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American of Martinsville Seating

American

American of Martinsville is today revered as one of the finest manufacturers of mid-century modern furniture in the United States, but its beginnings were unexpectedly humble.

Well ahead of the Civil War, tobacco was a cash crop in places such as Virginia, and the plant was grown with frequency on farms in Martinsville and elsewhere. In the early 1900s, the business around tobacco was changing and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was expanding nationally, buying any Virginia factories in reach. Former tobacco producers Ancil Witten and Charles Keesee turned away from the business in 1906 and, with merely $30,000 in capital (and the support of local business leaders), began to manufacture bedroom furniture under the name American Furniture Company.

In the 1920s, American Furniture Company expanded its offerings from bedroom furnishings. Alongside tallboy dressers and nightstands, Witten and Keesee’s outfit began to offer a range of dining-room sets to the discerning customer. By the 1950s, the name had been changed to American of Martinsville and the brand had gained a reputation for exquisite craftsmanship as well as its variety of furniture styles (Hollywood Regency, chinoiserie).

Mass-marketed furniture meant big business in the postwar years and throughout the 20th century in Virginia, and factories owned by companies like Bassett Furniture and American of Martinsville remained busy as suburbanites bought furniture to fill the homes they were moving into.

It isn’t difficult to spot American of Martinsville’s sturdy, solid designs — the lacquered walnut nightstands, mahogany coffee tables and more have long earned the admiration of mid-century modernism enthusiasts. The company’s high profile also owes to prominent attributes that distinguish its well-made vintage furniture, such as the use of wooden slats — inspired by Scandinavian modernism — on hutches and cabinet doors, the famous brass x’s inlaid on the tops of tables and dressers and the stately stacked type of the American of Martinsville logo, which usually appears in drawer interiors. The stamp prominently features an eagle perched atop the lettering, its broad wings spread across the “American” portion.

Besides quality manufacturing, American of Martinsville is additionally recognized for having incorporated the trends of the day.

Inspired by designers like George Nakashima and Paul Laszlo, the brand was also known for innovations with wood. Merton Gershun was one of the company’s most prolific designers, and he was responsible for some of its most successful modern furniture lines using the richer, darker woods that would become emblematic of mid-century furniture. Gershun’s most popular line was reportedly Dania, with its sleek walnut credenzas fitted with stylish brass accents and large drawers. Today, American of Martinsville specializes in furniture for the healthcare and hospitality industries.

Shop a wide selection of vintage American of Martinsville mid-century modern sideboards, side tables and more on 1stDibs.

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Creator: American of Martinsville
Mid-century American of Martinsville Dining Set of 6
By American of Martinsville
Located in Miami, FL
Mid-century American of Martinsville Dining Set of 6 Offered for sale is a s set of 6 dining chairs with 2 arms and 4 sides. The chairs retain the original tags that say American Fu...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Set of Six Mid Century Dania Dining Chairs American of Martinsville c 1950/60s
By Merton Gershun, American of Martinsville
Located in New York, NY
Chic architectural set of Mid Century Modern dining chairs designed by Merton Gershun for American of Martinsville as part of their classic Dania series, circa 1950-1960s. This impre...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE French Provincial Louis XVI Dining Side Chairs - Pair B
By American of Martinsville
Located in Charlotte, NC
A pair of French Provincial Louis XVI style dining side chairs by American of Martinsville. Solid hardwood with a whitewashed & slightly antiqued finish, decoratively fluted oval bac...
Category

Late 20th Century American Louis XVI American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Wood

1950s American of Martinsville Walnut Cane Slipper Lounge Chairs, a Pair
By American of Martinsville
Located in Germantown, MD
A gorgeous pair of vintage Mid-Century Modern slipper lounge chairs by American of Martinsville. They have a walnut frame with cane back and faux leather seat and are in good vintage...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Faux Leather, Cane, Walnut

AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE French Provincial Louis XVI Dining Side Chairs - Pair A
By American of Martinsville
Located in Charlotte, NC
A pair of French Provincial Louis XVI style dining side chairs by American of Martinsville. Solid hardwood with a whitewashed & slightly antiqued finish, decoratively fluted oval bac...
Category

Late 20th Century American Louis XVI American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Wood

American of Martinsville MCM Walnut and Cane Back Dining Chairs - Set of 6
By American of Martinsville
Located in Countryside, IL
American of Martinsville Mid Century Walnut and Cane Back Dining Chairs - Set of 6 Each armless chair measures: 20.5 wide x 21 deep x 31.5 high, with a seat height of 19.5 inches Ea...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Upholstery, Cane, Walnut

Set of 4 Reupholstered Cane Back Dining Chairs by American Martinsville
By American of Martinsville
Located in Medina, OH
Beautiful set of boho chic cane back dining chairs by American Martinsville. This set includes 3 armless/side chairs and one arm chair. The chairs are in good condition, there are a ...
Category

Late 20th Century Bohemian American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Velvet, Cane, Wood

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Billy Baldwin x Base Upholstery Benches
By American of Martinsville
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Pair of Mid-Century Modern Billy Baldwin X Base Upholstery Benches.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Upholstery

Set of Two ( 2 ) Modular Benches Kissing Benches in Rosewood Laminate, c. 1950's
By American of Martinsville
Located in Deland, FL
Introduce a piece of mid-century modern history into your home with this set of two early modular benches. Made in the 1950s by American Furniture, also known as American of Martinsv...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Laminate, Wood

Pair of Faux Bamboo Cane Bergere Armchairs by American of Martinsville
By American of Martinsville
Located in High Wycombe, GB
A Pair of Upholstered Bergere Armchairs on Castors American of Martinsville Produced in the Mid-1970s Founded in 1906, American of Marti...
Category

20th Century American American Colonial American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Upholstery, Faux Bamboo, Cane

Set of 6 Postmodern Cane Back Dining Chairs by American of Martinsville
By American of Martinsville
Located in Freehold, NJ
This set of six postmodern dining chairs by American of Martinsville feature hardwood construction, original burl wood finish, vintage cream colored upholstery, caned seat backs with...
Category

1970s American Post-Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Cane, Burl

American of Martinsville Walnut Bench by Merton Gershun
By Merton Gershun, American of Martinsville
Located in Esperance, NY
American of Martinsville walnut bench by Merton Gershun.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Walnut

Art Deco American of Martinsville Burlwood 8 Piece Dining Set
By American of Martinsville
Located in Chicago, IL
Art Deco American of Martinsville burlwood 8 piece dining set. Stunning Art Deco American of Martinsville burlwood 8 piece dining set. This set includes: table with 1 leaf, and 6 chairs. Unique mirrored burlwood dining table with a leaf. Beautiful set of 6 art deco campaign style dining chairs...
Category

1970s Art Deco Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Cane, Rattan, Mirror, Burl

American of Martinsville High Back Lounge Chair in Original Seafoam Fabric, 1960
By American of Martinsville
Located in Deland, FL
An early and rare design produced by American of Martinsville, c. 1960s. Constructed from oak with a natural finish. The stately wingback chair is found in its original seafoam blue ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Oak

Merton Gershun for American of Martinsville Mid Century X Inlaid Coffee Table or
By Merton Gershun, American of Martinsville
Located in Countryside, IL
Merton Gershun for American of Martinsville Mid Century X inlaid coffee table or bench This table measures: 54 wide x 20.5 deep x 14.25 high All pieces of furniture can be had ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Wood

American of Martinsville Campaign Light Wood & Cane Dining Chairs 2 Arm & 2 Side
By American of Martinsville
Located in Topeka, KS
Stunning set of 4 modern campaign style dining chairs 2 Arm and 2 side chairs comprised of beautiful light hardwood, radio weave cane seat backs, and fabric covered seats. Beautiful condition, keeping in mind that these are vintage and not new so will have signs of use and wear. The caning has been replaced in one chair back. Seat fabric has been professionally cleaned but most will want to reupholster, and they have been priced accordingly. Please see photos and zoom in for details. We attempt to portray any imperfections. Circa, 1970’s. “Well excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair….” Oh wait…that’s a George Straight song!! Well, actually, we DO have just the chairs for you!!! This is a wonderful set of American of Martinsville campaign style dining chairs. We have 4 to offer you 2 side and 2 armchairs comprised of gorgeous light hardwood frames, and fabulous radio weave cane tall, slender seat backs. There is a lovely brass colored trim accent on the back of the chairs framing the cane and right now the seat cushions wear a beige or taupe basket weave pattern fabric, but we’ve priced them so you can reupholster with a fabric of your choice. This is a GORGEOUS dining chair set and will look amazing under your modern, Hollywood Regency, or campaign style dining table...
Category

Late 20th Century American Campaign American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Cane, Wood

Mid-Century Modern Dining Chairs by American of Martinsville, Set of 6
By American of Martinsville
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Unusual set of midcentury dining chairs manufactured by the American Furniture Company of Martinsville, Virginia. This set includes four side chairs and two armchairs. Handsomely scu...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Hollywood Regency, Cottagecore Curved Blue Velvet Sofa American of Martinsville
By American of Martinsville
Located in Topeka, KS
Lovely vintage Traditional or Hollywood Regency or Cottagecore curved kidney shaped blue velvet sofa by American of Martinsville. Comprised of 2 loose button tucked poly foam cushion...
Category

20th Century American Hollywood Regency American of Martinsville Seating

Materials

Fabric, Wood

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Previously Available Items
Hollywood Regency, Cottagecore Curved Blue Velvet Sofa American of Martinsville
By American of Martinsville
Located in Topeka, KS
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20th Century American Hollywood Regency American of Martinsville Seating

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Set of Four Mid-Century Modern American of Martinsville Walnut Dining Chairs
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Vintage American of Martinsville Burled Wood Dining Chairs
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Ochre Armchair Waterfall Skirted
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American of Martinsville Dania Mid Century Walnut Dining Chairs, Set of 6
By American of Martinsville
Located in Countryside, IL
American of Martinsville Dania mid century walnut dining chairs - set of 6 Each of these chairs measure: 21 wide x 20 deep x 32 inches high, with a seat height of 19 inches ?Al...
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American of Martinsville Mid Century Cane Back Walnut Dining Chairs, Set of 6
By American of Martinsville
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American Of Martinsville seating for sale on 1stDibs.

American of Martinsville seating are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of American of Martinsville seating, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original seating by American of Martinsville were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider seating by Bill Stephens, Shelby Williams, and Shaver Howard. Prices for American of Martinsville seating can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $695 and can go as high as $6,746, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $1,995.
Questions About American of Martinsville Seating
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    American of Martinsville, which was founded in 1906, is still in business. The company now manufactures furniture for hotel and healthcare industries.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 7, 2024
    How much an American of Martinsville dresser weighs can vary greatly. The dimensions and materials of the piece will determine its weight. Generally, highboy dressers will be the heaviest pieces produced by the American furniture maker due to their size. Shop a diverse assortment of American of Martinsville dressers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 14, 2024
    The history of Martinsville furniture starts with the founding of the company in Martinsville, Virginia, in 1906 by Ancil Witten and Charles Keesee, a pair of former tobacco farmers. They launched their business with $30,000 in capital and began to manufacture bedroom furniture under the name American Furniture Company. In the 1920s, American Furniture Company expanded its offerings from bedroom furnishings with a range of dining room sets. By the 1950s, the company’s name had been changed to American of Martinsville, and it had gained a reputation for exquisite craftsmanship as well as a variety of furniture styles. Inspired by designers like George Nakashima and Paul László, the brand innovated with wood. Merton Gershun was one of the company's most prolific designers, and he was responsible for some of its most successful modern furniture lines using the richer, darker woods that would become emblematic of mid-century furniture. Gershun's most popular line was Dania, with its sleek walnut credenzas fitted with stylish brass accents and large drawers. Today, American of Martinsville specializes in furniture for the healthcare and hospitality industries. Find a variety of American of Martinsville furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Elgin American was an American brand known for producing watches, jewelry and compacts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Illinois Watchcase Company owned it. In 1901, the company abandoned the Elgin name due to trademark infringement claims made by the Elgin National Watch Co. Find a selection of Elgin American art, jewelry and watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertAugust 17, 2021
    American oak comes from oak trees that grow in America (as opposed to in Europe). While both are pale, American oaks have a slightly pink undertone and European oaks have a honey-hued undertone.
  • 1stDibs ExpertOctober 12, 2021
    With respect to the actual wood, the outer layer of American walnut — the sapwood — has a creamy yellow-white color whereas the inner layer — the heartwood — ranges from a golden brown to dark chocolate brown color. In more descriptive words, the color of American walnut embodies the richness of chocolate mixed with slight undertones of red wine. On 1stDibs, find a variety of antique and vintage American walnut furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    African American quilting has roots in history during slavery and was a way for African American women to bond. The quilts themselves tell stories of history, teach lessons and are beacons of hope. Shop a collection of African American quilts from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The history of African-American quilting stretches back almost as far as the beginning of the United States itself. The craft began with slave women quilting on plantations and after emancipation, the tradition of quilting continued. Today, there are many African American quilters who are inspired by a number of different quilting traditions. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of African-American quilts from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertOctober 12, 2021
    American cut glass is a technique used for decorating glass. The period from 1771 to 1876 is considered the early period of American cut glass — later, cut glass was called Brilliant glass. This technique is associated with high labor costs and involves the work of skilled craftsmen — American cut glass is considered a luxury item and can be very valuable.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 30, 2024
    Sofa is both American and British. In the UK, sofa is the most commonly used term for an upholstered piece of furniture designed to seat two people or more. Americans use the word sofa as well. However, couch is the more popular name for sofas in the U.S. On 1stDibs, find a diverse assortment of antique, vintage and contemporary sofas.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 25, 2024
    What Americans call a sofa varies. Often, people living in the U.S. refer to an upholstered furnishing designed to hold more than one person as a couch. However, the word sofa is also commonly used in the U.S. On 1stDibs, find a diverse assortment of antique, vintage and contemporary sofas.
  • 1stDibs ExpertOctober 12, 2021
    A Native American artifact is any object that provides insight into the lives and history of native people in America. These items range from carved stone pipes, weapons for hunting, tools for cooking, pottery, jewelry and more. Find a collection of artifacts on 1stDibs today.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    Some famous African-American artists include Horace Pippin, Augusta Savage, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, Theaster Gates, Sam Gillam, Kara Walker and Kehinde Wiley. Shop a variety of African-American art from some of the world’s top galleries on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The most well-known Native American blankets come from Navajo weaving, which are prized by collectors worldwide. Originally utilitarian, the Navajo people began creating blankets specifically for export and tourism in the 19th century. Shop a collection of Navajo blankets from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    What Native American drums are called varies by type. Ones designed to rest in the player's lap are hand drums, while instruments that hold water used primarily by the Iroquois and Yaqui are water drums. Large freestanding drums that produce loud percussive sounds are powwow drums. The Aztec and Hopi used foot drums. You'll find a range of Native American drums on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Native American slippers are called moccasins. Moccasins are characterized by their U-shaped puckered toe design and are crafted with various leathers such as sheepskin or buffalo. They may or may not be decorated with beading. Shop a collection of authentic moccasins from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    It depends on which region the beads were made since they were created out of available materials found in the land around them. In the Eastern Woodlands, white and purple marine shell beads were called “wampum”. You can shop a collection of Native American beadwork from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    To identify Native American baskets, you can research the patterns using authoritative online resources to try and determine which tribe produced it. However, many replicas exist and there are many tribes that produced baskets. As a result, it is a good idea to consult a licensed appraiser. On 1stDibs, find a variety of expertly vetted Native American baskets.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    What a Native American headdress represents depends on what tribe produced it. In general, headdresses may symbolize a person's status within the tribe or serve as a sign of bravery during battle. You'll find a selection of Native American headdresses on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    American Brilliant cut glass is deeply and sharply cut glass known for its reflective quality and highly polished nature. This type of glass is thick, heavy, and very clear.
    The difference between cut glass and cut crystal is the lead content along with some other criteria. "There are three primary criteria for crystal as established by the European Union in 1969: a lead content in excess of 24%, a density in excess of 2.90 and a reflective index of 1.545." "Prior to 1969 crystal glass was generally around 36% lead. However, due to concerns over lead leaching the percentage was reduced to the [unofficial} standard of 24%. Today glass with a lead content of 10% or more is considered to be crystal or “fine glass”" in the US.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 3, 2024
    Yes, American Leather is good quality. Skilled artisans make every piece that bears the American furniture maker's name with precision computer-controlled systems to maximize quality while expediting the manufacturing process to allow custom-made pieces to be produced much more quickly. American Leather also uses computer systems to scan hides, ensuring that only the finest leathers are used as upholstery on its furniture. Find a variety of American leather furniture on 1stDibs.

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