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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
$2,359
Styles
Materials
DREXEL Accolade Campaign Style Dining Armchairs - Pair
By Drexel
Located in Charlotte, NC
A pair of campaign style dining armchairs by Drexel Heritage, from their Accolade Collection. Pecan with a golden finish, high caned back, rounded arms, neutral color fabric upholste...
Category

Late 20th Century American Campaign Drexel

Materials

Fabric, Cane, Nutwood

Lovely Pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Nightstand Mid-Century Modern
By Edward Wormley, Drexel
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Lovely pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel precedent end tables or nightstands. These pieces are in vintage condition and do show wear to the finish-we recommend refinishing or lacquer...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Brass

Pair or Edward Wormley for Drexel Style Barrel Back Armchairs
By Drexel
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Stylish pair of Mid-Century Modern barrel back armchairs or lounge chairs produced by Drexel in the manner and style of Edward Wormley. The chairs feature a hardwood frame with a uni...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drexel

Materials

Faux Leather, Naugahyde, Hardwood

Vintage Drexel Accolade Ten-Drawer Campaign Low-Boy Dresser
By Drexel
Located in Medina, OH
Beautiful and large Drexel Accolade 10 drawer and 2 cabinet low-boy dresser! Campaign style brass hardware and plinth base. Beautiful dovetail jointed drawers. Faux bamboo brass hard...
Category

1970s North American Vintage Drexel

Materials

Brass

Drexel French Regency Louis XVI White Lacquered Nightstands, Newly Refinished
By Drexel
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous pair of mid-century French Regency Louis XVI style nightstands or end tables By Drexel USA, Circa 1950s White lacquered walnut, with original brass hardware. M...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Regency Drexel

Materials

Brass

Mid-Century Drexel Provincial Style Nesting Tables
By Drexel
Located in Mt Kisco, NY
A set of two nesting tables, the lower able to slide in place beneath the upper.
Category

1960s American French Provincial Vintage Drexel

Materials

Wood

Drexel Heritage Georgian Mahogany Double Pedestal Dining Table, Newly Refinished
By Drexel
Located in South Bend, IN
An exceptional Georgian or Chippendale style double pedestal extension dining table By Drexel Heritage USA, Circa 1980s Book-matched flame mahogany, with satinwood banding, ...
Category

Late 20th Century American Georgian Drexel

Materials

Mahogany, Satinwood

Mid Century Drexel Declaration Coffee Table Kipp Stewart
By Drexel, Kipp Stewart & Stewart MacDougall
Located in Baltimore, MD
Fabulous Mid-Century Modern coffee table designed by Kipp Stewart and Stewart MacDougall for Drexel’s Declaration Collection, circa 1960s. Featuring a rectangular top in beautifully ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Drexel

Materials

Porcelain, Walnut

Browse all Furniture from Drexel
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Drexel Sellers

Liberty & 33rd
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Modern Hill Inc.
4.6
Horseman Antiques Inc.
4.9
Furnish & More
5.0
Uncommon Vintage Furniture
No Reviews Yet
Schear Brothers
5.0
Warehouse 414
4.9
Danish Modern LA
5.0

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.

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