Joaquim Tenreiro is somewhat unknown in the Northern hemispheres, but in Brazil he’s heralded as the father of Modern design.

Cadeira três pés side

Born in Portugal in 1906, Tenreiro relocated to Brazil when he was 22. Though he was well-versed in the cultural currents of Modernism, Cubism, and Dadaism, he found the strict geometricity of much Modern European design confining and instead embraced the crooked line, the languorous curve.

Cadeira três pés rear

Cadeira Três Pés, (“Three Legged Chair”) from 1947, exemplifies Tenreiro’s iconoclastic aesthetic, as he had not only broken away from the straight lines of traditional Modern design, but also the antique style and excessive ornamentation popular in Brazil at the time.

detail of classic Joaquim Tenreiro chair

The design of the chair looked towards the aesthetic and materials of Brazil. It features five hardwoods, all sourced locally, and was constructed, as were many of his furnishings during this period, with the collaboration of local artisans versed in traditional woodworking techniques.

side view, Cadeira três pés

Very few were made and, predictably, Cadeira Três Pés can be hard to come by. But there is one currently up for auction on 1stdibs for the low-low price of $152,429. I’m sure it’s worth every penny.

rear view of chair

See more iconic three-legged chairs at Designer Pages Media.

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