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12/06/17

The chair of Homar

The most admired area of 20th century Barcelona is known as the "Quadrat d'Or", the most central part of the Ensanche designed by the engineer Ildefons Cerdà, in which the well-to-do families of Catalonia decided to set up, promoting the construction of unique buildings in the most flourishing era of modernism.  The Boixareu, owners of the thriving textile industries that prospered under the auspices of the First World War, decided to occupy the principal of these estates, they decorated without cost restraint in the style of modernism. The furniture maker entrusted with the dining room furniture was Gaspar Homar, one of the most famous of the time, who made not only the table and the chairs, but also made a couple of complementary tables, some auxiliary chairs, a buffet and a sideboard. However, of the entire set, the furniture preferred by the family was a simple auxiliary chair, because, although its structure corresponded to that of a conventional chair with upholstered velvet seat, Homar personalized it with a worked Japanese floral elements executed with marquetry embedded in the back, curtain and legs.

 

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The appreciation that the Boixareu family had for their furniture disappeared with it since when a third generation of heirs occupied the flat, they decided to replace it with more modern and functional furnishings.  So they went to a secondhand dealer who in exchange for four quarters emptied the flat.  What they did not know was that the astute ironmonger had found a treasure that would postulate between different antique dealers who would end up buying separately and at a higher value the different pieces to display in their showrooms, in antiques exhibitions, at international antique shows until finally a curator at the Musée d’Orsay appreciated the value of the auxiliary chair and decided to acquire it for their collections, where it still appears today, so thanks to a haphazard historical vicissitude Homar, born in Mallorca and died in Barcelona, today is admired and recognized as one of the top designers of international modernism.  

 
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