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Drexel

American

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 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
$2,049
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Mid-Century Walnut Dresser Or Credenza By Kipp Stewart For Drexel Declaration
By Drexel, Kipp Stewart
Located in Southampton, NJ
A fabulous 8-drawer dresser or credenza designed by Kipp Stewart having solid walnut construction with porcelain ball drawer pulls that elevate the color contrast to the frontage. M...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drexel

Materials

Brass

Modernist Chinoiserie Style End Table
By Drexel
Located in Denton, TX
Modernist Chinoiserie design by Drexel Heritage with an embossed composite Asian scene on top of a parquet pattern parsons table base.
Category

Late 20th Century American Chinoiserie Drexel

Materials

Gold Leaf

Modernist Chinoiserie Style End Table
Modernist Chinoiserie Style End Table
H 24 in W 24.25 in D 26 in
Drexel Heritage French Provincial Louis XV Carved Walnut Dresser or Credenza
By Drexel
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous French Provincial Louis XV style long dresser or credenza. By Drexel Heritage, "Brittany Collection". USA, 1970s Measures:...
Category

1970s American French Provincial Vintage Drexel

Materials

Brass

Drexel Heritage Corinthian Bedframe King Sleigh
By Drexel
Located in Lake Worth, FL
For FULL item description click on CONTINUE READING at the bottom of this page. Offering One Of Our Recent Palm Beach Estate Fine Furniture Acquisitions Of A Drexel Heritage Corinthian...
Category

1980s Art Nouveau Vintage Drexel

Materials

Ash, Wood, Burl

Walnut and Cane Wall Mirror by Drexel, ca. 1965
By Drexel
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Walnut and Cane Wall Mirror by Drexel, ca. 1965. Original walnut and cane mirror by Drexel. Unique aysemmetrical cane detail on one side, can be hung vertical or horizontal. Very ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Cane, Mirror, Walnut

Midcentury Walnut Low and Long Chest of Drawers by Kipp Stewart for Drexel
By Kipp Stewart, Drexel
Located in Belmont, MA
Midcentury walnut low and long chest of drawers by Kipp Stewart for Drexel. Excellent professionally restored vintage condition.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Walnut

Raised Panel 5 Doors 4 Drawers Mid Century Modern Dark Chestnut Dresser Credenza
By Drexel
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Raised Panel 5 Doors 4 Drawers Mid Century Modern Dark Chestnut Long Dresser Credenza Mint!
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drexel

Materials

Brass

Drexel Heritage Chippendale Banded Mahogany Ten-Drawer Dresser or Credenza
By Drexel
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous Georgian or Chippendale style ten-drawer long dresser or credenza By Drexel Heritage, "18th Century Classics" Collection USA, Circa 1980s Beautiful banded mahogany, wit...
Category

1980s American Chippendale Vintage Drexel

Materials

Brass

Browse all Furniture from Drexel
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Creators Similar to Drexel

Drexel furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Drexel furniture 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 Drexel furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Drexel were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Henredon, Widdicomb Furniture Co., and Lane Furniture. Prices for Drexel furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $296 and can go as high as $16,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,230.
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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Yes, Drexel Heritage and Drexel Furniture are the same thing. The company began as Drexel Heritage, but changed their name in 2017 to reflect their shift toward producing contemporary as well as traditional furniture. You'll find a range of Drexel furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 31, 2023
    Drexel Touraine is a line of furniture produced by Drexel Furniture. The pieces reflect the stylistic elements of the French Provincial style, and the company manufactured them from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s. In the postwar era, North Carolina’s Drexel Furniture also 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. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of Drexel furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Whether or not Drexel Heritage furniture is considered quality is largely a matter of personal opinion. However, the company does produce pieces from carefully selected materials. Many made decades ago still remain in good condition today. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Drexel Heritage furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Drexel Furniture was known for the use of oak wood, native to the area in North Carolina where the company was based. Their attention to quality and detail highlighted the beauty of the wood they used. Browse a variety of Drexel Furniture pieces from top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 26, 2024
    No, Drexel furniture is not still in business. In 2014, the last Drexel Heritage plant in Morganton, North Carolina, reportedly closed its doors. The company was purchased by United Furniture and rebranded as Drexel in 2017. Then, in 2018, United Furniture's parent company, Heritage Home Group, filed for bankruptcy, and Drexel ceased production. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Drexel furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 3, 2024
    To know if your Drexel furniture is vintage, examine its serial number, which you will usually find in a hidden spot, such as beneath a tabletop or on the back or bottom of a casegood. By cross-referencing this number with information available on trusted online resources, you should be able to estimate the year of production. Drexel furniture produced more than 20 years ago would qualify as vintage. If you need assistance with dating your piece, seek the advice of a certified appraiser or knowledgeable antiques dealer. On 1stDibs, find a diverse assortment of Drexel furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Drexel Heritage no longer makes furniture and the company has gone out of business. The last company to own Drexel was Heritage Home Group who filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. It has since gone out of business and sold its headquarters and showroom. Shop a collection of authentic Drexel furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    What happened to the Drexel Heritage furniture company was that the company went out of business. In 2014, the last Drexel Heritage plant in Morganton, North Carolina, reportedly closed its doors when the Heritage Home Group purchased it. The company rebranded as Drexel in 2017. Then, in 2018, the Heritage Home Group filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. Although a Chinese manufacturer called Samson Holdings bought the Heritage Home Group, production of Drexel furniture never resumed. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Drexel Heritage furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Drexel Heritage is indeed high-end furniture. High-end furniture is made using the highest quality materials with the best in craftsmanship and Drexel Heritage furniture is no exception. Shop a collection of Drexel Heritage furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.

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