x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Bokja chair

Rich, vividly coloured and redolent of gypsy glamour, its covering could tell tales of the life it has led from the day many years ago when the fabrics were woven or embroidered somewhere in the Levant or Central Asia.

The fact that this chair is a one-off - being vintage, the fabrics and chair-frame can never be repeated in the same combination - truly makes it a treasure.
The fact that this chair is a one-off - being vintage, the fabrics and chair-frame can never be repeated in the same combination - truly makes it a treasure.

Object of desire I wish this chair, discovered among the treasures at O'de Rose, could tell its story. Rich, vividly coloured and redolent of gypsy glamour, its covering - a patchwork of vintage velvets and embroideries - could tell tales of the life it has led from the day many years ago when the fabrics were woven or embroidered somewhere in the Levant or Central Asia, to when it was discovered and given a new life in a Beirut atelier.

The chair itself, its form as ordinary and comfortably padded as a suburban matron, might tell of a life spent in a normal middle-class home somewhere, before being tossed out into in a flea-market where nobody gave it a second glance. Not until Hoda Boaroudi and Maria Hibri rescued it and transformed it into this chic, joyously bright and hugely covetable piece. The two women combined their passion for vintage textiles and antique furniture to form Bokja, their Beirut-based company, in 2000. Bokja is an old Turkish word that was used to describe the embellished velvet wrapping of treasured items for special occasions - such as a bride's dowry. It fits perfectly to describe the bohemian East-meets-West furniture they make, with the help of a team of local artisans.

The fact that this chair is a one-off - being vintage, the fabrics and chair-frame can never be repeated in the same combination - truly makes it a treasure. Available in the UAE from O'de Rose, 999 Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Prices for the one-off pieces vary, from Dh4,500 upwards.