Posted 7 years ago
This is one of the numberless chairs I've ever rescued from the street. This one was found just across the street from the building I used to live in San Lorenzo street in Madrid back in 1999. In fact I found other three chairs that day! Two of them I gave to a friend and the other two I kept for myself: this one and a very nice Fischel chair (from “Bohemia, Austria”, which means it was made before 1918). I will share here someday.
The black finishing and the upholstered seat are part of my restoration work of the chair. It was found without the seat -or with a broken one, cannot actually remember that- so I had to figure out how to fix it. I found several unused seats -which in spain are called galletas (biscuits, as they look a bit like Marie biscuits)- I was able to restore a couple of chairs with, but these are terribly difficult to place in the seat's ring as during the chair building process they were placed before this seat's ring was made... So to fix this one -where no galleta seemed to fit in- I decided to get a round piece of MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and upholster it. The seat is thus a removable one.
As for the black colour, I already had the two Mackintosh chairs and the Fledermaus one when I found this Mocholí beauty, and also had a table I made with some irom black legs I had found in the street and a well barnished MDF board as the tabletop, so I thought it would be nice having another black chair to complete the dining area in my small apartment. Had I found the chair a few years later I would have ebonized it with the right chemical products, but at the time I knew nothing about carpentry/cabinetmaking so I simply painted it with... black oil paint! :) I could have used a plastic/acrylic paint to do so, but I've always hated furniture painted that way -too many posh girls & ladies doing that and pretending to be both “thoroughly modern” and “recicling artists”-, so I though oil painting would look better as wel as it would be more suitable for the wood because of the oil in it. After a few years I can say oil paint has worked out beatifully for this chair.
This one will also be in the new kitchen, along with the Hoffman's Fledermaus chair (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/125376-my-cassina-edition-fledermaus-chair-jos?in=collection-2677#comment-642706), the Mackintosh's Argyle one ( http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/122114-my-cassina-edition-charles-r-mackintosh?in=collection-2677 ) and a three legged Thonet, which I still have to ebonize (but so far it looks like this one http://www.designaddict.com/forum/General-discussion/Thonet-81-stability ) and around our fabulous Swedish teak-top, black legged table (that I would love to share here sometime).
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Mocholí chairs was established in Valencia I think in the early 1930s. I've found an article published in a 1932 issue of the Spanish newspaper ABC where one can read about their 500 workers and the daily production of 600 chairs and 150 tables, as well as exporting them to all of South America so my guess is that it was created before this year. In pic.4 you can see several catalogue images where this very model appears -in its original look- as well as the ABC article, where you can see this model no. 28 chair heading it.
As I already mentioned before, Valencia was one of the most modern -and wealthy- areas in Spain during the first quarter of the 20th Century. This wealth was mostly originated by the orange export business -they exported them to all of Europe- as well as having one of the strongest sea ports in the western Mediterranean. The furniture industry has always been present in the region and this bentwood chairs are commonly known in Spain as “sillas valencianas” (Valencian chairs).