"People always run their fingers over the carving," observes dealer Stephen Hurrell as he surveys the assemblage of voluptuous Brazilian beauties lining the walls of Notus, his shop in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. "Unlike highly polished French furniture, Brazilian baroque is very approachable," notes Hurrell. "It wants to be touched."
Antiques addicts can’t resist petting the cantador with its ripple-carved drawer fronts, smoothly turned baluster legs, and bun feet reminiscent of 17th-century Dutch baroque. In Brazil, however, the opulence of ornate carving and turning was the rage as late as 1810, long after it petered out in Europe. "Baroque refers to style, not date," explains Hurrell.