimal form of this piece make it appropriate for a number of locations, from classic and contemporary homes to elegant executive offices to hip startups. It would also be great in a hospitality, retail or corporate location, such as a boutique hotel lobby, cocktail bar, members club, workspace studio, director's office or in a luxe clothing emporium. Fits wonderfully in all styles of spaces, from Post-Modern to Contemporary to Classical. Consider pairing with other Brazilian designs such as Percival Lafer, Giuseppe Scapinelli, Joaquim Tenreiro, Jorge Zalszupin, Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler. Contact us for details on our large collection of Brazilian Modern designs. PROVENANCE: Monterey, CA. Estate of the owner of Brazilian Interiors, partnered with Sergio Rodrigues in the 1960s to distribute his designs through the United States. MEASUREMENTS: H 37.75" x W 39.5" x D 33" Seat Height: 16" Seat Depth: 20.5" Arm Height: 19" CONDITION: The Jacaranda frames are original and unrestored, yet in fantastic vintage condition with light patina. The upholstery was full restored and is in new condition, ready to be used immediately in any high-end luxury interior.


  • Creator
    Oca (Manufacturer),Sergio Rodrigues (Designer)
  • Design
  • Dimensions
    Height: 37.75 in. (95.89 cm)Width: 39.5 in. (100.33 cm)Depth: 33 in. (83.82 cm)Seat Height: 16 in. (40.64 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Reupholstered. Rosewood frames are in excellent vintage / original condition. Upholstery is new. See description for more details.
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1330225266322

Shipping & Returns

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

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

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About the Designer

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 Los Angeles, CA

Automaton is the premier source for early-production originals of hard-to-find 20th-century designs and functional art, serving a range of clients, from celebrities and interior designers to aficionados with modest budgets. Its 20,000-square-foot Los Angeles space is packed with rare examples of designs from a large repertoire of such ...

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