April 01, 2016

Before & After: Jorge Zalszupin Paulistana Chair & Ottoman

Brazilian furniture designer Jorge Zalszupin was certainly ahead of his time - he designed these Paulistana chairs sometime in the 1960's and besides standing the test of time, they are a beautiful example of mid century design. The image above are the chairs & their ottomans when they arrived at our workshop - not in terrible condition (considering their age), but definitely worn, with some tears to the fabric and nicks on the wood.

One of the most notable details, however, was the incorrect placement of the seat-back brackets. These pieces had apparently been reupholstered previously, and the craftsman who did the work did not know how to put this piece back together! Worse, they didn't bother researching the piece to make sure they were being true to original design.

Additionally, our research indicates that the ottoman bases are not original to the designer, as the original design had a metal base similar to the chairs.

We completely restored the pieces down to the rosewood frames, including the restoration of the wood.

These pieces are very rare, and when you can find them, very expensive. Restoration is usually time consuming as we strive to preserve the integrity of the original design and function. Our goal is always use the same materials, or as close as possible, to the original.

We also do our homework, especially on a rare piece, to ensure that we are staying true to the designers vision. We have so much respect for these early pioneers, of course we make great efforts to make sure everything is perfect.

You may remember another Jorge Zalszupin set of chairs we restored not too long ago - and stay tuned, we have yet another Zalszupin chair in the workshop right now that we will be sharing at a later time! 

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