Souvenir Sophisticate: Midcentury Finds From São Paulo
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Souvenir Sophisticate: Midcentury Finds From São Paulo

Stephan Wishaupt
Kate Mathis

The company may be an insider’s secret, but the furniture and objects from Toronto design showroom Avenue Road are on full view at some of the world’s top hotels and retail spaces, like the Park Hyatt New York and Toronto’s Holt Renfrew department store. Twice a year, Stephan Weishaupt, the company's Munich-born founder, visits São Paulo, where he sources Midcentury items for clients—and for himself—at two of his favorite stores: Acervo Bruto and Passado Composto Século XX. “When you bring vintage pieces into your home, they gain new context,” Weishaupt says.

1. Bird sculpture: “Abraham Palatnik pioneered kinetic art, which plays with light and movement. He also did a series of animal sculptures, cast in Lucite acrylic. I own a few bird sculptures, which I display together.” Acervo Bruto, 482 Rua Simão Álvares; 55-11-9-9904-9897; $900.

2. Wooden trays: “I bought six of these in different sizes, and use them to serve nuts. They’re quite sculptural and aesthetic, but almost look like they belong in The Flintstones.” Passado Composto Século XX; $200 each.

3. Appetizer set: “The forks in this 1950s French set are so tiny, I don’t even know what you would use them for. Perhaps little pieces of cheese? But they’re so whimsical. They make me laugh all the time.” Acervo Bruto; $200.

4. Ceramic plates: “A lot of Europeans immigrated to Brazil after World War II, and their belongings have since been bought and sold by local dealers. These are Swedish in origin.” Passado Composto Século XX; $265 each.

5. Tobacco canister: “This is from a collection of 1960s household objects by Brazilian furniture maker Jean Gillon. It’s jacarandá de Brasil, a rosewood that is nearly extinct because of overuse by Danish Midcentury designers. The locking system on the top is unique.” Passado Composto Século XX; $750.

6. Glass bowl: “I’ve been seeing glass pieces wherever I go. This one’s from Murano, Italy, and has gold leaf on the rim and air bubbles inside, which gives it an interesting three- dimensional aspect.” Acervo Bruto; $250.

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