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Century Furniture

Known for its durable vintage display cabinets, nightstands and dressers made of cherry, oak, walnut and more, Century Furniture of Hickory, North Carolina, began as an upholstered goods company in 1947 but added case goods and sophisticated mahogany dining-room furnishings shortly thereafter.

Launched by Harley Ferguson Shuford Sr., a Hickory native who was born to a family of textile mill owners, Century Furniture was intended to be “the best furniture company in the world.” With respect to speed and efficiency, the brand found its footing midway through production on a government contract that Shuford had secured in the early days to manufacture thousands of five-drawer chests. The effort was significant, but it was also a teachable moment as far as Shuford and his team’s learning the ropes of running a factory.

After hiring designer Raymond K. Sobota in 1950 and introducing the enormously popular Citation Collection in 1954, Century established its reputation as a leader in stylishly designed high-quality furniture. Sobota had furniture in his blood — after graduating from Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he worked for his uncle Karl Schmidt, who was at the time a well-known furniture designer for Berkey and Gay and other makers in the Grand Rapids area, then known as America’s furniture capital. Sobota soon launched his own studio, designing furniture as a freelancer for various local manufacturers. Shuford found him by happenstance, journeying to Michigan’s second-largest city to offer a job to another designer who turned him down but recommended Sobota instead.

Century’s Citation line — a sizable collection for the brand that spanned furnishings for the bedroom, dining room and more — is revered in the world of vintage mid-century modern furniture collectors. The pieces sold very well during the 1950s, and the line is an oft-cited success story for Sobota, who would go on to win awards for his work and whose own catalogue of designs for the brand is massive.

In his 40-year career at Century, until he retired in 1995, he designed well over 100 furniture lines. Sobota’s nightstands, cabinets, side tables and more are characterized by his interest in Asian design, distinctly and brilliantly expressed in his Hollywood Regency–style Chin Hua line, which debuted during the 1970s. With its geometrically decorative brass drawer pulls and door handles as well as dining-chair seat-back carvings — all inspired by Asian motifs — this collection has rendered vintage pieces that saw Century’s craftsmen working with alluring ebonized walnut and more, some of the company’s most sought-after work today.

Also in the 1970s as well as in the 1980s, Manhattan interior designer Jay Spectre introduced an Art Deco–informed spirit at Century Furniture, creating oversize, inviting lounge chairs and bentwood benches that featured plush tufted leather cushions. Spectre’s Eclipse collection was at one point among the largest-selling lines for the brand.

Century licensed collections with celebrity interior designers such as Thomas O’Brien, Charlotte Moss and Bunny Williams among others. In 2013, when Alex Shuford III was named president of Century Furniture, the move marked the succession of the third generation to lead this company, which is today one of the world’s largest privately held manufacturers of high-end furniture.

Find Century Furniture lounge chairs and dining chairs as well as vintage mid-century modern credenzas, dressers and more on 1stDibs.

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Related Creators
Century Chinoserie Rattan Wood Monumental Coffee Table
By Century Furniture
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
On offer on this occasion is one of the most stunnin, sculptural wood and cane top coffee table you could hope to find. This is an ultra-rare opportunity to acquire what is, unequivo...

21st Century and Contemporary American Chinoiserie Century Furniture


Rattan, Wood

Vintage Hollywood Regency Lacquer Palm Frond Dining Chairs
By Century Furniture
Located in W Allenhurst, NJ
Hollywood Regency Palm Frond dining chairs. Deep detail in lacquer finish with upholstery. Century Chair Company icon. Curbside to NYC/Philly $400

1970s American Hollywood Regency Vintage Century Furniture


Upholstery, Wood, Lacquer

CENTURY French Country Oval Back Dining Side Chairs - Pair B
By Century Furniture
Located in Charlotte, NC
A pair of French Country style dining side chairs by Century Furniture, of Hickory, North Carolina, USA. Hardwood with a walnut finish, oval open carved design backs, floral striped ...

21st Century and Contemporary American French Provincial Century Furniture


Fabric, Hardwood

Set of 4 Reproduction English Georgian Walnut Armchairs by Century Furniture
By Century Furniture
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
A set of 4 reproduction English Georgian walnut armchairs by Century Furniture. An amazingly sculpted set of 4 traditional armchairs. These wo...

20th Century Century Furniture



Jay Spectre "DeLanay" Round Chrome and Glass Table
By Jay Spectre, Century Furniture
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Jay Spectre "DeLanay" Glass and Chrome Side Table. In beautiful Condition. Couldn't an example of this table anywhere besides in an Ad! Updated Deco feel with a beautiful Etched G...

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Century Furniture



Ming Style Chairs with Upholstered Cushions and Ottoman by Century Chair
By Century Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
A pair of lovely "ming style" chairs in a very light stain by Century Chair Company of Hickory, NC. The oversized "ming" style chairs feature loose cushions in a shade of off-white....

1980s American Chinoiserie Vintage Century Furniture


Wood, Fabric

Custom Leather Wrapped Console Bookcase by Century Furnture
By Century Furniture
Located in Hopewell, NJ
Ultra chic Century Furniture custom console bookshelf having speckled cream and brown faux leather wrapping and handsome brown leather corners. The ...

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Century Furniture


Faux Leather, Glass, Mahogany

Jay Spectre "Entrance Maker" Console Table with Mirror
By Jay Spectre, Century Furniture
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Jay Spectre for Century Furniture "Entrance Maker" White Oak Console with Hanging Mirror. Console is ziggurat-shaped with a Mirrored Back-Splash. Inspired from Art Deco Step Back D...

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Century Furniture


Mirror, Oak

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Century Furniture Sellers

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Century Furniture furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Century Furniture furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. Many of the original furniture by Century Furniture were created in the Art Deco style in united states during the 1970s. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Design Institute America, Heywood-Wakefield Co., and Russell Woodard. Prices for Century Furniture furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at £1,205 and can go as high as £1,205, while a piece like these, on average, fetch £1,205.
Questions About Century Furniture
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Mid-century furniture is furniture created within the period of 1933 to 1965 but most would argue that the style began to emerge in the postwar years. This style of furniture is known for its sleek lines and organic shapes. The creators most frequently associated with mid-century modern furniture believed that good design meant good living. Mid-century modern is today by far the largest category of furnishings on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertSeptember 25, 2019

    Mid-century modern furniture combines sleek lines with organic shapes.

  • 1stDibs ExpertSeptember 25, 2019

    Some of the most famous mid-century modern furniture designers were Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Paul Evans, Poul Kjærholm, Florence Knoll, George Nakashima, Giò Ponti, Hans Wegner, Charlotte Perriand, Sergio Rodrigues and Eero Saarinen.

  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 22, 2019

    Mid-century modernism first appeared in 1945 and merged a minimalist aesthetic with practicality. Mid-century modern furniture is distinguishable by its lack of decoration or extravagance and its use of clean lines, organic curves and variety of natural materials.

    1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Mid century modern furniture refers to pieces designed during the middle of the 20th century — specifically 1930s through the mid-1960s. This period represents a design and architecture movement characterized by simple shapes, clean lines, and organic materials. Some of the most famous mid century modern designers include Ray Eames, Charlotte Perriand, Isamu Noguchi and Eero Saarinen.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Yes, Century Furniture still exists. The brand operates from its corporate headquarters located in Hickory, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1947, and RHF Investments, Inc., acquired the company in 2013. You'll find a range of Century Furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    A variety of furniture was used during the 16th century. Items commonly found in homes include high-backed armchairs, chests, stools, benches and cupboards. Most European artisans active during the time period produced pieces out of oak wood. Find a large collection of antique furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 5, 2023
    To tell if furniture is mid-century modern, examine the piece, looking for labels and markings that indicate who produced it. Then, consult trusted online resources to determine when the maker was active and what styles of furniture they made. Iconic mid-century modern furniture designers include Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Milo Baughman, Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi. A knowledgeable dealer or certified appraiser can help you determine if a particular piece is genuine mid-century modern or a reproduction. Shop a range of mid-century modern furniture on 1stDibs.

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