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Drexel

While vintage Drexel Furniture dining tables, dressers and other pieces remain highly desirable for enthusiasts of mid-century modern design, the manufacturer's story actually begins decades before its celebrated postwar-era Declaration line took shape.

In 1903, in the small town of Drexel in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, six partners came together to found a company that would become one of the country’s leading furniture producers. The first offerings from Drexel Furniture were simple: a bed, washstand and bureau all crafted from native oakwood, sold as a bedroom suite for $14.50.

One of Drexel’s early innovations was to employ staff designers, something the company initiated in the 1930s. This focus on design, which few other furniture companies were committing to at the time, allowed Drexel to respond to a variety of new and traditional tastes. This included making pieces inspired by historic European furniture, like the popular French provincial–style Touraine bedroom and dining group that borrowed its curves from Louis XV-era furniture. Others replicated the ornate details of 18th-century chinoiserie or the embellishments of Queen Anne furniture. Always ready to adapt to new customer demands, during World War II, Drexel built a sturdy desk designed especially for General Douglas MacArthur.

In the postwar era, Drexel embraced the clean lines of mid-century modernism with the Declaration collection designed by Stewart MacDougall and Kipp Stewart that featured elegant credenzas and more made in walnut and the Profile and Projection collections designed with sculptural shapes by John Van Koert. In the 1970s, Drexel introduced high-end furniture in a Mediterranean style.

Drexel changed hands and visions throughout the years. It was managed by one of the original partners — Samuel Huffman — until 1935, at which time his son Robert O. Huffman took over as president. It was then that the company began to expand, with several acquisitions of competitors in the 1950s, including Table Rock Furniture, the Heritage Furniture Co. and more. With the manufacturer’s success — spurred by its embrace of advertising in home and garden magazines — it opened more factories in both North and South Carolina. By 1957, the company that had started with a factory of 50 workers had 2,300 employees and was selling its furniture nationwide.

Drexel underwent a series of name changes in its long history. Its acquisition of Southern Desk Company in 1960 bolstered its production of institutional furniture for dormitories, classrooms, churches and laboratories. In the following decades, contracts with government agencies, hotels, schools and hospitals brought its high-quality furniture to a global audience. U.S. Plywood-Champion Papers bought Drexel Enterprises in 1968, and it became Drexel Heritage Furnishings. 

In 2014, the last Drexel Heritage plant, in Morganton, North Carolina, reportedly closed its doors. The company rebranded as Drexel in 2017.

The range of vintage Drexel furniture for sale on 1stDibs includes end tables designed by Edward Wormley, walnut side tables designed by Kipp Stewart and lots more.

Average Sold Price
$2,160
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Kipp Stewart for Drexel Mid Century Walnut Dining Chairs, Set of 6
By Kipp Stewart, Drexel
Located in Countryside, IL
Kipp Stewart for Drexel mid century walnut dining chairs - set of 6 Each chair measures: 19.5 wide x 18 deep x 32.5 inches high, with a seat height of 18 inches All pieces of f...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Drexel Declaration Magazine Table by Kipp Stewart and Stewart MacDougall
By Drexel, Kipp Stewart & Stewart MacDougall
Located in Denver, CO
A walnut magazine table with pull out shelves by Kipp Stewart and Stewart MacDougall for Drexel Declaration. USA, 1963. Two removable shelves with rattan-wrapped pulls.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Rattan, Walnut

Pyramid Bookcase by Edward Wormley
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Pyramid bookcase in walnut by Edward Wormley for Drexel, USA, circa 1950. Signed. Dimensions (in inches): 40" L. 17.5" D. 25.5" H. 8" D (top shelf). 10.5" D (middle shelf).
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Walnut

Pyramid Bookcase by Edward Wormley
H 25.5 in. W 40 in. D 17.5 in.
Drexel Heritage Carved Mahogany Hollywood Regency Clover-Shaped Occasional Table
By Drexel
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous Hollywood Regency chinoiserie occasional table from the connoisseur line by Drexel Heritage. The table features beautiful mahogany wood grain, a unique clover shape, and n...
Category

1970s American Chinoiserie Vintage Drexel

Materials

Mahogany

Hollywood Regency Chinoiserie Black and Gold Coffee Table, Drexel Et Cetera
By Drexel
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Rectangular Hollywood Regency burl wood and glass coffee table by Drexel Furniture. This sculptural cocktail table features original gloss black wood frame with hand painted gold lea...
Category

1970s Chinoiserie Vintage Drexel

Materials

Glass, Wood

Drexel Travis Court Collection Mahogany Poster Full Size Bed, Circa 1940s
By Drexel
Located in Germantown, MD
Drexel Travis Court Collection Mahogany Poster Full Size bed, Circa 1940s. Measurements are 56.6 in width , 70" in height and 80" in length. Very good vintage condition. Whse Ma P.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Federal Drexel

Materials

Mahogany

Multi-Functions Walnut Secretary Desk by Drexel
By Drexel
Located in Pasadena, CA
This secretary features 3 drawers at the bottom, a bookcase at the top and the middle part is a secretary! Its very narrow width makes it very easy to integrate into any room and its...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drexel

Materials

Brass

Vintage Modern Marble-Top End Table by Drexel
By Drexel
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This stylish midcentury end table features quality Drexel construction with spacious shelved cabinet storage. Vintage marble-top creates a beautiful contrast with the vintage walnut ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Marble

  • Vintage Modern Marble-Top End Table by Drexel
  • Vintage Modern Marble-Top End Table by Drexel
  • Vintage Modern Marble-Top End Table by Drexel
  • Vintage Modern Marble-Top End Table by Drexel
H 23.25 in. W 26.5 in. D 17.5 in.
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Drexel Sellers

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5 / 5
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Drexel furniture for sale on 1stDibs

The Drexel furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our Drexel collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 329 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of Drexel's original furniture was created in the Mid-Century Modern style in North America during the 20th century. Many customers also consider furniture from Lane Furniture, American of Martinsville and Heywood-Wakefield Co., if you are looking for additional options. Drexel furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $350 and tops out at $16,900, while pieces like these can sell for $2,140 on average..
Questions About Drexel
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Yes, Drexel Furniture makes high-quality furniture in a variety of styles. The company's vintage pieces are highly sought after by collectors. You can find a wide range of Drexel Furniture on 1stDibs.