José Zanine Caldas (attr) Small Bookcase, Brazil 1960s

José Zanine Caldas (attr) Small Bookcase, Brazil 1960s


José Zanine Caldas (attr) small bookcase, Brazil 1960s

The bookcase is made out of thick plywood and has a sculptural and raw look with a lot of character. The sides have round shapes starting wider at the base and becoming narrower in the middle after which it ends in a slightly raised angle at the top. At the base is a sculpted arch that forms the four legs from the side boards. The two shelves and top have the same measurements but the rounded shape of the side boards give it the illusion of being tapered. The bookcase has it’s original bolts and rings on both sides and has a strong patina. The shape of the design, the use of plywood and distinctive bolts and rings are typical for the work of José Zanine Caldas and Fábrica de Móveis Artísticos Z in this period however official documents, as with many Brazilian works, have not yet appeared.  

About the designer:

José Zanine Caldas was born in Belmonte, at the southern coast of Bahia, in 1919. Son to a doctor, Zanine was an autodidact who from a young age was fascinated with his environment and especially trees.

While most architects of his generation studied extensively, Zanine developed his own style through doing and making and at the age of 20 decided to exchange Bahia for Rio de Janeiro. There he opened up a workshop for architectural scale-models and had the chance to work with pioneering modern architects like Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. Although excluded by a large part of the architectural community because of his lack of education, these so prominent professional brothers weren’t judgmental and admired Zanine’s skills and problem solving solutions. Read more about José Zanine Caldas.


In good vintage condition. Wear consistent with age and use. Wood has marks and cracks.


30 cm D x 90,5 cm W x 80 cm H


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