Vintage Amazonas Sofa by Jean Gillon for Italma, Brasil
A once in a lifetime find in South Africa, this Amazonas sofa, in Brasilian rosewood (Jacaranda) and full grain leather, was designed in 1950 by Jean Gillon for the company that he founded, Italma Wood Art. The date of manufacturing of this piece could be anywhere between 1950 and the early seventies.
Gillon was born Romanian but emigrated to Brasil when he was thirty-seven, where he proceeded to have a profound impact on the development of the unique design language of Brasil. He was inspired by the landscapes, the communities, and the Amazon. It can all be seen in this piece, with one of the world's most beautiful woods, Jacaranda, representing the rainforest and the fish net hammock for the cushions and the system of intricate dowels and mortise and tenon joints, representing the organic inventiveness of the fisherman and other people of Brasil. Some writers suggest that Gillon's chairs all have a likeness to fishing vessels.
Gillon was the pioneer of a brutalist style of sofas and chairs with hardwood frames and overflowing leather cushions, which is often attributed to great Brasilian designers such as Percival Lafer, who worked a generation later than Gillon.
The cushions of his Amazonas sofas and chairs were done in three different styles, two of which were in the overflowing style associated with Brasilian furniture, and then a more minimalist style, which shows more of the rope net hammocks. We decided to go with tha last style when we made new cushions from top quality full grain leather from Woodheads in Cape Town.
* Context Reference - this piece consistently retails for $10 000 in the United States.
Condition: Restored. The frame was lightly sanded and varnished, and the cushions are all new.
Dimensions: 184 (w) x 76 (d) x 71 cm (h) and 38 cm seat height.