How Martin Eisler’s 1952 Rib Chair Became a Hallmark of Brazilian Modernism

The chair was produced off and on, with slight variations in the cushions and the width of the wooden slats, by Forma until 2003, when the company was dissolved. Since then, reissues have proliferated. There are the official-ish versions, like those made for some years with Studio Mais Móveis or Tacchini’s 2019 reboot, in ash, from $5,532—but true originals (Meyers estimates there are around 200) can be identified by the proportions of the base, type of the wood, and ideally a stamp or label underneath.

A 1953 iteration of the Costela lounge chair.

Photo: Joe Kramm/courtesy of R & Company.

Tastemakers, like artist Doug Meyer, who still has a pair he scored in 2001, consider them investment pieces. While he rates them a mere 3 out of 10 on the comfort scale (“they’re low to the floor with no arms, making them quite ungraceful to get up from”), he explains the appeal: “It’s a sculpture—you can count on it to create drama in a space.”

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