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1970s Modern

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Rare Binazzi Shell Trinket Bowl Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Binazzi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Binazzi, Italy small trinket bowl. Natural shell combined with silver plated sculpture,  1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in excellent condition with some signs of age...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Gold Plate

Vintage De Sede DS 47 Leather Armchair, Switzerland, 1970s
By De Sede
Located in Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire
Discounted airfreight for our US Continent customers (from 2 weeks door to door) We are delighted to bring to you an ultra rare vintage De Sede DS 47 armchair. Hand built in the 1...
Category

Vintage 1970s Swiss Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Wood

"Germoglio" Lino Sabattini Italian Design 1970s Silver Vase
By Lino Sabattini
Located in Brescia, IT
"Germoglio" Vases design Lino Sabattini 1979 Silver metal Excellent condiction.     
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vases

Materials

Metal

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Bird Pelican Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Pelican sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition. An amazing and seldom piece.  
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Bronze

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Wild Boar Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi wild boar with Murano blown glass detail sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition. An amazing and seldom pie...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Silver Plate

Charles Eames for Herman Miller Soft Pad Swivel Lounge Chairs, 1970s, Signed
By Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, Charles Eames
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Incredible black leather on this set of five (5) early year production, very collectible, Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller high-back executive soft pad swivel lounge chairs. T...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Rare Signed Binazzi Goose Shell Trinket Bowl Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Binazzi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Signed Binazzi Italy small trinket bowl. Natural shell combined with silver plated sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition with some signs ...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Gold Plate

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Plexiglass and Chrome Box Desk, 1970s, Italy
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare signed Gabriella Crespi in plexiglass and old chrome box for a stylish desk. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in good vintage condition with grey patina on the chrome ...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Boxes

Materials

Chrome

Original Copper Glass Wall Sconce Modernist Cosack Lights, Germany, 1970s
By Cosack Leuchten
Located in Kirchlengern, DE
Article: Wall ceiling light Producer: Cosack lights, Germany (see label) Origin: Germany Age: 1970s Original 1970s modernist wall light with four glas...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Metal

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Bird Silver Pelican Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Pelican with Murano blown glass sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition. An amazing and seldom piece.  
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Silver Plate

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Ostrich Set of Two Sculpture, 1970s, Italy
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare signed Gabriella Crespi set of two ostrich birds with Murano blown glass sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition. An amazing and sel...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Silver Plate

Tommaso Barbi Midcentury Poplar Briar and Chrome Italian Table Lamp, 1970s
By Tommaso Barbi
Located in Roma, IT
Italian table lamp by Tommaso Barbi with original label. Produced in Italy in the 1970s. This splendid lamp is made of poplar briar and mounts two bulbs with E 27 attachment. T...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Chrome

Fantastic Franco Luce for Seguso Murano Glass and Brass Chandelier, 1970s
By Franco Luce
Located in Rome, IT
Elegant two-tier chandelier with eight white "lattimo" striated glass petals supported by a gold-plated hardware by Franco Luce, Murano, Italy, 1970s. Excellent vintage condition.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass

Extra Large Modernist Vintage 1970s Sculptural Brutalist Brass Candleholder
By Carl Auböck, Werkstätte Hagenauer Wien, Werkstätte Carl Auböck
Located in Kirchlengern, DE
Article: Brutalist candleholder Origin: Germany Material: metal Decade: 1970s Description: this original vintage candleholder, was produced in the 1970s in Germany. it i...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Scandinavian Modern Candelabras

Materials

Metal

Set of 2 Modernist Vintage 1970s Sculptural Brutalist Metal Candleholder, France
Located in Kirchlengern, DE
Article: Brutalist candleholder set of 2 Origin: France Material: Metal iron Decade: 1970s Description: This original vintage candleholder, was produced in the 1970s in ...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Scandinavian Modern Candelabras

Materials

Metal

Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi Large Real Turtle Shell Box Silver Sculpture, 1970
By Gabriella Crespi
Located in Vis, NL
Rare Signed Gabriella Crespi large real turtle shell box combined with silver sculpture. 1970s, made in Italy. This piece is in near excellent condition with ageing wear on the sh...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Silver

Original Vintage Poster, Olympic Runners, Munich Games, 1973 Sports Poster
Located in Melbourne, Victoria
Artist: Anonymous Year: 1973 Dimensions: 92 x 64cm Condition: Excellent condition Format: Linen backed.  
Category

Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Posters

Italian Vintage Murano Chandelier, 50 Glass Rondini
Located in Gaiarine Frazione Francenigo (TV), IT
Rare Italian vintage Murano chandelier. The fixture is made up of 41 individual hand blown glass elements hanging (transparent and white “lattimo”) from a chrome frame. Each piece cl...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Blown Glass

Italian Murano Six-Tier Felci Glass Chandelier, 52 Glasses
By Barovier&Toso
Located in Gaiarine Frazione Francenigo (TV), IT
Beautiful and huge Italian Murano chandelier composed of 52 splendid transparent glasses that give a very elegant look Period: 1970s Dimensions: 55.10 inches (140 cm) height with cha...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Blown Glass

Pair of Pink Polar Murano Glass Chandelier, Italy, 1970s
Located in Rome, IT
Spectacular Murano chandelier. It consists of dozens of pure Murano glass leaves. Four E 27 lights. Measures: Height with chain cm 100 (39 inches) without chain cm 40 (16 inches).
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Brass Pendant Light Fixture, Vereinigte Werkstaetten, Germany, 1970
By Vereinigte Werkstätten Für Kunst Im Handwerk, Florian Schulz
Located in Graz, AT
A large and square brass pendant light fixture manufactured by Vereinigte Werkstätten Munich, Germany, in Mid-Century, circa 1970 (late 1960s or early 1970s). This gorgeous fixture i...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass

Midcentury Vanity Unit Dressing Table with or without Mirror German, circa 1970
Located in Labrit, Landes
Midcentury dressing table vanity unit German Beider circa 1970 with or without mirror Mirror is easily removed Stratified wood cherry with high shine Mirror has part of original l...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Beds and Bed Frames

Materials

Wood

Vintage Ceramic Wall Panel Table by Roger Capron
By Roger Capron
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Round panel or can be used as a table (legs available) with "Herbier" tiles.
Category

Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Wood

Dada Industrial Design Mid-Century Modern Italian Steel Dining Table, 1970s
By Dada Industrial Design
Located in Cerignola, Italy Puglia
Extremely rare dining table designed by the iconic Italian company Dada industrial design, manufacturer of high-design furniture. The structure is in steel, shiny parts and opaque pa...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Crystal, Brass, Steel

Set of Two 1970s Italian Modern Brass, Lucite Desk Lamps
By Arredoluce
Located in Antwerp, BE
A set of two Lucite desk lamps with brass elements by Arredeluce, Italy, 1970s. A beautiful set of desk lamps with reaching halogen light to read your paper or book through the reach...
Category

Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Brass

Midcentury Modern De Sede Style Cognac Leather Patchwork Bean Bag, 1970s, Italy
By De Sede
Located in Vienna, AT
Unique and decorative handmade Italian 1970s beanbag in the style of De Sede. The bag is in very good condition with lovely patina - very high seating comfort. Design period: 1950...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Footstools

Materials

Leather

Carlo Nason Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamp Blown Glass for Mazzega, 1970s
By AVMazzega, Carlo Nason
Located in Cerignola, Italy Puglia
This floor lamp was created by Carlo Nason, in blown Murano glass and steel. Created for the famous Mazzega Muranese Company, 1970s. " If you like it please make your offer and we w...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Steel

Small Mid-Century Modern White Coated Pendants Lights, Germany, 1970s
By Glashütte Limburg
Located in Almelo, NL
Interesting set of eight Mid-Century Modern white coated pendants lights produced in Germany, 1970s. These pendants will contribute to a luxurious modern character of the (hotel-bar)...
Category

Late 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Metal

Midcentury Table Lamps Cosmonaut, 1970s
By Elektrosvit
Located in Praha, CZ
- 1970s - maker: Elektrosvit - very good original condition.
Category

Vintage 1970s Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Plastic

1970s Bone White Resin Oval Mirror
Located in New York, NY
Oval resin mirror in bone/off-white finish, USA, circa 1960-1970. Features a molded, deep frame. May be hung vertically or horizontally.
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors

  • 1970s Bone White Resin Oval Mirror
  • 1970s Bone White Resin Oval Mirror
  • 1970s Bone White Resin Oval Mirror
  • 1970s Bone White Resin Oval Mirror
H 24 in. W 20 in. D 3 in.
Midcentury Sciolari Style Brass Chandelier, 1970s
By Gaetano Sciolari, Staff Leuchten
Located in Aachen, DE
Wonderful midcentury brass chandelier in the manner of Sciolari made by Staff Leuchten, manufactured in Germany, circa 1970s. Sockets: 15 x E14 small bulbs./ max. 40 watt each- G...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass

1970s Original Miroslav Tichý Vintage Silver Gelatin Print 'b'
By Miroslav Tichy
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Original Miroslav Tichý b/w photography from 1970. Unique vintage gelatin silver print. Including black wooden frame in H 20.5 / W 25.5 cm. This motif describes women photographed du...
Category

Vintage 1970s Czech Mid-Century Modern Photography

Materials

Paper

1970s Original Miroslav Tichý Vintage Silver Gelatin Print 'c'
By Miroslav Tichy
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Original Miroslav Tichý b/w Photography from 1970. Unique vintage gelatin silver print. Including black wooden frame in H 26.5 / W 21 cm. This Miroslav Tichý? vintage gelatin silver ...
Category

Vintage 1970s Czech Mid-Century Modern Photography

Materials

Paper

1970s Original Miroslav Tichý Vintage Silver Gelatin Print 'e'
By Miroslav Tichy
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Original Miroslav Tichý b/w Photography from 1970. Unique vintage gelatin silver print. Including black wooden frame in H 35.5 / W 26.5 cm. The picture shows a street scene focused o...
Category

Vintage 1970s Czech Mid-Century Modern Photography

Materials

Paper

1970s Original Miroslav Tichý Vintage Silver Gelatin Print 'D'
By Miroslav Tichy
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Original Miroslav Tichý b/w photography from 1970. Unique vintage gelatin silver print. Including black wooden frame in H 39.5 / W 29.5 cm. The picture shows a lady with a watering c...
Category

Vintage 1970s Czech Mid-Century Modern Photography

Materials

Paper

1970s Original Miroslav Tichý Vintage Silver Gelatin Print 'a'
By Miroslav Tichy
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Original Miroslav Tichý b/w Photography from 1970. Unique vintage gelatin silver print. Including black wooden frame in H 27 / W 25.5 cm. This original Miroslav Tichý motif depicts t...
Category

Vintage 1970s Czech Mid-Century Modern Photography

Materials

Paper

Round Illuminated Mirror by Schöninger, Germany, 1970s
By Schöninger
Located in Hagenbach, DE
An illuminated wall mirror from the German manufacturer Schöninger. It was made in the 1970s. The mirror has an oval design. There are E14 light bulbs inside the frame. The mirror is...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors

Materials

Metal

Modernist Kinkeldey Two-Tier Chandelier, 1970s, Germany
By Kinkeldey
Located in Antwerp, BE
This modernist glass ice block chandelier by Kinkeldey, Germany, 1970s has a polished brass frame supports multiple glass elements.
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Gio Ponti Brass Multi Cylinder Sconces, Italy 1970s
By Gio Ponti
Located in New York, NY
Elegant in their simplicity these sconces can work in a formal or more casual interior. The variety of bulbs that can be used allows you to create dramatically different effects.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Brass

1970s Chandelier in the Style of Venini
By Venini
Located in Baambrugge, NL
A stunning and sophisticated chandelier in the style of Venini with Murano glasses. The glasses are hung in a spiral row on a brass frame in a circular design. The height excludi...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass

Karl Springer Python Console on Brass Base, 1970s
By Karl Springer
Located in Chicago, IL
Striking console table designed and produced by Karl Springer in the mid-1970s. The top is covered in Python and the base is made of solid polished brass. Authentication by Tom Lange...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Console Tables

Materials

Brass

Round Acrylic Illuminated Mirror from Hillebrand Lighting, 1970s
By Hillebrand
Located in Hagenbach, DE
An illuminated wall mirror from the German manufacturer Hillebrand Lighting. It was made in the 1970s. The mirror has an oval acrylic design. There are E14 light bulbs inside the fra...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors

Materials

Metal

Round Acrylic Illuminated Mirror from Hillebrand Lighting, 1970s
By Hillebrand
Located in Hagenbach, DE
An illuminated wall mirror from the German manufacturer Hillebrand Lighting. It was made in the 1970s. The mirror has a oval acrylic design. There are E14 light bulbs inside the fram...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors

Materials

Metal

Arne Jacobsen for Stelton, "Cylinda Line" Serving Tray, Three Ashtrays, 1970s
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Arne Jacobsen for Stelton. "Cylinda Line" serving tray, three ashtrays, toast holder, salad set, salt / pepper set, sugar caster, butter jug and four small dishes in stainless steel,...
Category

Vintage 1970s Danish Scandinavian Modern More Dining and Entertaining

Materials

Stainless Steel

Square Glass Ceiling Light by Veca, 1970s, Italy
By VECA
Located in Hagenbach, DE
A beautiful square glass hanging lamp made in Italy in the 1970s. The light is made of thick glass. It has an amazing transparent color and it is very solid. The four glass parts are...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Aluminum

1970s Severin Hansen Rosewood Coffee Table with Royal Copenhagen Tiles
By Haslev Mobelsnedkeri, Severin Hansen Jr.
Located in Knebel, DK
Rosewood Coffee table designed by Severin Hansen for Haslev Møbelsnedkeri with Niels Thorsson tiles made and branded by Royal Copenhagen, Denmark. The Coffee table has been restored...
Category

Vintage 1970s Danish Scandinavian Modern Sofa Tables

Materials

Rosewood, Ceramic

Krenit Bowl by Herbert Krenchel, Black Metal and Turquoise Enamel, 1970s
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Krenit bowl by Herbert Krenchel. Black metal and turquoise enamel. 1970s. In very good condition, minor wear. Measures: 38.5 x 12 cm.
Category

Vintage 1970s Danish Scandinavian Modern Serving Bowls

Ceiling Pendant 'Poppy' by Svend Aage Holm Sorensen, 1970s
By Holm Sørensen
Located in Oslo, NO
Well made and decorative ceiling pendant in patinated brass. This is model 'Poppy'. Designed by Svend Aage Holm and made in Denmark by Holm Sørensen from circa 1970s second half. The...
Category

Vintage 1970s Danish Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Brass

1 of 2 Murano Ball Pendant Light by Doria, Germany, 1970s
By Doria Leuchten Germany
Located in Aachen, DE
Doria ceiling light with large volcanic Murano glass ball. High quality of materials - gives a wonderful light effect when it is on. Heavy quality and in very good condition. Cle...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Murano Glass

Pair of Midcentury Table Lamps, Rockets, Pokrok Zilina, 1970s
By Pokrok Žílina
Located in Praha, CZ
- Beautiful style of lighting - Marked by label.
Category

Vintage 1970s Slovakian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Plastic, Wood

Large Braun opaline Glass Pendant by Limburg, Germany, 1970s
By Glashütte Limburg, Helena Tynell
Located in Aachen, DE
A large round smoke tone opaline glass pendant designed by Limburg, manufactured in Germany, circa the 1970s. Great light effect. Sockets: needs 1 x E27 standard bulb with 100W max...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Chrome

Midcentury Opaline Glass Wall Lamp by Limburg, Germany, 1970s
By Glashütte Limburg
Located in Hagenbach, DE
A beautiful Mid-Century Modern wall lamp by Glashütte Limburg made in Germany in the 1970s. It has a beautiful triangle shape and is made of aluminium and opaline glass. The back is ...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Aluminum

Pair of Midcentury Brass and Smoked Glass French Nesting Tables, 1970s
Located in Roma, IT
Mid-century modern Nesting tables in brass and crystal, France 1970s. A very classic pair of nesting tables from the 70s, with smoked glass tops mounted between the two structure ...
Category

Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Nesting Tables and Stacking Tables

Materials

Crystal, Brass

Large Designer Cascading Chandelier Murano Glass by Doria, Germany, 1970s
By Doria Leuchten Germany
Located in Aachen, DE
A special large cascading chandelier by Doria, manufactured in Germany, circa 1970s with 6 Murano ice glasses. Wonderful form and stunning light effect. Sockets: 6 x E14 small bulb...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Murano Glass

Original Copper Glass Wall Sconce Modernist Cosack Lights, Germany, 1970s
By Cosack Leuchten
Located in Kirchlengern, DE
Article: Wall ceiling light Producer: Cosack lights, Germany (see label) Origin: Germany Age: 1970s Original 1970s modernist wall Light with two...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Metal

Pair of Table Lamps by Hans Agne Jakobsson, Sweden, 1970s
By Hans-Agne Jakobsson, Höganäs Keramik
Located in Stockholm, SE
Rare pair of table lamps designed by Hans Agne Jakobsson. Produced by his own company in Markaryd. Made from brass, glass and stoneware. The ceramic part was made on commission by Hö...
Category

Vintage 1970s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Brass

Gilt Brass and Crystal Glass Chandelier by Kinkeldey, Germany, 1970s
By Kinkeldey
Located in Aachen, DE
A stunning five-tier chandelier by Kinkeldey, Germany, manufactured in circa 1970-1979. A handmade and high quality piece. The chandelier features a 24-karat gold-plated four-tier st...
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Crystal, Brass

1970s Sciolari 12-Arm Polished Chrome Chandelier
By Lightolier
Located in New York, NY
A 12-arm chandelier in polished chrome by Gaetano Sciolari for Lightolier, USA, circa 1950. Wired for US; in very good condition. Takes 24 candelabra base bulbs, 40 watts max each....
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Chrome

1 of 2 Large Murano Smoked Glass Table lamp by Kalmar, Austria, 1970s
By Kalmar Lighting
Located in Aachen, DE
Stunning Murano glass table lamp by Kalmar, 1970s Smoked swirl Murano glass, clear twisted crystal glass panels with a light goldish amber-colored stripe in it. It needs 3 x E27 sta...
Category

Vintage 1970s Austrian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Murano Glass

Extraordinary Aluminium and Murano Glass Ceiling Light by Mazegga, 1970s, Italy
By Mazzega
Located in Hagenbach, DE
A beautiful Murano glass hanging lamp made in Italy in the 1970s. The light is made of thick Murano. It has an amazing color and it is very solid. The three glass parts are secure to...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Aluminum

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1970s Modern For Sale on 1stDibs

Find many varieties of an authentic 1970s modern available at 1stDibs. Each 1970s modern for sale was constructed with extraordinary care, often using metal, glass and wood. If you’re shopping for a 1970s modern, we have 69458 options in-stock, while there are 12 modern editions to choose from as well. You’ve searched high and low for the perfect 1970s modern — we have versions that date back to the 18th Century alongside those produced as recently as the 21st Century are available. Each 1970s modern bearing Mid-Century Modern, Modern or Scandinavian Modern hallmarks is very popular. A well-made 1970s modern has long been a part of the offerings for many furniture designers and manufacturers, but those produced by Milo Baughman, De Sede and Gaetano Sciolari are consistently popular.

How Much is a 1970s Modern?

A 1970s modern can differ in price owing to various characteristics — the average selling price 1stDibs is $2,400, while the lowest priced sells for $1 and the highest can go for as much as $475,000.

A Close Look at Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe mid-century modern American furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.

Postwar American architects and designers were animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist “International Style” architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the ’30s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale, in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.

Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for, respectively, pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair. George Nelson and his design team created Bubble lamp shades using a new translucent polymer skin. Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were re-purposed: the Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs that used surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century designers caught the spirit.

Classically-oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb — who designed holistic groups of sleek, blonde-wood furniture — and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern American furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.