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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.

Average Sold Price
Century Chair Co. Horseshoe James Mont Style Oriental Asian Arm Chair
By Century Furniture
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Century Chair Co. Horseshoe James Mont style oriental asian arm chair. Item features brass accents, solid wood construction, beautiful wood grain, original label, very nice vintage i...

Late 20th Century Chinoiserie Century Furniture


Fabric, Wood

Eight Rare Jay Spectre Black Lacquer Dining Chairs
By Century Furniture, Jay Spectre
Located in Chicago, IL
These dining chairs represent the Jay Spectre interpretation of a Classic Louis XVI form. More often found with limed white oak frames, the black lacquered finish was a rare option f...

1980s American Vintage Century Furniture


Wood, Upholstery

Century Furniture Bombay Form White Lacquered Triple Dresser, Newly Refinished
By Century Furniture
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous Italian style bombay form triple dresser or credenza By Century Furniture USA, late 20th century White lacquered mahogany, with original brass hardware. Measur...

Late 20th Century American French Provincial Century Furniture



Vintage Painted Fretwork Bench in Banana Leaf Fabric
By Century Furniture
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Vintage window seat bench, by Century, having a white painted finish, its faux-bamboo frame with fretwork arms, flanking a rectangular crown seat, raised on tapering legs, joined by ...

1960s American Hollywood Regency Vintage Century Furniture


Upholstery, Wood

Jay Spectre Steamer Chaise for Century Furniture in Ivory White Bouclé c. 1990s
By Jay Spectre, Century Furniture
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Art Deco inspired glamour with a great silhouette from all angles, this Jay Spectre Steamer Chaise Lounge also delivers unparalleled First Class comfort with a wide thick seat, angle...

1990s American Art Deco Century Furniture


Bouclé, Upholstery

Set of 6 Chinese Chippendale Dining Chairs by Century Furniture
By Century Furniture
Located in Pasadena, TX
Set of 6 Chinese Chippendale dining chairs by Century Furniture Faux bamboo in an antiqued finish with neutral silk blend seat cushions. Set includes two armchairs and four ...

Mid-20th Century North American Chinese Chippendale Century Furniture



CENTURY Chin Hua Raymond Sobota Asian Chinoiserie Coffee Table
By Century Furniture
Located in Charlotte, NC
An Asian style coffee table by top-quality furniture maker Century Furniture, from their ""Chin Hua"" line designed by Raymond K Sobota. Burl maple with black lacquer trim. Made in H...

Late 20th Century American Chinoiserie Century Furniture


Maple, Burl, Lacquer

Pair of Chinese Chippendale Style Faux Bamboo Chairs
By Century Furniture
Located in New York, NY
Pair of Chinese Chippendale style distressed finish faux bamboo armchairs. Made by Century Furniture in North Carolina. Clean upholstery. Priced per pair.

Late 20th Century American Chinese Chippendale Century Furniture



Browse all Furniture from Century Furniture
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Century Furniture furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Century Furniture furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Century Furniture, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are currently 114 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Century Furniture was created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture from Design Institute America, Bernhard Rohne and Ward Bennett if you’re looking for additional options. Prices for Century Furniture can vary depending upon size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $595 and tops out at $18,500, while pieces like these can sell for $2,550 on average.
Questions About Century Furniture
  • 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 ExpertSeptember 25, 2019

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

  • 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.

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