Sunday, March 8, 2015


While engaged to assist a client representing the estate of a lady who lived until 2014 in a whimsical and amazingly well conserved 1950's residence located in Miami Shores in South Florida, I received what was probably my long overdue introduction to something in the master bedroom. The room  was appointed with some very fine examples of a line of American manufactured Broyhill furniture which I soon learned  was part of the much sought after "Brasilia" line this widely popular furniture maker sold until it was discontinued in the early 1970's.

Below are images that show how the furniture was displayed at the estate sale held on a Saturday in November of 2014 by my company LFAS. In the first image, you see 2 long dressers surmounted in the display by a coffee table.


In the image below, one of the pair of nightstands that was offered at the sale is depicted, I regret it is rather obscured... But it is discernible. 

Thanks to my associate Carlos Talavera, who I had engaged to help with the sale and who was aware of this line as he is so much on 20th Century design in general, I was encouraged to investigate this line of furniture.  It was a very rewarding learning experience!  The very name of Broyhill's line  clearly indicated a design inspiration source which would have  been very logical in the early 1960's when it was offered to it's customers. It obviously originated in the creation of the 20th Century's most unique and exciting cities, Brasilia, the new goverment capitol of Brazil which was founded in the mid 1950's and planed and developed from 1956 to 1960.

Below is a view of one of the city's most important buildings, the Alvorada Palace, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and built between 1957 and 1958. It is the official residence of the President of Brazil.

Its clean calculated and almost feline caressing curves are obviously among the design sources for the team of designers working for Broyhill in the early 1960's.

Perhaps appropriately, Broyhill demonstated razor sharp marketing acumen by officially launching this line of living room, dining room and bedroom furniture for the American home that wanted to be modern and stylish at the Seattle World's Fair of 1962.  An appropriate choice it would appear as the Worlds Fair's of 1962 and the slightly later New York World's Fair of 1964/5 wallowed in sinuously curvulinear pavilions and designs of all sorts such as Seattle's iconic Space Needle (seen below) which is a clear design "cousin" of Broyhill's Brasilia line of furniture.

Below are various examples of Broyhill Brasilia furniture. It is frequently seen for sale on eBay and However, a principal source for Brasilia in mint condition is an online seller who directly offers an inventory entirely and exclusively comprised of examples of Broyhill Brasilia! The company name is The Brasilia Connection. They can be reached via their online store at  The images below are a good example of what is being shared online.  In fact, many of these images were found on a Mid Century enthusiasts page on Facebook!

My thanks to Christian Larsen, curator of the much admired museum of design, The Wolfsonian, FIU in Miami Beach for additional enlightenment on this intriguing line of 1960's American furniture.

 The upright display cabinet that also doubles as a room divider is clearly one of the most original examples of the entire line. 


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